By Scout Director
Network for LGBT Health Equity
New Institute of Medicine Report on Healthy People 2020 Has LGBT Inclusion
So HHS asked the prestigious Institute of Medicine to come up with leading health indicators for Healthy People 2020 and their report just came out today. We’re poring over all 87 or so pages now but wanted to give you the heads up LGBT people figure prominently in the document.
First, the Institute of Medicine recommends 12 Leading Health Indicators, or measures of the overall nations health be used. These include things like “Proportion of the population with access to healthcare services” and of course our favorite “Proportion of the population using tobacco”.
Then they suggested 24 objectives from all of the many in Healthy People 2020 that are very related to the Leading Health Indicators. Now this is where it gets interesting to us, they noted that 12 of those objectives were particularly relevant to LGBT health disparities.
The 12 Most Important Health Objectives for LGBT People
(The garble at the beginning refers to what HP2020 chapter they are in.)
- AH 5L: Increase the educational achievement of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgender adolescents and young adults.
- AHS 1L: Increase the proportion of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgender persons with health insurance.
- AHS 5L: Increase the proportion of lesbians and transgender persons with a usual primary care provider.
- HIV 17L: Increase the proportion of condom use among gay or bisexual males aged 15 and above who are sexually active with other men or women.
- MHMD 4L.1: Reduce the proportion of gay, bisexual or questioning males and females aged 12 to 17 years who experience major depressive episodes (MDEs).
- MHMD 4L.2: Reduce the proportion of lesbian, gay men, bisexual, and transgender persons aged 18 years and older who experience major depressive episodes (MDEs).
- NWS 10L: Reduce the proportion of lesbian and bisexual female adolescents who are considered obese.
- SA 13L: Reduce the proportion of lesbians’, gay males’, bisexuals’, and transgender persons’ past-month use of illicit drugs.
- SA 14L: Reduce the proportion of lesbian, gay males, and bisexual persons engaging in binge drinking of alcoholic beverages.
- TU 1L: Reduce tobacco use by lesbian, gay men, and transgender adults.
It’s great that they have identified priority objectives for LGBT people, but they even went further, they talked about data!
The Call for LGBT Inclusion in Health Surveys!
“A major difficulty in examining LGBT health relates to the availability of data for analysis. According to the Healthy People website,11 “Sexual orientation and gender identity questions are not asked on most national or state surveys, making it difficult to estimate the number of LGBT individuals and their health needs.” Therefore, the committee believes HHS should focus on improving and developing datasets that will facilitate analysis of disparities in LGBT health, thereby leading to action that can improve the quality of life and well-being of LGBT populations.” p. 43.
Hear hear, we agree heartily. And face it, if one more government policy doc comes out suggesting LGBT data inclusion, it’s going to be pretty hard to keep excluding us!
Read the whole report on the Institute of Medicine website.
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