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What Exciting Changes are Coming Soon for LGBT Health?


 
Scoutby Scout, Ph.D.
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
At The Fenway Institute

As LGBT Health Awareness Week Approaches, We Should Hear Some Good News

Right in time for LGBT Health Awareness week, there’s a lot that’s staged to be released soon from U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) about LGBT health gains. Combining a few different bits of intel, look for the following to come out in the near future.

  • Any day now the first Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) LGBT Objective is to be unveiled — all they’ve said is it’s about LGBT data collection.
  • Can you believe it, this month is the year anniversary of the release of the Institute of Medicine Report on LGBT Health, National Institutes of Health (NIH) should release their action plan for responding this month. That’ll be a big deal.
  • HHS will be running a four part webinar on LGBT health in the coming year as part of the HP2020 work. No additional news on if it’s for staff or anyone yet, watch HP2020 website for more info.
  • Pretty soon we’ll be seeing LGBT data from the National Adult Tobacco Survey come out! This’ll be the first time we see full probability national LGBT data on smoking.
  • And drumroll please…. word is the soon to come revision to the HHS federal cultural competency standards (named CLAS standards) includes some LGBT angle!

Ok, what’s a macro level development to watch closely?

  • Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act protects people from sex discrimination in health care — some federal agencies and courts are already interpreting that to protect LGBT people. If this continues to be upheld in the courts — it could ultimately potentially provide sweeping LGBT nondiscrim protections in health.
  • Importantly – HHS is spinning up to act on LGBT health discrimination cases now, so spread the word incidents of LGBT health discrim should be filed as complaints to Office of Civil Rights in HHS.

More on all as we know it!

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