Only one Georgia hospital notched a perfect score on the HRC’s annual Healthcare Equality Index, far outpacing some of metro Atlanta's most well-known medical facilities.
The VA Atlanta Medical Center in Decatur topped the list of eight Peach State hospitals on this year’s index. That earned the VA an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader distinction, joining about 400 other hospitals across the country receiving the honor.
Receiving the Top Performer distinction were Augusta University Medical Center (95), Emory Johns Creek Hospital (80) and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital in Tucker (80, down from an 85 in 2018).
HRC President Alphonso David applauded the high scoring hospitals on this year’s index.
“The health care facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients,” he said in a press release. “Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination policies, these health care facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.”
“We commend all of the HEI participants for their commitment to providing inclusive care for all,” he added.
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta dropped from an 85 on the 2018 list down to a 60 this year. The hospital received no points for employee benefits and policies this year, and no points for a new category on transgender-inclusive health insurance.
The VA Carl Vinson Medical Center in Dublin dropped from an 85 in 2018 down to a 50 this year. They improved on employee non-discrimination, but lost points for training in LGBTQ patient-centered care, patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, patient and community engagement and transgender-inclusive health insurance.
Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta received a 75. They received no points for employee non-discrimination, training in LGBTQ patient-centered care and transgender-inclusive health insurance.
Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta received a 50. WellStar Hospitals – which operates Atlanta Medical Center, Cobb Hospital and Kennestone Hospital – were not included in the study.
The eight Georgia hospitals were part of a record 680 health care facilities that participated in this year’s Healthcare Equality Index, which was released on Aug. 16.