The Obama administration is set, today, to issue policy guidance to states expanding their ability to offer same-sex couples the same protections afforded to straight couples when they receive long-term care under Medicaid, the Washington Blade has learned exclusively.” According to “the new guidance, dated June 10, states have the option to allow healthy partners in a same-sex relationship to keep their homes while their partners are receiving support for long-term care under Medicaid, such as care in a nursing home.” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said about the policy change, “Low-income same-sex couples are too often denied equal treatment and the protections offered to other families in their greatest times of need. .. Today’s guidance represents another important step toward ensuring the rights and dignity of every American are respected by their government.
LGBT Cultural Competency is critical for helping Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Bisexual cancer patients. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212-673-4920 for more information on how you can be LGBT Culturally Competent.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just issued new rules for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals that protect patients’ right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that “Basic human rights—such as your ability to choose your own support system in a time of need—must not be checked at the door of America’s hospitals”. Sebelius also said that “Today’s rules help give ‘full and equal’ rights to all of us to choose whom we want by our bedside when we are sick, and override any objection by a hospital or staffer who may disagree with us for any non-clinical reason.”
The new rules follow from an
In an April 15, 2010 Presidential Memorandum President Obama tasked HHS with developing standards for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals (including critical access hospitals) that would require them to respect the right of all patients to choose who may visit them when they are an inpatient of a hospital.
This memo came from an advocacy effort by Malecare’s The LGBT Cancer Project-Out With Cancer and several of our partner LGBT health organizations, The LGBT organizations working with Jackson Health System on this effort included the Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth, CenterLink, Equality Florida, Florida Together, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Lambda Legal, Miami Workers’ Center, Pride Center at Equality Park, SAVE Dade, and the Transgender Equality Rights Initiative.
The President’s memorandum instructed HHS to develop rules that would prohibit hospitals from denying visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. It also directed that the rules take into account the need for a hospital to restrict visitation in medically appropriate circumstances.
A key provision of the rules specifies that all visitors chosen by the patient (or his or her representative) must be able to enjoy “full and equal” visitation privileges consistent with the wishes of the patient (or his or her representative).
Among other things, the rules impose new requirements on hospitals to explain to all patients their right to choose who may visit them during their inpatient stay, regardless of whether the visitor is a family member, a spouse, a domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), or other type of visitor, as well as their right to withdraw such consent to visitation at any time.
More information about the rules is available at the CMS website.
The National LGBT Cancer Project – Out With Cancer, has a new Facebook page! Now, all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender cancer survivors and their allies have a welcoming Facebook page to meet on and post to. Please show your support for this new initiative by visiting http://tinyurl.com/294oln7 and clicking Please “like” LG “Like.” http://tinyurl.com/294oln7
In an 8/2/10 broadcast, FOX59 News in Indianapolis reported on the claims by a transgender patient that she was ridiculed and refused treatment by staff at Ball Memorial Hospital. Advocacy groups have filed complaints against the hospital saying that the patient, Erin Vaught, was “…inhumanely treated, dehumanized, and disrespected.”
Earlier this year The LGBT Cancer Project – Out With Cancer worked with several organizations to make the policies of the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami more inclusive of the needs of the LGBT community.
Information: For the FOX59 broadcast visit http://www.fox59.com/videobeta/17b9a1cc-5978-4638-b0a5-121d19661b56/News/Complaint-filed-by-transgender-woman
Out With Cancer helped make visitation rights for all patients and their loved ones a right. We were one of several LGBT focused nonprofit organizations fighting to change hospital policies that excluded same sex partners from the same visitation rights as married heterosexual couples. On April 15, 2010, the President issued a Presidential memorandum to HHS calling for the initiation of rulemaking that would ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patients. The President’s directive clearly instructed HHS to propose that a participating hospital not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. In advance of this proposed rule, Secretary Sebelius sent a letter late today to leaders of major hospital associations asking them to encourage their member hospitals to not wait for the formal rulemaking process to run its course before they review their current visitation policies.
The full letter follows. Read More→
HHS Committee voting at 2:40PM 6 voting yes to repeal ban. 9 voting no. Gay Blood Donation Ban is NOT repealed.
Watch the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability discuss the Gay Blood Donation Ban http://hhs.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&event_id=5
A June 9 letter to the chair of the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability from Sen. Kerry and Rep. Mike Quigley, Democrat of Illinois, was co-signed by thirty-three representatives and nine senators. “We join with medical experts at the American Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers, AABB, and the American Medical Association, among others, in calling for a change in policy that better reflects the science of high risk behavior for HIV,” the letter read. “The time has clearly come to review and modify this policy to strengthen the safety of the blood supply and remove any needless discriminatory rules from the process.
“In the wake of the major blood donor organizations stating that the lifetime ban on MSM blood donors is ’medically and scientifically unwarranted,’ we urge you to utilize the most up to date and comprehensive medical and scientific data regarding high risk behaviors in your considerations,” the letter added. “In order to improve the integrity of the blood supply, we believe it is imperative that all high risk behaviors be appropriately targeted in the screening process and that similar deferral periods are established for similar risks.
“As the policy currently stands, a number of potential oversights and medically unjustifiable double standards seem apparent,” continued the letter. “For instance, there is no prescribed consideration of safer sex practices, individuals who routinely practice unsafe heterosexual sex face no deferral period at all while monogamous and married homosexual partners who practice safe sex are banned for life. In fact, a woman who has sexual relations with an HIV positive male is deferred for one year, while a man who has had sexual relations with another man, even a monogamous partner, is deferred for life.
“Even individuals who have paid prostitutes for heterosexual sex face a deferral period of one year while gay men face a lifetime ban,” the letter notes. “These do not strike us as scientifically sound conclusions.”
“Science, technology, and education have advanced since the inception of this policy, and it’s time that it, too, evolved,” Rep. Quigley said in a press release. “By adjusting our restrictions on blood donation, we have an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to equality and offer those in need of life-saving blood transfusions much-needed help.”
“Since 1985, when the misguided policy barring gay men from blood donation was adopted, we have come leaps and bounds as a society in our awareness of discrimination against the LGBT community, of HIV/AIDS and how it is transmitted, and of safe blood screening and transfusion,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said. “Our society and its laws must move beyond the offensive and incorrect stereotype that automatically links gay men to risky sexual practices and, therefore, to HIV/AIDS. If we are serious about addressing the national blood shortage, then we must repeal the FDA’s ban on gay blood donors now.”
“We have chronic shortages of blood donations in this country, yet the FDA continues to cling to an outdated policy that prevents hundreds of thousands of donations from reaching those in need every year,” Rep. Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, said. “Overturning this antiquated ban isn’t just a step in the right direction for equality–it’s a commonsense move that will save lives.”
“Advocates invested in any change of such a policy report a perceived disconnect between the positions of leading gay rights and hemophilia representatives. We reject this notion,” New York-based advocacy group Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) said in a press release. “The communities have more in common than current discourse reflects. Both gay men and people with hemophilia have been disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic. Critical advancements in HIV prevention, treatment, and research can be linked directly to the years of successful advocacy by both communities. For most of the past quarter century, these two communities have worked toward shared goals, including caring for people living with HIV and preventing the virus’s spread.”
The release listed a number of organizations that “continue to share a strong commitment to the safety of our nation’s blood supply and it is with this in mind that we urge the ACBSA to recommend any scientific research that is necessary to allow for the thoughtful consideration of alternative policies regarding donor deferral. Read More→
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will review the FDA policy on Wed, June 9, that bans any man who has ever sex with a man from donating blood. The LGBT Cancer Project – Out With Cancer has been advocating for repeal of this ban. Representative Quigley (D-IL) and Senator Kerry (D-MA) are currently circulating a letter urging the FDA to end this discriminatory policy. Call today to ask your Representative and Senators to sign on!
Please contact your Representative and Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 1-866-220-0044. Give the operator your zip code and they will connect you to your Senator or Representative. When you get through to the office, ask to speak to the staff member who handles the FDA blood ban. Tell that staff member or leave a message asking them to sign on to the letter. Representatives can do so by contacting Representative Quigley’s office, and Senators by contacting Senator Kerry.