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Health Policy

Access to public bathrooms is a serious health issue for transgender people.

Bathroom Access Is A Public Health Issue

By | Fenway Health Newsroom, Health Policy, The Fenway Institute, Trans | No Comments
A new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine outlines the reasons why equal access to public bathrooms is critical to public health, and how lack of safe public accommodations can lead to serious injury and illness for transgender people. The paper, titled Beyond Bathrooms — Meeting the Health Needs of Transgender People, was co-authored by Dr. Sari L. Reisner, Sc.D., Research Scientist at The Fenway Institute. The debate and passage of recent legislation in several states to require people to use the bathroom corresponding with their “birth” sex has led to much fear and misinformation. Claims that 
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"Religious liberty" bills will restrict access to healthcare and other essential services by LGBT people.

State “religious liberty” laws threaten access to healthcare by LGBT people and represent serious threat to public health

By | Fenway Health Newsroom, Health Policy, LGBT Health, The Fenway Institute | No Comments
A policy brief released today by The Fenway Institute examines controversial state legislation that seeks to restrict access to healthcare and other essential services by LGBT people. Some of the proposed legislation would also nullify local nondiscrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and denies transgender people access to restrooms according to their gender identity. In the first half of 2016 alone, nearly 200 anti-LGBT bills have been filed in 32 states. Six states―Indiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida―have passed such legislation, and their governors have signed them into law. The policy brief puts this wave 
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The HHS rules that discrimination based on gender identity is prohibited in health facilities, programs and activities receiving federal funding.

Office of Civil Rights final rule on nondiscrimination in health care a major step forward for transgender people; more work to be done to protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people

By | Fenway Health Newsroom, Health Care, Health Policy, LGBT Health, The Fenway Institute, Trans | No Comments
On May 13, 2016 the Office of Civil Rights at the federal Department of Health and Human Services (OCR) published a final rule implementing the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under Section 1557. This rule states that discrimination based on gender identity is prohibited in health facilities, programs and activities receiving federal funding, as it constitutes a form of sex discrimination banned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The rule also states that discrimination based on sex stereotyping is prohibited. This nondiscrimination regulation offers potent protections to 
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HUD has published new guidelines aimed to protect transgender people in homeless shelters.

HUD Offers Guidance On “Appropriate Placement” Of Transgender People In Homeless Shelters

By | Fenway Health Newsroom, Health Policy, The Fenway Institute, Trans | No Comments
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published new guidelines for emergency homeless shelters that explicitly state that people who are transgender should be assigned to single-sex shelters that conform with their gender identity. The guidelines were published to clarify a rule proposed in 2012 stating that any housing program that receives federal funding must be made available “to individuals and families without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.” The new guidelines, published November 20, 2015 on National Transgender Day of Remembrance, make it clear that people who are transgender and 
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A new National LGBT Health Education Center report focuses on collecting sexual orientation/gender identity data in electronic health records.

Fenway Institute Report Spotlights Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection in EHRs

By | Fenway Health Newsroom, Health Policy, LGBT Health, The Fenway Institute | No Comments
Increasing the visibility of LGBT people within health care is critical to tearing down barriers to care and ensuring sensitive and inclusive services. In this spirit, the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute has released a new policy brief about the importance of accurate and comprehensive data collection on sexual orientation/gender identity (SO/GI) in electronic health records (EHRs). Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Electronic Health Records: Taking the Next Steps explains how gathering this data can help identify and address LGBT health disparities in health centers and other health care organizations. Too often, providers 
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