On Tuesday, federal regulations regarding patients’ hospital visitation rights will go into effect. These new regulations require all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs – virtually every hospital in the country – to permit patients to designate visitors of their choosing and prohibit discrimination in visitation based on a number of factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
Moved by the tragic story of an LGBT family – Janice Langbehn, Lisa Pond and their children – who were kept apart as Lisa lay dying in a Miami hospital, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum in April 2010 directing the Department of Health and Human Services to develop regulations protecting hospital visitation rights.
Visit our Hospital Visitation Guide for information about these regulations and the upcoming changes.
In addition to working with the Obama administration on the hospital visitation issue, our annual Healthcare Equality Index surveys healthcare policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and their families. For more information about the HEI, as well as resources for hospitals and LGBT patients, visit to www.hrc.org/hei.