AHIMA practice brief offers guidance on improving care for LGBT patients

March 17, 2017
Medicare Web

HIM and other healthcare professionals looking for best practice tips to improve care for LGTBT individuals can look to AHIMA’s new practice brief, Enhancing Patient Engagement for LGBT Populations, released March 14.

Patients are more likely to share information in an environment that’s respectful and welcoming, AHIMA said in an email announcing the release of the practice brief. Creating an inclusive, nonjudgmental environment is key to reducing health disparities and ensuring that health information is correctly and completely documented.

The practice brief identifies several areas of concern and recommends steps organizations can take to address them. For example, LGBT individuals are often concerned about partner/spouse rights, and AHIMA recommends that organizations ensure both partners sign HIPAA-approved forms and exchange information on patient portals. Other common concerns touch on submitting information and documentation options. Content should be inclusive and offer options to specify preferred name and gender.

Diversity education should include information on LGBT health and concepts related to sexual orientation and gender identity. A better understanding of diverse populations will result in improved patient care, AHIMA said. HIM are not the only healthcare professionals who need to focus on meeting the needs of LGBT patients. Case managers play a role in identifying strategies to reduce LGBT health disparities. For more information, see the December 2016 issue of Case Management Monthly, which is included in Basic and Platinum Revenue Cycle Advisor subscriptions.

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