To receive credit, a facility must:
Upload a copy of the diversity plan or strategy that includes LGBTQ+ patients. This can be a standalone plan for LGBTQ+ health or it can be part of a larger disparities plan. At a minimum, the plan must list the strategies that will be employed to improve LGBTQ+ health and/or must recognize sexual and gender minorities as a population that experiences health disparities with a commitment to address those disparities.
In 2013, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) of the US Department of Health and Human Services released the new National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (the National CLAS Standards), which are intended to advance health equity, improve quality and help eliminate healthcare disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals and health and healthcare organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services. The CLAS Standards are a nationally recognized and utilized tool for culturally competent healthcare.
The new CLAS standards fully incorporate the concerns of LGBTQ+ people into the framework of culturally and linguistically appropriate care and specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity in their broader definition of culture. OMH’s accompanying publication, “A Blueprint for Advancing and Sustaining CLAS Policy and Practice,” also shares examples of health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ people and includes specific reference to LGBTQ+ health in many of the standards. One of the standards encourages healthcare organizations to conduct ongoing assessments of the organization's CLAS-related activities and integrate CLAS-related measures into continuous quality improvement activities.