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Am J Public Health. 2019 Aug;109(8):1111-1118. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305130. Epub 2019 Jun 20.

Required Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Reporting by US Health Centers: First-Year Data.

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Chris Grasso, Danielle Funk, Dana King, and Kenneth H. Mayer are with The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA. Kenneth H. Mayer is also with the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Hilary Goldhammer and Alex S. Keuroghlian are with the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute. Alex S. Keuroghlian is also with the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Sari L. Reisner is with Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston.


Objectives. To assess the performance of US health centers during the first year of required sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data reporting and to estimate the baseline proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients accessing health centers. Methods. We conducted a secondary analysis of SOGI data from 2016. These data were reported by 1367 US health centers caring for 25 860 296 patients in the United States and territories. Results. SOGI data were missing for 77.1% and 62.8% of patients, respectively. Among patients with data, 3.7% identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or something else; 0.4% identified as transgender male or female; 27.5% did not disclose their sexual orientation; and 9.3% did not disclose their gender identity. Conclusions. Although health centers had a high percentage of missing SOGI data in the first year of reporting, among those with data, the percentages of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people were similar to national estimates, and disclosure was more than 70%. Future data collection efforts would benefit from increased training for health centers and improved messaging on the clinical benefits of SOGI data collection and reporting.


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