VHA provides care to a population that is diverse of, including ladies and LGBT veterans.

Better Data had a need to gauge the Health Outcomes of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veterans

GAO-21-69: Published: Oct 19, 2020. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 2020.


Workplace of Public Affairs (202) 512-4800 youngc1@gao.gov

Veterans Affairs scientists are finding that LGBT veterans can experience greater prices of despair and much more regular ideas of committing committing committing suicide. Yet the VA can not methodically evaluate the healthiness of these veterans as it does not regularly gather information on intimate orientation or self-identified sex identification. For instance, in accordance with the VA, 89% of veterans’ records lack gender identification information. The VA may miss opportunities to provide appropriate health screenings and identify disparities without this data.

We suggested the VA enhance its information collection and analysis to enhance wellness equity and better understand the requirements of LGBT veterans.

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Workplace of Public Affairs (202) 512-4800 youngc1@gao.gov

Exactly Exactly Exactly What GAO Found

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health management (VHA) analyzes national-level information by delivery intercourse to evaluate health results for ladies veterans. As an example, it analyzes regularity information to spot their many common health issues. Nevertheless, VHA is restricted with its evaluation of wellness results for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) veteran population as it doesn’t regularly gather intimate indiancupid orientation or self-identified sex identification (SIGI) information.

VHA officials reported that providers may record veterans’ intimate orientation—which could be used to determine lesbian, homosexual, and bisexual veterans—in non-standardized medical records in electronic wellness documents. But, with out a standard industry, providers may possibly not be regularly gathering these information, and VHA doesn’t understand the final amount of the veterans in its system. VHA officials recognize the significance of regularly gathering these information, but have actually yet to build up and implement a industry for doing so.

VHA collects SIGI data—which can be utilized in component to spot transgender veterans—in enrollment, administrative, and electronic wellness record systems. Although VHA did to boost the assortment of these information, GAO discovered inconsistencies in exactly just how VHA documents SIGI and, based on VA, 89 % of veterans’ records lack SIGI information. VHA included an industry to get these details when you look at the administrative system; nonetheless, these information aren’t connected to electronic wellness documents. As a result, VHA providers cannot begin to see the information during medical visits when determining the correct solutions for transgender veterans, such as for example screening specific transgender males for breast and cervical cancers, as required by VHA policy. VHA’s want to connect SIGI data across both systems happens to be postponed several times, plus the information remain unlinked.

VHA Sexual Orientation and gender that is self-Identified (SIGI) information Collection Limitations, Fiscal Year 2020

Until VHA can more regularly gather and evaluate orientation that is sexual SIGI information when it comes to veteran population served, it’ll have a small comprehension of the healthcare requirements of LGBT veterans, including any disparities they could face.

Why GAO Did This Research

These veterans can experience variations in wellness results which are closely associated with social or financial disadvantage, and VA considers it crucial to investigate the solutions they receive in addition to their own health results to enhance wellness equity.

Home Report 115-188 included a supply for GAO to examine VA’s information collection and reporting procedures for all about veterans’ sex and orientation that is sexual. This report describes just how VHA assesses wellness outcomes for females veterans and examines the level to which VHA assesses wellness results for LGBT veterans.

GAO reviewed VHA directives and VHA’s wellness Equity Action Arrange. GAO interviewed officials from VHA’s ladies’ Health solutions and LGBT Health Program, VHA scientists who concentrate on females and LGBT veterans, and representatives off their medical care systems with experience gathering sex and intimate orientation information.

Exactly Just Exactly What GAO Recommends

GAO is making four suggestions to VA to regularly gather orientation that is sexual SIGI information, and evaluate these information to assess wellness results for LGBT veterans. VA concurred with GAO’s tips and identified actions it really is using to handle them.

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