LGBT-Inclusive Questions Added to NYS Medicaid Assessment Tool: A National Model
SAGE applauds the New York State Department of Health for integrating questions on sexual orientation and gender identity into its new Uniform Assessment System for New York (UAS-NY), which will be used throughout the state’s network of Medicaid community based long-term care services and programs. The New York State Department of Health included these questions in the UAS-NY based on guidance from SAGE. This assessment system will now collect data on LGBT older people who navigate this system for the first time in the state’s history–and will serve as a model for patient care and statewide data collection on the health of LGBT older people nationwide.
With the numbers of people age 65+ on the rise, it is more critical than ever to address the health concerns of LGBT elders throughout the US. Gathering the kind of information collected by the UAS-NY can help create optimal, patient-centered long-term care plans that take into account the unique barriers and profound health disparities among LGBT people. These types of questions can help identify the specific nature of health disparities in the LGBT community and formulate effective means of addressing them. Research has also found that people who disclose their sexual orientations to their providers feel more comfortable discussing broader health behaviors.
The New York State Department of Health is the latest state agency to address the health concerns of LGBT older people. Earlier this year, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) began collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity to address health disparities among LGBT elders in its network.