June is Pride Month, a time for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons and recognize their unique health needs.
LGBTQ+ persons are comprised of a multitude of groups that have their own unique health needs. Transgender individuals, for example, are less likely to have health insurance than lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Mental health disparities are also prevalent with younger members of the community having an increased likelihood to commit suicide and older members having feelings of isolation. Health disparities in this community are compounded by social determinants of health that are largely rooted in oppressive and discriminatory practices.
June is also Men’s Health Month, which provides CMS OMH an opportunity to highlight the health needs of men. While heart disease and cancer are the leading cause of death for all men, gay and bisexual men are impacted by higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (especially among communities of color), increased tobacco and drug use, and depression. Various factors may also negatively impact their ability to get the necessary care including stigma and lack of access to culturally- and orientation-appropriate medical and support services.
CMS OMH is reaffirming our commitment to helping improve the health of all minority, underserved, or disadvantaged populations and ensuring they are represented as CMS is developing, implementing, and evaluating its programs and policies. Below are resources to share this month and beyond.
- This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s first Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on AIDS. Review the Community Partner Social Media & Observance Toolkit.
- Use the Sexual and Gender Minority Clearinghouse to find health surveys that include questions about sexual identity, attraction, and behavior.
- Take the MLN training “Improving Health Care Quality for LGBTQ People”.
- Download and share the HIV/AIDS Disparities in Medicare Fee-For-Service Beneficiaries for an overview of HIV/AIDS prevalence among racial and ethnic groups as well resources.
- Share From Coverage to Care Consumer Resources and Prevention Resources to help patients learn to make the most of their health coverage. Also use the Roadmap to Behavioral Health to understand how to use your coverage to improve your physical and mental health.
- Download our Develop and Test Sexual and Gender Minority Status (LGBT) Items for the Medicare Beneficiary Survey to learn how CMS explored including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) measures in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey.
- Review the Identifying the Transgender Population in the Medicare Program paper to learn how to identify and describe the transgender population in the Medicare program using administrative data.