Patients should be provided with the resources necessary to help them understand that they are being asked whether they would like to share information about their sexual orientation and gender identity in order to ensure that everyone receives the highest quality of care and to reflect their provider’s interest in understanding each patient’s individual identity and experiences.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act both provide protections against improper disclosure of personal medical information or other sensitive information—which would include information related to a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and transgender status—to employers, family members, or others without proper consent from the individual patient.

This project is developing a pamphlet for providers to share with their patients to clarify existing privacy protections and explain the importance of SO/GI data to the course and outcomes of their care.