New Hospital Visitation Rules in Effect

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 18 2011 10:00 AM ET

New federal regulations that prohibit hospitals from discriminating against visitors based on sexual orientation and gender identity take effect today.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, “These new regulations require all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs – virtually every hospital in the country – to permit patients to designate visitors of their choosing and prohibit discrimination in visitation based on a number of factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Last year, President Barack Obama announced the regulations in response to the tragic story of Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond of Florida. The couple was kept apart while Lisa died at a Miami hospital.