The Department of Health and Human Services has released for comment draft standards to expand its data collection of health information from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations, as well as gathering more information from certain ethnic groups and the disabled.

The initiative, authorized under Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act, is designed refine population health surveys to better identify and address health disparities. The Census Bureau, for instance, already uses newly proposed disability questions.

Proposed questions for race will go beyond check boxes for White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Hispanic/Latinos would be asked if they are Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban or another origin. Asians would be asked if they are Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese or another origin. Pacific Islanders would be asked if they are Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan or another origin.

More information is available at, enter docket number HHS-OMH-2011-0013. Public comments are due by August 1.


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