Human trafficking targeted at more hospitals

Hospitals and health systems are increasingly implementing programs to identify and support human trafficking victims, reports Kaiser Health News.

Huntington (N.Y.) Hospital, part of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, has a human trafficking response program task force created by Santhosh Paulus, MD, site director of the hospital's family medicine residency program. The taskforce includes staff members trained by Restore NYC, an anti-trafficking organization. The taskforce has also trained the Huntington Hospital emergency department and Dolan Family Health Center staff to identify potential human trafficking victims and help them. . Dr. Paulus said he expects similar efforts across Northwell hospitals, the report said.

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston launched its human trafficking initiative in 2008 "to frame human trafficking as a public health issue and advance anti-trafficking efforts in research, education, policy and clinical care within the health sector."

San Francisco-based Dignity Health started a human trafficking response program in hospital emergency departments and labor and delivery areas, according to KHN, which reported  the system plans to expand those efforts to clinics and physicians' offices. And Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives has implemented various human trafficking prevention efforts in Kentucky and Houston.

Healthcare organizations' efforts come as ICD-10 codes to help providers document sex and labor exploitation are scheduled to take effect in October.

Read more about the codes here.


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