Navigation Links
Transgender patients discriminated against for health care services

DETROIT Discrimination against transgender people as many as one million Americans identify themselves as transgender should immediately be addressed by the medical establishment, backed by policy change at the national level to provide equal access to quality health care.

That is the primary recommendation of a study by Daphna Stroumsa, M.D., MPH, an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Henry Ford Hospital, whose research was recently published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.

"Bias against transgender people takes an enormous toll on their health through direct harm, lack of appropriate care and a hostile environment, and through transgender people's avoidance of the medical system as a result of discrimination and lack of respect," Dr. Stroumsa says. "The medical establishment has a duty, and an ability, to protect transgender patients from such harms."

A top priority, she recommends, is that all health care programs funded by the federal government be required to provide coverage of care including sex reassignment surgery while transgender patients make the physical transition to the sex matching their gender identity.

These should include the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicaid and Medicare, and Children's Health Insurance Program also known as Children's Medicaid.

"Private insurance may ultimately follow adoption of full coverage by federally funded programs," Dr. Stroumsa writes. "But until it does, federal guidelines protecting transgender people from discrimination by private insurance companies is warranted, including a ban on the practice of denying medical care coverage by linking the care to transition, which is not covered under most policies."

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes gender identity in its nondiscrimination clause, to what extent it will protect transgender people from denial of coverage remains to be seen, she adds.

The ACA increases the number of people who will have access to basic health care. Because of work-related and other discrimination, transgender people are statistically more likely to find themselves without coverage and thus stand to benefit from the general increase in access to health care that the ACA provides.

As part of its duty to provide appropriate, quality care, the medical establishment should include transgender-sensitive care in all medical education "as has been done with other cultural competencies."

To back this up, Dr. Stroumsa calls for federal grants to help fund educational programs teaching postgraduate-level medical care of transgender patients, including sex reassignment surgery. She notes that the ACA "has taken a first positive step in that direction" by providing funding for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) cultural competency training. Such training has already been implemented in some "big-city" health departments, and is underway for staff of the National Health Service Corps.

Among the study's other recommendations:

  • Establish more health centers dedicated to caring for transgender patients as well as strengthen those already in operation.

  • Draft clear guidelines for all federally funded health centers, including appropriate language, adoption of gender-neutral bathrooms and health records that respect transgender patients' preferred names and gender pronouns.

  • Include questions regarding gender identity in health surveys to help monitor the progress and effects of new transgender health care measures.

  • Help overcome the high rates of unemployment in the transgender population by hiring transgender people in the health care workforce. This would also offer an important avenue to address some of the challenges and barriers this population faces in the health care system.

A final recommendation of the study is that those who care for transgender patients should collect and publish data with the goal of improving that care. "It goes without saying that all such research must be conducted with sensitivity and respect toward participants," Dr. Stroumsa concludes.

Contact: Dwight Angell
Henry Ford Health System

Related medicine news :

1. APA task force recommends treatment guidelines and position statements on transgender persons
2. Report Calls for Counseling Guidelines for Treating Transgender People
3. Transgender patients have special needs in the ER
4. Fenway Health Releases Transgender Awareness Week 2013 Infographic
5. Higher-spending hospitals have fewer deaths for emergency patients
6. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
7. Vaccine yielded encouraging long-term survival rates in certain patients with NSCLC
8. Study finds doctors have exaggerated fears when starting patients on insulin
9. Diagnostic Scans Tied to Radiation Risk for Gastro Patients
10. Predictors identified for rehospitalization among post-acute stroke patients
11. Pulse pressure elevation could presage cerebrovascular disease in Alzheimers patients
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June ... , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to ... is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. ... from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating ... one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") ... manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical devices ... Bill Messer has joined the company ... leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, ... Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves electronic ... load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: