healthcare

Surprise: Fake medical group provides fake science

From just a glimpse at their name, one would have no reason to doubt the authenticity of an organization calling itself The American College of Pediatricians. Sounds legit, right?

But in your mind, what you are most likely confusing this organization with is the medical organization The American Academy of Pediatrics.

How does Wikipedia describe The American College of Pediatricians?

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a small, socially conservative advocacy group of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals in the United States.

The group was founded in 2002 by a group of pediatricians, including Joseph Zanga, a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as a protest against the AAP's support for adoption by gay couples.

Zanga has described it as a group "with Judeo-Christian, traditional values that is open to pediatric medical professionals of all religions" provided that they "hold true to the group's core beliefs: that life begins at conception; and that the traditional family unit, headed by an opposite-sex couple, poses far fewer risk factors in the adoption and raising of children."

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NEJM addresses bathroom issue and transgender equality

The New England Journal of Medicine has weighed in on how the bathroom issue affects the health of transgender people in an article entitled Beyond Bathrooms — Meeting the Health Needs of Transgender People by Mark A Schuster, Sari L. Reisner and Sarah E. Onorato which appeared in the July 14, issue.

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Lancet tackles worldwide lack of transgender healthcare

Despite the recent flurry of media attention that has been directed toward transgender people, they and their health needs remain poorly understood, experts say.

Yesterday The Lancet published a series of articles on the health, social and legal conditions in which transgender people live.

Many of the health challenges faced by transgender people are exacerbated by laws and policies that deny them gender recognition.

In no other community is the link between rights and health so clearly visible as in the transgender community. Faced with stigma, discrimination and abuse, transgender people are pushed to the margins of society, excluded from the workplace, their families and health care. Many are drawn into risky situations or behaviors, such as unsafe sex or substance abuse, which leave them at risk of further ill health.

--Dr. Sam Winter

The majority of countries worldwide do not offer legal or administrative measures enabling gender recognition for transgender people. In Europe, eight countries fail to offer legal recognition to transgender people, and 17 countries still impose sterilization on people who seek gender recognition.

As of June 2016, Argentina, Denmark, Malta, Ireland, and Norway had laws that allow transgender people to determine their gender through an administrative process. Furthermore, Argentina and Malta affirm the right of transgender people to appropriate healthcare.

New Zealand, Australia, Nepal, Pakistan, and India are beginning to recognize gender diversity beyond the binary.

A comprehensive public health approach to address the health of transgender people requires access to gender affirmation services, evidence-based health-care delivery systems, and effective partnerships with local transgender communities.

Although there are substantial gaps in empirical research on transgender issues, there are sufficient actionable data highlighting unique biological, behavioural, social, and structural contextual factors surrounding health risks and resiliencies for transgender people that need interventions.

--Dr. Sari L. Reisner

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Meanwhile in Hawaii

It may seem like the country has become overrun with hate.

But there is still good news from time to time.

The Hawaii House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill which prohibits insurance companies from denying, canceling or limiting insurance coverage based on gender identity.

That's something that's really critical, especially now when you have states around the country moving the other direction, explicitly placing into law the ability to discriminate based on who people perceive themselves to be.

Here in Hawaii where we treat everyone with respect and aloha, we think everyone is created equal and ought to be treated the same.

--Rep. Chris Lee (D)

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Research: Most Endocrinologists uncomfortable treating transgender patients

 photo Caduceus1.pngThe results of a survey administered at an American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists conference have now been published. Research was lead by Michael S. Irwig, MD, of George Washington University and was published in the journal Endocrine Practice.

While endocrinologists and other providers have received more education and training on transgender care within the past decade, self-rated comfort levels with discussing gender identity and/or sexual orientation and competency to provide transgender care is still rated relatively low.

The survey, which was conducted at a meeting for endocrinologists in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. with 125 conference attendees, found that 63 percent of those surveyed were willing to provide transgender care, but the majority of providers had no current transgender patients under their care. Irwig also found that 50 percent of those surveyed had read the Endocrine Society's transgender clinical practice guidelines - with 70 percent of those under the age of 40.

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DoD proposes new rule on transgender healthcare

Preparatory to ending the ban on transgender military service, which is expected to happen this Spring, the Department of Defense has proposed a new rule in regard to TRICARE benefit coverage.

This proposed rule seeks to comprehensively update TRICARE mental health and substance use disorder benefits, consistent with earlier Department of Defense and Institute of Medicine recommendations, current standards of practice in mental health and addiction medicine, and our governing laws. The Department of Defense remains intently focused on ensuring the mental health of our service members and their families, as this continues to be a top priority. The Department is also working to further de-stigmatize mental health treatment and expand the ways by which our beneficiaries can access authorized mental health services. This proposed regulatory action is in furtherance of these goals and imperative in order to eliminate requirements that may be viewed as barriers to medically necessary and appropriate mental health services.

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HHS panel finds insurance must cover sex reassignment

 photo lauderdale_zpsg0nb3z7d.jpg

Charlene Lauderdale was denied coverage for the procedures by her private insurance firm, which is funded through Medicare. But for the first time this month, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services panel found that the insurance provider must cover the procedures. 

The council finds that the vaginoplasty surgery requested in this case is covered and is the responsibility of the plan.

--Medicare Appeals Council

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Healthcare is a human right

 photo Jamison_zpsk8tz1yoy.jpgThat's why it's reserved for cisgender people.

Jamison Green is president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), formerly the Harry Benjamin Gender Dysphoria Association (HBIGDA). He has a new book out now, Making the Case for Transgender Health and Rights.

Jamison spoke Monday at the Capitol Hill Library to a capacity crowd.

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The Economics comes down on our side

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has done a new analysis of the current situation with transgender health coverage. As you may know, while the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has started paying for transition-related healthcare for transgender people, many private insurers deny such coverage, judging it to be "experimental," purely cosmetic," "elective," or just plain icky...even though the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological association all consider the treatment to be medically necessary to be available for transgender people.

It's the same as saying if you have cancer, you need chemotherapy if you are going to survive.

--William Padula, Johns Hopkins

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