Health Care

DC to require medical providers have LGBTQ cultural competency

 photo Caduceus1.pngThis past Tuesday the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously and with little fanfare passed B21-168, the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act. When signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, he district will be the first jurisdiction in the nation to require LGBTQ cultural competency training for all health care providers.

The bill sets a modest but needed floor for such training by requiring any health care professional who is required to receive continuing education to include at least two credits of LGBTQ-related clinical or cultural competency training.



Hormone therapy for transgender people improves mental health

Anti-transgender forces like Breitbart or Lifesite or Family Research Council like to drag out ancient transphobe Dr. Paul McHugh, the man who shut down the nation's leading gender clinic at Johns Hopkins because he thought gender non-conformity was a "lifestyle choice" or notorious ex-transwoman Walt Heyer to prove that treatment of gender dysphoria does not and cannot work.

The latest from Breitbart:

But medical students at Georgetown and other schools are being forced-marched though the post-modern, post-scientific ideological swamps of vanity politics instead of spending their precious time learning actual medicine.

You see, treatment of transgender people is not actually medicine.

Their purpose, of course, is to erase transgender people from the community of human beings. How very Christian of them.



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.




Minnesota Mother sues her employer for insurance coverage of her son

 photo tovar_zpsgn5elx4b.jpgBrittany Tovar works as a nurse practitioner for Essentia Health at Essentia's hospital in Ada, MN. As such, she and her family are supposedly insured under Essentia's medical insurance provider, HealthPartners.

At least that's what she thought until she sought medical care for her transgender son, Reid Tovar Olson.

I was really disappointed with my employer. It's hard coming to work, and my employer considers my son a second-class citizen.

So Tovar has filed suit in federal court.



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



Helping Kids Thrive

 photo Mind_zpsrqgwhkw4.gifFrancine Russo has a suite of articles about transgender people in the January Scientific American Mind.The focus article is about transgender children: Transgender Kids: What Does It Take to Help Them Thrive?

If you've been paying attention, you might notice a severe disconnect on the part of conservative state and local legislators and the concept of transgender kids thriving.

Studies suggest that 0.3 percent of people in the U.S. feel strongly that their biological sex does not correspond to their gender identity.

Researchers have developed a multipart transition process for young trans people that begins with careful screening, then blockers at the onset of puberty and later cross-sex hormones to allow them to undergo puberty in their affirmed gender, followed by surgery.

Some parents and clinicians are pushing back against the existing guidelines, seeking a more case-by-case approach.

Those on the right consider being transgender to be a moral failing.



Health Disparities in transgender veterans

Dr. George R. Brown and Dr. Kenneth T. Jones have recently had published a new study concerning the mental and medical health of transgender veterans: Mental Health and Medical Health Disparities in 5135 Transgender Veterans Receiving Healthcare in the Veterans Health Administration: A Case–Control Study.

There are no large controlled studies of health disparities in transgender (TG) or gender dysphoric patients. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest healthcare system in the United States and was an early adopter of electronic health records. We sought to determine whether medical and/or mental health disparities exist in VHA for clinically diagnosed TG veterans compared to matched veterans without a clinical diagnosis consistent with TG status.



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.



A Dark Chapter in trans treatment whimpers to a close

One of the most prominent clinics practicing reparative therapy in North America, Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is closing its Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) after an independent review by a team of outside psychologists.

The investigators found that GIC still used antiquated practices with an anti-transgender bias.

Lead reparative therapy proponent, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, who has headed the GIC for over 30 years is, according to officials at CAMH, "no longer at the institution."




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