Admin. Drafts Transgender Healthcare Protections Rollback

Admin. Drafts Transgender Healthcare Protections Rollback

The Trump administration is drafting plans to undo the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) rule preventing doctors, healthcare organizations, and health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people. If the Trump administration’s rollback gets passed, it could potentially open the way for clinical staff to turn away a transgender individual from receiving medical attention due to gender identity.

A federal judge in Texas found parts of the existing rule unlawful, maintaining it is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and does not include an exemption for clinical staff who had religious or moral objections to gender transitions or abortions.

According to the New York Times:

The rule being drafted by the Trump administration puts federal officials at odds with many medical experts. Dr. James L. Madara, the chief executive of the American Medical Association, urged the administration to preserve the existing protections for transgender people.

Madara said in a letter to Roger Severino, the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that the AMA “stands behind” transgender protections and “opposes any modifications to the rule that would jeopardize the health and well-being of vulnerable populations.”

Michelle Dick
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Michelle Dick

Executive Editor at AAPC
Michelle A. Dick has been executive editor for AAPC for over 10 years. Prior to her work at AAPC, she was editor-in-chief at Eli Research and Element K Journals, and disk ad coordinator, web designer/developer, and graphic artist at White Directory Publishers, Inc. She has a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from the State University of New York - Buffalo State and is a member of the Flower City Professional Coders in Rochester, N.Y.
Michelle Dick
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About Has 225 Posts

Michelle A. Dick has been executive editor for AAPC for over 10 years. Prior to her work at AAPC, she was editor-in-chief at Eli Research and Element K Journals, and disk ad coordinator, web designer/developer, and graphic artist at White Directory Publishers, Inc. She has a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from the State University of New York - Buffalo State and is a member of the Flower City Professional Coders in Rochester, N.Y.

4 Responses to “Admin. Drafts Transgender Healthcare Protections Rollback”

  1. Christen Roden says:

    Good Afternoon,

    I am new too AAPC and didn’t realize they promoted sides on political issues. It was my understanding that AAPC is an educational organization who teaches proper coding and compliance based on the laws already put in place. Should the laws change, then coding and compliance changes with it.
    I didn’t realize AAPC advocates for one political view, theory, opinion, or view over another. In my opinion it’s an abuse of platform, the political issue itself, having nothing to do with correct coding and compliance.

  2. Brad Ericson says:

    Hi Christen,

    We don’t see this as a political issue. Many coders’ work is affected by federal and commercial payer decisions regarding gender equity. Gender reassignment surgeries are increasing, and transgender patients will keep coming. We want our membership to aware of the issues. We will continue to report on this, women’s issues, and other items as they eventually affect reporting and reimbursement.

  3. Victoria Moll says:

    Thank you Brad for your exceedingly appropriate response.

  4. Brad Ericson says:

    My pleasure, Victoria. Sadly, since the payment and rules for our field are so often driven by what HHS and CMS chooses to do – sometimes by political fiat – it’s really hard to avoid skating into the political realm. Obamacare and its effects are a great example of every new bit of news carrying a some sort of political baggage. We try to do our best to unstrap it, but sometimes we have to keep it on.

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