RadioMD: The Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

Sex Reassignment Care Is Cost Effective

December 4, 20159 min
How do the cost of Transgender health services compare to other services for people with Cancer or other expensive diseases?Within the past year there has been a ton of light shun on transgender issues, specifically within the health care system.A new analysis from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that most U.S health insurance plans don't give benefits to transgender men and women for medical care in order to transition to the opposite sex, and paying for sex reassignment surgery and the hormones that are needed is actually cost-effective.According to the study, which was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine estimated that between 3,000 and 9,000 Americans undergo sex reassignment surgery each year.For the study, researchers looked at data from the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey which looked at information on access to medical care and health outcomes, and cost of medical services.A researcher points out that health insurance companies pay for rare diseases such as cystic fibrosis (which affects 30,000 people in the U.S), but can be treated as a chronic condition, and has medications that can cost $300,000 a year.Why can't the same be done for transgender patients?Listen in as one of the lead authors of the study, William Padula, PhD, MS discusses why transgender health care costs aren't covered, and why they should be.

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