By: Linda Peruzzi
By: Linda Peruzzi

Healthcare Provider Alert: Transgender-Affirming Healthcare Policies and Practices

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a Final Rule, implementing the civil rights provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Act), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability within health programs and activities. Among other things, the Final Rule makes it clear that sex discrimination prohibited under the Act includes discrimination based on gender identity. The Final Rule requires healthcare providers to treat individuals consistent with their gender identity and prohibits providers from categorically excluding or limiting healthcare services related to gender transition. In order to comply with the Final Rule, healthcare providers should take the following steps:

  • Review and revise admission and rooming policies to ensure that individuals are treated consistent with their gender identity; and
  • Review and revise existing healthcare programs and activities (and related policies) to ensure they reflect the following key principles:
  • No healthcare services will be denied on the basis of an individual’s sex;
  • There are no healthcare services that categorically exclude an individual based on gender transition; and
  • There are no sex-specific healthcare programs or activities, except programs or activities that are substantially related to the achievement of an important health-related or scientific objective