Child Surgeries Win Approval Of John Hopkins

( Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medical have recently expressed their support for a measure in Maryland that would include puberty blockers for youngsters and other medically needed gender-affirming procedures in the state’s Medicaid program.

In 2022, Johns Hopkins Medicine wrote a letter and provided an oral deposition in favor of a similar measure presented last year, but it was defeated in the Maryland State House.  JHM will submit a written statement in favor of the bill.

This month’s committee hearings will include oral evidence from Helen Hedian, Director of Clinical Education at the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender and Gender Expansive Health.

In an email, it was noted that Paula M. Neira, Program Director of LGBTQ+ Equality and Education in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity, would offer testimony in favor of the proposed changes to the Maryland Medicaid program.

The email was sent to show support for the “Trans Health Equality Act,” House Bill 283, which was submitted on January 29, 2023, and its companion measure in the Senate, SB 460.

If approved, the measure would mandate that “gender-affirming” therapies be covered by the Maryland Medical Assistance Program starting on January 1, 2024. Among the many procedures available today are medicines to prevent puberty in young children, administering hormones, hair treatments, vocal training, top surgery, implants, and genital augmentation.

The law provides that present Standards of Care for gender-affirming therapy established by the International Professional Association for Transgender Health may include treatment indicated in the Act.”

Medicaid recipients may count on obtaining “medically required gender-affirming therapy” in a “nondiscriminatory manner.”

In addition, the law ensures that medical coverage may not be excluded because a procedure was labeled as cosmetic, according to the Johns Hopkins email.

Health benefit decisions cannot be made unless a medical professional with gender-affirming procedure knowledge has analyzed and before coming to a determination.