Medical Moment: Embracing diversity at Spectrum Health

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Spectrum Health is working to lead the way for improving the health care experience for all their patients.

According to Dr. John T. Duhn, there's a a segment of the transgender population currently afraid to access the healthcare system.

"They may encounter providers that are not supportive or flat out discriminate against them. And that's caused patients to have fear of engaging with the system. Afraid to go to the ER, afraid to sign up for a new primary care physician."

Because of this, there are many transgender patients that choose to take risks with their treatment that should be monitored by a doctor. However thanks to a new legislation just added to the Affordable Care Act, there are fewer hurdles for those patients.

"It basically says that insurance companies are no longer able to discriminate against patients for transgender healthcare," Dr. Duhn said.

"We prescribe hormones to men and women currently and insurance typically covers that but the transgender patients were often explicitly excluded from care. So the new regulation says health insurance companies are not allowed to do that."

Dr. Dugn is proud to be part of a Spectrum Health team that is removing additional hurdles, through inclusiveness and diversity training.

"We want to be the system that offers an inclusive product that offers dignity to our patients."

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