Knowledge and Skills Building Workshops
Because relatively few medical providers specialize in transgender care, those who do often are saturated and lack capacity to treat all of the patients in need. Not only do barriers prevent health care access, but when patients are able to see a competent medical provider, they also often face unaddressed legal issues underlying their medical concerns. The medical provider is in a unique position to screen for legal needs affecting patient health. This is one of the benefits of a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP), where medical and legal providers work together to identify and address legal and social issues with health-harming effects. As described in a recent New York Times article, legal action can be used as preventive medicine.
Legal and medical providers from Bet Tzedek Legal Services and Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transgender Health Program will share how they launched a medical-legal partnership that provides legal services to transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in Southern California with the aim of improving patient health outcomes. Medical providers screen patients for underlying legal issues and make referrals to partnering lawyers. The lawyers assist with appealing insurance coverage denials for medically necessary care; combatting harassment and discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations; and writing legal name and gender marker change petitions, among other advocacy.
The workshop will provide a space to answer questions about the process and utility of this type of partnership and why it is critical in this context. The workshop will then provide a platform for a group conversation brainstorming best practices and considerations for collecting data regarding patient health outcomes post-legal intervention. Presenters will encourage other practitioners to engage in MLPs so we can improve population health and share data to scale up the model.