January 5, 2015

ICD-10 and Gender Identity Disorder the Focus on Talk Ten Tuesdays

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Gender identity disorder (GID), also known as gender dysphoria, will be the focus during the season premiere of Talk Ten Tuesdays on Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. EST, according to executive producer and program host Chuck Buck.

The broadcast will feature nationally prominent psychiatrist H. Steven Moffic, MD, a frequent guest on the half-hour show that will begin its fifth year of operation in 2015.

“Although we had been planning to do a story on GID for some time, the Sunday, Dec. 27 death of a 17-year-old transgender youth, Leelah Alcorn of Kings Mill, Ohio, has made the story more relevant,” Buck said. “The youth walked in front of a tractor-trailer rig on a state highway, ending her life. NBC News reports that the coroner is expected to rule her death as suicide.”

In a note reportedly posted by Alcorn on the social media blog Tumblr, the teen was asking that her death expose the problems transgender people suffer.

"The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was, (if) they're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights," the plea read.

Buck said ICD10monitor had been following other stories on issues of GID when, in June, an independent appeals board ruled that Medicare could no longer deny coverage for sex reassignment surgery. Also in June, Time Magazine’s front cover featured the star of the Netflix drama “Orange Is the New Black,” Laverne Cox, identifying Cox as “one of roughly 1.5 million Americans who identify as transgender.”

More recently, in December, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to insurance companies noting that state law requires insurance coverage for people who have gender dysphoria.

“An issuer of a policy that includes coverage for mental health conditions may not exclude coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria,” the governor wrote.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Moffic return to Talk Ten Tuesdays and help us better under the issues surrounding GID,” Buck said. “Dr. Moffic was on one of broadcasts when we, along with the rest of the world, were looking for answers into the (suicide) death of actor and comedian Robin Williams. We’re calling on him again.”

Wilbur Lo, MD, the CDI physician advisor for ICDLogic, is also scheduled to be on the broadcast. Lo will discuss GID in relation to ICD-10. Lo and Moffic are part of a concerted effort to integrate healthcare, according to Buck.

Moffic, who writes a blog for Psychiatry Times, has been helping foster healthcare integration. His appearance on the Jan. 13 edition of Talk Ten Tuesdays marks his fourth overall, and the subject is a familiar one to the psychiatrist who was named a "Hero of Public Psychiatry" by the American Psychiatric Association.

“Like most psychiatrists at the time, I didn't know much about gender identity variations 20 years ago,” Moffic told ICD10monitor. “Fortunately, Pathways, a clinic in Milwaukee that specialized in that, asked me to be their medical director.”

 When pressed by the clinic as to why he was selected, Moffic was told because he had a reputation for “cultural sensitivity.”

“Now I want to pass on what I learned about the diagnosis and transcendent transformation of the most courageous patients I've ever had the privilege of working with,” Moffic said. “Little did I know at the time that I would later encounter this challenge in my personal life also.”

 

Mark Spivey

Mark Spivey is a national correspondent for ICDmonitor.com who has been writing on numerous topics facing the nation’s healthcare system (and federal oversight of it) for five years.