athenahealth rolls out new capabilities to support transgender and non-binary health

Mass-based digital health company athenahealth has rolled out new capabilities that aim to make healthcare more inclusive for transgender and non-binary patients.

Now on the athenaOne platform, an EHR, medical billing and patient care, physicians can enter information about a patient’s name, pronouns, and gender identity, in addition to their legal name and assigned gender or gender at birth.

The company said the new feature grew out of athenahealth events in 2021, including the Hack for Health Equity and Codefest.

“It is the duty of healthcare systems and health IT providers to improve the inclusiveness and accessibility of healthcare options and ensure barriers are removed so that all patients feel respected and have confidence in the care they receive,” says Paul Brient, chief product officer at athenahealth. in a statement.

WHY IT MATTER

Many members of the transgender and non-binary community have faced discrimination from health care providers and organizations. In fact, according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey: Health and Healthcare Report, 19% of survey participants reported not receiving care because they were transgender or non-compliant.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they were “subject to harassment in a medical setting” and 50% said they should inform their healthcare provider about transgender care.

THE BIGGER TREND

Today, the medical community is discussing ways to help provide better care for transgender and non-binary patients. The Boston University School of Medicine has developed a curriculum assessment tool to determine whether these and other medical schools are adequately teaching about recommended LGBTQ+ competencies. OptumHealth Education also launched a new training program to help health professionals better support the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

A handful of startups are also focusing on helping members of the LBGTQ+ community access healthcare. Plume, a virtual platform designed to help members of the transgender community find health services, received $14 million in Series A funding in 2021.

LGBTQ+-focused digital healthcare provider Folx Health received $25 million in 2021. At that point, the company announced it was beginning its offerings with a hormone replacement therapy plan, as well as sexual health and wellness services.