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Trans patients often travel out of state, pay more for gender-affirming care, study finds

caption: University of Washington Medical Center
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University of Washington Medical Center

Getting gender-affirming surgery is considered a critical part of medical care for some transgender and gender-diverse people. But researchers have found that more than half of those seeking that surgery have to travel out of state for it.

That's according to a study co-published this summer by the University of Washington and Oregon Health and Sciences University.

UW epidemiologist Sarah Holt is one of the authors.

"At University of Washington, we get people traveling from quite far, and then they have to go back home and they might not have the appropriate providers in place to help them," Holt said. "And so what we worry about is this patient population possibly having worse outcomes, having more re-admissions."

Holt said one reason these patients are not getting care in their home state is that they can't find a surgeon who can do the procedure.

Holt added that those who have to travel end up paying at least 50% more out of pocket for gender-affirming surgery.

The study is published in JAMA Network.

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