Every year, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) updates and releases the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), a tool healthcare organizations use to measure the quality of care provided to patients. The current update aims to expand the definition of all people recommended for routine screening for breast and cervical cancer to include transgender and nonbinary people. Previous guidelines were limited to “females.”
An estimated 1.3 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender, including 480,000 transgender men. An estimated 1.2 million LGBT people in the U.S. identify as nonbinary. Currently, there is very little data or research on the rate of breast and cervical cancer among transgender and gender nonbinary people. Existing research does indicate that transgender people experience discrimination and disparities related to health care access.
Scholars commend the NCQA for the proposed revisions to the screening measures. They present research on the discrimination experienced by transgender people when accessing health care and discuss how these data can help address health disparities and improve outcomes for gender minority populations. In addition, scholars recommend that NCQA include guidance for the ethical use of insurance records and controls around the misuse of data, and assess the impact of these changes on intersex people.