The mission of Trans Health Consulting is to improve access to trans health care through provider education, policy advocacy, and case management services.
JM Jaffe earned a BS with honors from Wesleyan University with a double major in Biology and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and completed all Pre-Medical course requirements. After 8 years of working at Lyon-Martin Health Services in San Francisco, CA, JM created Trans Health Consulting, LLC to further access to trans health education nationally. JM's work as Trans Health Manager at Lyon-Martin focused on provider education, policy advocacy, and direct patient care. As a trans person, JM is all too familiar with the barriers trans communities face in accessing health care. Working to improve access to trans health and working with the trans community directly is not just their career, but their passion.
Training & Technical Assistance
As the manager of Lyon-Martin's Project HEALTH (Harnessing Education, Advocacy, and Leadership in Transgender Health) and as a content expert in transgender health, JM facilitates workshops and in-depth medical didactic trainings on a variety of transgender health topics for current and future medical and mental health providers, health professionals, insurance companies, and schools. They have carried out technical assistance strategic planning to help clinics and hospitals integrate transgender health care organization-wide--from front desk to operations, from Human Resources to billing, from mental health to medical health care provision. They have experience with SO/GI data collection implementation and are familiar with many different electronic health record systems. JM also manages Lyon-Martin's student clinical rotation in transgender medicine for healthcare providers in training and serves as the administrative lead in the curriculum development and management of Lyon-Martin's Nurse Practitioner Residency Program. They co-developed Lyon-Martin's self-injection training class for trans clients starting hormone therapy, co-lead trans therapy groups, and started Lyon-Martin's binder exchange program.
TransLine & Protocol Development
JM is also the administrative manager of the TransLine, Lyon-Martin’s collaborative transgender medicine e-consultation service, in which trans health experts from Lyon-Martin, the Mazzoni Center, Fenway Health, Chase Brexton, and Howard Brown answer requests for curbside consultation on trans health issues from providers all over the world. JM also serves as a consultant themselves on the TransLine for questions posed regarding insurance coverage and navigating denials and appeals. In this role, JM additionally facilitates a trans health workgroup consisting of experts in transgender care across the country, not only those that staff the TransLine, but also trans health experts from Callen-Lorde, Legacy Health, Whitman-Walker, API Wellness Center, Care Resource Center, Apicha Health Center, and the LA LGBT Center. The current aim of this workgroup is to achieve consensus across organizations on protocols for gender affirming hormone therapy. Our hormone therapy prescriber guidelines will be released on the TransLine website likely mid-2019.
Policy & Advocacy
JM is active in policy advocacy efforts. They have participated in legislative visits with city and state representatives and federal health officials alike. They currently serve on the City and County of San Francisco's Transgender Advisory Committee and the National LGBT Primary Care Alliance; they attend California Primary Care Association conferences; and they are a member of California's LGBT Health & Human Services Network, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, and the National Association of Community Health Centers.
JM has assisted hundreds of clients updating identity documents to reflect their gender identity and obtaining insurance approval for the coverage of gender affirming surgery. They have the knowledge and expertise necessary to assist with appeals of unlawful denials of gender-affirming surgeries. JM first advocated successfully for UCSF to begin to perform gender affirming surgeries like mastectomy, hysterectomy and orchiectomy on trans patients with SSI benefits in 2010. They then worked collaboratively with Lyon-Martin's community advisory board, the Transgender Law Center, and San Francisco's Department of Public Health to lift the exclusions of gender affirming surgeries in Healthy San Francisco, a city-funded coverage program for the uninsured. JM was instrumental in obtaining coverage for the first vaginoplasty known to be covered by Medi-Cal in 2011. Since then, they have continued to assist clients in overturning denials through a variety of Managed Care Medi-Cal and commercial insurance plans, negotiating with surgeons, hospitals, insurance companies, and the Department of Managed Health Care. Through the appeals process, JM was also instrumental in obtaining coverage of the first phalloplasty, facial feminization surgery, gender-affirming voice therapy, and facial electrolysis treatments known to be covered by Medi-Cal as well. This work has slowly helped change the landscape of gender affirming surgery coverage and access in San Francisco and California more broadly, and has since been replicated in other states across the country. They have experience obtaining coverage for mastectomy, hysterectomy, metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, breast augmentation, orchiectomy, vaginoplasty, facial feminization surgery, tracheal shave, voice therapy, and hair removal. As of 1/1/19, they have obtained coverage for over 650 surgeries, 136 hair removal referrals, and 33 voice therapy referrals.
Presentations Available Online
Blasdel, G., & Jaffe, J. M. (2019, September). Supporting Your Patient in Appealing an Insurance Denial. Poster session presented at the United States Professional Association of Transgender Health, Washington, DC
Sawyer, Nuala (2019, April) “Trans Advocates Request $1M for Housing and Shelter Services.” San Francisco, CA. SF Weekly.
Madison, Alex. (2019, April) “Trans office wants close to $1 million for housing” San Francisco, CA. Bay Area Reporter.
Ortega-Welch, Marissa. (2017, February). “From the doctor to the DMV: Trans people rush to change IDs under Trump.” [Interview]. San Francisco, CA. KALW Radio.
California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) California Improvement Network (CIN). (2016, May). Required Reading on Transgender Health
Colliver, Victoria. (2016, November). “Trans patients get help from afar thanks to telemedicine.” San Francisco, CA. San Francisco Chronicle.