Healthcare Roundup—HHS looking to narrow definition of gender; USC agrees to $240M settlement

Marble exterior of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C. Text on building reads "Department of Health and Human Services."
An HHS memo shows the agency is leading an effort to create a legal definition of sex as a biological and immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, The New York Times reported over the weekend. (Rose Meltzer)

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect a comment from HHS about the New York Time's story on gender.

NYT: HHS effort to narrow gender definition could define transgender 'out of existence'

The Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to create a legal definition of sex as a biological and immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, according to The New York Times.

The memo shows HHS would seek to change the legal definition of sex under Title IX, which is the federal law that bans gender discrimination in education programs which receive financial assistance.  The move would be a significant rollback of Obama-era policies that largely allowed individuals to choose how they wanted to be identified, the New York Times reported.

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In an emailed statement, an HHS official said the agency does not comment "on alleged, leaked documents that purport to indicate the status of deliberations or the focus of the department."

The office pointed the Obama administration’s broad definition of ‘sex’ being enjoined by a federal court on a nationwide basis in December 2016, saying the administration did not appeal. "The court order remains in full force and effect today and HHS is bound by it as we continue to review the issue," HHS said in the statement. (New York Times | Time)

USC reaches proposed $240M settlement with women who accused gynecologist of sexual abuse

The University of Southern California reached a proposed $240 million settlement with hundreds of current and former students who filed a class-action lawsuit against the school accusing its student health center gynecologist of sexual abuse dating back decades. 

The women allege George Tyndall subjected patients to unnecessary penetration with his hands and other inappropriate touching, as well as sexual harassment, the Washington Post reported. They also allege the university has known about the complaints since 1990.

The school announced in a release it agreed to a settlement in principle of up to $215 million. In addition to that, the settlement includes an agreement for the school to pay up to $25 million in fees, the Post reported. (Washington Post | Release)

AMITA Health will cut outpatient, medical office locations in half

Catholic health system AMITA Health plans to cut its ambulatory care locations in half—from 250 to 125—over the next two years, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

AMITA, the joint operating company formed by Ascension and Adventist Health, acquired the Presence Health hospital systems in March. Now, it plans to consolidate services and cut the number of outpatient facilities and medical offices. Mark Frey, CEO of AMITA, said the plan is to bring groups of 6 to 9 physicians together with specialists and ancillary services, such as imaging capabilities. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

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