What We're Reading: UnitedHealth, Aetna Plan to Join California's Medicaid Program

What we're reading, July 27, 2016: UnitedHealth and Aetna are looking to join California's Medicaid program; the World Health Organization is considering removing transgender identity from list of mental disorders; and medical schools rethink how to treat addiction.

Next year, UnitedHealth and Aetna both plan to join California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, in San Diego and Sacramento. The vast majority (80%) of people covered by Medi-Cal are in managed care plans, and with the program covering one-third of all Californians, the program is almost impossible to ignore, reported California Healthline. There are currently 2 insurers in Medi-Cal managed care and the last new insurer to join was Centene in 2013.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering removing transgender identity from the list of mental disorders. According to The New York Times, the change has already been approved by each committee that has considered it, and it is under review for the next edition of the WHO codebook. Removing transgender identity from the mental disorder list helps to reduce some of the stigma; however, the diagnosis won’t be removed entirely from the codebook, because having a code is sometimes the only way patients can receive care.

With the opioid epidemic in the United States, medical schools are retooling their curriculums to address the issue. NPR has highlighted the way some medical schools are changing how they teach about addiction. However, recruiting doctors to specialize in addiction medicine remains a challenge as the field has low reimbursement rates and patients can be difficult to handle.