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      Insurance-related Practices at Title X-funded Family Planning Centers under the Affordable Care Act: Survey and Interview Findings

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          Given the recent reforms in the United States health care system, including the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as well as anticipated upcoming changes to health care coverage, it is critical that publicly funded health care providers understand how to effectively work with their states’ Medicaid programs and the private health insurance plans in their service areas to provide high-quality contraceptive care to the millions of women relying on services at these sites annually.


          We collected survey data from a nationally representative sample of 535 clinics providing family planning services that received Title X funding and conducted semistructured interviews with 23 administrators at a subsample of surveyed clinics to explore provider-reported experiences working with health plans and to identify barriers to, and practices that lead to, adequate reimbursement for services provided.


          Providers report that knowledgeable staff are crucial to securing contracts with both public and private insurance plan issuers, and that the contracts they secure often include coverage restrictions on methods or services clinics offer their clients. Good staff relationships with issuers are key to obtaining adequate and consistent reimbursement for all covered services.


          Providers are trying to understand how insurance programs in their area knit together. Regardless of how U.S. health policies and delivery systems may change in the coming years, it is imperative that publicly funded family planning centers continue to work with health plans and maximize their third-party revenue to provide services to those in need.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Specialized family planning clinics in the United States: why women choose them and their role in meeting women's health care needs.

          Publicly funded family planning clinics provide contraceptive care to millions of poor and low-income women every year. To inform the design of services that will best meet the contraceptive and reproductive health needs of women, we conducted a targeted survey of family planning clinic clients, asking women about services received in the past year and about their reasons for visiting a specialized family planning clinic. We surveyed 2,094 women receiving services from 22 family planning clinics in 13 states; all sites included in the survey were clinics that specialize in contraceptive and reproductive health services and were located in communities with comprehensive primary care providers. Six in 10 (59%) respondents had made a health care visit to another provider in the past year, but chose the family planning clinic for contraceptive care. Four in 10 (41%) respondents relied on the family planning clinic as their only recent source for health care. The four most common reasons for choosing a specialized family planning clinic, reported by at least 80% of respondents, were respectful staff, confidential care, free or low-cost services, and staff who are knowledgeable about women's health. Specialized family planning clinics play an important role as part of the health care safety net in the United States. Collaborations between such clinics and comprehensive primary care providers, such as federally qualified health centers, may be one model for ensuring women on-going access to the full range of care they need. Copyright © 2012 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Public and private providers' involvement in improving their patients' contraceptive use.

            This study measured differences in the provision of care between public and private providers of contraceptive services, what problems using contraception these providers perceived their patients to have and providers' views on how to improve their patients' method use. A nationally representative mixed-mode survey (mail, Internet and fax) of private family practice and obstetrician/gynecologist physicians who provided contraceptive care in 2005 was conducted. A parallel survey was administered to public contraceptive care providers in community health centers, hospitals, Planned Parenthood clinics and other sites during the same period. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were conducted across both surveys. A total of 1256 questionnaires were completed for a response rate of 62%. A majority of providers surveyed believed that over 10% of their contraceptive clients experienced ambivalence about avoiding pregnancy, underestimated the risk of pregnancy and failed to use contraception for one or more months when at risk for unintended pregnancy. Implementation of protocols to promote contraceptive use ranged widely among provider types: a full 78% of Panned Parenthood clinics offered quick-start pill initiation, as did 47% of public health departments. However, 38% of obstetrician-gynecologists, 27% of "other public" clinics and only 13% of family physicians did so. Both public and private providers reported that one of the most important things they could do to improve patients' contraceptive method use was to provide more and better counseling. At least 46% of private providers and at least 21% of public providers reported that changing insurance reimbursement to allow more time for counseling was very important. Strategies to improve contraceptive use for all persons in need in the United States have the potential to be more effective if the challenges contraceptive providers face and the differences between public and private providers are taken into account.
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              The provision of public-sector services by family planning agencies in 1995.

               J Frost,  M Bolzan (1997)
              Results from a 1995 survey of a nationally representative sample of 603 publicly funded family planning agencies reveal that 96% rely on federal funding, 60% on state funding and 40% on local funding to provide family planning and other services. Although only 25% of the contraceptive clients served by these publicly funded agencies--including health departments, hospitals, Planned Parenthood affiliates, independent agencies and community and migrant health centers--are Medicaid recipients, 57% have incomes below the federal poverty level and an additional 33% have incomes of 100-250% of the poverty level. Some 40% of the recipients of family planning services are black, Hispanic or from other minority groups, and 30% are younger than 20. Each agency employs an average of three physicians who together provide approximately seven hours of care per week and seven midlevel clinicians who provide 71 hours of care per week. The pill is the only contraceptive method provided by all agencies, but 96% provide the injectable; at least 90% spermicide, the condom and the diaphragm; 78% periodic abstinence; and 59% the implant. The remaining methods are provided by fewer than 50% of agencies. Almost 70% of agencies have at least one special program of outreach, education or services to meet the needs of teenagers, but far fewer have special programs for such hard-to-reach groups as the homeless, the disabled or substance users.

                Author and article information

                Womens Health Issues
                Womens Health Issues
                Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health
                9 April 2018
                03 November 2017
                Jan-Feb 2018
                08 May 2018
                : 28
                : 1
                : 21-28
                [a ]Guttmacher Institute, New York, New York
                [b ]Guttmacher Institute, Washington, DC
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Mia R. Zolna, MPH, Guttmacher Institute, 125 Maiden Lane, 7th Floor, New York, NY, 10038. Phone: 212-248-1111 extension 2286; fax: 212-248-1951. mzolna@ 123456guttmacher.org (M.R. Zolna)

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).



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