New TxPEP Publication in HSR Details the Challenges of Integrating Family Planning and Primary Care in Texas

Fri, October 27, 2017
New TxPEP Publication in HSR Details the Challenges of Integrating Family Planning and Primary Care in Texas
New TxPEP publication.

New research publilshed by the PRC project Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) in Health Services Research details the challenges of integrating family planning and primary care in Texas services after the state’s exclusion of Planned Parenthood from publicly funded programs, foreshadowing challenges that may arise if Congress succeeds in prohibiting Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.

The study, based on in-depth interviews with Expanded Primary Health Care program administrators at 30 organizations conducted between November 2014 and February 2015, assessed the experiences of EPHC program participants including women’s health organizations and two categories of primary care organizations: those that had provided family planning services through state contracts before 2013 and those that were new family planning contractors.

While not all primary care organizations faced difficulties expanding services, challenges broadening the scope of care were much less common among women’s health organizations. Women’s health organizations were able and eager to integrate primary care into their family planning services.

“We found notable differences across these organizations in their capacity to expand family planning services, ability to reach family planning clients, and commitment to integrate family planning into primary care,” Kari White, TxPEP investigator and lead author of the study, said. “Primary care organizations, especially those new to family planning, had to make a philosophical shift in how they delivered care and some reported receiving little guidance on how to scale-up their services.”

This study suggests primary care organizations will be more successful in providing family planning services if they receive technical assistance, which may include skills training to provide a full range of contraceptive methods and education about evidence-based practices that will facilitate women’s timely access to the best care. While it may take time for primary care providers to develop this expertise, the current network of publicly funded women’s health organizations already provides this type of care.

Read the full article here and the press release here.

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