STATEMENT: New Report Prevents Accurate Measurement of Controversial Women’s Health Programs

STATEMENT: New Report Prevents Accurate Measurement of Controversial Women’s Health Programs

For Release: 4-27-2018

Contact: Alexa Garcia-Ditta, [email protected]

 

AUSTIN, TX — Yesterday, the Texas Health and Human Services released a report on the state’s women’s health programs, which includes Healthy Texas Women and the Family Planning Program. While the report shows that the programs served more women in state fiscal year 2017 than it did in FY 2016, the state’s reporting methodology makes it impossible to know if as many Texans are receiving care as they did before the programs were cut in 2011.

The inclusion of providers with no reproductive health care experience like The Heidi Group resulted in only achieving the national average of 8 percent long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) usage, likely due to the unfamiliarity of providers with LARC methods and unavailability of these methods in their offices, and only 2 percent of the program’s patients were teens.

Blake Rocap, interim executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement on the report —

“Lawmakers required this report from the Health and Human Services Commission so they could evaluate the policy and funding changes they made to these programs. Unfortunately, this report does not  demonstrate the state’s programs are successful; key data required by the Legislature to make that conclusion is missing. Without information on how many clients each provider served, it is impossible to know which contractors met their goals and which are spending tax dollars most efficiently. Refusing to release the required data frustrates the intent of the report, and does not allow the Legislature to provide appropriate contract compliance oversight to an agency that obviously needs it.

“The number of total providers is not indicative of actual program capacity, almost half did not provide any care; the number of total enrollees is not indicative of patient access, almost half did not receive care. Texas is failing by not accurately tracking how its programs work therefore denying lawmakers the opportunity to make sound public policy.

“If the agency is going to ignore budget rider directives from lawmakers, we suggest they restore the ability of patients to see any qualified provider of their choice, take the nine to one  federal matching dollars and return the program to the success it enjoyed before anti-abortion politicians destroyed it in 2011.

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