New report examines potential impact of changes in Texas' Women's Health Program

October 11, 2012

A new report finds that Texas policies to exclude Planned Parenthood clinics from a state family planning program – the Women's Health Program (WHP) – would result in leaving tens of thousands of women unable to get care.

"Deteriorating Access to Women's in Texas: Potential Effects of the Women's Health Program Affiliate Rule," released by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative in the Department of Health Policy of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, examines the impact of Texas' plan to bar clinics from participating in the state family planning program, even though they do not provide abortions. This study builds off a prior analysis released by the Collaborative, which found that these clinics provided care to about 52,000 WHP patients—approximately half of all WHP clients. This report more closely examines the extent to whether other family planning clinics that operate in the same markets as the Planned Parenthood clinics will be able to serve women after Planned Parenthood clinics are excluded. An analysis of five market areas in Texas (Bexar, Dallas, Hidalgo, Lubbock and Midland Counties) found that Planned Parenthood clinics are the dominant WHP providers in their markets, serving more than half to four-fifths of the WHP patients in their areas. Other family planning clinics in those areas lack the capacity to serve that large a spillover in patients, if Planned Parenthood clinics are no longer allowed to do so.

"Tens of thousands of Texas women could lose access to affordable family planning after Planned Parenthood clinics are shut out of the Women's Health Program," said Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH, Professor of Health Policy and lead author of the study. "And such threats to can lead to significant public health and ."

The study also analyzed data about the costs and benefits of family planning services offered by the WHP. The researchers conclude that if tens of thousands of women would lose access to family planning after the Planned Parenthood clinics are excluded, the number of unplanned births in Texas could increase by 2,000 to 3,000. The state's policy change has led the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to conclude that the WHP would no longer qualify for federal matching funds, which now pay 90 percent of the program's cost. This would mean that the program would no longer save the state money, as it currently does, but that the WHP could create a net financial loss for the state of Texas.

"This study shows WHP not only provides services, but offers other preventive health services, such as screening for cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure." Peter Shin, PhD, MPH, Collaborative director and a study co-author, commented, "The state's planned policy will mean that thousands of low-income women would also lose access to these essential preventive services."

Explore further: Judge: Texas can't cut funds to Planned Parenthood

More information: To access the policy research brief, click here: sphhs.gwu.edu/departments/heal … cations/TexasWHP.pdf

Related Stories

Judge: Texas can't cut funds to Planned Parenthood

May 6, 2012
(AP) -- A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Texas cannot ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds, at least until a lower court has a chance to hear formal arguments.

Feds to halt Texas Women's Health Program funding

March 16, 2012
(AP) -- The federal government on Thursday began making good on its promise to cut off all funding for the Texas Medicaid Women's Health Program amid an escalating fight over the state's ban on funding for clinics affiliated ...

Cancer charity halts grants to Planned Parenthood

January 31, 2012
(AP) -- The nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its financial partnerships with numerous Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Family planning in conflict

July 13, 2011
Many areas of the world are at war and both the conflict and aftermath have dire consequences for the health of people affected. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Conflict and Health reports that ...

Recommended for you

Americans misinformed about smoking

August 22, 2017
After voluminous research studies, numerous lawsuits and millions of deaths linked to cigarettes, it might seem likely that Americans now properly understand the risks of smoking.

Women who sexually abuse children are just as harmful to their victims as male abusers

August 21, 2017
"That she might seduce a helpless child into sexplay is unthinkable, and even if she did so, what harm can be done without a penis?"

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.