Kyle L. Janek, M.D.
Date: Jan. 7, 2013
Contact: Stephanie Goodman, 512-424-6951
Texas Women’s Health Program Can Serve More Women, Survey Finds
AUSTIN – The new Texas Women’s Health Program has enough providers to serve even more women than before, according to a survey just completed by Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) researchers.
“This gives us great confidence that we can continue to provide women with family planning and preventive care and fully comply with state law,” said Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek, M.D. “We’ve added more than a thousand new doctors and clinics to the program since this spring, and we found that they are ready and willing to serve these patients.”
The Women’s Health Program provides family planning and preventive care for low-income women who wouldn’t qualify for Medicaid unless they were pregnant. The federal government cut off funding for the Medicaid program at the end of the year over a state law that excludes organizations that perform or promote abortions from the program. Gov. Perry directed HHSC to create a new state program in its place. In addition to the services covered by the Medicaid program, the new state program includes treatment for some sexually transmitted infections. Women who qualified for services under the Medicaid program are now eligible for Texas Women’s Health Program services.
HHSC surveyed Texas Women’s Health Program providers by mail, email and phone in areas where a Planned Parenthood previously provided services. The survey found that overall the state has the capacity in those areas to serve more women in 2013. In fiscal year 2012, Planned Parenthood and other providers served 80,127 women in those areas of the state. The survey found that current providers in those areas have the ability to serve 147,513 Texas Women’s Health Program patients in 2013.
The survey also looked at individual geographic areas and found that the state’s largest cities have enough providers to serve more women than last year. Of the 17 geographic areas examined, only San Angelo was identified as having an apparent capacity shortfall. Because Planned Parenthood combines billings from Waco, Corsicana and Tyler, the state couldn’t perform the same detailed analysis in those cities. Overall capacity for the combined area was good, but the number of providers suggests that state may need to add capacity in Corsicana.
“We’ve worked hard to add new doctors and clinics to the program all across the state, and we’ll work even harder in the two areas where we’ve identified some concerns,” Janek said. “We’re going to make sure that every woman who qualifies for these services is able to get them.”
Women can search for a Women’s Health Program provider online at www.texaswomenshealth.org or by calling 1-800-335-8957 to get help with finding a new doctor or clinic.
The survey: Texas Women's Health Program Provider Survey Patient Capacity Report (PDF)