Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on Thursday will release the
state's five-year strategic plan for promoting long-acting, reversible
contraceptive devices (LARCs), which are seen as key to reducing the state's
high maternal mortality rate.
The 2017 Texas
Legislature ordered HHSC to develop the plan, which is due to the Legislative
Budget Board and the governor by Nov. 1. The plan will:
who is eligible for LARCs (which include
intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants like Nexplanon);
ways to reduce barriers patients experience when they try to obtain LARCs;
problems with payment and billing procedures for both physicians and women
enrolled in Medicaid or the Family Planning Program of Healthy Texas Women;
methods for developing and expanding partnerships to increase training and
education about LARCs; and
specific recommendations to the legislature.
The report also
will contain a letter from Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies on
ways to increase LARC use. The collaborative is a coalition of more than 150 state agencies, organizations
(including the Texas Medical Association), scientists, hospitals, and insurers
dedicated to improving birth outcomes in Texas.
widely seen as an effective way to improve women's health. While maternal death
rates have been dropping in most wealthy countries, they have been increasing
in the United States, and they are especially high in Texas.
2012, Texas’ maternal mortality rate was between 14.6 and 18.6 deaths per
100,000, while the national average was 15.9 per 100,000. White women in Texas
overall have a maternal death rate of 13.6 per 100,000 live births, but the
rate for African-American Texans is 27.8, according to research by the Texas
Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force.
TMA's Maternal Health Plan calls for legislation to make LARCs
more easily available. However, there are still many outdated fears and myths about LARCs that keep them
from being more widely accepted. One 2017 study found that fewer
than 6 percent of sexually active female teens use LARCs.
information on maternal death and illness, go to the TMA's Maternal Mortality and Morbidity page.
Last Updated On
November 05, 2018