FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 2, 2015
Contact: Audrey Sandusky, (202) 293-3114 ext. 207, asandusky@nfprha.org

Title X Network Struggles with Continued Cuts, Declining Patient Numbers

WASHINGTON, DC - For a fourth year in a row, the Title X family planning program, the federal grant program that helps states and local communities provide comprehensive family planning care, including contraception, counseling, STD services, and cancer screenings to low-income women and men, is experiencing a dramatic decline in patient volume despite a growing need for these services in communities across the country, according to the HHS Office of Population Affairs’ Family Planning Annual Report (FPAR) released on September 2.

The total number of patients seen in Title X-funded health centers shrunk from 5.2 million in 2010 to 4.1 million patients, a 21% decrease overall. Over the past five years, Congress has cut funding for Title X by $40 million, or 10%, which has placed an enormous burden on family planning health centers and their capacity to provide care. Struggling with the dramatic loss in funding since 2010, health centers have been forced to reduce hours of operation, cut staff, and close health centers, potentially leaving some people without access to care. All of these troubling factors have fueled the downward trend in patient volume. 

“At a time when the nation is placing a stronger emphasis on community-based prevention and health promotion, this decline in patient volume is cause for alarm,” said Clare Coleman, President & CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA). “There is no evidence that shows the estimated 1.1 million women and men who have disappeared from the Title X network are seeking care elsewhere. As these patients leave the network, they also lose reliable access to the highly effective contraceptive methods that Title X ensures.”

For the first time, the report captures patient data after the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, which went into full effect in 2014. The report shows that a growing number of insured women and men are seeking care in Title X settings yet the overall proportion of uninsured patients reliant on Title X remained relatively stable. In 2014, 14% of patients had private insurance compared to 8% in 2010. Patients with public insurance rose to 29% compared to 23% in 2010, in part due to Medicaid expansion. The proportion of uninsured individuals only decreased by one percent between 2013 and 2014.

“The Title X program has a proven track record of success and in keeping women, men and their families healthy and communities strong. With today’s report, we see that the Affordable Care Act is working in publicly funded family planning settings, but the Title X network still needs sufficient funding to provide the high-quality care patients count on,” said Coleman.

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NFPRHA represents the broad spectrum of family planning administrators and clinicians serving the nation's low-income and uninsured. NFPRHA’s nearly 900 member organizations operate or fund a network of nearly 5,000 health centers and service sites that provide comprehensive family planning services to millions of low-income and uninsured or underinsured individuals in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

 

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