Improving Women’s Access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: Role of Medicaid Reimbursement Policy Change

Aug 2019 |
Online Library

Long-acting reversible contraception(LARC) is highly effective at preventing unintended pregnancy, yet is underutilized in the United States. In an effort to improve women’s access to LARC, the Washington State Medicaid program increased provider payments for provision of LARC as of September 2015 and started to provide separate payment for immediate postpartum LARC insertion. This policy brief examines the changes in LARC utilization among women of reproductive age 15-44 years old receiving public health insurance in Washington State before and after the Medicaid reimbursement policy change. We found a statistically significant increase in LARC use within three and 60 days of delivery after the increase in reimbursement rates in 2015. Our findings suggest that Medicaid payment policy change can be an effective policy option to increase postpartum LARC initiation and highlight the need to improve access to LARC methods outside the postpartum period.

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