Emphasizing Person-Centered Care and Collaboration May Improve Equitable Access to LARC in Medicaid
The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI), a non-profit, nonpartisan research and policy organization has released its newest report, “Advancing Person-Centered LARC Access Among the Medicaid Population,” that reviews the different strategies Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) and their clinical and community partners are using to improve equitable access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Using in-depth interviews with Medicaid MCOs and a national environmental scan, major themes of providing a person-centered approach, understanding the role of social determinants of health, and collaborating with different sectors of the healthcare system may be key components of successful initiatives.
Improved access to all forms of contraception, including LARC, is an important step in ensuring that individuals have autonomy over their bodies. However, over half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended and these pregnancies disproportionately impact individuals enrolled in the Medicaid program. The report highlights barriers and facilitators to LARC access in both the ambulatory and immediate postpartum setting in addition to focusing on certain subgroups, such as adolescents. Individuals enrolled in Medicaid, and in particular Black women, have long been victim to coercive family planning initiatives—including the forced use of LARC. In acknowledgement of ongoing reproductive health injustices, the report emphasizes how Medicaid stakeholders can advance LARC access in a way that is equitable and person-centered. Three case studies feature innovative initiatives led by UPMC for You, AmeriHealth Caritas D.C., and the New Morning Foundation.
Additionally, the report provides clinical, research, and policy opportunities to guide future work in this area. Opportunities for improving LARC access include increasing training opportunities specific to LARC services, conducting further research on patients’ contraception preferences, and increasing reimbursement for LARC-related services.
Read and download the full report here.