Providing Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) to New Mothers: the PLAN Study Save

Date Added
May 25th, 2016
PRO Number
Adam Tyson
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) services (including the contraceptive implant and intrauterine devices, or IUDs) are the most effective forms of reversible contraception. The immediate postpartum period (inpatient), prior to discharge from the hospital, can be a particularly favorable period to initiate a contraceptive method, reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy as many women resume sexual activity before their postpartum check-up or do not attend this checkup. Women who are pregnant and ineligible for Medicaid and without access to other forms of insurance are eligible to apply for Emergency Medicaid to cover the cost of hospital-based labor and delivery. Currently, Emergency Medicaid does not cover the costs of inpatient postpartum LARCs (or any other form of contraception). South Carolina Medicaid does cover these services, and the three hospitals participating in this study (Greenville Health System, Palmetto Health Richland, and the Medical University of South Carolina) currently provide inpatient LARC services. We propose to offer women delivering at these three hospitals with Emergency Medicaid coverage no-cost postpartum inpatient LARCs. Before they are discharged from the hospital, we will conduct brief surveys with women to assess their contraceptive choices and reasons; we will also review medical charts to describe prenatal care utilization and receipt of contraceptive counseling. The results of this study will inform discussions with South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on expanding the scope of Title X Family Planning contracts with hospitals to include inpatient postpartum LARCs so that this population of women has greater access to highly effective contraceptive services and is better able to prevent unintended pregnancies.

Recruitment Contact
Patti Parker


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