Initiatives

The Reproductive Bridges Coalition is working across multiple sectors to expand access to high quality comprehensive family planning services and optimize reproductive health outcomes for all individuals in Western Pennsylvania.

Ongoing Projects: 

Pharmacist Provision of Contraception

Expanding Pennsylvania pharmacists’ scope of practice to include prescribing of hormonal contraception offers the opportunity to support women’s reproductive autonomy, improve access to essential services, and meaningfully expand clinical pharmacists’ role in women’s health care. Advancing this practice in Pennsylvania also has the potential to advance reproductive health equity for both rural and underserved urban populations.

Read our research brief here. 

Explanation of Benefits (EOB) Privacy

EOBs sent to insurance policyholders may serve as a deterrent for dependents who are seeking sexual and reproductive health care services. We are currently working with legislators and private health plans to implement a policy change to suppress EOBs for dependents for sexual and reproductive health care. 

Read our policy brief here.

Read an op-ed written by student Catherine Heffernman on this issue. 

12 Month Dispensing of Contraception

Based on cost analyses models conducted by CONVERGE faculty, Pennsylvania Medicaid recently recommended that all of its plans cover 12 month contraceptive dispensing.  We are currently investigating what proportion of patients in Medicaid plans were able to fill a 12-month supply of hormonal contraception. Based on these results, we expect that more robust efforts (including a state mandate) will be required to change prescribing and pharmacy dispensing practices to effectively implement this policy change.

Read our research paper here.

Read our Policy brief here. 

Postpartum Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Reimbursement in Commercial Plans

Partnering with the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative, we are extending our prior work with Medicaid to work with commercial plans in Pennsylvania to enact policies to separate reimbursement for Postpartum LARC from the delivery episode payment. This policy change is essential to enable access to IPP LARC for all patients and to avoid a two-tiered structure in which Medicaid patients may be preferentially steered toward IPP LARC.

Contraceptive Equity in Pennsylvania

In 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing employers to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive mandate based on religious or moral objections.  This ruling could impact at least 2.5 million women in Pennsylvania who depend on this coverage for access to affordable contraception.

Legislation has been introduced in Pennsylvania that would ensure a greater degree of access to contraceptives for women within the Commonwealth. The bill would require insurers to provide coverage for contraceptives without cost-sharing, removes pre-authorization requirements, and allows insurers to provide coverage of 12 months of birth control at one time.

Representative Krueger has re-introduced a bill to ensure equitable access to contraceptives in Pennsylvania. 

Previous Projects: 

Days of Learning

The Reproductive Bridges Coalition has hosted two Day of Learning events in 2017 and 2018.  The 2017 event brought together experts, stakeholders, and policy makers to discuss the state of the science and policy on contraception and identify avenues to enhance contraceptive access in our region.  

The 2018 Day of Learning event offered contraceptive training for providers across the region.  The training included didactics on patient-centered counseling, evidence-based best practices in contraception provision, and hands-on simulated IUD and implant insertions. 

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