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.
- Pennsylvania Abortion Landscape Convening
CONVERGE is part of an interdisciplinary initiative that brings together advocates, physicians, researchers, client support services, and educators together to support those seeking abortion services in Pennsylvania.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ensuring Patient-Centered Care in a Post-Roe World
Faculty members Sonya Borrero, MD, MS, Suji Uhm, MD, MPH, Marian Jarlenski, PhD, Mehret Birru Talabi, MD, PhD, and Greer Donley, JD presented at University of Pittsburgh's School of Medicine and School of Public Health's combined Grand Rounds on September 6th, 2022 around Ensuring Patient-Centered Care in a Post-Roe World.
- The Intersections of Inequity, Justice, and Health: Reproductive Autonomy for All
Imani Barbarin, LeeVetta Smith, Christian Lovehall, and Greer Donley presented at University of Pittsburgh's Diversity Forum with Dara Mendez moderating the conversation on The Intersections of Inequity, Justice, and Health: Reproductive Autonomy for All.
Reproductive autonomy is the ability to make reproductive health decisions that are best for an individual or family in their unique context. This session looked at the intersections of socio-economics, racial and gender identity, geography, and class, as well as structures and systems that impact the reproductive health and lives of diverse individuals and communities. While abortion is a critical component of reproductive autonomy, panelists expanded the discussion beyond abortion to include the complexities of family building, pregnancy-related mortality, infant health, and the historical context that has led us to where we are in the arc towards reproductive justice.
- 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.
- Are You Following LARC Best Practices?