California Family Planning Program Successfully Averts Thousands of Unplanned Pregnancies

California's Family PACT (Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment), California's family planning program launched in 1997, has successfully prevented over 200,000 unplanned pregnancies. . In 2002-2003, the program worked with nearly 3,000 providers, both in public health clinics and private practice.1

Family PACT has expanded from serving 750,000 clients in its first year, to more than 1.5 million in 2003 (the most recent year for which data is available). One of the reasons for this growth is because clients can more easily qualify for Family PACT than many other public health services. For example, clients do not need to have a child or be on welfare. In addition, client eligibility assessment and enrollment are conducted at the site of care and are determined by client self-report, not on income verification tests. The only requirements for enrollment are that a client's income cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level and the client cannot have any other source of reproductive healthcare coverage.

California's receipt, in 1999, of a federal Medicaid funding waiver also contributed to the program's exponential growth. The waiver allowed California to develop extensive outreach and recruitment services for hard-to-reach populations, including young people, men, and those living in underserved communities.

Family PACT provides all methods of Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved contraception, male and female sterilizations, HIV testing, STD testing and treatment as well as some cancer screening and infertility services. Before entering the program, 27% of female clients were using no method of contraception. After joining, condom use increased as well as the use of hormonal methods of contraception.

The combination of outreach, ease of access, and wide range of services provided has resulted in California's Family PACT preventing over 200,000 pregnancies. This prevention effort has saved federal, state, and local governments an estimated $1.1 billion each of the two years of the study.

For further information on the Family PACT program, please see http://www.dhs.ca.gov/pcfh/ofp/Programs/FamPACT/default.htm.

References

  1. Diana Greene Foster et al., “Estimates of Pregnancies Averted Through California's Family Planning Waiver Program in 2002,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 38, 3 (September 2006), pg 126-131.

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