Providers describe impact if Executive Council rejects family planning contracts

CONCORD- On Wednesday, December 22, contracts for family planning providers will be reviewed at the New Hampshire Executive Council meeting (#41C), including for three reproductive health providers whose contracts were rejected in September – Planned Parenthood of Northern New England; Health Center for Equality; and Lovering Health Center.

This vote comes quickly on the heels of the Council’s vote from September 4 to 1 to defund health centers until December 31, 2021, a contractual period of six months. The December 22 vote is a contractual period for the next 24 months, from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023.

At stake in these contracts is more than $1 million in state and federal funds to help these providers support their efforts to provide quality, affordable health care to any Granite Stater, regardless of income. This funding helps pay for programs such as sliding scale fees for patients seeking birth control, STD screening and treatment, and cancer screenings. This funding has always been part of the State of New Hampshire’s obligation to support better public health outcomes for low-income people.

Prior to the vote on the Executive Council’s Family Planning Contract, Equality Health Center, Lovering Health Center, and PPNNE released the following statements:

“Equality Health Center, Lovering Health Center and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England are trusted community health care providers and family planning experts. Together, we provide care to approximately 80% of the granite staters served through the state’s Family Planning Program; without these contracts, access to care for these people is compromised. We are fighting to keep our doors open, but without these funds patients will be hurt as we remove our sliding scale fees for certain services,” said Dalia Vidunas, executive director of the Equality Health Center.

“The Family Planning Program — and all of its providers — have helped achieve strong maternal health outcomes, including in New Hampshire. lowest unwanted pregnancies and teenage pregnancy rate in the country. Health care providers and state public health officials agree – rejection of these contracts jeopardizes this system of care and the health and well-being of Granite Staters,” said Sandi Denoncour, Executive Director of Lovering Health Center.

Kayla Montgomery, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, said: “This vote is an opportunity for the Executive Council to right its mistake and fully fund family planning services for low-income and marginalized people across the state. A “no” vote on this contract would demonstrate that they put personal politics above our state’s people and public health. With our hospitals overwhelmed, now, more than ever, we need a strong health care network – reproductive health providers are an integral part of that infrastructure.

CONTEXT:

Video of the June 15 conference committee: https://youtu.be/wwHSWl6FQV0

24 Month Family Planning Contracts:

  • Agenda #41C – a total of $2,055,498 in Family Planning Program funding:
    • A total of $1,020,329 in contracts will be voted for the three reproductive health providers:
      • Equality Health Center (Concorde) – $558,395
      • Love Health Center (Greenland) – $336,934
      • Northern New England Planned Parenthood (Claremont, Manchester, Keene, Derry and Exeter) – $125,000
    • The remaining $1,035,169 in family planning program contracts are allocated to organizations that do not offer abortion care in their health centers:
      • Amoskeag Health (Manchester) – $335,512
      • Coos County Family Health (Berlin) – $268,152
      • Lamprey health care (Nashua) – $431,505

Trump’s Gag Rule:

  • The splitting of those contracts was because the Trump administration had previously gagged federal funds. The Biden administration officially rescinded the gag rule.
  • Most family planning providers in New Hampshire have not received federal Title X family planning funds since 2019 due to the Trump administration. gag rule. The Biden administration and New Hampshire Federal Delegation have worked for reverse this policybut federal funding won’t return to states until spring 2022 at the earliest.
  • The state budget for fiscal year 20-21 contained replacement funding to mitigate the impact of President Trump’s harmful Title X gag rulebut New Hampshire budget framers rejected efforts to add replacement funds to the current state budget.
  • There is no provision in HB2 that requires physical separation from abortion services in order to receive family planning funding. The language is clear: here is Senator Bradley’s introduction and explanation (the video starts when he starts) of this new layout, which he introduced in this amendment) within the Conference Committee. In the video, Senator Bradley says this is a ‘trust but verify’ moment that there is no mixing of funds and that it was his intention that the funds continue to flow. go to reproductive health facilities, without delay. Prior to his amendment, Rep. Jess Edwards introduced an amendment which would have required a physical and financial separation to receive state funds. However, Representative Edwards’ amendment did not pass.
  • In September, the Confirmation from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services what family planning providers have been saying all along: that no New Hampshire family planning dollars go to abortion care. DHHS has stated unequivocally, repeatedly, that the financial reviews, which took place over the summer, clearly showed that no family planning funds were used for abortion.

Impact of the NH family planning program:

  • New Hampshire has the lowest unwanted pregnancies and teenage pregnancyy countrywide rates and some of the best maternal health outcomes; New Hampshire’s Family Planning Program is part of the network of care that supports these positive steps.
  • During an October Executive Council discussion on family planning funding, Councilwoman Cinde Warmington and DHHS Commissioner Shibinette highlighted the fragility of New Hampshire’s positive maternal and fetal health outcomes and the impact that funding votes might have. Full transcript here.

Northern New England Parenting Planning Caregiving:

  • In 2020, nearly 10,000 Granite Staters relied on PPNNE’s five health centers for affordable, high-quality health care.
  • In November, PPNNE has been named a Guardian of Excellence Award 2021® winner by Ganey Press, the national leader in healthcare consumer and workforce engagement. Press Ganey recognizes PPNNE as one of the top performing healthcare organizations, reaching 95and percentile or higher for patient experience performance, across more than 20,000 medical practices.

Previous votes on PPNNE contracts:

  • On three occasions in recent years (2011 and 2015 and 2021), care at local Planned Parenthood health centers has been jeopardized when contracts have been blocked by the Executive Council and state funding has been cut. been interrupted.
  • Then Councilor Chris Sununu was the deciding vote for NPP funding in 2015.
  • Contracts were consistently approved between June 2016 and September 2021, with bipartisan support.

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