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Last Updated On April 12, 2018
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Issue Sheet—Women’s Health Care

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Since the creation of the healthcare district in 2004, Central Health’s Board of Managers and executive leadership have prioritized improvements in health care for Travis County’s low-income and uninsured women.

Women Served

In 2016 Central Health funded health care services for 76,756 women—more than
51 percent of all patients. This total includes:

  • Enrolling more than 20,800 women in the Medical Access Program (MAP)
  • Providing sliding fee scale financial assistance to more than 30,0002 women;

In addition to MAP and sliding fee scale, Central Health’s eligibility counselors screen women and their families for enrollment in Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and subsidized insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Health Care Access

Central Health supports a complete system of women’s health care services, including:

  • A network of 27 primary care locations accepting MAP coverage and offering sliding fee scale financial assistance
  • 10 locations offering specialized obstetrics and women’s health care services;
  • High-risk gynecology services, as well as breast cancer and cervical cancer treatment in partnership with Seton Healthcare
  • Family and the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas;
  • Monitoring and treatment of chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease;
  • 26 urgent and convenient care locations offering same-day services.

Healthy Pregnancies

In 2016, Central Health, Seton Healthcare Family, CommUnityCare Health Centers and the Dell Medical School joined forces to redesign pregnancy care for low-income and uninsured women. This partnership is improving care for women and babies through:

  • New protocols for pregnancy care, including prenatal screenings and ultrasounds overseen by obstetricians at CommUnityCare;
  • Three convenient regional care centers created to serve women with intermediate- and high-risk pregnancies;
  • Ensuring the highest level of care by scheduling deliveries at the Seton Medical Center Austin’s Center of Excellence;
  • Improving patient education to increase vital post-delivery appointments—nearly four-in-five patients are now keeping their appointments.

Reproductive Health

A tenet of Central Health’s work is to support women’s reproductive health care services, regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Central Health’s MAP benefits provide an array of reproductive services, and its broad network of providers ensures women have convenient access. Ongoing initiatives include:

  • Annual funding support for Planned Parenthood to serve the reproductive needs of low-income and uninsured women;
  • Enrollment assistance in Healthy Texas Women—a state program offering contraception services to low-income and uninsured women;
  • Insertion of non-surgical permanent birth control (Essure) at CommUnityCare clinics for women enrolled in MAP or Healthy Texas Women programs;
  • Funding for free long acting reversible contraception (LARCs) for female patients at CommUnityCare and Planned Parenthood clinics;
  • Free vasectomies for male patients enrolled in MAP;
  • Ensuring women have access to surgical tubal ligations following deliveries by offering deliveries and procedures at St. David’s HealthCare facilities.

[1] Source: Central Health Joint Technology