Florida participates in seven-state peer learning initiative on reproductive health

Florida was one of seven states that took part in a peer learning iniative around women’s health needs that identified ways Medicaid programs can better improve reproductive health.

California, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas also participated in the peer-to-peer learning project that was jointly funded by the CDC and The Commonwealth Fund.

The project looked at what strategies the different states were already undertaking and identified public health strategies that can improve reproductive health for women.

Current projects Florida is undertaking to improve womens health include:

  • The “Every Woman Florida (EWF) social marketing campaign that aims to raise awareness of the importance of using health care visits to screen for pregnancy risks.
  • The March of Dimes’ Florida chapter is supporting the Camellia Project, a multi-year demonstration project implemented by the Healthy Start Coalition that provides interconception health services to high-risk women who have already experienced a fetal or infant loss, or who have had a baby hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • The Medicaid family planning waiver was extended in 2009.

The project identified the following strategies that the seven states are currently using all or some of: family planning waivers and state plan amendments (SPAs)  to provide additional services such preconception risk screening as part of covered family planning visits; developing Medicaid interconception waiver projects; using managed care approaches to reach health care providers about using prevention and intervention services;  and using Medicaid data and public health survey data to identify gaps in services, monitor outcomes, and drive decision-making. Florida currently only utilizes the family planning waiver.

A checklist was also created for other states to use to improve their coverage. The checklist can be used by states to help shape their Medicaid programs during the expansion allowed under the Affordable Care Act. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has stated that the state will not take the option to expand Medicaid coverage.