The Maryland Family Planning Program (MFPP) has partnered with the Title X Program to provide family planning and reproductive health services to Marylanders for over thirty years. MFPP supports clinics in 22 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions and serves clients of all identities and ages, including adolescents, with a priority given to persons from low-income families and from communities that have been historically impacted. These clinics provide comprehensive family planning services with a broad range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods and integrate this care with related, high-quality preventive health services. In this way, the MFPP serves as a key resource to counter the historic disparities that still prevent all Marylanders from living healthy lives. Currently, ten of the 18 local health departments (LHDs) and three non-profit organizations currently funded through the MFPP deliver reproductive health services through telehealth modalities. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for telehealth services and also presents an opportunity to establish, enhance, and expand telehealth family planning services.
The MFPP requests $699,987 in American Rescue Plan funding, made available through the Title X program, to combine with the State of Maryland’s strong commitment to providing family planning and reproductive health services. These funds will enable the provision of family planning services via telehealth modalities to an additional 8,306 clients, served through 17 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. This partnership will address the Office of Population Affairs’ expectations in the following ways:
1. Establish, enhance, and/or expand telehealth technical capabilities and systems
Telehealth programs and capabilities will be established in five LHDs: Baltimore City, Carroll County, Harford County, Somerset County, and St. Mary’s County
2. Build, enhance, and/or expand capacity of Title X healthcare providers through
training and technical assistance,
The MFPP will partner with Planned Parenthood of Maryland (PPM) to provide training and technical assistance. PPM will facilitate a virtual learning collaborative in which delegate sites will participate in focused discussions based on telehealth guidelines and workflows. PPM will also provide one-on-one technical assistance Moreover, PPM will develop asynchronous training materials to increase provider comfort with the provision of Title X services through telehealth modalities.
MDH will provide resources and opportunities for discussion during bi-monthly office hours led by the Women’s Health Physician Specialist.
MDH will identify and disseminate existing resources develop by the Maryland Health Care Commission, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, and other entities to be determined.
3. Hire qualified staff to support telehealth efforts to deliver high-quality, client-
centered, and equitable Title X family planning services through telehealth modalities.
PPM and Mary’s Center plan to use funds to hire staff persons to support the management of their telehealth programs. Other funds will be used for interpretation services.
4. Expand and improve outreach to people who are underserved by telehealth services.
PPM will develop marketing materials for telehealth services that will be made available to all delegate sites for adaptation.
MDH will use the results of the next Needs Assessment, to be completed in 2023, to determine which Maryland residents would benefit most from telehealth services to develop an updated outreach plan.
The MFPP includes a robust quality assurance program which ensures that clinics are compliant with requirements of the Title X statute, legislative mandates, and program regulations or rules. This quality assurance program includes the collection, reporting, and internal analysis of FPAR data.
The MFPP looks forward to continuing to partner with the Office of Population Affairs and its Title X grants.