Integrating Family Planning and Chronic Disease Management for Performance Improvement in Georgia
We’re uniquely positioned to help bridge the gap between health care access and high-quality care in the South, where we see the largest disparities. Our goal is to ensure all Georgia families have access to family planning services, services that increase healthy outcomes of pregnancy, and affordable primary care.
Sara Shay Sullivan, Georgia Family Planning System Title X Program Director (pictured below)
The Georgia Family Planning System (GFPS) has been the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Title X grantee since 2014, providing fully-integrated family planning and primary health care services across a FQHC network of 28 subrecipients and 153 service sites.
The GFPS credits the successful integration of family planning into primary care to internal staff training, technical assistance, and continuous quality improvement. For starters, Title X project leaders drew staff and providers’ attention to the inherent connection between family planning and primary care. As Nurse Manager Pamela Brooks says, “We had to frame it for these providers...Chronic disease management for things like hypertension is a vital component of assisting with pregnancy planning and improving maternal health outcomes."
Ms. Shay Sullivan notes, “Preconception health is primary care. I’d say, ‘You're already doing well-woman checks, you’re already providing tobacco, HIV, and STD screening. So, if you ask about reproductive health goals, that can start a client-centered conversation about family planning.’”
Title X project leaders also made it clear to staff and providers that they aren’t “doing something extra” by providing Title X services—rather, they’re addressing existing quality measures. In fact, the GFPS’s focus on family planning services has contributed to improvements in HEDIS measures, including chlamydia and HIV screening, among subrecipients and service sites. These improvements have had a positive impact on client outcomes and resulted in extra funding.