Integrating Family Planning Services into Primary Care in Rhode Island FQHCs
There is a balance when integrating family planning services into a primary care environment. As a Title X grantee, we are 100% focused on family planning, but we recognize that family planning is only a part of a larger delivery system of care. Our job is to help [our subrecipients] ensure that family planning services meet the high-quality standards set by Title X.
Sounivone Phanthavong, RIDOH’s Program Manager for Adolescent, School and Reproductive Health
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), the sole Title X grantee in the state, oversees a network of seven subrecipients that are all federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Over the years, the RIDOH has employed a few strategies to ensure seamless provision of Title X services in the primary care setting.
First, grantee staff minimize the administrative burden of the Title X program on its subrecipients by consolidating oversight activities—such as policy updates, chart audits, and reviewing sliding fee scales—into a single annual operational review. Second, in addition to operational reviews, staff visits each subrecipient annually to give and receive program updates, identify training and technical assistance needs, and learn about how RIDOH can further support them in their work. Third, staff look at quarterly quality assurance reports to monitor trends and help the FQHCs compare their performance with other subrecipients in the network. Central to RIDOH’s efforts is the acknowledgement that family planning is just one of the many services that FQHCs provide.