For Immediate Release: June 1, 2020
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New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute Releases New Jersey Reproductive Health Access Project: Provider Access Commitment Toolkit
Comprehensive toolkit aimed at increasing access to reproductive health care in New Jersey through provider education.
PRINCETON, New Jersey – The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (Quality Institute) released the New Jersey Reproductive Health Access Project: Provider Access Commitment Toolkit (NJ-RHAP PACT) today, a comprehensive resource aimed at increasing access to contraceptive services in New Jersey. The toolkit focuses on educating providers on complex policies and procedures for contraceptive care and best practices they can implement to increase access to services.
“Reproductive services are an integral part of a patient’s overall health care. The goal of this toolkit is to support providers in enhancing the patient experience and improving outcomes by expanding access to comprehensive contraceptive care in New Jersey,” said Linda J. Schwimmer, J.D., President and CEO of the Quality Institute. “By sharing best practices and useful resources with providers, it is our hope that we will break down barriers to care and empower more patients to access the form of contraception that works best for them.”
Understanding, accessing, and providing quality reproductive health services can be challenging. This toolkit was created to help educate and support providers regarding best practices to advance access to contraceptive care, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Contraceptive care is a very personal decision between individuals and their providers, therefore the toolkit highlights the importance of shared decision-making and places an emphasis on reproductive justice.
“Now more than ever, it is critical that we support health care workers in delivering essential medical services, including contraceptive care,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “By ensuring all forms of birth control are accessible to New Jerseyans, we are empowering individuals to plan for their future, leading to healthier outcomes for mothers, babies and families.”
The following data illustrates New Jersey’s need for improving the quality and accessibility of contraceptive services in the state:
- In 2017, 27% of individuals in New Jersey used the least effective forms of contraception and 17.8% used moderately effective contraceptives
- In 2019, 25.3% of pregnancies in New Jersey were unintended
- As of March 2020, nearly 435,050 women in New Jersey live in contraceptive deserts, which are counties with no reasonable access to a health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods
“Access to contraception is essential to healthy families in New Jersey and across the country. Patients deserve counseling and information, access to a comprehensive set of methods, and the autonomy to choose what’s best for them,” said Katy Bacon, Director of Contraceptive Choice & Access at Arnold Ventures. “We hope providers find this toolkit useful and actionable, so they can continue to drive even greater impact in their communities.”
In addition to the toolkit, stand-alone documents were also released today to help support clinicians, administrators, and health system leadership in implementing best practices and changing processes that can result in improved access. The Quality Institute’s goal is to support providers and patients while advocating for policy changes to eliminate barriers to accessible, comprehensive, and high-quality contraceptive care in New Jersey. The Quality Institute’s staff will conduct webinars and training sessions across the state in the weeks and months ahead to help encourage discussions about the importance of reproductive health access and strategies to reduce barriers to care.
About the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute
At the Quality Institute, we believe that collaboration is essential to improving our health care system. That’s why we bring providers, payers, patients and decision makers together to advance health care safety, quality and affordability. We’re the only independent, nonpartisan advocate working in New Jersey to promote accountability and transparency. We have more than 100 unique member organizations— all committed to improving health care for everyone in New Jersey.
About the New Jersey Reproductive Health Access Project (NJ-RHAP)
NJ-RHAP is a project run by the Quality Institute and generously supported by Arnold Ventures. Through collaboration with an expert Steering Committee comprised of state and national leaders in reproductive health, NJ-RHAP seeks to improve access to reproductive health services, specifically contraceptive care, through provider education, patient empowerment, and policy change.