FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2014
HHC President Dr. Ram Raju Praises the
New York State Department of Health
for Covering Under Medicaid
Long-Acting Reversible Contraception After Birth
HHC President Dr. Ram Raju (podium), New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, and Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker at Bellevue Hospital Center.
New York, NY – New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) President Dr. Ram Raju today joined New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett to applaud a new State policy that will increase reproductive rights and family planning options for women in New York.
Appearing at a press conference at HHC’s Bellevue Hospital Center, Dr. Raju praised the decision by the New York State Department of Health to begin reimbursing hospitals under Medicaid for LARC, or “long-acting reversible contraception,” given to women immediately postpartum, meaning that they have just given birth. Long-acting reversible contraception, such as the intrauterine device (IUD) and the contraceptive implant, provide effective contraception for an extended period of time without further action required by the user, and can be removed without harm to a patient’s reproductive opportunities.
"Reproductive rights are a freedom many have fought for, and in New York we are expanding those rights,” said Dr. Raju. “HHC offers birth control options to all women in New York City, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status. The decision by the State Department of Health to provide reimbursement for the use of IUDs postpartum creates fewer barriers to this service and will support our commitment to expand timely access to safe and effective birth control to even more women. Modern IUDs in particular have been proven a very successful method of contraception, and should be considered a robust family planning option."
HHC is the largest provider of family planning services in New York City, and in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2014 provided over 30,000 IUDs to patients throughout the five boroughs, including to some Medicaid patients immediately postpartum. The new Medicaid reimbursement policy went into effect April 1, 2014 and will allow HHC to expand this birth control option to all Medicaid patients across its large healthcare network, and receive reimbursement for contraceptive devices provided to Medicaid patients immediately postpartum.