- Key Issues for Title X Grantees
- Fiscal Year 2018 Program Priorities
- Fiscal Year 2017 Program Priorities
Key Issues for Title X Grantees
While the requirements for Title X service grantees are derived from statute, regulations, and legislative mandates, there are additional key issues that represent overarching goals for the Title X program. These are determined based on priorities set by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) and the Office of the Secretary (OS) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The FY2020 and FY2019 key issues are as follows:
- Assuring innovative quality family planning and related preventive health services that lead to improved reproductive health outcomes and overall optimal health, which is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. Guidance regarding the delivery of quality family planning services is spelled out in the April 25, 2014, MMWR, Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs. Periodic updates have been made to this publication and are available on the Quality Family Planning page. It is expected that the core family planning services listed in the Program Description, and which also are included in the Quality Family Planning Services document referenced above, will be provided by each project;
- Providing the tools necessary for the inclusion of substance abuse disorder screening into family planning services offered by Title X applicants;
- Following a model that promotes optimal health outcomes for the client (physical, mental and social health) by emphasizing comprehensive primary healthcare services, along with family planning services preferably in the same location or through nearby referral providers;
- Providing resources that prioritize optimal health outcomes (physical, mental, and social health) for individuals and couples with the goal of healthy relationships and stable marriages as they make decisions about preventing or achieving pregnancy;
- Providing counseling for adolescents that encourages sexual risk avoidance by delaying the onset of sexual activity as the healthiest choice, and developing tools to communicate the public health benefit and protective factors for the sexual health of adolescents found by delaying the onset of sexual activity thereby reducing the overall number of lifetime sexual partners;
- Communicating the growing body of information for a variety of fertility awareness-based methods of family planning and providing tools for applicants to use in patient education about these methods;
- Fostering interaction with community and faith-based organizations to develop a network for client referrals when needs outside the scope of family planning are identified;
- Accurately collecting and reporting data, such as the Family Planning Annual Report (FPAR), for use in monitoring performance and improving family planning services;
- Promoting the use of a standardized instrument, such as the OPA Program Review Tool, to regularly perform quality assurance and quality improvement activities with clearly defined administrative, clinical, and financial accountability for applicants and subrecipients; and
- Increasing attention to CDC screening recommendations for chlamydia and other STDs (as well as HIV testing) that have potential long-term impact on fertility and pregnancy.
Fiscal Year 2018 Program Priorities
Each year the OPA establishes program priorities that represent overarching goals for the Title X program. Program priorities derive from Healthy People 2020 Objectives and from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) priorities. Project plans should be developed that address the 2018 Title X program priorities, and should provide evidence of the project’s capacity to address program priorities as they evolve in future years.
The 2018 program priorities are as follows:
- Assuring innovative high quality family planning and related health services that will improve the overall health of individuals, couples and families, with priority for services to those of low-income families, offering, at a minimum, core family planning enumerated in the Funding Announcement. Assuring that projects offer broad range of family planning and related health services that are tailored to the unique needs of the individual, that include natural family planning methods (also known as fertility awareness based methods) which ensure breadth and variety among family planning methods offered, infertility services, and services for adolescents; breast and cervical cancer screening and prevention of STDs as well as HIV prevention education, counseling, testing, and referrals;
- Assuring activities that promote positive family relationships for the purpose of Increasing family participation in family planning and healthy decision-making; education and counseling that prioritize optimal health and life outcomes for every individual and couple; and other related health services, contextualizing Title X services within a model that promotes optimal health outcomes for the client.
- Ensuring that all clients are provided services in a voluntary, client-centered and non-coercive manner in accordance with Title X regulations.
- Promoting provision of comprehensive primary healthcare services to make it easier for individuals to receive both primary healthcare and family planning services preferably in the same location, or through nearby referral providers, and increase incentive for those individuals in need of care choosing a Title X provider.
- Assuring compliance with State laws requiring notification or the reporting of child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape, incest, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking;
- Encouraging participation of families, parents, and/or legal guardians in the decision of minors to seek family planning services; and providing counseling to minors on how to resist attempts to coerce minors into engaging in sexual activities;
- Demonstrating that Title X activities are separate and clearly distinct from non-Title X activities, ensuring that abortion is not a method of family planning for this grant; and
- Use of OPA performance metrics to regularly perform quality assurance and quality improvement activities.
In addition to program priorities, the following key issues should be considered in developing the project plan:
- Efficiency and effectiveness in program management and operations;
- Management and decision-making and accountability for outcomes;
- Cooperation with community -based and faith -based organizations;
- Meaningful collaboration with subrecipients and documented partners in order to demonstrate a seamless continuum of care for clients;
- A meaningful emphasis on education and counseling that communicates the social science research and practical application of topics related to healthy relationships, to committed, safe, stable, healthy marriages, and the benefits of avoiding sexual risk or returning to a sexually risk -free status, especially (but not only) when communicating with adolescents;
- Activities for adolescents that do not normalize sexual risk behaviors, but instead clearly communicate the research informed benefits of delaying sex or returning to a sexually risk-free status.
- Emphasis on the voluntary nature of Family Planning services;
- Data collection (such as the Family Planning Annual Report (FPAR)) for use in monitoring performance and improving family planning services.
Fiscal Year 2017 Program Priorities
Each year the OPA establishes program priorities that represent overarching goals for the Title X program. Program priorities derive from Healthy People 2020 Objectives and from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) priorities. Project plans should be developed that address the 2017 Title X program priorities, and should provide evidence of the project’s capacity to address program priorities as they evolve in future years.
The 2017 program priorities are as follows:
- Assuring the delivery of quality family planning and related preventive health services, with priority for services to individuals from low-income families. This includes ensuring that grantees have the capacity to support implementation (e.g., through staff training and related systems changes) of the Title X program guidelines throughout their Title X services projects, and that project staff have received training on Title X program requirements;
- Assessing clients’ reproductive life plan/reproductive intentions as part of determining the need for family planning services, and providing preconception services as stipulated in QFP;
- Providing access to a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and related preventive health services in accordance with the Title X program requirements and the 2014 QFP. These services include, but are not limited to, contraceptive services, pregnancy testing and counseling, services to help clients achieve pregnancy, basic infertility services, STD services, preconception health services, and breast and cervical cancer screening. The broad range of services does not include abortion as a method of family planning;
- Ensuring that all clients receive contraceptive and other services in a voluntary, client-centered and non-coercive manner in accordance with QFP and Title X requirements.
- Identifying individuals, families, and communities in need, but not currently receiving family planning services, through outreach to hard-to-reach and/or vulnerable populations, and partnering with other community-based health and social service providers that provide needed services; and
- Demonstrating that the project’s infrastructure and management practices ensure sustainability of family planning and reproductive health services delivery throughout the proposed service area including:
- Incorporation of certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems that have the ability to capture family planning data within structured fields;
- Evidence of contracts with insurance plans and systems for third party billing as well as the ability to facilitate the enrollment of clients into private insurance and Medicaid, optimally onsite; and to report on numbers of clients assisted and enrolled; and
- Addressing the comprehensive healthcare needs of clients through formal, robust linkages or integration with comprehensive primary care providers.
In addition to program priorities, the following key issues have implications for Title X services projects and should be considered in developing the project plan:
- Incorporation of the 2014 Title X Program Guidelines throughout the proposed service area as demonstrated by written clinical protocols that are in accordance with Title X Requirements and QFP.
- Efficiency and effectiveness in program management and operations;
- Patient access to a broad range of contraceptive options, including long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), other pharmaceuticals, and laboratory tests, preferably on site;
- Use of performance measures to regularly perform quality assurance and quality improvement activities, including the use of measures to monitor contraceptive use;
- Establishment of formal linkages and documented partnerships with comprehensive primary care providers, HIV care and treatment providers, and mental health, drug and alcohol treatment providers;
- Incorporation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and CDC’s “Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents and Pregnant Women in Health Care Settings;” and
- Efficient and streamlined electronic data collection (such as for the Family Planning Annual Report (FPAR)), reporting and analysis for internal use in monitoring staff or program performance, program efficiency, and staff productivity in order to improve the quality and delivery of family planning services.