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Texas Women’s Health Program Rules

What changes were made to the rules before they were finalized?
The state made changes to five sections of the rules to help address the concerns of physicians and others:

  • §39.33. Definitions: Added language to clarify that the documents used to show an affiliate relationship do not include physician group agreements, hospital group or staffing agreements or collaborative practice agreements.
  • §39.35. Application Procedures: Made it possible for the Department of State Health Services to make applications available in a variety of ways, rather than just through the website or calling 2-1-1.
  • §39.38. Health-Care Providers: Changed the provider qualifications and definition of “promote” to clarify that non-directive counseling of patients is not considered promotion and does not exclude doctors from the Texas Women’s Health Program.
  • §39.41. Reimbursement: Deletes the reference to fee-for-service payments. This is a technical change because FQHCs aren’t paid on a fee-for-service basis. The change does not affect the way providers are paid.
  • §39.45. Severability: Expands the section to clarify that the state has the authority to administer the program only if it complies with state law banning abortion providers and affiliates from receiving program funding.

When will the state transition to the new program?
The new Texas Women’s Health Program started Jan. 1, 2013.

Do women have to enroll in the new program?
No. All currently enrolled clients will transition to the new program.

Are the services the same in the new program?
Yes. A woman enrolled in the Texas Women’s Health Program will be able to receive all of the same services that were available to her under the previous program, with one important addition. As of Nov. 1, the Texas Women’s Health Program will cover treatment of certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Women will continue to have access to a family planning exam each year, related health screenings and contraception through the new program.

How can a woman find a new Women’s Health Program provider if she going to a clinic that won’t be part of the new program?
She can search the website, www.texaswomenshealth.org, for a new doctor or clinic or call 800-335-8957 (select a language, and then press 5) for help.

Will you have enough providers to serve all the women in the program?
Yes. The state now has 3,000 Women’s Health Program providers, adding more than 500 doctors and clinics to the program since this spring. There are five family planning clinics and more than 70 individual physicians in the program for every clinic that won’t qualify under the new rule.