October 14, 2021, 10:04 a.m. News Staff — Following three years of Academy advocacy, HHS this month finalized Title X rule-making in favor of family physicians and their patients.
The move rolls back 2019 adjustments to the program, which provides low-income individuals with family planning and other health services, in favor of regulations established in 2000. The AAFP expressed strong approval for this reinstatement when the agency proposed it in April. Earlier in the year, the Academy had called on the Biden White House to include a restored and strengthened Title X among its initial health care priorities.
“We are pleased the administration has recognized the urgent need to rescind harmful policies that restrict the sharing of medical information and interfere with the patient-physician relationship — a cornerstone of family medicine,” AAFP President Sterling Ransone, M.D., of Deltaville, Va., said in an Oct. 6 statement.
In another win for AAFP members, the updated rule includes primary care physicians among referrals available to Title X sites. The Academy lobbied for this improvement to the regulation, saying it would “promote access to services and provide a seamless continuum of care.”
“Amid a public health emergency, family physicians know the importance of promoting access to comprehensive, continuous primary care services — including reproductive health — and are pleased this rule will facilitate referrals to and by primary care physicians,” the Oct. 6 statement said.
“The Title X National Family Planning Program — the only federal program dedicated to providing evidence-based family planning and other preventive health services to low-income Americans — is critical to delivering access to comprehensive, patient-centered reproductive health and other essential care for patients.”