Texas Policy Evaluation Project Releases Web App Displaying Local Data on Family Planning Services
Posted: April 2, 2013
Researchers with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center have developed the TxPEP Family Planning Data Finder, a web app that describes the provision of family planning services in each county, Senate district, House district, and public health region in Texas, as well as for the state as a whole.
Graduate Student Researcher Amanda Stevenson and Principle Investigator Joe Potter developed the statistics using data from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, as well as the American Community Survey to describe the impacts of the recent policy changes via this app. The researchers collaborated with a local development firm Jackrabbit Mobile to design and implement the web app for easy navigation to data on each area.
The statistics available in the app for each county, district, and region of Texas include information about both the DSHS Family Planning Program in SFY2010 and SFY2012 (displaying changes after the policies of the 82nd Legislature came into effect) and the Women's Health Program in SFY 2012 (before it ended and the Texas Women’s Health Program began). Statistics for both the DSHS program and the WHP include number of women in need of contraceptive services, women served, dollars spent on family planning, unintended pregnancies averted due to the services provided, and Medicaid costs saved due to the services provided.
For the DSHS family planning program, the app also includes the number of family planning clinics and their status as open or closed for SFY2010 and SFY2012.
The data in the app demonstrates that there is substantial geographic variation in the impact of the reductions in family planning funding in Texas. For example, in comparison with urban counties, rural counties were about 1.5 times as likely to transition from having at least one family planning provider to having no providers. And some areas were especially hard hit, for example, in Lubbock County government cost savings due to DSHS family planning services fell from $4.53 million in SFY 2010 to $173,952 in SFY2010.
The Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition (TWHC) is helping to disseminate information about the app so that it is widely used, for example by hosting meetings where the use of the app is demonstrated. Dr. Jan Realini, Chair of the TWHC is glad this information is available: “This app makes accessible the information about the deep cuts to Family Planning that happened in 2011. Legislators, providers, and citizens can see the impact—and the financial cost to Texas.”
Questions or media inquiries can be directed to Amanda Stevenson.