N.H. Health Officials Defer To Federal Government on Family Planning Services Funds

August 22, 2011 — Earlier this month, New Hampshire Health Commissioner Nick Toumpas informed HHS officials that state health officials do not plan to restore family planning services previously offered by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the Concord Monitor reports. Toumpas, in an interview with the Monitor last week, said federal health officials would be able to assume control over the funding to provide the services at PPNNE's six centers in the state (Langley, Concord Monitor, 8/18).

Earlier this summer, the all-Republican Executive Council voted 3-2 against a new contract that would have awarded PPNNE $1.8 million in state and federal funds for two years. Following the decision, the six PPNNE centers stopped dispensing contraceptives because the organization operated under a limited retail pharmacy license that was contingent on having a state contract. PPNNE President and CEO Steve Trombley said the organization would have to reduce other services as well if the contract was not renewed (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/12).

Toumpas told the Monitor he does not have any information about what form a federal plan would take, or when it would be implemented. "Now the ball is in the court of the federal government," he added. Toumpas said he plans to review the 10 other family planning contracts that the Executive Council approved at the same time that it rejected the Planned Parenthood contract(Concord Monitor, 8/18).