Texas Official Acknowledges Problems With Database of Women's Health Providers

November 5, 2012 — Texas' health commissioner acknowledged last week that errors and duplicate entries in a database to help low-income women find health care providers are "a real problem," the American Independent reports.

The database is intended to help Women's Health Program participants who currently obtain care through Planned Parenthood find new providers. Texas is in the process of implementing a state law that bars the organization and other affiliates of abortion providers from participating in the program (Tuma, American Independent, 11/1). Planned Parenthood has challenged the law in court, and, as of last week, Texas continued to allow the organization to participate in the program (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/1).

The state health commission has said there are more than 3,000 providers available to serve WHP participants under the new law. However, providers and patients have said the number is inflated. According to the Independent, the database includes many duplicate entries, facilities that do not provide reproductive health services and providers that are not accepting new patients.

Kyle Janek, the state health commissioner, maintained that the "3,000 providers" figure is accurate and that the database is "a separate list." Janek said he had a "lengthy conversation" with officials about fixing the problems (American Independent, 11/1).