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Texas Removes Nearly a Thousand Providers From Women's Health Program Website

Texas Removes Nearly a Thousand Providers From Women's Health Program Website

January 30, 2013 — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has re-launched an online database of providers who participate in the state Women's Health Program, but 965 fewer doctors and clinics are included, the Texas Tribune reports.

Earlier this month, the commission removed the entire list from its website after some lawmakers and women's health advocates questioned its accuracy (Aaronson, Texas Tribune, 1/29).

The availability of providers has been in dispute since Texas launched its own WHP on Jan. 1. The federal government previously funded a similar program in the state, but it ended the funding after Texas barred participation by organizations affiliated with abortion providers. The program provides low-income women with no-cost well-woman exams, certain family planning services and other basic health care (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/22).

Providers Decline To Participate

The website now includes 2,448 providers, down from 3,500 providers, because several hundred providers said they will not accept WHP patients, despite being certified for the program. The new site also updates contact information for about 700 providers.

The commission's Linda Edwards-Gockel wrote in an email that "thousands of calls were made to verify the information."

State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D) said she still is skeptical of the accuracy of the list. "After briefly going through part of the list for Houston providers, my staff already found numerous duplicates," she said (Texas Tribune, 1/29).