Data to Action Success Stories: Virginia
Supporting Initiatives and Legislation to Improve Access to Contraception
State officials in Virginia used Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data to help the state increase access to contraceptive services. Since 2018, over 3,000 women have been served in outpatient encounters across 18 provider sites.
- In 2018, VA PRAMS data showed that 49% of pregnancies resulting in a live birth in Virginia were unintended and had increased from 46% in 2014. High rates of unintended pregnancy present an economic burden to the state of Virginia and may be associated with negative maternal and child health outcomes.
PRAMS Data to Action
- From 2014 to 2018, PRAMS data regarding rates of unintended births were provided to stakeholders of the Virginia Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Workgroup, which was established to support the Virginia Health Commissioner’s 2014 Thriving Infants Strategic Plan.
- The Virginia LARC Workgroup used PRAMS data to create a stakeholder education document that was shared with policy makers about the importance of preventing unintended pregnancy, the effectiveness of contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy, the cost-effectiveness of LARC, and barriers to contraception access.
- From 2014 to 2018 information about unintended pregnancy was provided to key stakeholders during quarterly meetings of the Virginia LARC Workgroup, including health care professionals who were encouraged to share messages and documentation within their networks, and identify strategies to increase contraception access.
- The Virginia LARC Workgroup developed the Immediate Postpartum LARC Toolkit that was distributed to hospitals in 2017 to provide LARC devices to interested women while they were still in the hospital after delivery.
- In 2018, the stakeholder education document with PRAMS data was shared with policy makers during the 2018 General Assembly Session. The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill to fund the Virginia LARC Initiative and award $6 million to qualified health centers to increase access to effective methods of contraception for women.
- As of May 2020,18 sites had been registered to participate in the Virginia LARC Initiative. The LARC Initiative has funded 3,355 patient consultations and purchased 2,613 contraception devices.
- In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly approved the extension of the Virginia LARC Initiative for two additional years.