House passes proposal to increase access to long-acting birth control, save Missouri money

The state House has again voted for a measure aimed at increasing women’s access to birth control while saving the state money.

Representative Shamed Dogan (photo; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications – click for larger version)

House Bill 1499 would let health care providers use a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) for a patient other than the one to whom it was initially prescribed.

When a woman in Missouri chooses to have a LARC implanted her doctor must order that device and the woman must return for another office visit to have it implanted.  If the woman changes her mind before the second visit and doesn’t want the device, Missouri law doesn’t allow it to be used for another patient.  It must be returned to its manufacturer and often it is destroyed.

The sponsor of HB 1499, Representative Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin), said because Medicaid pays for those devices, the passage of his bill would save the state money.

“The State of Missouri currently wastes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year as well as very expensive devices every year, and this bill will allow those devices to be reassigned which will save taxpayer money and will help to save women time and money with extra doctor’s visits,” said Dogan.

Dogan said in Fiscal Year 2017 about 1,800 LARCs were “abandoned” by patients in Missouri.  About 1,000 of those could have been used for other patients and that would’ve saved Missouri about $220-thousand.

The proposal has been sent to the Senate 133-10.  Last year it was passed as an amendment to other legislation, but was not passed in the Senate.

Earlier story:  

Backers say bill to allow reassignment of birth control devices would save money, increase access