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Alabama forces hospitals to pay for contraception

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The state of Alabama is forcing all hospitals and doctors in Alabama to pay for contraception according to a March 7, 2014, press release from the state.

The dictate states “No additional payment will be made to the hospital. The hospital must capture the cost of the device or drug implant in the hospital’s cost.” and “The inpatient claim must be in Medicaid’s system in order for outpatient services to be paid. The inpatient and outpatient hospital must capture the cost of the device through the cost report.”

The new coverage includes insertion of implantable subdermal contraceptives, insertion of intrauterine contraceptive devices, insertion of IUD, and counseling.

The change appears to be a move to foist the cost of contraception onto hospitals. The hospitals will naturally return the favor to their clients by raising costs of all other services to offset what Medicaid will not cover for contraception.

The basis of the change may be a move to reduce the high rates of unplanned pregnancies in Alabama.

Alabama could fight its high rates of HIV in women by including the device developed by biomedical engineer Patrick Kiser from Northwestern University that not only provides contraception but protects women from HIV and herpes for as long as three months.

There has yet been no response from Alabama Catholics or other organizations diametrically opposed to any form of contraception.

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