Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Women's Health Program

HHSC Employee here....

I just wanted to remind anyone reading that while there can be plans for rollouts, there can be a "wait and see" attitude- through WHP (Women's Health Program), cases (I'd venture to say 100's per day) are pushed into TIERS DAILY.

Statewide.

So Hawkins can talk all day about all these plans, however he is "back door" rolling out TIERS as. we. speak.

Daily.

Think about this- when W.H.P. was created, what was the real motivation? What does WHP really pay for, in the long run? Birth Control? It's not "Medicaid". So who thought up the WHP program? Who decided that this program should be done exclusively in TIERS- even when it was common knowledge that TIERS was having major problems in the Pilot Area?

How much easier than to sell a program that "helps poor women in Texas" and decide that TIERS would be how it was done. And what happens once in TIERS? Always in TIERS. Remember?

It seems, upon thinking about it, that WHP was the PERFECT vehicle to get as many cases in TIERS.

Who gets WHP? Women, right?

Who are most of our clients? Child-bearing age women. What faster, easier way to do it?

What about the fact that clients, once they realized what getting on WHP did to their case- BEGGED to be put back in the "old system"?

I've seen it personally. Clients who got on WHP through somewhere like Planned Parenthood thinking that it was a form of "Medicaid"- find out it wasn't really, then they would literally say to local office staff "never mind that program then, put me back in the old system". This at a time when those in the "old system" were still being done timely (and still are), and those in TIERS were waiting up to 45 days just to get an APPOINTMENT to apply for Food Stamps.

Is it any wonder the clients might have felt duped by this?

There was no major "outcry" when WHP was created, as anything Hawkins could do that made it appear that he cared about client services was what he needed at the time it was done. Right?

WHP serves many women. It provides birth control (that was, by the way, given at PP on a sliding scale based on income anyway, meaning many didn't pay in the first place- and it's not like Planned Parenthood *for example* wasn't receiving funding to pay for these services already), and well women checkups, as well as various screenings- however, what people do not realize is if a woman goes for that screening and something is WRONG- WHP does NOT pay for the treatment of that issue. So a woman can get a preliminary diagnosis, but not help to take care of the problem.

Nevermind the fact that the spenddown program was virtually eliminated for all but pregnant women and children (most of which qualify for either Pregnancy Medicaid or for kids- Medicaid or CHIP).

Just think on the relationship between WHP and TIERS.

Back. Door. Rollout.