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NARAL Pro-Choice Texas : News : Related News

12/1/11 11:09 AM

Texas anti-abortion program serves fewer clients than targeted


Posted: 03/21/2011

By Patrick Brendel The Texas Independent March 21, 2011 On average, state pays $400 per client, $67 per visit Since 2006, when the state started paying nonprofits to steer women toward childbirth rather than abortion, Texas Alternatives to Abortion Services Program has consistently failed to meet performance benchmarks for the number of clients served, according to public records obtained by The Texas Independent. Meanwhile, state funding to the program has increased each year, as has compensation to the head of the programs primary nonprofit contractor. Also of note is that, while the majority of clients were between the ages of 20 and 29, most visits to providers reimbursed by the state were for clients age 19 or under. (See the graphic at the end of the story for maps of clients and visits, by county and age groups.) In only one of the five years from 2006-2010 did the program meet its goal for number of clients served. Overall, the program, which is administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission via nonprofit contractor Texas Pregnancy Care Network(TPCN), served about 28,700 clients about 8,300 fewer than the goal of 37,000, a difference of more than 22 percent. Overall the state has spent an average of more than $400 for each of the programs clients, for a total of $11.7 million. The state paid about $417,000 to TPCN in fiscal year 2006; $1.95 million in 2007; $2.5 million in 2008; $2.81 million in 2009; and $4 million in 2010 with another $4 million budgeted for the current fiscal year. The compensation paid to TPCNs executive director similarly increased each year for which data is available. For the executive directors salary, the state budgeted about $52,000 for the final eight months of fiscal year 2006 (prorated from a $90,000 annual salary); $93,000 in 2007; $98,000 in 2008 and $101,000 in 2009. The executive directors salary is not included in the current contract with TPCN for 2010-2011 that HHSC provided to The Texas Independent. According to Internal Revenue Service documents, TPCN Executive Director Vincent Friedewald reported a total annual compensation of about $97,000 in 2007; $112,000 in 2008; and $113,000 in 2009. Although the program has failed to provide services to the targeted number of clients, it has greatly exceeded the targeted number of visits by clients to service providers, with each client visiting providers 6.1 times, on average (above the targeted visits-per-client ratio of 3.6). Each visit by a client to a provider cost the state about $67. As The Texas Independent previously reported, about 78 percent of the $6.9 million in state money directed to 33 subcontractors with 32 of them having Christian affiliations was for reimbursement for counseling sessions. Overall, program providers have reported nearly 175,000 visits by clients 30 percent more than the goal of 135,000. In three of the five years, the program did not meet its goal for number of visits to providers. Those failures, however, were more than offset by the two years where the program exceeded its goal of total visits, in 2008 and 2009. Fiscal year 2008 was the only year when the program met its goals for both number of clients and number of visits, serving about 8,000 clients during 40,000 visits (compared to targets of 6,000 clients and 18,000 visits). In 2009, the number of clients served plummeted to about 3,400, although the number of visits rose to more than 48,000 (compared to targets of 7,000 clients served and 21,000 visits). In 2009, each client visited providers an average of 14 times.
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NARAL Pro-Choice Texas : News : Related News

12/1/11 11:09 AM

In 2010, when state funding increased to $4 million (from $2.81 million in 2009), the goal for clients served increased to 18,000 and total visits to 72,000. Providers actually served about 13,300 clients during 64,000 visits missing targets by 26 percent and 11 percent, respectively. The large ratio of visits-to-clients could be skewed by the fact that the states two largest subcontractors San Antonios Seton Home and Georgetowns Annunciation Maternity Homes provide housing for young pregnant women and/or mothers, as The Texas Independent previously reported. From 2006-2010, about 840 clients reported being from Bexar County and 270 from Williamson County with those counties ranking 10th and 15th, respectively, out of 154 counties represented. (Only 20 of those counties had more than 100 clients.) However, from 2006-2010, nearly 64,000 visits were from Bexar clients and 8,500 from Williamson ranking first and fifth on the list of 154 counties. Bexar clients visited providers an average of 76 times, and Williamson clients visited an average of 35 times. Further, about 61,600 of Bexar visits were from 390 clients age 19 or under for an average of 158 visits per client. About 7,600 of the Williamson visits were from 105 clients age 19 or under for an average of 73 visits per client. Bexar and Williamson were the top two counties for visits by clients age 19 or under. The states third-largest contractor, Fifth Ward Pregnancy Help Center, is located in Houston. A total of 8,125 Harris County clients visited providers a total of about 17,300 times (putting Harris first and second out of the 154 counties for number of clients and visits, respectively). Thats a little more than two visits per client, on average. Statewide, broken out by age group, 27 percent of program clients were age 19 or under; 57 percent were age 20-29; and, 16 percent were age 30 or above. However, clients age 19 or under accounted for 61 percent of total visits; clients age 2029 for 30 percent of total visits; and clients age 30 or above for 9 percent of total visits. About 11 percent of clients were age 17 or under, yet this youngest age group accounted for 47 percent of total visits. Click here for interactive maps.

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