Converge was co-founded by two Mississippi women with many labels but a shared vision for what could be: what if all people, no matter where they live, whom they love, what they look like, or how much money they have could access family planning care that’s right for them? What if health care providers could increase the quality of family planning care without hurting their financial bottom line?
NIRH is partnering with Converge on a collaborative effort to secure greater access to contraception through Mississippi’s Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Program, which provides these services to low-income individuals not eligible for Medicaid but leaves many access gaps – especially for those living in the numerous rural parts of the state. Areas for improvement include strengthening telemedicine provisions, making it easier to enroll, and ensuring a wide range of services are covered. These and other remedies will be considered by a Patient Advisory Council, made up of people who participate in the program and those who are uninsured or privately insured, alongside a range of reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and stakeholders convened to develop a holistic set of recommendations for the program.
In 2019, Converge partnered with NIRH to increase access to LARC at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), community-based organizations that provide care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. To take advantage of a recently passed Medicaid State Plan Amendment improving reimbursement rates for LARCs, Converge formed and convened a statewide advisory group to educate FQHCs on this policy and created a toolkit on how to overcome potential logistical and systems barriers. Converge partners closely with reproductive justice leaders in the state to ensure that patient autonomy and access to the full range of contraceptive care, including LARC removal, are centered in their work.