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Background: Planned Parenthood is a national-level nonprofit that seeks to provide affordable, high-quality reproductive health care and sexual education for both men and women in America. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is interested in understanding how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which heralds changes to the delivery and finance of care for lower-income and other underserved groups, will affect its service provision. PPSNE was interested in defining their typical user to gain a customer projection for 2014. This can help guide their marketing campaign and service expansion.

Methods: We conducted in-depth descriptive statistics of PPSNE's patient base and built multivariate models to gain further insights into patients' usage patterns at the aggregate and health center level.

Results: Across all health centers, diagnoses of abortion or STD were associated with notably reduced likelihood of repeat visits (OR 0.54 and 0.54, respectively). On the procedure side, receiving contraception or injected medication was associated with a notable increase (OR 1.89 and 1.59, respectively). All other age groups had much higher odds of repeat visits than 15-19-year-olds, reflecting a preponderance of one-off visits by that age group. Commercial or Medicaid insurance was also predictive, relative to self-pay, with Medicaid especially predicative of repeat visits.

Discussion: With the steep drop-off in repeat visits by 15- to 19-year olds, there could be large returns-on investment in efforts to build provider loyalty among patients younger than 15. Efforts to liaise with patients, be more responsive to young patients, and expand a range of primary care services could be part of an effective strategy to increase access to clients. Medicaid is the strongest predictor of repeat visits, suggesting that those with commercial insurance view PPSNE as an alternate to their regular provider. Furthermore, we identified a few examples of striking variation in care among different health centers in the region. We recommend that PPSNE follow up on these findings with their individual health centers to better understand this variability.

Publication Date



Community Health and Preventive Medicine

Improving Efficiency of Care at Planned Parenthood Through Understanding Patient Demographics and Service Provision Patterns (Planned Parenthood of Southern New England)