HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Wolf Administration today announced changes in family planning services in the commonwealth surrounding long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), which include the intrauterine device (IUD) and the birth control implant. These policy changes will improve public health, provide families with additional choice in their contraception selection, reduce unplanned pregnancies, and save taxpayer money. "We are making changes to reduce hurdles to effective family planning options and optimize LARC usage," said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. " Pennsylvania is the latest of many states adopting a variety of payment policies to facilitate LARC usage." Beginning December 1, 2016, Pennsylvania's Medicaid fee-for-service program will make payment for LARC devices to incentivize hospitals to stock and store them and eliminate the hurdle of high up-front costs of long-acting contraceptives. Currently under Medicaid, hospitals received a bundled payment for labor and delivery services. Pennsylvania is implementing policies that now reimburse providers separately for the cost of the device when inserting an IUD or implants at the time of delivery, in addition to the bundled payments that hospitals receive for the delivery. In addition, DHS is increasing certain Medical Assistance fee-for-service family planning rates for outpatient providers, including the insertion and removal of LARC, with the aim of reducing unplanned pregnancies and improving maternal and child health. "This policy change, and the increased accessibility of LARC that will follow, should help to increase usage by six percent and help to prevent unintended pregnancies - saving millions in taxpayer dollars." Thirty-five percent of women do not attend their outpatient post-partum appointment, and over half of unplanned pregnancies occur within two years following delivery. It is more efficient for a woman who has just delivered a baby to have a LARC inserted while she is still at the hospital rather than wait until a post-partum visit several weeks later, which she may not attend.