Association Between Facility and Clinician Characteristics and Family Planning Services Provided During U.S. Outpatient Care Visits

Womens Health Issues. 2023 Nov-Dec;33(6):573-581. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2023.06.008. Epub 2023 Aug 3.


Introduction: Recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasize the importance of access to comprehensive family planning services and recommend patient-centered contraceptive counseling be incorporated into routine primary care visits for reproductive-age individuals. This study aims to describe family planning service provision in outpatient care settings and assess differences by facility and clinician characteristics.

Methods: Using National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data, a nationally representative survey of outpatient care visits, we assessed family planning service provision by facility location, facility type, physician specialty, types of clinicians seen, and whether the patient was seen by their primary care provider. We used random intercept logistic regression with robust standard errors, adjusting for patient characteristics, and state and year fixed effects.

Results: The analytic sample included 53,489 patient visits with reproductive-age (15-49 years) individuals between 2011 and 2019. Family planning services were provided at 8% of total sampled visits and were more likely to be provided in urban compared with rural areas (adjusted odds ratio, 1.45; p = .02) and at community health centers compared with private physician practices (adjusted odds ratio, 1.74; p = .00). Family planning services were also more likely to be provided when the patient saw a physician assistant or nurse compared with only a physician. After controlling for observed covariates, measures of between-clinician heterogeneity indicate wide variation in which clinicians provided family planning services.

Conclusions: Family planning services were more likely to be provided in urban areas, at community health centers, and when patients received team-based care. The wide variation between clinicians suggests a need to better incorporate family planning services into primary care and other outpatient settings to meet patient needs and preferences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Community Health Centers
  • Contraceptive Agents*
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents