UAMS Receives $600,000 to Provide Post-Partum Contraceptive Devices in Little Rock, Fort Smith

By Linda Satter

The intrauterine devices and birth-control implants are inserted before a patient is discharged from a hospital after giving birth to reduce unintended pregnancies and increase birth spacing. Insertions can cost more than $3,000 and aren’t currently reimbursable by the state Medicaid program.

The grant funds are provided as part of the Increasing Equity and Access to Contraception in Arkansas Initiative.

Last year, UAMS received $175,000 in grant funds to supply the devices to 297 women at two birthing hospitals — UAMS and Baptist Health in Fort Smith. This year, a UAMS team led by Nirvana Manning, M.D., chair of the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, intends to provide them to 449 patients in those facilities as well as the UAMS West Family Medicine Residency Program in Fort Smith.

“This grant has been instrumental in not only providing access to contraceptive coverage that is in line with national recommendations but also in providing data that we hope will support the expansion to all patients, regardless of insurance coverage,” Manning said.

The grant funds provide the devices and the cost of insertion, as well as a focus on clinician training “to increase knowledge and create clinical champions within the hospital network,” according to UAMS’ application for the grant funds.

It says a study in South Carolina showed the use of the devices “was associated with decreased odds of a subsequent short-interval pregnancy.”

“In Arkansas, LARC devices and insertions are not part of the bundled Medicaid reimbursement rate in birthing room settings, which serves as a barrier to care,” the application states.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.