Gynuity Health Projects Launches the MA-ASAP Project: Online Access to Medication Abortion Care
The Supreme Court decision to remove federal protection for abortion introduces major new hurdles to obtaining high quality reproductive care in the United States. Abortion clinics are closing, and those that remain are increasingly overburdened. Individuals face increased difficulties accessing care.
Gynuity Health Projects, together with Stanford University, has launched a new study testing a model that could greatly benefit both patients and providers. The MA-ASAP study builds on our prior work, which shows that medication abortion is safe and effective when pre-treatment screening is based on medical history alone, counselling is provided remotely via telemedicine, and abortion pills are sent by mail.
MA-ASAP removes the conventional requirement that every person wanting a medication abortion must have a real-time interaction with a clinician either remotely through telemedicine or in-person at a health center.
Instead, patients review an informational website and then complete an online screening form on their own time. If their answers meet the pre-programmed eligibility criteria, the form is automatically sent to a study doctor in their state who reviews the answers and dispenses abortion medications by mail, if appropriate. For people who are ineligible, the form refers them to alternative sources of care.
Avoiding the need for real-time communications between the doctor and patient could improve efficiency at clinics, reduce delays in care, lower cost, and offer convenience and flexibility.
This ‘asynchronous’ method of care, via the MA-ASAP study, is currently available at two Planned Parenthood health centers in the U.S. and is open to people in Minnesota and Colorado who want a medication abortion and are at least 18 years old.
MA-ASAP is an IRB-approved pilot study that will obtain preliminary data on the safety, feasibility, and acceptability of this new model. Our vision is to scale up the project to more health facilities in additional states.
Gynuity Health Projects proactively engages in developing, implementing, and evaluating new models of care designed to change policy and improve access to reproductive and maternal health care. When designing new studies, we take account of the broader societal context and pay particular attention to settings where access to care is least available. If you are interested in finding out more about our work or would like to speak with one of our experts, visit our website or email us at Comms@gynuity.org.
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