Grayson County Family Planning Services No Longer Free - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Grayson County Family Planning Services No Longer Free

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GRAYSON COUNTY--Free family planning services in Grayson County will soon be obsolete. The Grayson County Commissioners Court voted unanimously in early July to decline federal funding for subsided care.

County Judge Drue Bynum says that accepting the money was costing the county thousands.

"While you receive the federal monies, you're not allowed to ask people to pay for the services if they want to come in and tell you they can't afford it, then you automatically have to pick up the tab," Bynum said.

Grayson County's tab amounted to nearly $275,000 last year. When money budgeted for Title 20 runs out, the federal government requires local government to pay the bill.

The Board of Health recommended that the Grayson County Health department discontinue receiving federal funds. The commissioners court agreed that it was a drain on local resources. 

"So we ask that the program stand on its own two feet," Bynum said. "We'll still offer the services but the folks will have to pay for the services."

Over the past five years, the number of undocumented patients has risen to 60 percent. 

"Title 20 and Title 5 funding allowed for people from any country to come in, so we had a certain number of our clientele that was undocumented," Steve DeVore said, Director of the Grayson County Health Department. 

Family planning services, which include exams, birth control, STI and pregnancy testing will still be provided, but at a flat rate fee. The county will still accept undocumented patients as long as they pay for the visit. 

"We still have that professional, dedicated staff that is really passionate about their mission of delivering quality healthcare services to the community, and that will continue, and that's really an important feature that we want to convey," DeVore said.

Officials say that the prices are yet to be determined. Patients can expect to start paying for services September 1, 2009.

Jen French, KTEN News