HHSC Employee Steps Down After Political Complaint on Study

A high-ranking official at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is stepping down after he co-authored a controversial study that found fewer women accessed a Texas family planning program after Planned Parenthood was kicked out in 2013.

Rick Allgeyer, the commission’s director of research, will step down after he faced criticism for authoring the study that was unflattering to the state’s women’s health program. By excluding Planned Parenthood from the family planning program, lawmakers may have restricted women’s access to long-acting birth control, according to the study’s authors.

An agency spokesman confirmed Allgeyer’s departure late Thursday.

The study, which was co-authored by Allgeyer and researchers from the health commission and the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project, found that the removal of Planned Parenthood led to a 35 percent reduction in claims for long-acting contraceptives, such as intrauterine devices, and also led to a 1.9 percent increase in childbirths paid by Medicaid, the federal-state insurer for the poor and disabled.

Allgeyer’s resignation follows complaints from state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, that it was inappropriate for state employees to be involved in a study she said was biased and unsound. The health commission ordered its own review of the women’s health program after Nelson raised concerns about the study.

Nelson said the research was flawed because it was funded in part by the Susan T. Buffet Foundation, a donor to Planned Parenthood, and because it did not account for two new women’s health programs launched by the state.

Source: State Employee Steps Down After Controversial Women’s Health Study TEXAS TRIBUNE

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