How to Choose a Family Planning Facility
Key factors everyone should consider when comparing, researching, and how to choose a family planning facility.
At Gynemed, we understand that making the choice about your pregnancy is a difficult and emotional time in your life. As leaders in family planning, we firmly believe that patient education should help answer questions, and not create them, and help provide you with additional comfort about your decision.
Understandably, cost is a very important consideration, however, with the help of this outline, you will have all the tools you need to truly make the best decision regarding your own, personal needs.
Are the physicians providing your care board certified/eligible and were they properly trained?
Unfortunately, there are some doctors who provide abortion care who are not trained as OB/GYN’s and/or in the proper surgical techniques. When researching a physician, do not hesitate to ask his/hers receptionist about their education and training background. There are many abortion providers who are not OB/GYN’s, which should not necessarily worry you, but just be sure to ask about his/hers training in abortion care.
At Gynemed, our physicians are OB/GYN’s and are board certified/eligible. They have extensive training in the latest medical/surgical techniques and are heavily involved with organizations like the National Abortion Federation.
Does a center claim to have multiple facilities all around the state, or some cases, the country?
Often times, a practice will claim to have multiple locations for patient convenience, however, in some cases, many of their other locations have limited hours and are not open during normal business hours. Believe it or not, some facilities are owned by individuals and companies who are not even from, or based, out of Maryland.
Gynemed has been in the same location for over 30 years and is proud to be locally owned and operated. We feel it is our obligation to give back to community around us, especially, because our owners and staff are part of it.
Does a center employ multiple, part-time physicians, or do the providers work at the same location full time?
Some facilities employ multiple physicians who work one or two days a week for additional training and/or financial purposes.
At Gynemed, are physicians are employed full-time, which we feel adds to the quality of care you will receive because our provider’s focus is solely on our patients and facility.
Is the facility part of a professional building or is it a stand-alone structure?
Some facilities are stand-alone structures, which makes them prone to higher instances of protesters.
Gynemed is fortunate to be in a professional medical building. Many people do not know that abortions are performed here, which provides an extra level of security for our patients.
Does the facility take insurance or is it cash only?
Some facilities only accept cash, which means more out of pocket expense for you. Be sure to ask the facility if they take insurance, and if so, do they take your type of insurance.
At Gynemed we take many forms of insurance, including BCBS, Cigna, Aetna, United Healthcare, and Medical Assistance. Please call our office to verify coverage and what your out-of-pocket price will be. No matter what, patients are never responsible for more than our discounted cash price.
Does the facility have a good reputation among their patients and does it have an established history of providing safe, quality care?
Unfortunately, there are facilities still in operation that have a history of unsatisfied patients and medical errors. While state inspections and licensing helps improve care quality, some facilities still manage to go unnoticed.
At Gynemed we take our reputation seriously. Many of our patients come from family and friend referrals. Our center provides compassionate care and we strive to make this decision process easier for all patients by explaining the entire procedure.
Is the center all inclusive?
While other centers may post a lower starting price it may not include anesthesia or a follow-up appointment. Always check with the facility to see what’s included in their price to avoid any last minute financial surprises when you arrive, which may hinder your care.
At Gynemed our fee includes everything! You will never pay more than our discounted cash price if you have a high deductible. Our fee also includes a follow-up visit to ensure that the procedure was successful and that you are recovering fully.
Is the facility an abortion clinic or a surgical center?
a. Up until this past year, Maryland did not require abortion facilities to be officially licensed with the state. With that said, most facilities conducted their procedures using very basic setups and were never inspected by the state of Maryland for health hazards or proper operating procedures.
Gynemed has been the ONLY state licensed Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC), in the state of Maryland, since 1982 that provides abortion care. This means that our facility is inspected by the MD Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene every 3 years to ensure we are operating at the highest level of patient safety. This includes inspections of our medications, sterilizing procedures, equipment storage, surgical operating procedures, policies and procedures, and even how we take out our trash! Even with the new licensing requirements, other facilities will still not be held to same level as an ASC, like Gynemed. In fact, the state of Maryland consults with our providers and staff, on occasion, when looking for advice regarding family planning.
Does the facility use the latest medications?
a. Some facilities still use older methods to dilate the cervix (Laminaria). This can be very uncomfortable for the patient and along with being outdated, it also prolongs the overall time of the procedure. Check with the facility to see if they are up-to-date with newest surgical methods and medications.
Gynemed uses the latest medications that are much easier on the body and provide a better, and more comfortable, outcome.
Medications we use are:
- Cytotec: softens and dilates the cervix
- Mifepristone: stops the growth of the pregnancy
- Xanax: calms any anxiety the patient may have
- Antibiotics: prescribed after the procedure to prevent any infection that could occur