Contraceptive Care Measures

In November 2016, the National Quality Forum (NQF), a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization that works to improve healthcare by approving measures and standards for care, endorsed Contraceptive Care Measures developed by the Office of Population Affairs (OPA). These measures were designed to address the lack of validated population-level performance measures for contraceptive care.

The Contraceptive Care Measures assess the provision of contraception to all women in need of contraceptive services, and assess the percentage of women aged 15-44:

  • at risk of unintended pregnancy provided with a most or moderately effective contraceptive method
  • at risk of unintended pregnancy provided with a LARC method
  • who have had a live birth and are provided with a most or moderately effective contraceptive method within 3 and 60 days of delivery
  • who have had a live birth and are provided with a LARC method within 3 and 60 days of delivery

The goal of these performance measures is to measure contraceptive access to the most effective and moderately effective methods of contraception.

In addition, the OPA is continuing to develop additional measures and hopes to increase the number of providers who ask patients about pregnancy intention and who will then implement CDC and OPA recommendations to provide client-centered counseling for women who wish to prevent or delay pregnancy and ensure availability of a wide range of contraceptive methods.

As noted in the endorsed measures' use guidance, while access to highly effective methods of contraception is important to prevent unintended pregnancy, rates of LARC uptake should not be used alone to determine the quality of contraceptive care. Many patients will have a preference for methods other than highly effective ones, and the provision of contraception should never include dismissal of patients' individual choices.

For more information, please visit the OPA's webpage on these Contraceptive Care Measures, as well as their overview PDF of these measures. You can also find more details on the specific measures for postpartum women who receive a most or moderately effective contraceptive method or a LARC method, and for all women who receive a most or moderately effective contraceptive method or a LARC method.

ACOG Resources

ACOG LARC Program: LARC and the OPA Contraceptive Care Measures Webinar

For more information on the OPA contraceptive care measures, view the ACOG LARC Program's free archived webinar on the topic, presented by Mark Hathaway, MD, MPH. This webinar reviews details of the OPA measures as well as providing background for their for creation and use in practice. After viewing this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the NQF-endorsed OPA contraceptive care measures
  • Detail the two main ways use of these performance measures will increase access to contraception
  • Identify at least two tools for use in implementing the contraceptive care measures into clinical care settings

Download the LARC and the OPA Contraceptive Care Measures webinar handouts here and find more information and archived LARC Program webinars here.

Other Resources

Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs

Providing Quality Family Planning Services (QFP) recommends how to best to provide a range of family planning services, including the provision of contraception, pregnancy testing and counseling, and contraceptive counseling. The report is designed to assist health care providers to help their patients achieve their desired number and spacing of children, and emphasizes providing client-centered counseling and a full range of contraceptive methods for those seeking to prevent pregnancy.

FPNTC: Contraceptive Services Resources

These tools from Family Planning National Training Center (FPNTC) support Quality Family Planning Recommendations related to the provision of contraceptive services for clients who wish to delay or prevent pregnancy, including a Contraceptive Care Performance Measure Calculator, a Contraceptive Care Performance Measures Site Comparison Tool, a Family Planning Performance Dashboard, and a Contraceptive Access Change Package.

ARHP Commentary: Thinking (Re)Productively - Performance Measures for Contraceptive Care: What Are We Actually Trying to Measure?

This commentary examines limitations of contraceptive care measures, such as using uptake as a measure for contraceptive access, and the potential for contraceptive coercion with application of uptake metrics as markers of success. This piece also reviews some of the implications such measures may hold for women of color and vulnerable populations in particular, and the necessity for measures of quality of care to be patient-centered.


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