Coalition Weighs in on HHS Request for Information on Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Data

June 2018

June 4, 2018

The Honorable Alex Azar, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
Re: Pregnancy Prevention Performance Measures Data Collection, Office of Adolescent
Health (OMB No.: 0990-0438)
Via email to Sherrette.funn@hhs.gov

Dear Secretary Azar:

I am contacting you on behalf of the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), which is comprised of health officials leading 30 of the nation’s largest metropolitan public health departments. Together, BCHC health departments serve more than 55 million – or one in six – Americans.

As you well know, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) was established in 2010 to support community-driven, evidence-based (or informed), medically accurate, and age-appropriate approaches to preventing pregnancy among adolescents, involving parents, educators, researchers, and providers.

In the first five years of TPPP alone, more than 7,000 professionals were trained, 3,000 community-based partnerships were developed, eight new innovative programs were identified as contributing to positive health behavior change, and over half a million young people were served. In this same time period, urban health departments have seen great success in lowering teen pregnancy rates. Overall, teen birth rates in the U.S. have dropped 8 percent since 2014, according to the CDC, and, again, cities have seen even larger drops. Even so, the rate is still substantially higher than other industrialized nations.

As the future of the program is discussed at HHS, it is important to have accurate data to assess the outcomes that TPPP has produced. The latest performance measures proposed by the Department are similar to what has previously been collected, and BCHC is supportive of the new proposed performance measures because they will allow comparison to previous evaluation. However, we also believe additional information is needed to adequately asses the ongoing impact of TPPP. These are highlighted below.

  • Demographic information of program participants should be collected.
  • Information about whether appropriate linkages to health care providers were made also need to be collected.
  • Both of these data points would help determine who TPPP is serving and whether the program is helping young people access clinical and other health/social services.
  • Finally, in regards to data being collected and the associated time estimates, HHS should be sure to include adequate time in the estimate to ensure that data are complete and correct. Time is involved in not only the collection process, but also in verifying the accuracy of the data being reported.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on data collection for TPPP, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me at cjuliano@naccho.org or 202-783-3627.

Chrissie Juliano, MPP
Director, Big Cities Health Coalition