April 2018’s South Florida AIDS Network Report

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This report discusses the monthly meeting of the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN). SFAN is the advisory board for the Ryan White Care (RWC) program of the Florida Department of Health in Broward. This report also discusses the quarterly meetings of the Broward County HIV Prevention Planning Council (BCHPPC).

The April SFAN meeting continued to discuss changes to the Medicaid PAC Waiver program. Under that program, Medicaid would pay for services for people with specific serious medical conditions.

A representative, Eunice Medina, from the Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) spoke at this meeting. ACHA administers Medicaid in Florida. Medina reported that in 2017 the Florida Legislature ordered ACHA to consolidate and integrate Project AIDS Care (PAC) and two other Medicaid Waiver programs into the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program.

Joey Wynn, SFAN Chair, had forwarded the complaints of Broward Medicaid clients living with HIV to ACHA. Medina had examined them.

Medina emphasized that ACHA’s main goal was continuity of care. She reported that “Health plans must honor any ongoing treatment that was authorized or scheduled prior to the recipient’s enrollment into the new plan for up to 60 days after the recipient enrolls in the plan.” Medina also stated, “Providers should continue providing any services that were previously authorized, regardless of whether the provider is participating in the plan’s network. Plans must pay providers for previously authorized services for up to 60 days, and must pay non-network providers at the rate previously received for up to 30 days.” When a managed care company fails to comply with this policy, providers or recipients can initiate a complaint process with ACHA.

The largest number of complaints involved the loss of massage therapy services, according to Medina. One provider reported that one SMMC company lacked massage therapists in their networks.

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If someone has a complaint about the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Program, they can file a complaint at http://bit.ly/2HoaJSw.

For information on ACHA Grievance and Appeal System and Fair Hearing Overview, please visit http://bit.ly/2qwjCPr.

The spring meeting of The Broward County HIV Prevention Planning Council (BCHPPC) met on April 12. They met at the Department of Health's Broward County Administrative Building, 780 SW 24th Street, Fort Lauderdale.

In this meeting, HIV prevention agencies described their activities, accomplishments, and challenges. In 2016, Broward had 40.1 new HIV diagnoses per 100,000 residents, the second highest rate among all U.S. Counties. Broward's gay and bi male residents would have a much higher rate.

An audience member identified a major problem in Broward’s HIV testing programs. People most in need of testing do not appear to be testing. Only about 1 percent of people testing for HIV in Broward had positive results. Given the high rate of new HIV diagnoses, the positive test rate should increase to bring the epidemic under control.

In addition, the people most in need of PrEP, Black and Latino gay/ bi men and Black women have low rates of PrEP use, both nationally and locally. HIV Prevention fails to reach those most in need of it.

Latinos Salud announced that they were now conducting oral and anal STD testing as well as penile STD testing.

The MSM Advisory Group provides advice on HIV prevention among gay and bi men. They are seeking new members. Their next meeting will be on May 14 at 1:30 p.m.at 560 NW 27th Ave.

The next SFAN Meeting will be on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 9:30 a.m., at the Holy Cross Healthplex, 1000 NE 56th Street, Ft. Lauderdale.

The next BCHPPC will be on July 26. Please visit http://bit.ly/2HhzIqP for location.

Follow Sean McShee on Twitter @SeanMcShee


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