National ADAP Advocacy Association Meeting in DC
Joey Wynn of the Florida HIV AIDS Advocacy Network (FHAAN) presented material from the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Advocacy Association’s meeting in Washington, DC on April 14. The material concerned proposals to expand ADAP‘s capacity to serve 1,500 additional clients at current funding levels. These proposals would move about 5,000 current ADAP clients to the “silver” plans of the health care exchanges of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). It’s less expensive to indirectly purchase health care through insurance than to directly purchase health care. It is these cost savings that will fund the slots for 1,500 additional clients.
According to the Cascade of HIV Care (see graphic), there are almost 6,000 people infected with HIV, and linked to the system, but not yet on anti-retrovirals. ADAP needs to expand its capacity.
As a result of Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid, a large number of ADAP clients cannot move to a less expensive insurance program. About 5,000 (36 percent) of Florida ADAP clients have incomes between 100 and 249 percent of the federal poverty level. The current proposals would move these 5,000 ADAP clients to the ACA. Programs such as Ryan White Care, ADAP, and AIDS Insurance Continuation Program (AICP) would pay the deductibles, premiums, and co-pays.
These proposals are very complex. People who may be affected by them should pay close attention.
Local Ryan White Budget
Ann Mercer of the health department reported that the local Ryan White Care (RWC) program under-spent its 2013/2014 budget by about $200,000. This under-spending resulted from the late start of a new program, but will not affect the RWC’s budget for 2014/2015. These unspent funds will be returned to the Florida Department of Health to support the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
Housing Assistance for People Infected With HIV
Mario DeSantis of the local Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) reported that it was facing a $350,000 cut in its permanent housing placement program.
This program provides one-time assistance to people infected with HIV who have experienced a sudden, unexpected life event that threatens their housing stability.
The next SFAN meeting will be held at 10 a.m. June 6 at the Holy Cross Healthplex, Dorothy Mangurian Comprehensive Women’s Center, 1000 NE 56th St. in Fort Lauderdale. Meetings are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend.
[side article to explain the graphic]
The Cascade of Care in Florida
The Cascade of HIV Care is a new reporting tool. It shows where in the system of HIV Care people fall through the cracks. Each step shows the percent of HIV infected people remaining in the system. For example, this shows that 20 percent of all HIV infected people in Florida have not been tested.
It is now possible to treat people with HIV and suppress the virus. Unfortunately only 28 percent of the HIV infected in Florida have suppressed their viral load to that level.
ART = Anti-retroviral drugs
Suppressed Viral Load = less than ≤200 copies of the virus per /Mm