The South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) functions as the networking/advisory body for the Ryan White Care (RWC), Part B grant in Broward County. Its monthly meetings are open to the public.
The main topic in this meeting continued to be the transition of some people from public programs such as Ryan White Care (RWC) and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to public/private programs such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace plans. In addition Pam Fillmore discussed the Medical Monitoring Project.
Janet Vargas, Florida Department of Health, reported that ADAP and the AIDS Institute had approved particular ACA programs for ADAP participation. This approval removes the last barrier to the voluntary transition of about 1,100 ADAP and RWC clients to ACA marketplace programs. People have to be very careful in selecting a plan. If someone selects a non-approved plan, ADAP/RWC will not be able to pay for it.
ADAP/RWC will pay the premiums, deductibles and copays, but only for these ADAP approved ACA plans. Key criteria for their approval include low cost for copays, premiums and deductibles, and high access to key HIV pharmaceuticals. As insurers offer different plans in different counties, the plans approved for ADAP will also differ by county. See the text box “ADAP approved Marketplace plans” for the approved plans for Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade Counties.
According to Vargas, people transitioning should speak with their case manager and an ACA Navigator before selecting a plan. They should not rush into this very complex issue.
Pam Fillmore (HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Section, Florida Department of Health) discussed the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP). This program provides much of what we know about people with HIV in the medical systems for the years 2007 through 2011. As the MMP collects data at the state level and combines it at the national level, the MMP can produce reports at both levels.
The MMP obtains information through interviewing individuals and analyzing their medical records. All cooperation in this process is voluntary. For their time, each participant receives a $50 gift card.
Participants provide the following types of information in these interviews: 1) patient demographics: 2) sexual history, 3) drug use history; 4) medications and adherence to medication schedules; 6) access to services; 7) supplemental tests; 8) depression assessment; and 9) Ob/Gyn services for female patients. Medical record analysis provides the following types of information: 1) patient demographics; 2) date of HIV diagnosis; 3) Health insurance information; 4) immunizations; 5) anti-retroviral information; 6) other medications; 7) lab tests; 8) referrals; and 9) procedures. Analyzing this process can identify unmet needs and monitor how the HIV infected use services. It can also identify differences in care between groups.
Data from this project has contributed to 30 HIV/AIDS peer-reviewed research papers, and many more presentations.
For a list of studies using data from the MMP, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/systems/mmp/resources.html
Some of the more interesting findings from this project are displayed in the chart “Findings from the MMP about Florida HIV Patients.”
For more info on the MMP visit www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/systems/mmp
Ariana Lint reported on the Transgender (TG) Program at SunServe. Their TG case management program serves more HIV uninfected people than HIV infected people. The TG program refers the uninfected to CareResource and the infected to AIDS Healthcare Foundation. This program has three support groups for transgender issues: genderbenders, significant others of transgenders, and, in January, a Spanish speaking TG group.
Next SFAN Meeting: Friday, January 9 at 10:00 a.m., at the Holy Cross Healthplex, 1000 NE 56th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334. Newcomers are encouraged to attend.