HIVMA, Ryan White Policy Paper Identifies Key Components of Effective Care, Calls for Innovative Financing
10/21/2011 - Boston - Significant strides in therapy and care have transformed HIV from a death sentence into a manageable
chronic disease - but only when patients are diagnosed, receive good care and needed services, and take their medication. To ensure that all
patients benefit, the HIV Medicine Association
(HIVMA) and Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition (RWMPC) today published a policy paper in the
journal Clinical Infectious Diseases describing the essential components of a comprehensive HIV care program and calling for innovative
payment mechanisms and continued public health funding to support this care and expand it those who need it.
Of the nearly 1.1 million people with HIV, 20 percent don't know they have the disease, and only 50 percent of people
with HIV in the United States have reliable access to HIV treatment, which the recent HPTN 052 study showed not only saves lives but
dramatically reduces sexual transmission of HIV from an infected partner to an uninfected one. More than 11,000 people still die of
AIDS every year and thousands more are in poor health and struggling.
"HIV medicine is an incredible success story, and people with the virus are now living long, full lives
thanks to improved therapy and comprehensive care," said Joel Gallant, MD, lead author of the policy paper and a member of the
HIVMA board of directors. "But it's imperative that people learn their HIV status and get effective treatment. We have good
strategies to achieve this, but it requires an integrated team approach, expertise, and a commitment to investing resources
upfront that will reduce health care costs over the long-term."
The president's National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are providing an
unprecedented opportunity to expand access to effective care shown to improve patients' health and prevent new infections. But to turn
this opportunity into reality, and to sustain the great gains made against this disease, it is critical that the essential components
of HIV care be incorporated as health care reform is implemented. The U.S. government-funded Ryan White program has been critical
to supporting the HIV care model, but as demand for care grows, innovative payment mechanisms for the Medicaid program, which
covers 47 percent of people with HIV in care, are urgently needed. As health coverage is expanded, patients' lives and our
nation's public health will be at risk if we do not build on the HIV care model and continue successful programs like Ryan White.
The policy paper underscores that people with HIV can have a nearly normal lifespan if they are diagnosed and receive effective
treatment and care from an experienced HIV medical provider working with team of other providers who can deliver the range of support services
that most patients need. More patients can benefit through:
Routine HIV testing, particularly in underserved communities, so people with HIV can be diagnosed earlier and linked to integrated systems of care before irreversible harm is done to their immune systems
A care team led by an HIV expert that includes a care coordinator and access to a range of specialists with HIV experience to treat serious co-occurring conditions, including heart disease, hepatitis, cancer, mental illness, and substance abuse
Access to HIV medications according to the federal treatment guidelines
Counseling to support adherence to treatment and care
Linkage to social services that address the daily living and psychosocial needs of patients
Regular monitoring of patient outcomes through HIV quality measures and electronic health record systems
Innovative payment mechanisms that recognize the total costs of providing effective HIV care, taking disease severity, nonclinical costs, and other factors into account
Continued public health funding through the Ryan White program to support lifesaving and disease-preventing care to the most vulnerable populations
"The HIV provider is the quarterback, but care is effective only when there is full cooperation and coordination among the entire team,
from diagnosis to treatment to supportive services," said Mari Kitahata, MD, MPH, a co-author of the paper and a professor of medicine
at the University of Washington, Seattle. "When care isn't integrated, people often drop out. More than a third of patients who learn
they have HIV are not linked to care within three months of being diagnosed. That's got to change, and we can change it, if this model
Note : For a copy of "Essential Components of Effective HIV Care: A Policy Paper of the HIV Medicine Association of the
Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition," published in the Dec. 1 issue of Clinical
Infectious Diseases, please visit ( http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/10/20/cid.cir689.full ).
The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) is the professional home for more than 4,500 physicians, scientists, and other health
care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes
quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science
and social justice. For more information, visit www.hivma.org.www.hivma.org.
The Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition (RWMPC) was formed in 2006 to be a voice for medical providers across the nation delivering
quality care to their patients through Part C of the Ryan White program. Ryan White Part C funds comprehensive HIV care and
treatment - the services that are directly responsible for the dramatic decreases in AIDS-related mortality and morbidity
over the last decade. We speak for those who often cannot speak for themselves, and we advocate for a full range of
primary care services for this unique population. We have a broad and diverse membership that represents highly
qualified medical professionals and administrators who are Part C grantees across the nation. RWMPC is sponsored by HIVMA.
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Reproduced with permission - "HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) "
HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA)