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U.S. News

Maryland: Money Delayed to Local Health Organizations for HIV Care

September 2, 2011

Eighty-one Maryland health organizations should soon be receiving long-awaited federal HIV/AIDS dollars, but many say delayed disbursement of some funds has already forced them to cut back critical services.

The Ryan White program's fiscal year began March 1, but the federal budget was not passed until April. The Health Resources and Services Administration, which distributes Ryan White funds, has struggled since to keep up. A spokesperson for HRSA said the Baltimore area is due about $61 million for fiscal year 2011. Agency records show about $29 million has been paid out, and much of the remaining $32 million was expected to be available in a week or two.

Moveable Feast, a nonprofit with 370 HIV/AIDS-affected Baltimore clients, received some funds earlier in the year but is still awaiting $172,000 due it through Aug. 31. In early August, the group cut food provision from 18 meals per week to 18 every two weeks, except for the critically ill, said Executive Director Tom Bonderenko. "It's been a tragedy these past few weeks," he said.

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The Moore Clinic for HIV Care at Johns Hopkins University, which uses Ryan White money to care for 650 patients, plans to scale back on housing, co-payment and medication assistance. Jeanne Keruly, an associate professor of medicine at Hopkins and director of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Clinical Services, said planning is a challenge since the clinic's contract has not been renewed and it has gone without funding for two months.

"We're finding we can't help some people with certain needs," said Keruly. "We also made the decision not to bring in any new patients to the program who were uninsured so we could continue to provide adequate services to those already in the practice."

Dr. Kathleen Squires, chair of the HIV Medicine Association, said a similar scenario is playing out nationally. "The delay in funding is forcing these programs to cut services that low-income HIV-infected patients depend on," she said.

Back to other news for September 2011

Adapted from:
Baltimore Sun
08.25.2011; Meredith Cohn


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More News on HIV Support and Care in Maryland

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