Treatment Access Emergency: ADAP and Medicaid
May 31, 2002
A combination of unrelated events and changes in the last two years is increasingly threatening the ability of thousands of Americans with HIV to get medically necessary care. The national economic slowdown, a crisis in state budgets, the Federal focus on war, and the neglect of treatment-access activism, have combined so that probably thousands of people are being denied necessary treatment for economic reasons alone, when they would have had access a year ago. The problem is likely to get much worse before it gets better. While most of the causes are beyond the control of readers of AIDS Treatment News, we can work on the activism.
Few patients are immune to these problems. Due to high prices for drugs and tests, very few can pay the full cost of HIV care entirely out of pocket. And private insurance has become increasingly efficient at getting rid of people with expensive illnesses -- especially HIV infection, since it is not officially recognized as a medical specialty like cancer, even though it is one in fact. Therefore HMOs can pay HIV doctors the "healthy adult" rate, less than the cost of providing care, in order to drive good doctors out of the plan and keep patients away.
This article was provided by AIDS Treatment News. It is a part of the publication AIDS Treatment News.