California Announces Regulations Using the AAHIVM Definition and Credentialing Process
Governor Davis Proposes New Regulation for Existing Law for Benefit of HIV Patients
On January 6, 2002, Californians living with HIV scored a major victory as Governor Gray Davis proposed a new regulation to establish the definition of HIV medical Specialists under the Standing Referral Law (AB 2168).
The Governor's proposal will recognize HIV Specialists who credentialed through the Academy or who meet the AAHIVM definition of an HIV Specialist. There is no fee for participating in the Academy's annual credentialing process, and providers do not have to be Academy members to participate. Criteria for the AAHIVM's credentialing program were developed over 12 months by 50 of the nation's leading HIV/AIDS clinicians, experts, and educators.
Before revision, AB 2168 required managed care companies to provide HIV patients with access to HIV Specialists, similar to cancer patients' access to oncologists. This regulation made California the first (and still the only state) to require access to HIV Specialists. However, AB 2168 did not establish a clear definition of what constitutes an HIV Specialist. Though it was well intentioned, AB 2168 was difficult to implement because insurers had no standardized way to identify HIV Specialists.
In recognition of this difficulty, Governor Davis proposed in early January that the Academy's definition of an HIV Specialist would be incorporated into AB 2168. If adopted, the new regulation containing this definition goes into effect July 1, 2002.
HIV health care providers from across the country who are interested in applying for credentialing can call the AAHIVM office toll free at 866-241-9601 or visit our Website at www.aahivm.org.
A Special Note
Thank you to all the AAHIVM members, especially in California, who helped in this crucial initiative. It sets an important precedent for the nation that HIV patients have the right to see an HIV Specialist who is maintaining up-to-date knowledge.
This article was provided by American Academy of HIV Medicine. It is a part of the publication The Nexus.