New York Times Examines California HIV Testing Bill
October 3, 2008
The New York Times on Thursday examined a California bill (AB 1894) that requires health care plans operating in the state to pay for routine HIV testing. The bill was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) (Cathcart, New York Times, 10/2). According to the California Office of AIDS, about 40,000 Californians are HIV-positive but are not aware of their status. CDC figures show that about 40% of the U.S. population has ever received an HIV test (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/1). The law will provide coverage for routine HIV testing for 22.19 million people, according to the California Health Benefits Review Program.
Daniel Ciccarone of the University of California-San Francisco said that removing HIV test cost issues means that more physicians will offer the tests to patients. "I certainly feel a little less inhibited," he said, adding, "I do get letters from time to time from insurance providers asking what justified the use of this code." According to the Times, Ciccarone was referring to the codes physicians are required to assign procedures on insurance forms to obtain reimbursement. "I imagine a lot of doctors just shrug and swallow the cost of the testing," Ciccarone said, adding, "I try to rethink the case" and use various codes to indicate that a person is at risk of the virus (New York Times, 10/2).
Consistency of State Statutes With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV Testing Recommendations for Health Care Settings
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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