Washington, D.C.-Based Whitman-Walker Clinic Announces $2.5 Million in Cuts; Services in N. Virginia, Maryland to End
June 2, 2005
The Washington, D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic board on Tuesday approved about $2.5 million in cuts and announced it will end services permanently in the district's Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs, moves that "amount to the most severe retrenchment in the 32-year history of the clinic," the Washington Post reports (Levine, Washington Post, 6/2). The group -- which serves about 7,000 HIV-positive individuals in the Washington, D.C., area and has a $29 million budget for 2005 -- last month announced it is facing financial constraints that might force the group to consider program cutbacks. The clinic, which provides HIV/AIDS testing and related health services to mostly low-income area residents in and around the city, also failed to meet its payroll last month for the first time since it opened in 1974. Whitman-Walker Interim Executive Director Roberta Geidner-Antoniotti said a series of budget and funding problems have contributed to the organization's financial problems, including more than $700,000 in late reimbursements owed to the clinic by the District of Columbia Department of Health and the housing agency of Prince George's County, Md. (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/27).
Recent Related Developments
In addition to contributing to financial problems for the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the district health department's failure to pay reimbursements on time also has led the Carl Vogel Center, which provides case-management and counseling services to about 700 HIV/AIDS patients in the city, to reduce staff and cut back services. Health department Director Gregg Pane last week announced a plan to prevent further problems in delays for reimbursements. He said the current system will be severely pared and bills expedited to assure that not-for-profit groups receive reimbursements within 30 days or less. In addition, payments will be sent out prospectively each quarter so groups no longer will have to advance money to provide medical, legal, housing and social services to HIV-positive people. Pane also said health department officials will conduct site visits to not-for-profits that receive city funding. Pane said he will announce additional steps to the plan at a later time. In addition, the D.C. Inspector General plans to conduct an audit of the city's HIV/AIDS Administration (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/27).
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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.