The HIV Medicine Association has launched a new website, HIVClinician.org, to provide information and tools to help HIV medical providers and clinics adapt to healthcare financing and system reforms.
A key difference between the HIV clinicians and others who are adapting to healthcare reform is that many HIV patients who have been uninsured have relied on the Ryan White program, which has been critical in supporting HIV care and has allowed HIV clinics to develop comprehensive HIV care programs. However, with grant funding, some HIV clinics have been operating in a parallel healthcare system. The resources available at HIVClinician.org are intended to help HIV and Ryan White-funded clinics adapt and leverage healthcare reform for their patients.
“The site is unlike others that cover the most recent literature on HIV or the most recent treatments for HIV,” explains HIVMA Board member Alan Taege, MD. “HIVClinician.org is geared more toward the actual problems of navigating through patients’ coverage issues, billing and coding, and adapting to healthcare reform.”
The facts sheets, issue briefs, webinars, wall posters, pocket guides, and other materials on HIVClinician.org encompass three main goals:
- Improve access to quality HIV care and treatment.
- Assist Ryan White programs, which provide HIV/AIDS services to uninsured and under-insured patients, with developing business strategies and systems to ensure sustainability.
- Offer resources to support the integration of Ryan White medical providers into payment and system delivery reforms.
In the Healthcare Reform section, website visitors will find information on what HIV providers need to know about Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment, accountable care organization considerations for HIV providers, and key ACA-related terms. Users of the website will also find information for Ryan White providers, an explanation of one clinic’s approach to the Ryan White and health insurance interface, strategies for HIV medical providers who contract with health insurers, and tools for monitoring HIV care.
The Coverage Issues section of the website offers information to assist HIV providers with challenging health plans’ adverse coverage decisions. This section also offers a tool to fight health insurance discrimination through filing complaints with state insurance commissioners.
Dr. Taege was instrumental in the development of the Billing & Coding section of HIVClnician.org. “Several HIVMA members took existing codes for billing patient care and adapted them to actual HIV care,” says Dr. Taege. “This is important because HIV providers don’t practice typical medicine. It involves different procedures and thought processes than general medical practice.” The resources available in this section include a free pocket guide and free wall poster, which can be printed directly from the site or ordered as hard copies. A recorded webinar provides guidance to HIV providers on how to use the billing and coding resources in practice.
The Partnerships section of the website is meant to help HIV and Ryan White providers develop partnerships with federally qualified community health centers. This is important because these partnerships will continue to expand care that is provided through community health centers as the ACA is fully implemented.
A Work in Progress
“The website and resources will continue to evolve,” says Dr. Taege. “Much will depend upon which direction healthcare reform moves and what new developments arise. Clinicians should use the site as one of their ‘go to’ sources for news regarding healthcare reform as it relates to HIV care.”