Partly in response to recommendations in CHLPI’s Arkansas SHARP report, the Arkansas legislature passed House Bill 2100, authorizing an interim study on barriers to HIV testing and potential implementation of routine, opt-out HIV testing. CHLPI assisted the Arkansas HIV/AIDS Minority Task Force and Arkansas Minority Health Commission in conducting the study on behalf of the General Assembly’s House and Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committees. CHLPI staff helped design and analyze surveys to learn more about patients’ and providers’ knowledge about HIV testing, researched existing Arkansas law, and produced a report detailing the research findings and making recommendations for reducing barriers to voluntary HIV testing. The report was presented to the Arkansas legislature and governor in June 2013.
Over the past few years, there have been numerous regulations defining how the Affordable Care Act is to be implemented (released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and other federal agencies). To increase public awareness and understanding of the law, CHLPI summarized each major regulation, drawing out the most important issues for advocates working to assist low-income individuals living with chronic health conditions as they transition into new health programs. These documents serve as a guide for advocates, allowing individuals to point to specific legal requirements when holding states accountable to ensure increased access to care.
CHLPI researched, developed, and produced this toolkit and training presentation to provide community-based advocates and others with the information needed to ensure that state Medicaid managed care programs meet the care, treatment, and support services needs of people living with mental health issues. With a growing number of Medicaid beneficiaries being enrolled in managed care programs, advocates need to be able to identify key issues and potential problems, and understand options for resolving them.
The State Healthcare Access Research Project (SHARP) examined successes, challenges, and opportunities to improve access to care for people living with HIV. The project developed comprehensive state-level research reports by conducting a series of focus groups and one-on-one interviews with people living with HIV/AIDS, community-based AIDS services providers, healthcare providers, faith leaders, state and federal government officials, and other researchers and advocates. The insights gained from these meetings were supplemented with independent research. SHARP had three main goals: (1) improve access to care and treatment, with an emphasis on addressing state-level barriers to care; (2) share information and advocacy strategies that reduce barriers to care within and among states; and (3) support coalition development and self-sustained, grassroots advocacy capacity in states. SHARP reports were produced in collaboration with community partners in Alabama, Arkansas, California (Los Angeles County), Northern Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
The Affordable Care Act drastically expands access to health insurance, allowing individuals who had historically relied on the Ryan White Program to transition onto Medicaid or private insurance plans, many for the first time in history. To help advocates and legislators understand how this transition would affect access to HIV treatment and services, CHLPI modeled this transition, examining the numbers that would qualify for different subsidies or benefits under the new law, as well as how new plans would compare to Ryan White funded services and prescription drugs.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) hired CHLPI to provide guidance on state and federal privacy laws applying to the creation of a state EMR HiWay (a portal that will connect all hospitals and providers across the state, regardless of the interoberability of EMR systems). In spring 2013, CHLPI produced privacy recommendations for EOHHS based on provider practices, the law, and the capacity of the system. CHLPI is now drafting guidance for healthcare providers relating to obtaining patient consent to opt into the new state HiWay.