AIDSWatch 2010 086
AIDSWatch 2010 086

Current Projects

WHOLE PERSON CARE

  • Food is Medicine State and Federal Legislative Advocacy

CHLPI advocates for integrating medically-tailored nutrition services into health care delivery and financing. At the national level, CHLPI is a policy advisor to the Food is Medicine Coalition, a group of nonprofits that provide medically-tailored meals to individuals with severe health conditions. CHLPI is also working to develop a national advocacy strategy for Mainstreaming Produce Prescription (Rx) Programs. At the state level in Massachusetts, CHLPI co-leads a coalition of health care providers, payers, and community-based organizations engaged in implementation of the Massachusetts Food is Medicine State Plan. CHLPI works with external partners and legislative champions to drive legislative action on nutrition and health care policy at both the federal and state level.

  • Scaling Innovations to Address the Social Determinants of Health

This is a project of CHLPI’s Social Determinants of Health Law Lab, a special endeavor that nurtures innovations that address social determinants of health, and examines the legal, regulatory, and policy implications of integrating these interventions into health care delivery and financing. Priorities have included working with clients to navigate the complex legal landscape and resolve barriers to scaling innovative health care solutions, exploring policy reform to support the integration of social services into health care delivery and financing.

  • Public Health and the Environment: Radon Edition

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, with roughly 20,000 Americans dying of lung cancer stemming from radon exposure each year. In many states, residents are either unaware of the risk of exposure (due to nonexistent or weak testing and disclosure laws) or aware but unable to lessen exposure (due to nonexistent or weak mitigation requirements).  Together with partner organizations, CHLPI is developing tools for advocates to identify the limits of state policies, as well as model reforms to address this issue and improve health equity.

  • Community Approaches to Reducing Sugar Consumption

Diets high in sugar are associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. These are all diet-related health conditions that take a serious toll on quality of life and have a significant impact on the cost of health care. In this project, CHLPI and its Health and Food Law and Policy Clinics work together to empower communities across the country to implement policies that reduce consumption of sugar.

  • Racism as the Underlying Health Condition

Many prominent voices in health care and public health policy have recognized that structural racism is a root cause of health disparities in this country. CHLPI believes that to meaningfully address health disparities, we must act to dismantle systems of oppression within and extending beyond the health care system and the traditional purview of public health. Through this project, CHLPI examines current antiracist policy proposals, exploring possible interactions with and implications for health, health care and public health.

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

  • Federal Health Care Policy Analysis, Coalition Building, and Advocacy

CHLPI leads several national coalitions, including the Chronic Illness and Disability Partnership and the HIV Health Care Access Working Group, organized around issues of federal health care access, with a focus on the care and treatment needs of people with low income and living with HIV, cancer, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Current priority issues include challenging Trump Administration proposals to restructure state Medicaid programs by allowing for work requirements or drug testing, or by instituting capitated or block-grant financing systems. CHLPI’s federal health care work also involves promoting federal policy and legislation to ensure comprehensive access to care and treatment, such as efforts to secure widespread access Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (or PrEP), in an effort to dramatically reduce the transmission of HIV and realize the goals of the recently announced Ending the HIV Epidemic campaign. Looking to the future, CHLPI is developing proposed regulatory pathways for future administrations to promote more equitable access to care.

  • Strengthening State-Based Health Insurance Coverage

The Affordable Care Act and other health reforms have significantly improved the availability of affordable private health insurance through state Marketplaces. Despite this progress, individuals living with chronic illness and disabilities continue to face significant cost and coverage burdens as a result of discrimination in health insurance plan benefit design. Within this project, CHLPI has created a multi-year, multi-state data project that calculates the “value” of a health care plan to a person living with chronic illness and proposes ways this methodology can be used in the enforcement of nondiscrimination law. CHLPI has also conducted state-specific research and advocacy that supports expanded access to health care, that strengthens Medicaid expansion campaigns in states that have yet to take this step, and that encourages state officials to conduct more rigorous reviews of discriminatory insurance plans.

  • Policy Support for Health Care System Stakeholders

CHLPI provides policy support to clients across the country who are engaged in projects and initiatives that increase equity in health care delivery and financing and public health infrastructure. Past and present projects have responded to disparities in access to care and quality of care for individuals with a range of health conditions, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Transgender Health Care Rights

Transgender and gender-nonconforming communities regularly face discrimination in health care settings and often lack access to affordable, high-quality health care coverage that includes gender-affirming care. CHLPI is engaged in work to strengthen protections in health care settings (focusing on insurance and state-level administrative protections), pursuing traditional methods of enforcement through advocacy and litigation that eliminate discriminatory insurance policies, and helping to expand access to gender-affirming care in rural areas.

  • Hepatitis C Grassroots Advocacy

Newly developed direct-acting antiviral drugs can cure up to 99% of people living with hepatitis C—one of the deadliest communicable diseases in the United States. While the price of the cure has dropped dramatically over the past several years, many state Medicaid programs continue to implement unprecedented treatment access restrictions. These restrictions violate federal law. CHLPI partners with the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) to highlight the extent of the problem and to animate advocacy campaigns to eliminate discriminatory coverage practices in Medicaid and the Corrections health care programs of various states.

  • Hepatitis C Impact Litigation

CHLPI is engaged in a state-by-state impact litigation campaign to fight restrictive Hepatitis C Medicaid policies. The work of this project is typified by B.E. v. Teeter, No. C16-227-JCC, 2016 WL 3033500 (W.D. Wash. May 27, 2016), a decision by a federal district court ordering Washington to strike its Medicaid policy of imposing disease severity requirements for HCV treatment. CHLPI continues this campaign with litigation in other states.

  • Protecting Public Health in Massachusetts

CHLPI is a consultant to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (BIDLS), which encompasses, among others, the state’s HIV, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted infections public health bureaus. CHLPI analyzes health care laws, policies, and industry practices that are of interest to BIDLS, and advances frameworks that promote access to health care and public health in Massachusetts.

  • Health Care Policy During the Covid-19 Pandemic

CHLPI is working with other national organizations and on-the-ground partners to identify, analyze and promote policy priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Focus areas in this portfolio include ensuring access to medication, promoting access to care through Medicaid, amplifying LGBTQ+ resources, and expanding access to telehealth services.

Additionally, CHLPI works in its home state to amplify and advocate for equitable public health responses to COVID-19, including serving as a member of the Massachusetts Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity.

  • Reproductive and Sexual Health: Federal and State Advocacy

CHLPI advocates to protect and strengthen reproductive and sexual health care access through a range of strategies, including the provision of technical assistance to reproductive health provider organizations, engaging the federal government on proposed regulations through the public comment process, and providing law and policy analysis and advocacy support to community and clinical partners.