February 6, 2012
Concerns over increasing needs and decreasing resources and funding are key findings from the Second Annual HealthHIV State of HIV Primary Care survey. The survey uncovers concerns about the readiness of the HIV workforce and its ability to treat the growing number of people living with HIV, including an estimated 600,000-800,000 HIV-positive people set to be covered by the 2014 expansion of Medicaid.
"The survey reveals that reimbursement for HIV services is a major factor between the HIV workforce and number of people needing HIV care. Among HIV treatment providers, two-thirds report an increase in their HIV caseloads and more than a third report inadequate reimbursement as a barrier to expanding their practices. As demand for HIV care providers continues to increase, new HIV care providers are scarce. Twenty-two percent of primary care providers cite reimbursement as a significant barrier to providing HIV services," according to the survey summary.
"The competing concerns of increasing HIV caseloads and decreasing funding are placing stress on the landscape of HIV care. If we hope to continue meeting the needs of people living with HIV, and prevent its spread, we must increase HIV-related education and training of primary care providers," said HealthHIV Executive Director Brian Hujdich. "We are approaching full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and more needs to be done to increase access to quality HIV care, including augmenting the specialist workforce with primary care providers who screen for and treat HIV disease -- what HealthHIV terms the 'HIV Primary Care Provider.'"
In addition to the disparity between need and resources, the survey also identified trends about testing, treatment and barriers to care.
To read more survey results, go to www.healthhiv.org/modules/info/files/files_4f23133a3e093.pdf.
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