FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2013
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.org
ADAP Enrolling and Serving More Clients than Ever Before; Future Funding Uncertain
Washington, DC – Today, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released the second and final module of its 2013 National ADAP Monitoring Project Annual Report. The National ADAP Monitoring Project is NASTAD’s long-standing effort to document new developments and challenges facing AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), assessing key trends over time and providing the latest available data on the status of ADAPs. For the last 18 years, NASTAD has provided comprehensive analysis about ADAPs through The Report.
This year, NASTAD released the report in two installments. Module Two, which is being released today, provides updated ADAP enrollment information and highlights ADAPs’ progress towards the implementation of health reform. Included in this Module is a tool for ADAPs to use in preparing for health reform. Action steps are identified to assist ADAPs in identifying state decision makers and assembling necessary program information and data to inform conversations and next steps. Despite a tough economic climate and shifting funding, ADAPs enrolled and served more clients that ever before during FY2012. ADAPs also continue to move forward with health reform implementation by engaging in conversations with Medicaid programs on expansion planning, working with Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIP) on ADAP client enrollment and transition planning for post-health reform implementation and programmatic changes.
Module One, released in January, includes detailed information related to ADAP budgets, client enrollment and utilization, client demographics, prescription distribution and payment methods, expenditures and prescriptions filled, insurance coordination, program eligibility, program management and administration, ADAP formulary coverage and hepatitis treatment coverage. These modules will be combined into a final, comprehensive report later this year.
ADAP continues to play a crucial role in ensuring and maintaining access to care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), which is an important part of achieving the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and filling coverage gaps as implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) moves forward. ADAP’s role in providing medications to PLWHA is also essential for optimizing outcomes and preventing new infections, as illustrated in the prevention to care continuum.
“While the data in this year’s Report paints a picture of a resilient and flexible national program, many states continue to experience increased stress as demand for services outpaces available funding resources,” noted Julie Scofield, NASTAD’s Executive Director. “ADAP remains a vital safety net program for those disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic, especially communities of color, and it is imperative that we continue pushing for the critical funding needed to eliminate waiting lists and continue providing access to life-saving care and treatment for clients.”
The House and Senate passed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the federal government for the rest of FY2013. President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. The bill does not affect the implementation of sequestration, which will result in automatic cuts of at least five percent to ADAPs and could result in an estimated 15,708 clients losing ADAP services.
Additionally, the $35 million for ADAP Emergency Relief Funding (ERF) that President Obama announced on World AIDS Day 2011 is not included in the bill. The ERF for Ryan White Part C is also not included. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) retains transfer authority and NASTAD is working with the administration to secure replacement of that loss of funding through that authority. If this anomaly is not corrected, this funding will not be available for states during FY2013 and could result in up to 8,000 individuals being disenrolled from ADAP. It is also then likely that funding levels for other ERF awards from previous years would shift greatly. In response, the HIV community is organizing a sign-on letter to the President urging him to restore the funding in order to ensure continuation of care and treatment for thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS.
The current fiscal challenges facing the nation pose threats to access to life-saving medications for PLWHA through ADAP. Work must continue through a three-pronged approach that includes securing additional resources for ADAPs from the federal government; maintaining, restoring, and increasing resources for ADAPs from state governments; and, continuing pricing agreements between ADAPs and pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide financial stability and augmenting existing agreements, when applicable.
Learn more about ADAP here.
The National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), founded in 1992, is a nonprofit national association of state and territorial health department HIV/AIDS program directors who have programmatic responsibility for administering HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and associated public health programs. NASTAD works to strengthen the role and promote the success of state and territorial public health programs in the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit www.NASTAD.org.