Update on Social Security Disability Benefits for People Living with HIV

The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers are pleased to post this update on Social Security disability benefits, including the revised medical listings for HIV-related disabilities as well as the agency’s intent to now conduct Continuing Disability Reviews on HIV claims.  The update is based on information gathered from Social Security Administration personnel; and other key informants including disability advocates and attorneys.  A link to the Duke University Law School Health Justice Clinic is provided for those interested in more detailed information on these changes. If you would like a copy of the fact sheet that you can customize for your own ... [Read More];

Tens of Thousands of Californians Living With HIV Would be Impacted by Medicaid Cuts Under the Senate Health Bill

There are over 126,000 people living and diagnosed with HIV (PLWH) in California and approximately 5,000 new infections each year. Access to quality, affordable health care is critical to improving the health of PLWH and preventing new infections. Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid program, provided health coverage to 45,033 PLWH in 2014. The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would make significant cuts to Medicaid and fundamentally alter how the program is structured and financed. These changes would limit Medi-Cal's ability to care for PLWH and have a detrimental impact on California's efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

AB1534 will potentially increase preventative care & screening for people living with HIV

A bill recently introduced in the California legislature (AB1534) seeks to better integrate HIV treatment with primary care by requiring state-regulated health insurance plans to permit HIV specialists to be primary care providers if the HIV specialist requests primary care provider status and meets the health plan’s eligibility criteria for all specialists seeking primary care provider status. Our results confirm that patients treated by providers we deemed to be HIV specialists are more likely to receive guideline-consistent HIV care and are equally if not more likely to receive primary preventive services as compared to patients treated by non-specialists. Even among ... [Read More];

Patients’ Perceptions and Experiences of Shared Decision-Making in Primary HIV Care Clinics

Shared decision-making (SDM) is considered best practice in health care. Prior studies have explored attitudes and barriers/facilitators to SDM, though few have focused on HIV care. We interviewed 53 patients in HIV primary care clinics in California to understand the factors and situations that may promote or hinder engagement in SDM. This manuscript, published in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, reports on the findings from these interviews and raises considerations to make when applying SDM in the context of HIV care.

Navigating Behavioral Healthcare for Low-Income Californians Living with HIV

This diagram illustrates the pathways that a low-income person living with HIV and in need of behavioral health services might follow through the healthcare system in California. Based on interviews with key informants and service providers in 2015-2016, the figure highlights how services could be provided according to the individual’s insurance coverage and level of acuity of their behavioral health needs. The information sheet also features the various funding streams that can be used to cover behavioral health services.

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