On April 7, 2011, on behalf of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy, I attended “A Bridge for ADAPs to 2014: A National Conversation,” an event hosted by Dr. E. Blaine Parrish, Associate Dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, DC. The purpose of this meeting was to bring together a broad range of stakeholders to discuss the anticipated impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and to identify options that will allow ADAPs to meet growing demands for services, in advance of the full implementation of ACA in 2014.
This important conversation took place among representatives from national and local HIV service organizations, state AIDS directors and coordinators, HIV clinicians, administrators from health care facilities, national ADAP experts, pharmaceutical industry representatives, and community advocates. The meeting covered topics revolving around implementation of the ACA, how ADAPs operate, and “environmental” changes on the horizon that will impact HIV/AIDS service delivery. With ADAPs continuing to experience increased demand, these types of conversations are critical to begin formulating how ADAPs will move forward within the context of the implementation of the ACA.
Highlights of the meeting included discussions around the anticipated health impacts of ACA on uninsured and underinsured individuals, ADAP funding needs, client medication access issues, other sources of coverage for ADAP clients, Ryan White Reauthorization in 2013, and efforts to address policy and program challenges. While many lingering questions remain, this meeting stimulated conversations on the many facets of the current ADAP situation and the Ryan White program reauthorization in light of the ACA. The meeting organizers promised to provide a summary of the discussion to share with others in the HIV community and the larger health care and policy communities.