HHS has supported the development of a toolkit that can help state Medicaid programs and health departments to work together to improve viral suppression rates among people living with HIV, making them healthier and preventing new HIV infections. Advocates may be interested in this as well so that they can use this information to work with officials in their state to develop or adapt programs that have benefitted people living with HIV in other states.
Did you know that Medicaid is the largest source of health care coverage for people living with HIV in the U.S.? Well, it is. According to a 2017 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 4 in 10 people living with HIV receive Medicaid . This means it can be a key tool in national efforts to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, reduce HIV-related disparities, and reduce new HIV infections. Collaboration between state Medicaid and health department HIV programs is integral to providing high-quality, comprehensive healthcare to people living with HIV so they can achieve and maintain viral suppression, improve their health, and prevent transmitting HIV to others.
To promote collaboration and partnership between Medicaid and state health departments to implement policy and program changes that will help people living with HIV achieve and maintain viral suppression, the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) has developed a toolkit to provide state officials with the resources to help reach this goal. The toolkit, State Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes for People Living with HIV , includes issue briefs and presentations that offer state officials valuable tools and resources about sharing and utilizing data, collaborating with stakeholders, and making policy and program changes to improve the overall health of people living with HIV.
Recent additions to the toolkit reflect lessons from the HIV Health Improvement Affinity Group, which offered support to state Medicaid and health department officials working together to improve rates of sustained viral suppression among Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries living with HIV. The 19 states that elected to participate in the Affinity Group received 12 months of technical assistance (October 2016 – October 2017) to develop and implement quality improvement projects to improve viral suppression among beneficiaries.
The Affinity Group was a joint initiative among the following Department of Health and Human Services agencies: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in collaboration with the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, and in partnership with the National Academy for State Health Policy. NASHP’s development of the issue briefs and other items in the toolkit was supported through a cooperative agreement with HRSA.