Monday, April 10, 2006

Positive Voices, ADAP, Part D

Just got a notice that the good folks in Positive Voices (Fort Worth) will be having a "townhall" meeting this Thursday to talk about Medicare Part D for Texas' ADAP clients (details below). Among the interesting things (to me) about the meeting is that the manager of the Texas ADAP program will attend.

Dwayne Haught (the manager) does this now and then, so it's not unusual nor overly concerning. It does concern us, however, when we ask about how much time the staff at the Texas HIV Medication Program is having to devote to the transition to Medicare Part D. It's a lot.

First there were the dual eligibles--people who were eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid whose income was at or below 100 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). These folks were "automatically" enrolled in Medicare prescription benefit plans and dropped from Medicaid coverage on January 1. Except, of course, they had to be returned to Medicaid support when the Medicare program became such a debacle. On April 1, they were shifted back to Medicare (as payor). Through all of this, the Texas HIV Medication Program stood fast: all clients were continued in the program until their status in Medicare Part D was clearly resolved. That often took several hours of staff time for each client; there were 1800 of these clients to be assisted.

Still it does not end for we also have "partial dual eligibles"--people who are eligible for Medicare and some (but not full) assistance from Medicaid whose income is at or below 130 percent and 150 percent of FPG. These folks were not automatically enrolled in Medicare. Instead they must choose the best plan for them, and they must do so by May 15.

There are several hundreds of these clients, and I am told that the number grows each week as THMP continues to identify eligible clients. Dwayne is in Fort Worth and the rest of the small staff at THMP are hustling on this because there are threats from HRSA (Health Resources Services Administration, the funding source for the Ryan White CARE Act) that all of the dual and partial dual eligible clients must be removed from ADAP programs on May 15.

Good for Positive Voices that they are working proactively to help their members meet that deadline. Here's the townhall info:
Thursday, April 13th
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Celebrations Community Church
908 Pennsylvania Avenue
Fort Worth
All non- PVC members are asked to RSVP (for dinner count).

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