Medicaid managed care reimbursement for HIV and its implications for access to care.Am J Manag Care. 2000 Sep; 6(9):990-9.AJ
The rapid growth of managed care in state Medicaid programs has raised concerns about access to care for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWH). Even the highest capitation rates that most programs pay to managed care organizations (MCOs) for disabled enrollees are substantially lower than the costs of care, especially when costly protease inhibitor therapy is taken into account. A national study has shown that Medicaid beneficiaries did not have the same level of access to protease inhibitors as did privately insured HIV patients in 1996 and 1997. Low capitation rates can limit access to care for PLWH by discouraging MCOs from having experienced HIV physicians on their provider panels and from enrolling PLWH. Since 1997, however, Medicaid programs in several states have adopted strategies to reduce the financial risks facing MCOs caring for PLWH and enrollees with other high-cost conditions. These strategies include global health-based (risk-adjusted) payment systems, AIDS-specific reimbursement rates, carve outs from capitation rates for medications and other services, risk pools for high-cost enrollees, risk corridors, and stop-loss insurance policies through which Medicaid programs share financial liability with MCOs for catastrophic losses. In addition, several programs have developed HIV centers of excellence. Most state Medicaid programs have yet to adopt any of these strategies. However, the growing numbers and types of experimental approaches to capitating services for PLWH may provide models for other states whose low reimbursement rates currently limit access to care.