Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stand Up for Medicaid Beneficiaries

Contact your New York State Assembly Member and Senator today and tell them to stand up for Medicaid beneficiaries.
Ask them to correct harmful changes to Medicaid in the Governor Cuomo’s budget that would impose barriers to beneficiaries and reduce access to care. Click here to find out how!
  1. Requiring prior authorization for exempt classes of drugs such as HIV/AIDS anti-retrovirals, anti-psychotics, anti-rejection drugs and anti-depressants that are exempt. In the case of HIV, the most effective drugs are relatively new and still under patent.  Removing the exemption will create an additional layer of bureaucracy and delay patient access to necessary drugs.  It will limit doctors’ ability to prescribe the best latest treatment to their patients.  
  2. Changes to the Preferred Drug List that would remove "provider prevails" patient protections.  This change would take decision-making power away from doctors who know their patients best.  Removing these protections would result in delayed treatment as prescribers would need to provide clinical justification for a non-preferred drug and wait for prior authorization.
  3. The elimination of the “Part D Wrap” in Medicaid for dually eligible beneficiaries.  Elimination of the wrap would mean that beneficiaries would have to pay out-of-pocket for any prescription that is not covered by Medicaid Part D. The result would be that beneficiaries would not be able to access needed medications.
  4. A two percent uniform across-the-board reduction in reimbursement for providers. This change would adversely affect client access to services because fewer providers would accept Medicaid beneficiaries.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Joan Tisch: Face to Face With a Living Legend 

by Marjorie J. Hill, CEO of Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)

"I have known several people afflicted with AIDS, some of whom have died, and I would like to be of service." ~ Joan Tisch

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, what do you say when you gaze directly into the eyes of a living legend, an icon of enormous generosity and humanity who has had so much impact on so many lives? There are one thousand butterflies fiercely beating in your stomach, a tear forming in your left eye; you get yourself together to proudly say: "Joan Tisch, I am honored to present to you the Inaugural Judy Peabody Humanitarian Award." And to the audience that rises in an ovation of applause you say: "Live like her." 
To read the full article, click here...
(This article also appeared in Huffington Post on March 11, 2011)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"We're Not Dolls! Don't Play With Women's Lives!"

On Thursday, March 10 (National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day), teams of volunteers and staff distributed HIV prevention materials to thousands of New Yorkers.  Despite the rain and wind, these teams were outside in five locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, talking to people about testing, safer sex and GMHC's services, particularly for women.  After the outreach effort, the teams gathered at GMHC to share about their experiences.  Most of the team members were struck by people's reactions to the signs they wore which had current and alarming statistics about HIV, women and girls in NYC such as:
  • One in three New Yorkers living with HIV is a woman
  • 90% of women living with HIV are Black or Hispanic
  • 94% of teenage females living with HIV are Black or Hispanic
Many thanks to our volunteers and staff for their enthusiasm and help.  For more information about HIV/AIDS statistics on women and girls in NYC, please click here.