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August 2009
Vol. 19 No. 8
Policy and Advocacy
IDSA, HIVMA Outline Health Care Reform Priorities

IDSA continues to work to ensure that ID and HIV/AIDS priorities are addressed in health care reform. Earlier this month, IDSA sent a letter to all members of Congress outlining priorities it would like included in any final version of reform legislation. These priorities include: a minimum benefits package, expanded access to vaccines, reforms to the physician-payment system, coverage for home infusion therapy, a stronger federal approach to dealing with antimicrobial resistance, requiring national reporting of healthcare-associated infections, a focus on prevention and wellness, and medical liability reform. IDSA also endorsed recommendations from the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), which sent a letter to all House and Senate members highlighting HIVMA’s top health care reform priorities. Visit this page on IDSA’s website and this page on HIVMA’s site for more information about the organizations’ health care reform advocacy efforts.

Other IDSA advocacy efforts include:

  • The Society wrote a letter to the heads of the federal agencies that make up the Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance urging them to quickly issue a revised action plan to combat the problem of drug-resistant pathogens. The letter called for the inclusion of meaningful benchmarks and for the agencies to make the revised plan’s funding a priority.
  • HIVMA submitted comments supporting a proposal from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that would start the process of removing HIV infection from the list of diseases that exclude individuals from traveling or immigrating to the United States. As part of the proposal, mandatory HIV testing would no longer be required during the medical screening process that some immigrants must undergo.
  • IDSA and HIVMA submitted comments in response to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The comments addressed several issues raised in CMS’ proposal, including the proposed elimination of payments for the consultation codes used by many ID physicians, starting in 2010 (see IDSA News article). The final rule is scheduled for release in November.

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