Monday, December 20, 2004

Silent Night, Unsettling Nights in Arkansas

The stories surrounding the ADAP issue and subsequent investigations at the Arkansas Department of Health, continue to appear in the local Democrat Gazette and editoral page columinst such as Meredith Oakley are having a field day poking around the ruins of this mish mash of sorted doings. Meanwhile, those that are most likely to be affected seemingly sit idle, like fresh doe's caught in the headlights of an on coming car, not realizing what's going to hit them. According to Oakley, "critics" who state that the ADH's approach to assisting those deleted from the program and sent down the PAP hole in search of drug assistance may be overstating the situation, however, if the state can't seem to oversee invoicing procedures or actually defining program gudielines, what could you expect from office workers who will have to coordinate mountains of paper work in reference to a myraid of changing PAP regulations. These regulations vary from case to case and in some instances from patient to patient, depending upon product need and circumstances. It could be a dizzying array of follow-up, forms, income levels and timeliness, that undoubtly will cause some friction and treatment interruption. Ultimately, I question exactly who will be in charge of this task and what staffing will be put into place to hande the work load. Furthermore, I'm amazed at the finger pointing and lack of responsibility taken by superiors within the AIDS unit and up the chain of command to Director, Faye Boozemen. Apparently ,Ms. Thrower's "bosess" were delegators and "not in the loop" on activitites, goals or as some have whispered, not really interested in AIDS in Arkansas. In the meantime, the national publication, ADVOCATE, will be profiling this situation in a January 2005 issue and will attempt to disseminate how the system works and is it working. I suggest that some ADH officials as well as, affected patients may need to pick up a copy and take a gander to see if they can get some pointers.

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