Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Shout OUT

Just in case you haven't noticed, there's hate in the land of the free and home of the brave. Yes friends it appears that the apex moment in the movie,"Network," is full filling itself in town hall meetings, street corners, coffee shops, steps of municipal buildings and maybe in your own living room. America's hopping mad and it seems like they ain't gonna take it no more or will they? The sounds of angst is echoing across the country like a scorned women or bad train wreck and we all can't help but stop and stare. Meanwhile, in Central City there's some wagging tongues and fingers as well. Of course, we stand ready to keep it real and stay on point!

HIV/AIDS in Arkansas:
Dollars and Sensibilities

CorneliusOnpoint has made a continuing effort to offer updates, news bites, break through and commentary on the HIV/AIDS health dilemma in this state. Recently, the Arkansas Health Department forwarded letters to a group clients notifying them of recent changes to the Ryan White Program and ADAP eligibility thresholds. The letters concluded that the clients use of these services would be terminated December 31, 2009, but would receive assistance via their individual case worker or ADH support staff for alternatives. This forum cited these impending changes in our interview with Kevin Dedner whom stated that such changes were necessary due to a variety of factors including flat lined Congressional budgeting, increased enrollments, and other associated costs which have affected the program across the board. During that interview, Dedner also alluded that the department has had problematic policies and procedures which he inherited and is now attempting to address. As Dedner continued to outline the timeline of the department, I was personally shaken at what I considered "ebbing and flowing," of strategies, implementations, reporting, and oversight measures. However and unfortunately those concerns are water under the bridge in lieu of the current stage of the Ryan White and ADAP programs today which will suffer some additional funding shortfall during the next fiscal year. One of the major tenet's of the changes is the Federal Poverty Level stipulation which has been moved to 200 percent as oppose to the 500 percent rate. After using a handy online FPL gadget this amounts to $17,800 yearly or $1,480 a month. In the breakdown, the average hourly rate would bounce around $9 an hour for a 40 hour work week. Therefore, individuals beyond this threshold most likely would not qualify, therefore this caveat has far reaching probabilities. Especially those who have already been alerted and those to come. Brotha's & Sista's, Living with/ Affected By has secured some PAP( patient assistance programs) forms and is preparing to be of assistance for end users. ADH will also have some designates to facilitate paperwork. Yet to add to this mix, these programs have rigid qualifications and distinct guidelines that require steady monitoring. Plus there are a lack of sources for lab work, dental needs or other costly measures associated with long term regimens. As I've read some comments and rants concerning this issue, it's apparent that their has been some complacency and I've been further rattled as I've learned some of those designated "caseworkers" also seem to be not on the same page with ADH as this determination has unfolded. For myself, this is not a good sign of things to come if this roll out becomes a Key Stone Cop bit. We'll keep our ear to the ground and eyes open wide as this whole affair takes shape. For assistance with medicines, patients can contact the Partnership for Prescription Assistance at 1-888-4PPA-Now or Also, check with HWPA at 501. 666.8322, AAF and the Arkansas Health Department. Got some backtalk, leave it in the comment section.

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