Via the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
By Michael Wysolmerski, J.D. ’16
On January 12, 2015, I attended the 55th Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) in Washington, D.C. I attended the panel titled 2015 Healthcare Marketplace: A Review of Essential Health Benefits and Provider Networks. My supervisor at CHLPI, Carmel Shachar, presented on the panel, along with Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care, Melissa Harris, Acting Deputy Director of the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Brian Webb, Manager of Health Policy at the National Association for Insurance Commissioners.
I attended the panel as part of my work as a student in the Health Law and Policy Clinic of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI). This semester at CHLPI, I am working on the Speak Up project. The Speak Up project encourages consumers living with HIV to report issues they are having with insurance as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented to advocates. Some of the data used in Carmel’s presentation was drawn from Speak Up activities.
The panel was extremely interesting because it demonstrated the difference in effectiveness of care in different parts of the country. Mr. Wirth started the panel with an uplifting presentation about Amida Care, a Medicaid Special Needs Plan for people with HIV in New York City. This Medicaid Managed Care Plan takes a holistic approach to providing HIV care, offering not only standard medical care but also whole person care services such as African dance classes and yoga classes. Amida Care includes a Member Advisory Council, which allows elected members to meet with the CEO, COO, Medical and Pharmacy Directors to make recommendations. Amida Care’s member participation struck me as refreshingly different than a normal insurance plan.
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