Updated policy statement to help health systems, insurers identify best qualified providers
Given advances in HIV research and clinical care, it is more important than ever that HIV-infected patients receive care and treatment from qualified medical providers. Updated guidance released this month by the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) is designed to help health systems, insurers, and institutions identify physicians who are best qualified to manage the care of these patients as health care reform is implemented.
“HIV infection is no longer a death sentence for those who are diagnosed early and connected with effective and ongoing care,” said HIVMA Chair Michael Horberg, MD, MAS, FIDSA. “Obtaining the best outcomes when managing this complex disease requires special medical expertise and ongoing professional development. HIVMA’s updated guidance is intended to help insurers and others in identifying providers with this expertise, particularly as more HIV-infected patients gain health coverage through health care reform.”
HIVMA’s updated policy statement includes recommended criteria for qualified HIV physicians based on patient management, continuing medical education, and board certification or significant clinical experience. Qualifications for non-physician health providers, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurse midwives, are also addressed, as are considerations for the management of pediatric patients infected with HIV and for providers in areas of lower HIV prevalence.
“Regardless of a physician’s specialty training, there is a large body of evidence that the two best predictors of high quality, cost-effective HIV care are patient management experience and ongoing professional development through HIV-related continuing medical education,” Dr. Horberg said. “The field of HIV care and treatment continues to advance rapidly, and continuing medical education in HIV is critical for providers to keep up to date on the latest developments.”
Originally developed in 2002 and updated in 2010, the revised HIVMA policy statement now also compiles resources to support quality HIV care, including clinical tools, such as quality measures to monitor HIV care and treatment, and guidelines for medical providers managing the care of HIV-infected patients in outpatient or clinic settings.
“Identifying Providers Qualified to Manage the Longitudinal Treatment of Patients with HIV Infection and Resources to Support Quality HIV Care” is available online.
The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) is the professional home for more than 5,000 physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice. For more information, visit www.hivma.org.
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