HIV+Hep in the News

Updated CMS guidance on long-acting PrEP needed, advocates say

“If Trump is re-elected President, we would hope he will support increases in order to fund the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative (program) he launched,” Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, said in a statement to Inside Health Policy. “The Senate will most likely proceed in a bipartisan fashion, which bodes well for us. But we realize the situation we are in and will continue to educate members on both sides of the aisle on the importance of funding domestic HIV programs.”

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White House urged to expand PrEP coverage for injectable form

“Long-acting PrEP can be the answer to low PrEP uptake, particularly in communities not using PrEP today,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “The Biden administration has an opportunity to ensure that people with private insurance can access PrEP now and into the future, free of any cost-sharing, with properly worded guidance to insurers.”

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LGBTQ Agenda: House GOP proposes no funding for HIV program once touted by Trump

Carl Schmid, a gay man who is executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Institute, slammed the proposals. “Instead of providing new investments in ending HIV by increasing funding for testing, prevention programs, such as PrEP, and life-saving care and treatment, House Republicans are again choosing to go through a worthless exercise of cutting programs that the American people depend on and will never pass,” he stated.

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CMS proposes no-cost hep B vaccinations, new fee schedule for preventive drugs like PrEP

In a statement to Inside Health Policy, HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute Executive Director Carl Schmid said including PrEP in the Medicare reimbursement schedules is positive. “It does, however, add to the list of complexities for clinicians and pharmacists, who are currently providing PrEP in Part D and will have to quickly pivot to billing Part B. As we have repeatedly reminded CMS, the process to make that change is very complex and the clock is ticking,” Schmid said. The risk is a disruption in current PrEP users and Schmid hopes CMS will increase education. “We are doing our best to educate the field, but hope CMS will be doing the same. They agree with us, we cannot have any disruption to current PrEP users as part of this transition. Needless to say, clinics and pharmacies across the country have lots to prepare for and obtain the necessary approvals in just a couple of months,” Schmid said.

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House committee cuts HIV, increases hepatitis funding In approps bill

Carl Schmid wrote a letter to lawmakers to lawmakers opposing the cuts, saying HIV cases are dropping and saving the health care system money. “Between 2008 and 2022, HIV incidence decreased by 23 percent and averted over $33 billion in healthcare costs. In the South, where over half of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative priority jurisdictions are located, estimated new HIV infections decreased 16 percent between 2018 and 2022,” he wrote.

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