Medicaid Programs Failing to Provide Poor with AIDS DrugsMedicaid programs in the four states with the largest AIDS populations -- California, Florida, New York and Texas -- are failing to provide access to treatment for many AIDS patients, according to a government-funded study by the University of California-San Francisco's AIDS Research Institute. Researchers investigated programs in the four states to determine "how many patients with HIV and AIDS had the proper prescriptions filled based on federal treatment guidelines. "Preliminary findings suggest that among the four states, Texas has the worst record, with nearly two-thirds of its patients not receiving necessary AIDS medication, the AP/Boston Globe reports. Other findings include:
- Among state Medicaid programs, fewer than 40% of Texas patients received "proper drugs." California exhibited a "slightly higher" rate. In Florida, about 50% of Medicaid patients received necessary drugs. In New York, "just over half" of the patients were receiving necessary treatment.
- In the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, designed to assist low-income, uninsured HIV-positive individuals, "overall numbers were higher [compared to Medicaid] in all states, partly because the program is designed to pay for AIDS drugs, whereas Medicaid is a full health insurance program." In Texas, "just over half" of patients in ADAP received proper drugs, compared to about two-thirds of ADAP patients in California and Florida. About 75% of New York ADAP patients were receiving necessary treatment.