NEW YORK-Substance abuse will be the leading means of HIV and AIDS transmission in New York City during the next five years. That's one of the findings in a new report compiled by United Way of New York City in connection with the city's Human Resources Administration and other agencies. The report provides an overview of social policy and issues concerning the AIDS epidemic in New York City. It also contains a directory of health and social services available throughout the city. In the 1993-1994 fiscal year, United Way of New York City will provide $67.9 million in financial support to more than 600 health and human services agencies, including hospitals, charitable groups and service organizations.
NEW YORK-Bellevue Hospital Center has joined with five community-based organizations to improve methods for tuberculosis screening and treatment. The coalition's program is supported by a three-year, $1.15 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a Princeton, N.J.-based philanthropy. "Our goal is to catch patients who, in the past, have fallen between the cracks," said Neil Schluger, M.D. He is chief of Bellevue's chest clinic and "directly observed therapy" program for TB patients taking medication for the disease. The coalition will train multilingual workers to detect patients with TB, get them diagnosed and see them through treatment. The program also will help with non-medical services, such as methadone maintenance, housing, meals and vocational training.
LATHAM, N.Y.-Ten of New York's HMOs have formed an electronic claims processing network-a project endorsed by the New York State Health Maintenance Organization Council in Latham. The network has contracted with two independent claims clearinghouses-Cooperative Healthcare Networks in Atlanta and National Electronic Information Corp. in Secaucus, N.J.-to handle claims collection and transmission. Providers can submit any type of claim for payment, check benefits eligibility and receive electronic payment remittances. Payers will cover the cost of claims transmission, about 15 to 35 cents per claim, said Susan Mosich, project leader at Preferred Care of Rochester and Albany. The service is being introduced in the Albany area now and will be implemented statewide by mid-year. It is intended to compete with an electronic claims clearinghouse started by six Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans last year (Aug. 16, 1993, p. 19). The participating HMOs serve more than 1.6 million New Yorkers and have agreements with 15,000 physicians and 200 hospitals.