In April, MODERN HEALTHCARE reported on a new managed-care approach to treating publicly supported AIDS patients in Southern California (April 17, p. 21). The effort, known as Positive Healthcare, is beginning to attract additional hospitals.
Six months after it was launched by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation of Los Angeles, the program is expanding outside its original group of five hospitals to add St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif. The foundation expects the 415-bed facility to be the first of many hospitals to join the capitated AIDS program.
"This is the first time we've contracted with another ongoing AIDS program outside of our in-house staff model," said Marie Flores Clarke, director of managed care at the foundation.
Positive Healthcare got off the ground in April after the foundation signed a $26 million contract with California to provide care for 1,000 catastrophically ill AIDS patients from the state's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal. Through its network of hospital-affiliated clinics, the foundation assumes the risk that the payment from Medi-Cal will cover the costs for whatever the patients need.
"This is a unique program; we are treating really sick patients," Clarke said. "You show me a managed-care program that loses 25% of their people to death every year."
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with $13.5 million in revenues. With the affiliation of St. Mary, between 100 and 150 enrollees will be added to the nearly 300 AIDS patients already in the program. It owns and operates five outpatient clinics and two 25-bed residential hospices for people with AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The clinics are located on hospital campuses in Los Angeles County. The affiliated hospitals are 299-bed Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, 924-bed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and 301-bed California Hospital Medical Center, all in Los Angeles; 105-bed Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Hospital and Health Center; and 403-bed Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital, Inglewood.
Eventually, enrollment could exceed 2,500 patients, based on the number of participating clinics and affiliated hospitals.