1. What mechanisms will Department of Health use to distribute funding?
The HIV Client Services Program has developed a formula for awarding case management funding next year. A request for proposals (RFP) for case management will be released in November 2010 with funding to start April 1, 2011. The HIV Prevention Program will finalize funding priorities and granting mechanisms after its community input sessions have been completed in late August. For competitive HIV prevention funds, an RFP will be released early next year with funding to start on July 1, 2011.
2. How will local health jurisdictions (LHJs), community-based organizations and community members be involved in ongoing decision-making?
Collaboration and ongoing communication is essential to creating an effective system of HIV service delivery in Washington. Currently, Department of Health is convening community input sessions around the state to hear from partners about EHB 2360 implementation. Input collected from these sessions will directly influence the way Department of Health implements 2360. Department of Health also has a statewide HIV Prevention Planning Group and an Early Intervention Program Steering Committee that provide regular feedback to Department of Healthon priorities related to service delivery. The Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS is also an important mechanism for influencing decision-making. Moving forward, these groups will play an important role in providing ongoing input that reflects the diversity of the state.
3. What standards and criteria will Department of Health use to determine future funding priorities?
First and foremost, Department of Health will target resources to reach clients through direct service provision. Department of Health will work to make funding follow epidemiological trends in order to reach communities most impacted by HIV in the state, including gay and bisexual men, African Americans and Latinos. Department of Health will target funding to essential services, such as HIV testing, partner services and case management, so these services are available to individuals across the state. Finally, Department of Health will support its partners, meaningfully evaluate programs and promote accountability.
4. What principles will Department of Health use to make decisions about EHB 2360 implementation?
Department of Health has identified four principles to guide its approach to implementing EHB 2360. First, Department of Health is committed to maximizing service delivery to clients in an era of diminishing resources. Second, Department of Health will work with its partners to reframe the state’s response to HIV to ensure those most at risk for and those living with HIV are served effectively. Third, Department of Health will promote reinvigorated efforts to reduce new HIV infections in the state and to ensure all Washingtonians living with HIV are provided with quality care and treatment services. Fourth, Department of Health will leverage existing practices and relationships to strengthen future programs and services.
5. What are the benefits and challenges of EHB 2360?
EHB 2360 creates a centralized system of administration, planning and coordination at the state level. Doing so will allow Department of Health to reduce administrative costs, find efficiencies in existing systems and maximize service delivery to clients. Like any big change, EHB 2360 challenges all of us to examine the way we do business and make tough decisions, particularly during tough economic times. In the future, this may mean that funding is distributed in different ways, that some stakeholders will be asked to play new roles and that some activities may no longer be a priority. Even so, we believe that EHB 2360 offers us an unprecedented opportunity to critically examine our work, make important improvements and have a more meaningful impact on the HIV epidemic in Washington.
6. What is Engrossed House Bill 2360 (EHB 2360)?
EHB 2360 changes the way HIV service delivery is administered in the state by eliminating the six regional AIDSNETs. To replace the AIDSNETs, the bill directs the Washington State Department of Health to fund HIV services directly, including HIV testing and case management. EHB 2360 passed the Washington State Legislature on March 16, 2010 and takes effect on January 1, 2011.