In the past few years, many public health programs have been changing their usual way of doing business to become more efficient while still delivering high quality products.  Our AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) is a federally-funded program that delivers life-saving medicine to low-income folks living with HIV/AIDS.  Our team created a new program called ADAP-Assist that delivers increased services at a lower cost.  Basically, we’re shifting from using our federal funds to buy medicine to using the federal funds to buy the new Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan health insurance for eligible clients instead of using all their funds for meds.

The combined cost of premiums, co-pays and deductibles is about ½ the price of what the program had paid for medicine alone. These changes (implemented over the last 5 months or so) have turned a $1.5M shortfall at this time last year into a surplus of more than $1M.  The even better news is that this is also great for the clients.  ADAP-Assist participants have access to a wider range of medications than they did before and clients who are eligible for insurance also receive complete health insurance coverage at minimal to no cost.  This means the clients can use a whole range of prevention and specialty care services that were not previously available to them.  The savings generated can also extend to all clients by providing additional resources to the program that allow for more individuals to be enrolled.

This is a great example of using creative thinking to increase program outcomes and public health benefits while minimizing costs.  Thanks Rob Bailey and team- you’re truly creative professionals.