Vivent Health Statement on the Texas HIV Medication Program Crisis
The Department of State Health Services came clean this week on the serious crisis facing tens of thousands of Texans living with HIV. The $100 million shortfall in the Texas HIV Medication Program threatens access to medicines for more than 20,000 people who rely on it for their very lives.
Providing medications for people with HIV is one of the best and most important strategies to achieve our collective goal to end the HIV epidemic. This program allows people to regain and maintain their health and employment, helps them achieve viral suppression that sustains their health and protects others from contracting HIV, and substantially reduces costs including Medicaid expenses and uncompensated care that drives up health care costs for Texans.
DSHS has acknowledged at the center of this crisis is a computer glitch that has cost the state $35 million and is leading it to consider strategies to limit access to and even kick people off the program. A computer glitch should never be the cause of people with HIV being denied life-saving medications.
People living with HIV and the taxpayers of Texas deserve far better. We look forward to working with DSHS, the administration and legislature to restore the proud history of this program and its success in saving lives, reducing costs and defeating the HIV pandemic.
This statement responds to the Texas HIV Medication Program’s $100 million budget deficit recently reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Left unaddressed, the deficit will adversely impact access to medications for more than 20,000 Texans living with HIV. Vivent Health remains agile in serving the needs of our patients and clients and will continue to advocate for access to medications and care for people impacted by HIV in Central Texas.