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NYAM has received a one-year grant from the MAC AIDS Fund to assess the integration of harm reduction services into health care reform.
The Affordable Care Act and state health care reforms have created opportunities for harm reduction services to be better integrated with the health care delivery system. Harm reduction services include services like syringe exchange for people who use drugs intravenously, but have also expanded to include counseling, nutrition services, health services access, and more.
Through this project, NYAM will assess the opportunities, benefits, and challenges for harm reduction and health care providers presented by new models of service integration and coordination, such as Health Homes, and expanded funding under State Medicaid reforms and the Affordable Care Act. These recent developments have the potential to increase health care access, utilization, and care coordination for harm reduction clients, many of whom are at risk or living with HIV, thereby contributing to improved health outcomes. The project goal is to facilitate the realization of that potential with solution-oriented policy recommendations.
“Harm reduction services have been marginalized or siloed from the health care system, though the goals are aligned,” said Tracy Pugh, Policy Associate at NYAM. “Harm reduction services provide opportunities for people who use drugs to better access health care through better networking and care coordination. NYAM’s role is to facilitate and assess how we can make that happen.”
NYAM is partnering with BOOM!Health, a service provider in the South Bronx and one of the most comprehensive community-based harm reduction providers in the U.S., to analyze opportunities for better coordination of care and conduct a case study of their experience in being a part of a Health Home network and broadening their contact with the health care system. Together, NYAM and Boom!Health are uniquely situated to provide quality, objective policy analysis that recognizes the positions of various stakeholders in order to bring about policy change that bolsters health resources for people who use drugs.
NYAM will conduct policy research and analysis to establish the benefit of harm reduction services integration, develop policy and technical assistance recommendations, and publish and disseminate a report to present findings and technical assistance and policy recommendations to stakeholders and policymakers. Findings and recommendations will also be shared at conferences and forums across the U.S.
This grant marks NYAM’s first time receiving funding from the MAC AIDS Fund, which has recently begun supporting policy-oriented projects.
“NYAM has a long history of supporting harm reduction services and promoting policy and systemic change to address the needs of people who use drugs, a vulnerable population that has traditionally been marginalized from the health care system,” Ms. Pugh said. “We are excited to continue our work with our new partner in BOOM!Health and MAC AIDS Fund in this new era of health care reforms.”
Posted on January 17, 2014
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