Officials with Eastern Virginia Medical School and city officials in Norfolk, Va., have reached a tentative agreement to reopen six of the seven EVMS AIDS clinics that recently closed over a billing practices dispute, The Virginian-Pilot reports. The clinics serve an estimated 400 HIV-positive patients in the region. The dispute began when city officials claimed the network used a billing method that isn't permitted under federal regulations and subsequently pulled Ryan White federal funding from the clinics.
Clinic staff on April 11 opted to close the clinics in response to the loss of funding and in late May rejected a city offer to provide $750,000 in funding if the billing method was changed and other permanent changes implemented. City officials say the funding will be restored through the new agreement and indicated that oversight of the funds may be shifted from the city to an outside agency. Federal regulators, who must approve the new agreement between the city and the clinics, say they could make a decision in about a week.