David Catania, a member of the District of Columbia city council who last week ordered the district's health department to issue long-delayed reimbursements to area AIDS agencies within 48 hours, has agreed to give the department an additional five days to find solutions to the reimbursement problems, The Washington Post reports. The health department and the housing agency of Prince George's County, Md., currently owe D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic more than $700,000. The AIDS service organization in mid-May was unable to meet its payroll for the first time in its history. The department also owes the Carl Vogel Center, which provides HIV case management services, nearly $145,000. That agency has had to cut staff and services, and is considering temporarily closing due to financial shortfalls.
After district deputy mayor Neil Albert said the city needed more time to address the reimbursement delays, Catania on Friday gave the health department an additional five days to come up with a solution. Albert said he is playing a key role in developing a new reimbursement procedure for the health department, and pledged that all backlogged payments will be issued by Friday, May 27.