Chesapeake, Va., health department to stop providing AIDS care

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 12 2003 11:00 PM ET

A billing practices dispute that left the Eastern Virginia Medical School without access to federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS treatment funds has forced the Chesapeake, Va., health department to announce that it will stop providing AIDS care at the end of the month, the Virginian-Pilot reports. The department had worked with the Norfolk-based medical school to provide care for about 1,200 HIV-positive people in the area. But the billing dispute, which involved doctors at the medical center receiving a flat fee for each patient--a practice reportedly not allowed under federal regulations--resulted in the revocation of federal funds to the center. Center officials subsequently stopped providing HIV/AIDS care. The Chesapeake health department had only enough funds to continue to treat AIDS patients until the end of May. Nancy Welch, director of the department, added that the agency could not continue to provide long-term HIV/AIDS care without the medical school's expertise.