AHF, Baton Rouge Reach Agreement Over AIDS Funding Dispute

In News by AHF

Legal settlement keeps funding for other HIV/AIDS organizations unchanged and establishes that AHF—which cares for over 1,500 HIV/AIDS patients at its two Baton Rouge area clinics—can and should receive funding for outpatient care.

Baton Rouge ranked first in the nation for estimated HIV and AIDS case rates per 100,000 people, according to the CDC. 

BATON ROUGE (April 19, 2016) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has reached an agreement with the City-Parish of Baton Rouge, Louisiana to settle a lawsuit in which AHF claimed Baton Rouge unlawfully and arbitrarily discriminated in awarding contracts for some AIDS services. After AHF initiated the lawsuit on March 23rd, the City-Parish of Baton Rouge suspended distribution of ALL federal Ryan White CARE Act funding to organizations in the Baton Rouge area, an action that caused outrage in the HIV/AIDS community. The parties involved have now agreed to a mutually beneficial resolution of the lawsuit.

Reached earlier today, the settlement agreement establishes that AHF—which cares for over 1,500 HIV/AIDS patients at its two Baton Rouge health care centers—is a qualified medical provider that can and should receive Ryan White funding for its outpatient care. The funding amounts that other HIV/AIDS organizations received also remains unchanged.

“I am pleased to announce that we have reached a settlement agreement with Baton Rouge. As the organization that cares for the largest number of HIV/AIDS patients in the city, our goal in this action was to be recognized as a primary care provider and that was accomplished—never was our intention to withhold funding from other HIV/AIDS groups,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “This settlement provides a mutually beneficial resolution, one similar to what we had initially sought when we first approached Baton Rouge officials. For a relatively small city, Baton Rouge continues to have an enormous unmet need for HIV/AIDS care and services. We are eager now to get back to what we do best: provide medical care and services to people living with HIV or AIDS regardless of their ability to pay.”

According to the CDC’s 2014 HIV Surveillance Report, Baton Rouge ranked first in the nation for estimated HIV and AIDS case rates per 100,000 people.

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