Access to Care

Standard Assessment

1. The full continuum of mental health services is available and accessible to clients who are HIV infected and in need of mental health treatment.

  1. Services are available at locations and times accessible to clients.
  2. The waiting time for initial appointments is less than 2 weeks and within 24 hours for urgent care.
  3. Clients have 24-hour access to a mental health professional that is available to respond to mental health emergencies. (Ideally this would include the mental health program's own staff with whom clients are already familiar, but it could include the use of crisis units, emergency rooms and 911).

2. Marketing and outreach is conducted to advise PLWHAs and providers of available services.

  1. Program specific marketing materials exist (e.g., brochures, pamphlets, posters, advertisements, etc.).
  2. Marketing strategies are linguistically and culturally appropriate.
3. Systems are in place to routinely screen clients for eligibility.
  1. Systems are in place to routinely screen clients for eligibility for services supported by other payers and to ensure that Ryan White funds are a payer of last resort.
  2. All clients eligible for public and/or private coverage are enrolled into these payer sources.
  3. The program provides documentation of enrollment attempts and enrollment and payment denials from the payer sources.
4. Systems are in place to facilitate continuous care.
  1. Program accommodates for walk-in, unscheduled appointments.
  2. Subsequent appointments are scheduled at the end of all sessions.
  3. Clients are contacted in advance (via phone, letter or email) to remind them of scheduled appointments.
  4. Procedures are in place to deal with missed appointments and avoid having clients lost to follow-up:
    • Specific staff is identified as being those responsible for contacting the client.
    • Policies and procedures describe different levels of intensity of follow-up based on client status.
    • Home visits are available when letters and phone calls fail.
    • All members of the client care team are informed of missed appointments.
  5. The agency employs strategies to improve adherence for clients who miss appointments:
    • Barriers to care are re/assessed.
    • A plan to address barriers is developed and implemented.
  6. The agency monitors and evaluates the overall rate of missed appointments.