CMS proposes expanding Medicare coverage for HIV screening

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a plan to provide high-risk individuals over 65 coverage for one annual voluntary Human Immunodeficiency Virus screening.

HIV screenings would have to be FDA-approved tests performed by an eligible Medicare provider or supplier and comply with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments regulations, the agency proposed. Individuals between 15 and 65 would be able to receive one annual voluntary screening, regardless of perceived risk.

Approximately 1.2 million people in the United States, and 35 million people worldwide, were living with HIV as of 2013, according to Global Health Observatory. An earlier study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association advocated providers give HIV screenings for older adults and adjust care for those who have the disease. 

Researchers have found that improved disease treatment protocols are allowing many with HIV to live well into their 70s. This requires different courses of treatment and may force long-term care providers to re-evaluate options for positive residents. 

 

Comments on the screening proposal are due February 28.