Thursday, October 25, 2012

Puerto Rico to pay penalty over misuse of US HIV funds!

The Associated Press 10/24/2012
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico 
Puerto Rico’s health secretary says the department will pay a multi-million dollar penalty owed to the U.S. government following accusations tha
t it misused federal funds slated for an HIV program. Health secretary Lorenzo Gonzalez said late Monday that he reduced a $29.5 million debt to $7.2 million in an agreement with federal officials.
The U.S. had sued Puerto Rico for using federal funds to buy HIV medication instead of investing the money in other services under the Ryan White program as intended. As a result, the U.S. territory was fined $24.5 million and $5 million in interest. The debt stems from the years 2002-2004.
U.S. officials said the medication should have been bought with local funds.

The truth is that over 500 PLWHAs had private medical ins. and thousands had just start in 2003 with the state health ins. plan (La reforma), these were to be billed for Anti-HIV medicines, but were not. Instead these persons got their meds 100% free of cost with Ryan White Funds, when these funds are payor of last resort.

Anselmo Fonseca

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