Bond CHC May Lose HIV/AIDS Funding

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There's concern Tallahassee's Bond Community Health Center may be losing more federal funding.

The Florida Department of Health is investigating the possibility Bond administrators may have missed their application deadline to receive money to treat HIV/AIDS patients.

At issue is close to $500,000 in Ryan White Part C funding in the next budget year.

The money is used to treat HIV and AIDS patients who don't have health insurance.

"The doctors and nurses are very good here of treating HIV and AIDS and they have relationships, some longstanding relationships with Bond, so that's going to be difficult and then in any transition, people fall through the cracks and we're worried a few people will fall out of care," said HIV/AIDS patient advocate Tonie Dozier.

Bond previously lost millions of dollars in federal funding by failing to properly re-new its federally qualified health care center status.

Tallahassee's Neighborhood Medical Center or NMC which was awarded that federallly qualified health care center status has also applied for the Ryan White funding.

NMC's Alexis McMillan says the result of that grant request will likely be known by early April.

Messages left for Bond Board Chair Antonio Jefferson requesting comment were not returned.

More than $300,000 are at stake as a deadline rapidly approaches for Tallahassee's Bond Community Health Center.

The clinic serves mainly low income clients and needs to provide documents to Leon County government to get the money.

At issue is money set aside for Bond to serve Leon County residents who don't have health insurance or qualify for Medicaid or Obamacare.

Bond Board Chair Antonio Jefferson tells us the county requires 7 different items for proof of eligibility for patients.

Jefferson says it's the patients' responsibility to provide that information so Bond can get reimbursed from the county.

But now with about three weeks left in the budget year, Bond is trying to gather information for roughly two thousand patient visits.

At stake is roughly $300-thousand dollars or a little less than half the money the county has set aside for this program in the current and almost finished budget year.

Bond does have until November 15th to provide the documentation to get the money for the patient visits Jefferson says have already taken place.

Leon County Health Care Services Coordinator Rosemary Evans tells us Neighborhood Medical Center also is missing documentation for about half its primary care visits for the same program.

News Release: Bond CHC
August 8, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Bond Community Health Center has received a major endorsement for the great work they have been doing. Following the loss of one of its major federal grants, Bond CHC has spent the past several months planning and restructuring the organization. Bond Community Health Center’s Board of Directors and Staff received confirmation that their work is paying off. On Tuesday July 28, 2014, the Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) informed Bond CHC that its Federal
Qualified Health Center (FQHC) designation has been extended. This approval allows Bond to continue its mission in its service area. On Thursday July 31, 2014 a team of reviewers from HSRA completed a comprehensive site review of Bond operations and clinical services in response to Bond’s application to continue as a Federal Qualified Health Center in a “Look-A-Like“ designation. According to Bond’s CEO Bernard Goodman, Bond received the endorsement from HRSA that it has continued to provide quality healthcare services and administration in compliance with HRSA’s requirements despite Bond’s recent organizational restructuring. Mr. Goodman added that Bond would
receive a response to its request for FQHC “Look-A-Like” status within the next few weeks.

Bond Board Chairman Antonio Jefferson stated “The actions of Bond’s leadership over the last few months should be viewed by our community as a victory and confirmation that regardless of the loss of funding and the efforts of private individuals to mislead the public about Bond’s capacity as a health service provider, Bond has and will continue to provide superior healthcare to the community. We are not closing today, tomorrow, or next year. Bond’s founders sowed the seeds of success and our world class medical providers and staff will never disappoint the many individuals who sacrificed their time,
talent and resources to establish this iconic organization dedicated to the delivery of healthcare to the less fortunate and medically vulnerable residents of our community. Bond will be an institution of choice for healthcare today, tomorrow, and forever.”

Bond also received more good news this week from Leon County: a recent audit of Bond’s operations under the existing contract between the County and Bond determined that Bond met or exceeded all of the performance requirements of the contract. Last year’s site review for the 2012-2013 year by the County concluded that Bond was not in compliance in a number of areas, including patient eligibility. Bond’s Board of Directors kept its promise to Leon County to “right the ship” and working with its highly qualified staff has delivered on that promise.

Since 1984, Bond Community Health Center, Inc. has been on a mission to reach people throughout North Florida, and currently serves residents of Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla, Jefferson, Liberty Taylor, Franklin, and Madison counties.

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