AIDS Resource Center Ohio (ARC Ohio), the state’s leading provider of HIV services, headquartered right here in Dayton is opening its second medical center and pharmacy at the Wright Health Building, 1222 S. Patterson Boulevard. This center will serve Miami Valley HIV-positive individuals who are not in treatment, who are looking for a new medical practice, or who need integrated-patient centered services. In addition to the HIV patient centered services, the center will house a full-service pharmacy, which will also be open to the general public, regardless of HIV status. The Center will open Monday, January 27, 2014.
“The ARC Ohio Medical Center is an important addition to our community, and will complement other resources within the Miami Valley’s healthcare network,” noted Bryan Bucklew, President and CEO at the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for ARC Ohio. “Its model of care has been proven best-practice, cost effective, and will have a significant positive impact on our region’s health.”
The ARC Ohio Medical Center and Pharmacy operates much like a commercial pharmacy – medications are purchased and billed to insurance companies. The difference is that 100 percent of the pharmacy’s profits —doing business as AMC Ohio Pharmacy—are used to supplement the costs of other services not fully covered by government grants or community donations – a relatively new approach to non-profit business sustainability and a local example of “social entrepreneurship.”
- Full-service community pharmacy
- Open to the public
- Pharmacists specializing in HIV care
- Access to medication assistance programs
- Free home delivery to patients living in Ohio
- Private & personalized adherence counseling & management
- Refill reminder calls
- 100% of pharmacy proceeds are reinvested in HIV/AIDS services in Ohio
“As a non-profit organization in today’s economy, we had to find ways to create our own revenue so we can sustain our services,” said Bill Hardy, President and Chief Executive Officer of ARC Ohio. “The pharmacy will be fundamental to our business success because all of our other services cost more money to run than what we receive from government grants and other support.”
“Every dollar we make at the pharmacy goes directly back into supporting the center’s healthcare, client, and prevention services,” said Joel Diaz, ARC Ohio’s Chief Development Officer. “By using these profits from our pharmacy, we can sustain our work without having to rely solely on grant money. It’s a win-win situation for our clients and supporters, as well. Every time they purchase a prescription from ARC Ohio, it goes directly back to services, such as HIV testing, offered at the center and our other Ohio locations.”
ARC Ohio’s first Medical Center and Pharmacy was opened in Columbus in 2012. The Columbus center is already demonstrating impressive outcomes, enrolling nearly 500 patients in the first year. In just six months of testing with 110 of the first patients, the Center demonstrated a 50 percent increase in viral suppression, from 40 percent to 60 percent. By comparison, the national viral suppression rate is just 25 percent. Achieving viral suppression – meaning the virus is under control – leads to better health, a longer life, and far less likelihood of further HIV transmission.
“With early diagnosis and optimal treatment, today a person with HIV can live a long and healthy life, and is far less likely to transmit the virus—if they achieve viral suppression,” says Hardy. “But three-fourths of HIV-positive Americans are still not yet getting the care or medications they need. Getting these individuals into care is essential if we’re going to win the war against HIV, which is why this center is so critical.” According to the Ohio Department of Health, 1,500 HIV-positive individuals live in metropolitan Dayton, and another 300 are presumed infected, but not yet diagnosed.
“Our integrated, patient-centered model is transforming care and the most effective way to improve health outcomes, benefitting both the individuals and the community,” says Peggy Anderson, ARC Ohio’s Chief Operating Officer. “Helping patients achieve and maintain viral suppression costs one-third as much as treating patients when the disease has progressed,” Hardy explained. “It is also key to preventing further transmission. Each new HIV infection prevented results in life-time treatment cost savings of $300,000 or more.”
The Dayton center’s first year goal is to treat 300 patients. Services will include treatment of HIV disease, primary medical care, behavioral/mental health counseling, medication adherence, supportive services, and assistance for basic needs such as housing, nutrition and transportation.
Richard K. Groger, MD, PhD, will serve as the center’s new Medical Director, overseeing the staff of infectious disease and primary care physicians, nurses, and other practitioners. Groger has been caring for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Miami Valley since 2005, and has extensive clinical experience in both private office practice as well as community health settings, including Five Rivers Health Center.
To fund the opening of the new Dayton center and pharmacy, a $1 million “Campaign for Hope” has been launched with a $160,000 grant from the CareSource Foundation. Funds will be used to purchase medical equipment, furnishings, supplies, initial pharmacy inventory, and for other expenses.
ARC Ohio’s first pharmacy in Columbus is already ahead of schedule in terms of profits that it is able to put back into programs after only one year. Initial profit will be primarily used to offset startup costs for the pharmacy and medical centers. Remaining profits will be applied against the $20 million annual budget. “This new revenue stream is essential to help with program and administrative costs not covered by other revenue sources,” noted Hardy. “For example, many of our government and other grants do not cover any of our overhead, such as facilities and administration. These profits, along with the generous contributions of our donors will help defray those costs.”
The medical center and pharmacy work with private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the federal Ryan White program which provides HIV-care for those who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources.
With twelve offices locations, ARC Ohio is currently providing services to 4,000 HIV-positive individuals across Ohio and thousands of others are reached through HIV testing and prevention programs. The clinic and pharmacy will be open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. For more information about the medical center and pharmacy visit www.arcohio.org.