For patients who have health insurance, assistance with copays or coinsurance is available through the producer of PrEP (Gilead Sciences, Inc.) and other national foundations. Many people who seek PrEP might be eligible for Medicaid if they are otherwise uninsured. Other low-income and uninsured people, including those who are not legal residents or US citizens, usually qualify for the PrEP medication assistance program; the application for this benefit must be completed by the physician.
A billing guide on PrEP for physicians is available to assist with International Classification of Disease (ICD)-10 coding.30,31 If a patient has difficulty with laboratory copays, free HIV and STI testing might be available at local STI clinics and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) service organizations.
Providing PrEP within a primary care setting
The unmet need for PrEP highlights how important it is for family medicine and other primary care practices to incorporate HIV prevention into their suite of services.32
Patients are most likely to experience adverse effects during the first month of taking PrEP—the same period in which they are establishing their pattern of adherence. It might be helpful to check in with patients at the end of the first month to assess their symptoms and adherence. After this phase, quarterly follow-up is simple, with routine lab monitoring and check-in about continued risk of HIV and adherence challenges (TABLE 310).
At our local Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program-funded HIV clinic, which also provides PrEP, computer-ordering checklists (so-called smartsets) for the PrEP initial visit and follow-up visits are programmed into the records system (TABLE 415). Other clinics also have developed templates for PrEP visit notes. Adherence monitoring, behavioral counseling, and other preventive services can be integrated into the regular paper- or computer-based intake survey, so that conversations are focused on areas of need.6 Family physicians in large practices can develop in-office protocols, based on CDC PrEP guidelines, to assign roles (eg, paperwork assistant, behavioral counselor, prescriber) to staff members.
Continue to: Partnering with HIV specialists, organizations, and pharmacists