Frequently Asked Questions for Patients

Q.  What does CHAIN stand for?
A.   CHAIN stands for “Community HIV AIDS Intervention Network,” the former name for the currently named “Medical Subspecialty Services Referral Program.”

Q.  Who funds and operates the CHAIN Program?
A.   The CHAIN Program is funded by a Ryan White Part A grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to Los Angeles County.  The Program is regulated by the Los Angeles County Division of HIV and STD Programs (DHSP) (formerly known as Office of AIDS Programs and Policy [OAPP]).  AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is contracted with DHSP to provide CHAIN Program administration consisting of utilization management; medical oversight; provider recruitment; contracting and credentialing; and claims processing.

Q.  What makes me eligible to get services through the CHAIN Program?
A.   If you are uninsured, have a prior HIV diagnosis and live in Los Angeles County, you are eligible to get CHAIN Program-covered services.

Q.  I’m in Healthy Way LA; how do I get services through the CHAIN Program?
A.   The CHAIN Program serves people enrolled in Healthy Way LA who need specialty services to treat illnesses caused by HIV

Q.   Will I be responsible for any co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses for the services authorized by the CHAIN Program or Healthy Way LA?
A.   No.  You will not be bill for any services that have been authorized through the CHAIN Program or Healthy Way LA.

Q.  Can I self-refer to a specialist of my choice and have the CHAIN Program or Healthy Way LA cover my services?
A.   No.  Your primary care provider must refer you to a network CHAIN Program specialist for services that are covered by the program.  Your primary care provider must request authorization from the CHAIN Program for these services.

Q.  Does my authorization for covered services have an expiration date?
A.   Authorizations for CHAIN Program-covered services are valid for two months from the authorization date.  Authorizations can be extended if you are not able to schedule your specialist appointment in those two months.  If you need help with an authorization, please call AHF Patient Relations at (800) 263-0067, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Q.  How long does it take the CHAIN Program to authorize a referral to a specialist?
A.   Routine authorization requests are made in five (5) business days; urgent requests made in 72 hours.

Q.  What happens when a service is not authorized or a requested service is not covered by the CHAIN Program?
A.   Your primary care provider will refer you to a County provider for help.

Q.  Does the CHAIN Program cover lab work?
A.   No.  Your primary care provider will do the lab work from his/her office.

Q.  Will my medical benefits change when I become enrolled in Healthy Way LA?
A.   No, your benefits will remain the same.