1. HIV/AIDS Bureau Technical Assistance Contract (TAC)
This chapter explains how the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) utilizes the Technical Assistance Contract (TAC) to provide Technical Assistance (TA)—including on-site TA and TA products—to Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act grantees, including AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs).
The Technical Assistance Contract (TAC) is a tool for the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB). The TAC is utilized—typically by HAB's Division of Service Systems (DSS) project officers—to provide CARE Act grantees and planning bodies with on-site technical assistance (TA) and to develop TA products that have usefulness across all of HRSA's HIV/AIDS programs. For State ADAPs, The Technical Assistance Contract (TAC) assistance focuses primarily on implementing CARE Act requirements, in order to improve health care access and the quality of life for persons living with HIV (PLWH). Technical Assistance is defined by HRSA/HAB as identifying TA needs and delivering program and technical support to the CARE Act community for their planning and primary care service delivery systems.
The TAC is administered by HRSA's HAB's Division of Training and Technical Assistance (DTTA). The contractor responsible for coordinating and administering the TAC on behalf of DTTA is BETAH, Associates, Inc.
Legislative Background TOP
The CARE Act calls for HRSA to provide TA—including assistance through grantees (peer consultation)—to CARE Act programs (e.g., Title I, Section 2606; Title II, Section 2619; Title II, Section 2654(b); Title IV, Section 2671(I)). DTTA supports and manages the training and TA needs of CARE Act entities under Titles I, II, III, IV, Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS), AIDS Education Training Centers (AETCs), and the HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program.
TAC Contract History TOP
From 1993 to 1997, the TAC provided TA to CARE Act Title I and II grantees, planning bodies, and groups serving or comprised of people living with HIV disease (PLWH). Since 1998, the TAC has been providing cross-Title TA services to all of HRSA's HIV/AIDS programs. TA services are provided nationwide by peers and other professional consultants.
TA Philosophy TOP
The TAC assists programs; it does not do the work of the TA recipient. TA provided by the TAC is intended to do the following:
1. The growing impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic upon traditionally underserved and hard-to-reach populations, which requires programs to assess the shifting demographics of new HIV/AIDS cases and adapt care systems to the needs of emerging communities and populations;
2. The quality of emerging HIV/AIDS therapies and the difference they make in the lives of PLWH;
3. Changes in health care financing, including the advent of managed care, that necessitate linkages among funding sources and participation in managed care plans; and
4. Policy and funding decisions that increasingly are based upon demonstrated outcomes, meaning that programs need to clearly document their outcomes and provide attention to quality assurance and evaluation mechanisms that will provide information to assess outcomes.
TA Topic Areas TOP
The TAC provides assistance in various areas, all of which are related to the CARE Act legislative mandates and programmatic requirements of the CARE Act. Sample TA areas include but are not limited to the following:
How TA is Provided TOP
TA and training activities to support CARE Act-funded programs are directed by HAB's Division of Training and Technical Assistance (DTTA). TA includes on-site TA, written products, and special initiatives. TA is delivered through the following channels:
On-site TA is provided by peers (individuals who currently work in CARE Act-funded programs or are members of planning councils/consortia) and other professional consultants. The nature of the TA request determines the type of consult utilized. The TAC maintains a roster of consultants to work directly with grantees. Timelines and benchmarks are used to monitor each on-site TA project.
SUGGESTIONS FOR PLANNING ON-SITE TA
Grantees planning a TA request should assess the following issues before requesting TA in order to ensure TA recipient "readiness" for TA services:
These issues should be addressed in the TA request letter to the DSS project officer. DSS project officers will provide guidance to the grantee or planing body regarding the TA request process, if needed. The grantee or planning body may request written materials on the TA topic (e.g. TA reports, manuals, conference call reports, Self-Assessment Modules) in order to self-assess their needs.
TA products available to ADAP grantees include manuals/TA guides, conference calls and follow-up call reports, and special projects. TA product concepts are identified through HRSA/HABs TA priorities plan and ideas raised throughout the year based upon ongoing feedback (e.g., national conference evaluations, project officer input, evaluation of on-site TA, etc.). The TAC develops products with input from HRSA/HAB staff, ADAP representatives, PLWH, and consultants.
The following is a listing of other TA products and services that HAB provides grantees:
Evaluation of TA
The HIV AIDS Bureau evaluates TA against measurable outcomes and objectives. The evaluation examines grantee satisfaction with the TA and systems change related to the TA. Evaluation is conducted during and immediately after the delivery of TA and approximately six months after it has concluded. This includes written and telephone interview follow-up.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CONTRACT (TAC)
How To Obtain TA
To obtain more information about TA, contact your ADAP representative or call the Division of Training and Technical Assistance at: (301) 443-9091. A list of TA products is available at the TA Library. Materials can be ordered by calling the HRSA Information Center at: (888) ASK-HRSA.