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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
HIV/AIDS Programs

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Severity of Need (SON) Index - Draft of SON Index

The draft SON Index quantifies severity of need for Ryan White HIV/AIDS funds. The SON Collaboration was convened by HRSA/HAB in 2005 to create an open and transparent process in the development of the SON Index. This team, consisting of the HAB SON Workgroup and the SON Collaborative Council as well as HRSA’s SON Contractor Team and the four expert panels convened by them, developed the draft SON Index. Efforts are ongoing to refine the Index through additional study and input.

The focus of the SON Index is on Part A. Part B analysis is next on the agenda as implementation of the finalized SON Index occurs in time for its possible use in fiscal year 2009.

Severity of need simplified algorithm.

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Severity of need simplified algorithm = A portion of the allocation that is adjusted by direct measures + a portion of the allocation that is adjusted by indirect measures. Direct measures are defined as those for which the relationship between a change in the measure and a change in resource needs can be estimated. Indirect measures are defined as those which are expected to influence resource needs but for which we lack sufficient data to directly estimate the real impact of a one unit change.

The direct adjustment is estimated as [Total cases – Federal insurance reduction] x Geographic costs index.

The indirect adjustment is estimated as a standardized weighted function of the death rate, the poverty rate, and the prevalence rate multiplied times total cases.