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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 - Process

The SON Index is a methodology under development by HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau to improve the way Ryan White funds are distributed to cities and States. This process involved several key factors, including:

  • Establishment of a HIV/AIDS SON Collaboration, a multi-tiered expert body broadly representative of HHS agencies and HAB staff, national experts, Ryan White grantees, and consumers, to develop the SON index. The effort to analyze and develop a draft SON Index is coordinated by HRSA/HAB and its contractors (Altarum and RTI International).

  • Creation of four specialist panels, comprised of 47 members, to address four conceptual elements influencing the IOM equation: Area Characteristics; Patient Coverage and Need; Patient Characteristics; and Associated Costs. The panels were charged with precisely how each element contributes to resource needs and determine appropriate data to measure that element.

  • Conduct of conference calls and face-to-face meetings with the panels and collaborative partners to develop recommendations for the Index.