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December 12, 1986

Medical Care Costs of AIDS in Massachusetts

Author Affiliations

From the Community Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program, Division of Community Medicine, Boston Department of Health and Hospitals, and the Epidemiology and Statistics Section, Boston University School of Public Health (Mr Seage and Drs Landers, Barry, and Lamb); the Division of Hematology and Oncology, New England Deaconess Hospital (Dr Groopman); and the Department of Medicine (Division of General Medicine), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Institute for Health Research, a joint program of the Harvard Community Health Plan and Harvard University, Boston (Dr Epstein).

JAMA. 1986;256(22):3107-3109. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380220073025

Previous investigation has suggested that the direct cost of medical care for the 24 011 reported patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may be as high as $147 000 per patient. To evaluate the use and cost of medical services for patients with AIDS in Massachusetts, we performed a one-year cost of illness study of 45 AIDS patients. Sociodemographic and clinical data as well as information on medical utilization were obtained from review of outpatient and hospital records. Patients with AIDS required a mean of 3.3 (±3.2) hospitalizations per year and 18.4 (±21.8) ambulatory visits per year. Overall, medical costs averaged $46 505 ±$38 720 per patient per year, with 91 % of these expenditures related to use of inpatient services. These results suggest that the cost of medical care for AIDS patients may be substantially less than previously estimated.

(JAMA 1986;256:3107-3109)