Background: The evolving epidemiology and therapeutic management of HIV disease has important implications for health care resource utilization in HIV-infected patients, and health care resource use data are also needed to support policy and financial decision making.
Methods: Demographic, clinical, and resource utilization data were collected from 9 U.S. HIV primary and specialty care sites in calendar year 1999. Rates of resource use were calculated for hospital admission, length of hospital stay, and outpatient clinic/office visits.
Results: The sample included 5255 patients from HIV primary care sites in 3 eastern, 3 midwestern, and 3 western areas of the United States. Hospital admissions accounted for an annual mean of 297 days per 100 persons/y in 1999. Hospital days ranged from a low of 165 per 100 persons/mo for a CD4 > 500 cells/mm3 to 840 per 100 persons/mo for a CD4 < 50 cells/mm3 (p < .01). Mean annual outpatient clinic/office visits were 10.7 per person in 1999. A declining CD4 level and an increasing HIV-1 RNA level were both associated with higher hospital and outpatient utilization. HAART use was associated with fewer hospital days, and a higher outpatient visit rate. Injecting drug use risk was associated with an increase in hospital days. African American race was associated with a higher number of hospital days, but a lower outpatient visit rate. Female gender was associated with higher outpatient utilization. Mean monthly inpatient and outpatient expenditures in 1999 were $423 and $168. respectively.
Conclusion: As HIV care continues to evolve, data from our network of HIV providers will be useful in quantifying changes in HIV health services utilization to guide policy makers, as well as HIV care payers and providers.
(C) 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.