Objectives: To determine the amount of public financing for HIV/AIDS in California and its distribution among treatment, prevention, and support services. To determine the geographical distribution of public financing for HIV/AIDS within California.
Design: Data on HIV/AIDS expenditures were compiled across federal and state agencies supporting HIV/AIDS in fiscal year 2008.
Methods: Federal and state data on programs that finance HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and support services, including the Ryan White Program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the California General Fund, were compiled. California-specific expenditures for Medicare and Medicaid were calculated from claims data. Other entitlement program spending was estimated from national HIV/AIDS data. Data on AIDS cases by county were obtained from the California State Office of AIDS. Mapping to California counties was accomplished with Arc-GIS software.
Results: Public funders accounted for approximately $1.92 billion in HIV/AIDS services in California in fiscal year 2008. Most (90.4%) supported treatment; prevention accounted for 6.4% and support services for 2.6%. The majority of treatment financing came from 2 Federal health entitlement programs, Medicare (36%), and Medicaid (28%). Counties with the highest case loads had lower expenditures per case, suggesting economies of scale.
Conclusions: Treatment expenditures overshadow prevention spending. The dominance of entitlement programs in funding for HIV/AIDS treatment challenges policy makers to monitor the extent and quality of HIV/AIDS care in California. A unified health information system for HIV/AIDS that bridged the fragmented health payment system's data silos would benefit policy makers' efforts to monitor the delivery of HIV/AIDS services.