This article presents an overview of cost issues related to AIDS. Data from the Massachusetts Cost of AIDS Study are combined with epidemiological projections to estimate the cost of treating people diagnosed with AIDS in New England. Aggregate inpatient, ambulatory, and home care costs are estimated to be $96.9 million and $524.8 million through 1987 and 1991, respectively. These estimates represent a relatively small percentage of total health care costs for all illnesses over the same time period.

The authors find that the cost of treating AIDS does not affect all health care providers uniformly and therefore argue that appropriate measures must be developed to assist those impacted disproportionately. Reduction of inpatient hospital days through the creation of subacute care centers, subsidy programs for medical care providers serving large numbers of uninsured or underinsured AIDS patients and education to prevent new cases are recommended to continue the availability of medical care for people with AIDS.



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