U.S. hospital care for HIV-infected persons and the role of public, private, and Veterans Administration hospitals

Charles L. Bennett, J. Randall Curtis, Chad Achenbach, Peter Arno, Russell Bennett, Marianne C. Fahs, Ronnie D. Horner, Yoku Shaw-Taylor, Dennis Andrulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Hospitals are a major provider of medical care for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons. Although utilization and patterns of care profiles in public and private hospitals have been evaluated for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), one of the most costly and common severe complications of AIDS, information from Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals has not been reported previously. This article reports on inpatient care for PCP patients by obtaining data from VA, private, and public hospitals. Cost and resource utilization data were obtained from reviews of medical records, claims, and provider bills from 26 non-VA hospitals and 18 VA hospitals in 10 cities in the United States. Data on severity of illness, patterns of care, and outcomes for PCP were obtained from medical record reviews from 2,174 PCP cases treated in 82 non-VA and 14 VA hospitals in five U.S. cities. Estimates were made of the average costs and the rates of use of diagnostic tests, anti-PCP medications, and intensive care units for samples of public hospital, private hospital, and VA patients with PCP. With mean charges for a single PCP episode of $14,500 to $16,060, PCP remains one of the most costly complications of AIDS. Although the severity of PCP illness at admission was greatest at public hospitals, the intensity of care was lowest; for frequency of cytologic diagnosis (48% at public, 62% at VA, and 66% at private hospitals), bronchoscopy (45% at public, 60% at VA, and 66% at private hospitals), and intensive care unit use (11% at public, 22% at VA, and 19% at private hospitals). In-hospital mortality rates for PCP also differed in the three types of hospitals (20% at public, 24% at VA, and 18% at private hospitals). Patterns of PCP care differ among VA, public, and private hospitals. Future studies on the HIV epidemic should include data collected from uniform data sources from VA hospitals, in addition to public and private hospitals, to provide insight on the processes of care and outcomes for HIV-infected persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-421
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Costs
  • HIV
  • Hospitals
  • Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
  • Veterans Administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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