The economic burden of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic and its distribution across payers impose major stresses on individual patients and on the health care system. These have been the subject of much concern; however, no standard methodology has been developed that specifically addresses these issues. This pilot study develops a systematic approach to assigning costs to inpatient and outpatient care for AIDS patients and to estimating shares accounted for by the various payers in the system. It demonstrates that a much broader spectrum of care expenses can be estimated by a combination of patient interviews and collection of data on charges from care providers.
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