HIV: Challenging the Health Care Delivery System

Levi, Jeffrey; Kates, Jennifer
July 2000
American Journal of Public Health;Jul2000, Vol. 90 Issue 7, p1033
Academic Journal
HIV offers a lens through which the underlying problems of the US health care system can be examined. New treatments offer the potential of prolonged quality of life for people living with HIV if they have adequate access to health care. However, increasing numbers of new cases of HIV occur among individuals with poor access to health care. Restrictions on eligibility for Medicaid (and state-by-state variability) contribute to uneven access to the most important safety net source of HIV care financing, while relatively modest discretionary programs attempt to fill in the gap with an ever-increasing caseload. Many poor people with HIV are going without care, even though aggregate public spending on HIV-related care will total $7.7 billion in fiscal year 2000, an amount sufficient to cover the care costs of one half of those living with HIV. But inefficiencies and inequities in the system (both structural and geographic) require assessment of the steps that can be taken to create a more rational model of care financing for people living with HIV that could become a model for all chronic diseases. (Am J Public Health. 2000;90:1033-1036)


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