Pediatric AIDS at Mount Sinai Medical Center 1988-89: A study of costs and social severity

Charlotte Muller, Marianne C. Fahs, Goldie Mulak, Virginia Walther, Susan Blumenfield, George Fulop

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Abstract

Pediatric AIDS is a continuing problem because of maternal transmission. Medical management is often complicated by the loss of one or both parents and adverse home environments. This study explores the cost of inpatient and clinic care of children admitted with AIDS in 1988 or 1989 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and also examines the social severity of the cases. Blue Shield allowances were used to price clinic visits and tests, and prices in a drug trade publication were used to determine medication costs. Inpatient costs calculated per person-month at risk amounted to $48,000 per year. Costs per person-month of clinic care averaged $461 (38% of which was for drugs), annualized to around $5,500. These costs are higher than those shown by previous studies. A few cases requiring intensive inpatient services accounted for a large percentage of costs. The social severity analysis, based on the family environment at first admission and later, revealed that households were often stressed by chronic illnesses, drug abuse, marital problems and poor residential quality. Given the circumstances in which pediatric AIDS develops, the activities of social workers to strengthen families are essential to facilitating compliance, maintaining health and minimizing use of the hospital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

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