Objective: To profile characteristics of clinics caring for persons with advanced HIV infection.
Design and setting: Survey of clinic directors in New York State.
Participants: Newly diagnosed Medicaid-enrolled AIDS patients in New York state in federal fiscal years 1987-1992 (n = 6,184) managed by 62 HIV specialty, 53 hospital-based general medicine/primary care, 36 community-based primary care, and 28 other clinics.
Measurements and main results: Telephone survey about clinic hours, emphasis on HIV, staffing, procedures, and directors' rating of care. Estimates of the number of newly diagnosed, Medicaid-enrolled AIDS patients treated in surveyed clinics were obtained from claims data. We found that community-based clinics were significantly more likely to have longer hours, a physician on call, or to accommodate unscheduled care than were hospital-based general medicine/ primary care or other types of clinics. Compared with HIV specialty clinics, general medicine/primary care clinics were less likely to have HIV-specific care attributes such as a director of HIV care (98% vs 72%), multidisciplinary conferences on HIV care (83% vs 32%), or a standard initial HIV workup (90% vs 70%). Of general medicine/primary care clinics, most (83%) were staffed by residents and fellows compared with only 68% of HIV or 25% of community-based clinics (p < .001). General medicine/primary care clinics were less likely than community-based clinics to perform Pap smears (75% vs 94%) or to have case managers on payroll (21% vs 81%).
Conclusions: In this sample of clinics, hospital-based general medicine/primary care clinics managing the care of Medicaid enrollees with AIDS appeared to have more limited hours and availability of specific services than HIV specialty or community-based clinics.