Hospital and physician experience have been linked to improved outcomes for persons with HIV. Because many HIV-infected patients receive care in clinics, we studied clinic HIV experience and survival for women with AIDS.Design:
Retrospective cohort study of women with AIDS whose dominant sources of care were clinics. Clinic HIV experience was estimated as the cumulative number of Medicaid enrollees with advanced HIV who used a particular clinic as their dominant provider up to the year of the patient's AIDS diagnosis: low experience (< 20 patients), medium (20–99 patients), high (≥ 100 patients). Proportional hazards models examined relationships between experience and survival.Setting:
A total of 117 New York State clinics.Patients:
A total of 887 New York State Medicaid-enrolled women diagnosed with AIDS in 1989–1992.Main outcome measure:
Survival after AIDS diagnosis.Results:
In later study years (1991–1992), patients in high experience clinics had an approximately 50% reduction in the relative hazard of death (0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.35–0.82) compared with patients in low experience clinics. Adjusting for demographic and clinical variables, 71% of patients in high experience clinics were alive 21 months after diagnosis compared with 53% in low experience clinics. Experience and survival were not significantly associated in the early study years (1989–1990).Conclusions:
In more recent years, women with AIDS receiving care in high experience clinics survived longer after AIDS diagnosis than those in low experience clinics, providing further evidence of a relationship between provider HIV experience and outcomes.