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Sample records for veteran affairs medical

  1. Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a health care benefit program designed for the dependents of certain Veterans....

  2. A Health Assessment Survey of Veteran Students: Utilizing a Community College-Veterans Affairs Medical Center Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra-Hebert, Anita D; Santurri, Laura; DeChant, Richard; Watts, Brook; Sehgal, Ashwini R; Aron, David C

    2015-10-01

    To assess health status among student veterans at a community college utilizing a partnership between a Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a community college. Student veterans at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, in January to April 2013. A health assessment survey was sent to 978 veteran students. Descriptive analyses to assess prevalence of clinical diagnoses and health behaviors were performed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess for independent predictors of functional limitations. 204 students participated in the survey (21% response rate). Self-reported depression and unhealthy behaviors were high. Physical and emotional limitations (45% and 35%, respectively), and pain interfering with work (42%) were reported. Logistic regression analyses confirmed the independent association of self-reported depression with functional limitation (odds ratio [OR] = 3.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-7.8, p student veterans at a community college. A partnership between a Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a community college can be utilized to help understand the health needs of veteran students. Reprint & Copyright © 2015 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  3. Effect of the Veterans Affairs Medical System on plastic surgery residency training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravin, Adam G; Gottlieb, Neil B; Wang, Howard T; Meade, Ricardo A; Humphrey, J Stewart; Schwarz, Karl W; Levin, L Scott; Tyler, Douglas S; Erdmann, Detlev

    2006-02-01

    Teaching hospitals within the Veterans Affairs Health System perform the majority of complex and high-risk surgical procedures in the veteran patient population. Residency positions in the Veterans Affairs Medical System are usually part of a rotational educational system within a university-based residency, and plastic surgeons in training are a major work force and health care provider. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the current effect of the Veterans Affairs Medical System on plastic surgery residency training. A 6-year (January of 1998 to December of 2003) review was performed of procedures completed at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Section of Plastic Surgery. Procedures were divided into the following categories: extremities and trunk; breast and cosmetic; head and neck, including excision of skin lesions; hand surgery; craniomaxillofacial surgery; and other. Only procedures performed in the main operating room were reviewed and analyzed. In addition, a detailed review was performed of major head and neck reconstructions with free tissue transfer. A total of 1655 operative procedures were performed in 1290 patients. The ratio of men to women was 6:1 (1112 men and 178 women). Patients ranged in age from 26 to 97 years (average age, 62.7 years). Procedures in the extremities and trunk (n = 193, 11.7 percent), breast and cosmetic (n = 228, 13.8 percent), hand surgery (n = 155, 9.4 percent), and other (n = 275, 16.6 percent) categories were comparably distributed. Although the head and neck category accounted for the highest number of procedures (n = 766, 46.3 percent), the majority of these procedures were simple excisions of skin tumors (n = 612). There were significantly fewer major craniomaxillofacial cases (n = 38, 2.3 percent). Data from the retrospective analysis reveal that a broad spectrum of plastic surgical procedures is performed within the Veterans Affairs Health System, serving as a tremendous resource for resident training

  4. Conflict of interest issues pertinent to Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Jennifer; Simiele, Ernest; Lawson, D Curtis; Tyler, Douglas

    2011-09-01

    Conflicts of interest exist when an arrangement potentially exerts inappropriate influence on decision making or professional judgment, or is perceived to do so, and can thus damage the public trust and undermine the integrity of those decisions. Concerns regarding financial conflicts of interest in the medical arena have reached their height as of late, given that physicians now function in a milieu of complex and delicate relationships with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Even when such relationships do not correlate with actual compromise of judgment or patient care, it threatens the credibility of both the health care professional and the institution because of the social perception of the effect of these relationships. Although most institutions in the Western world set forth a code of ethics and conflict-of-interest policies to be followed under threat of termination, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) presents itself as a unique environment in which conflicts of interest are subject to governmental laws, violation of which may not only result in employment-related discipline, but may be sanctioned by civil and criminal penalties. Moreover, these provisions are developed by a national authoritative organization rather than being institution-specific guidelines. Given that many academic physicians working within the VHA may also have a component of their practice in a University setting, it becomes important to understand the differences in policy between these contexts so as not to threaten the public trust in the veracity of decisions made and, therefore, maintain the integrity of the relationship between physician and patient. This article will review aspects of conflict-of-interest policies in the realm of research, financial relationships, foreign travel, and vendor contracting that are particular to the VHA and make it a unique environment to function in as a physician and scientist. Copyright © 2011 Society for

  5. The Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs Health Care Joint Venture at Tripler Army Medical Center Needs More Management Oversight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-18

    E M B E R 1 8 , 2 0 1 3 The Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs Health Care Joint Venture at Tripler Army Medical Center Needs More...Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs Health Care Joint Venture at Tripler Army Medical Center Needs More Management Oversight 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER...Health Care Joint Venture at Tripler Army Medical Center Needs More Management Oversight Objective Our audit objective was to determine whether the

  6. Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Nightmares at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detweiler, Mark B.; Pagadala, Bhuvaneshwar; Candelario, Joseph; Boyle, Jennifer S.; Detweiler, Jonna G.; Lutgens, Brian W.

    2016-01-01

    The effectiveness of medications for PTSD in general has been well studied, but the effectiveness of medicatio.ns prescribed specifically for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) nightmares is less well known. This retrospective chart review examined the efficacy of various medications used in actual treatment of PTSD nightmares at one Veteran Affairs Hospital. Records at the Salem, VA Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) were examined from 2009 to 2013 to check for the efficacy of actual treatments used in comparis.on with treatments suggested in three main review articles. The final sample consisted of 327 patients and 478 separate medication trials involving 21 individual medications plus 13 different medication combinations. The three most frequently utilized medications were prazosin (107 trials), risperidone (81 trials), and quetiapine (72 trials). Five medications had 20 or more trials with successful results (partial to full nightmare cessation) in >50% of trials: risperidone (77%, 1.0–6.0 mg), clonidine (63%, 0.1–2.0 mg), quetiapine (50%, 12.5–800.0 mg), mirtazapine (50%; 7.5–30.0 mg), and terazosin (64%, 50.0–300.0 mg). Notably, olanzapine (2.5–10.0) was successful (full remission) in all five prescription trials in five separate patients. Based on the clinical results, the use of risperidone, clonidine, terazosin, and olanzapine warrants additional investigation in clinically controlled trials as medications prescribed specifically for PTSD nightmares. PMID:27999253

  7. Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Synthetic Dataset

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The VA's Veteran Health Administration, in support of the Open Data Initiative, is providing the Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Synthetic Dataset (VASPSD). The...

  8. Allowing Family to be Family: End-of-Life Care in Veterans Affairs Medical Foster Homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manheim, Chelsea E; Haverhals, Leah M; Jones, Jacqueline; Levy, Cari R

    2016-01-01

    The Medical Foster Home program is a unique long-term care program coordinated by the Veterans Health Administration. The program pairs Veterans with private, 24-hour a day community-based caregivers who often care for Veterans until the end of life. This qualitative study explored the experiences of care coordination for Medical Foster Home Veterans at the end of life with eight Veterans' family members, five Medical Foster Home caregivers, and seven Veterans Health Administration Home-Based Primary Care team members. A case study, qualitative content analysis identified these themes addressing care coordination and impact of the Medical Foster Home model on those involved: (a) Medical Foster Home program supports Veterans' families; (b) Medical Foster Home program supports the caregiver as family; (c) Veterans' needs are met socially and culturally at the end of life; and (d) the changing needs of Veterans, families, and caregivers at Veterans' end of life are addressed. Insights into how to best support Medical Foster Home caregivers caring for Veterans at the end of life were gained including the need for more and better respite options and how caregivers are compensated in the month of the Veteran's death, as well as suggestions to navigate end-of-life care coordination with multiple stakeholders involved.

  9. Trabeculectomy Outcomes by Supervised Trainees in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggerstaff, Kristin S; Vincent, Ryan D; Lin, Albert P; Orengo-Nania, Silvia; Frankfort, Benjamin J

    2016-08-01

    To evaluate the outcomes of trabeculectomy performed in an ophthalmology training program. Retrospective study. A total of 160 patients undergoing trabeculectomy performed by a resident or fellow under attending supervision. Trabeculectomy surgeries performed by a supervised resident or fellow surgeon between October 2000 and April 2010 were reviewed. Success was considered to be complete or partial if intraocular pressure (IOP)-lowering medications were not or were required to achieve IOP≤21 mm Hg, respectively. Failure was defined as IOP>21 mm Hg on 2 consecutive visits, loss of light perception vision, IOP≤5 on 2 consecutive visits with associated visual acuity loss of ≥2 lines, or need for surgical intervention. Trabeculectomy survival was determined using Kaplan-Meier analysis through 60 months of follow-up. Final IOP, success/failure rate. Complete success was achieved in 65 patients (41%). The average final IOP of this group was 9.1±3.7 mm Hg. Qualified success was achieved in 56 patients (35%). The average final IOP of this group was 11.5±6.4 mm Hg. At 60 months, the estimated cumulative probability of survival for complete and qualified successes was 28.9% and 63.7%, respectively. Among patients undergoing trabeculectomy by supervised residents or glaucoma fellows in a large Veterans Affairs Medical Center, IOP reduction was significant and similar to published studies. Trabeculectomy remains a successful intervention to lower IOP, with satisfactory success rates in the hands of trainee surgeons.

  10. A study of ambulatory care education in medical schools and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, A S; Lussier, R R; Koser, K

    1989-10-01

    A study of ambulatory care and education was conducted by sending questionnaires to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals (75) and medical schools (65) prior to the Conference on Ambulatory Care and Education. Responses from 48% of medical schools indicated that there was little required clinical time in ambulatory care (15-20%), as well as faculty resistance and lack of medical school commitment to ambulatory care education. VA respondents (35% sample) also documented relatively little training in ambulatory care at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Numerous barriers to ambulatory care education are mentioned and strategies for overcoming the problems found are discussed.

  11. Adaptation of Lean Six Sigma Methodologies for the Evaluation of Veterans Choice Program at 3 Urban Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Sherry L; Stevenson, Lauren D; Ladebue, Amy C; McCreight, Marina S; Lawrence, Emily C; Oestreich, Taryn; Lambert-Kerzner, Anne C

    2017-07-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is adapting to meet the changing needs of our Veterans. VHA leaders are promoting quality improvement strategies including Lean Six Sigma (LSS). This study used LSS tools to evaluate the Veterans Choice Program (VCP), a program that aims to improve access to health care services for eligible Veterans by expanding health care options to non-VHA providers. LSS was utilized to assess the current process and efficiency patterns of the VCP at 3 VHA Medical Centers. LSS techniques were used to assess data obtained through semistructured interviews with Veterans, staff, and providers to describe and evaluate the VCP process by identifying wastes and defects. The LSS methodology facilitated the process of targeting priorities for improvement and constructing suggestions to close identified gaps and inefficiencies. Identified key process wastes included inefficient exchange of clinical information between stakeholders in and outside of the VHA; poor dissemination of VCP programmatic information; shortages of VCP-participating providers; duplication of appointments; declines in care coordination; and lack of program adaptability to local processes. Recommendations for improvement were formulated using LSS. This evaluation illustrates how LSS can be utilized to assess a nationally mandated health care program. By focusing on stakeholder, staff, and Veteran perspectives, process defects in the VCP were identified and improvement recommendations were made. However, the current LSS language used is not intuitive in health care and similar applications of LSS may consider using new language and goals adapted specifically for health care.

  12. Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry (VACCR)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry (VACCR) receives and stores information on cancer diagnosis and treatment constraints compiled and sent in by the local...

  13. Advanced earthquake monitoring system for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical buildings--instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalkan, Erol; Banga, Krishna; Ulusoy, Hasan S.; Fletcher, Jon Peter B.; Leith, William S.; Reza, Shahneam; Cheng, Timothy

    2012-01-01

    In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Strong Motion Project (NSMP; http://nsmp.wr.usgs.gov/) of the U.S. Geological Survey has been installing sophisticated seismic systems that will monitor the structural integrity of 28 VA hospital buildings located in seismically active regions of the conterminous United States, Alaska, and Puerto Rico during earthquake shaking. These advanced monitoring systems, which combine the use of sensitive accelerometers and real-time computer calculations, are designed to determine the structural health of each hospital building rapidly after an event, helping the VA to ensure the safety of patients and staff. This report presents the instrumentation component of this project by providing details of each hospital building, including a summary of its structural, geotechnical, and seismic hazard information, as well as instrumentation objectives and design. The structural-health monitoring component of the project, including data retrieval and processing, damage detection and localization, automated alerting system, and finally data dissemination, will be presented in a separate report.

  14. Effect of Lean Processes on Surgical Wait Times and Efficiency in a Tertiary Care Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valsangkar, Nakul P; Eppstein, Andrew C; Lawson, Rick A; Taylor, Amber N

    2017-01-01

    There are an increasing number of veterans in the United States, and the current delay and wait times prevent Veterans Affairs institutions from fully meeting the needs of current and former service members. Concrete strategies to improve throughput at these facilities have been sparse. To identify whether lean processes can be used to improve wait times for surgical procedures in Veterans Affairs hospitals. Databases in the Veterans Integrated Service Network 11 Data Warehouse, Veterans Health Administration Support Service Center, and Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture/Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol were queried to assess changes in wait times for elective general surgical procedures and clinical volume before, during, and after implementation of lean processes over 3 fiscal years (FYs) at a tertiary care Veterans Affairs medical center. All patients evaluated by the general surgery department through outpatient clinics, clinical video teleconferencing, and e-consultations from October 2011 through September 2014 were included. Patients evaluated through the emergency department or as inpatient consults were excluded. The surgery service and systems redesign service held a value stream analysis in FY 2013, culminating in multiple rapid process improvement workshops. Multidisciplinary teams identified systemic inefficiencies and strategies to improve interdepartmental and patient communication to reduce canceled consultations and cases, diagnostic rework, and no-shows. High-priority triage with enhanced operating room flexibility was instituted to reduce scheduling wait times. General surgery department pilot projects were then implemented mid-FY 2013. Planned outcome measures included wait time, clinic and telehealth volume, number of no-shows, and operative volume. Paired t tests were used to identify differences in outcome measures after the institution of reforms. Following rapid process improvement workshop project rollouts, mean

  15. Plastic surgery within the Veterans Affairs Medical System: proposed modified indications for operative procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdmann, Detlev; Pradka, Sarah P; Similie, Ernest; Marcus, Jeffrey R; Moyer, Kurtis E; Shelburne, John D; Tyler, Douglas S; Levin, Scott L

    2009-07-01

    Many plastic surgery procedures span the divide between aesthetic ("cosmetic") and reconstructive surgery. However, definitions and guidelines may be inconsistent, which may decrease patients' access to legitimate procedures. The article aims to assist Veterans' Health Administration-affiliated plastic surgeons in continuing to provide optimal care to the Nation's Veterans and family members, and should be regarded as an open discussion.

  16. Obese Veterans Enrolled in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center Outpatient Weight Loss Clinic Are Likely to Experience Disordered Sleep and Posttraumatic Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Stephanie B; Levy, James R; Farrell-Carnahan, Leah; Nichols, Michelle G; Raman, Shekar

    2016-07-15

    This cross-sectional study aimed to characterize sleep patterns, the quality and duration of sleep, and estimate the prevalence of common sleep disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a hospital-based Veterans Affairs MOVE! (Managing Overweight Veterans Everywhere) clinic. Participants completed five instruments: the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Smith's Measure of Morningness/Eveningness, Restless Legs Syndrome Rating Scale, the STOP Questionnaire, and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist - Civilian Version (PCL-C). Enrolled Veterans (n = 96) were mostly male (78%), African American (49%), mean age 58 (standard deviation [SD] 10.6) years, and mean body mass index (BMI) 38.4 kg/m(2) (SD 8.4). By PSQI, 89% rated sleep quality as "poor" (mean = 11.1, SD = 5.1), consistent with severely impaired sleep. Most were at high risk for sleep disorders including restless leg syndrome (53%), obstructive sleep apnea (66%), and circadian sleep disorders (72%). Forty-seven percent endorsed clinically significant symptoms of PTSD. Hypotheses-generating regression models suggest sleep latency (minutes before falling asleep) was associated with BMI (p = 0.018). Bedtime, getting up time, hours of sleep, waking up in the middle of the night or early morning, having to get up to use the bathroom, inability to breathe comfortably, cough or snore loudly, feeling too cold or too hot, having bad dreams, pain, and frequency of having trouble sleeping, were not significantly associated with BMI. Our cross-sectional study suggests that sleep difficulties are common among Veterans referred to a weight loss program at a Veterans Affairs Hospital. Controlled studies are needed to investigate whether the results are generalizable and whether obesity among veterans is a risk factor for sleep disorders and PTSD. A commentary on this article appears in this issue on page 943. © 2016 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

  17. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... following events are open to the press: WHO: House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs WHAT: Legislative Hearing on ... From Shielding Dangerous Doctors 13 Oct On Thursday, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe ( ...

  18. AVTA Federal Fleet PEV Readiness Data Logging and Characterization Study for Department of Veterans Affairs. James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schey, Stephen [Intertek Testing Services, North America, Phoenix, AZ (United States); Francfort, Jim [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2014-10-01

    This report focuses on the Department of Veterans Affairs, James J. Peters VA Medical Center (VA - Bronx) fleet to identify daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and report findings on vehicle and mission characterizations to support the successful introduction of PEVs into the agencies’ fleets. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to electric vehicle adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements.

  19. Systems innovation model: an integrated interdisciplinary team approach pre- and post-bariatric surgery at a veterans affairs (VA) medical center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberg, Dan; Lohnberg, Jessica A; Kubat, Eric P; Bates, Cheryl C; Greenberg, Lauren M; Frayne, Susan M

    2017-04-01

    Provision of bariatric surgery in the Veterans Health Administration must account for obese veterans' co-morbidity burden and the geographically dispersed location of patients relative to Veterans Affairs (VA) bariatric centers. To evaluate a collaborative, integrated, interdisciplinary bariatric team of surgeons, bariatricians, psychologists, dieticians, and physical therapists working in a hub-and-spokes care model, for pre- and post-bariatric surgery assessment and management. This is a description of an interdisciplinary clinic and bariatric program at a VA healthcare system and a report on program evaluation findings. Retrospective data of a prospective database was abstracted. For program evaluation, we abstracted charts to characterize patient data and conducted a patient survey. Since 2009, 181 veterans have undergone bariatric surgery. Referrals came from 7 western U.S. states. Mean preoperative body mass index was 46 kg/m2 (maximum 71). Mean age was 53 years, with 33% aged>60 years; 79% were male. Medical co-morbidity included diabetes (70%), hypertension (85%), and lower back or extremity joint pain (84%). A psychiatric diagnosis was present in 58%. At 12 months, follow-up was 81% and percent excess body mass index loss was 50.5%. Among 54 sequential clinic patients completing anonymous surveys, overall satisfaction with the interdisciplinary team approach and improved quality of life were high (98% and 94%, respectively). The integrated, interdisciplinary team approach using a hub-and-spokes model is well suited to the VA bariatric surgery population, with its heavy burden of medical and mental health co-morbidity and its system of geographically dispersed patients receiving treatment at specialty centers. As the VA seeks to expand the use of bariatric surgery as an option for obese veterans, interdisciplinary models crafted to address case complexity, care coordination, and long-term outcomes should be part of policy planning efforts. Published by

  20. 75 FR 78807 - Agency Information Collection (Notice to Department of Veterans Affairs of Veteran or Beneficiary...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-16

    ... Incarcerated in Penal Institution) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA... Veterans Affairs of Veteran or Beneficiary Incarcerated in Penal Institution, VA Form 21-4193. OMB Control...

  1. Role of prolonged surveillance in the eradication of nosocomial scabies in an extended care Veterans Affairs medical center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez-Lucho, V E; Fallon, F; Caputo, C; Ramsey, K

    1995-02-01

    Although general guidelines for control of institutional outbreaks of scabies have been published, little information is available on the long-term efficacy of these measures in extended care facilities. An epidemic of scabies occurred in a comprehensive care Veterans Affairs facility as a result of an unrecognized case of crusted scabies, with a total of 112 persons affected during a 12-month period. The initial outbreak occurred in the acute care units, with highest attack rates among roommates of the index patient (11/14, 78%) and nursing staff (27/55, 49%). Despite sustained infection control measures, secondary outbreaks continued to occur in the extended care units. Factors contributing to the persistence of the epidemic were transfer of patients with unrecognized infestation within the facility, prolonged latency period and atypical manifestations in elderly patients, and failure of scabicide treatment. In addition, a role may be played by carriage of scabies mites by infested staff members before they have symptoms. Control of the epidemic was only achieved with the following: increased awareness and better scabies recognition, restriction of staff rotation in the facility, and improved communication among primary providers and infection control personnel. Prolonged surveillance may be required for eradication of nosocomial scabies in extended care settings.

  2. 38 CFR 17.509 - Authorized disclosure: Non-Department of Veterans Affairs requests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... quality assurance records and documents. (2) Accreditation agencies charged with more narrowly focused...' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Confidentiality of Healthcare Quality Assurance Review... confidential and privileged quality assurance records and documents from organizations or individuals outside...

  3. Ethnic Disparities in Emergency Severity Index Scores among U.S. Veteran's Affairs Emergency Department Patients

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Vigil, Jacob M; Alcock, Joe; Coulombe, Patrick; McPherson, Laurie; Parshall, Mark; Murata, Allison; Brislen, Heather

    2015-01-01

    ... characteristics, and whether these differences varied among male and female Veterans Affairs (VA) ED patients. We used a large national database of electronic medical records of ED patients from twenty-two...

  4. An academic hospitalist model to improve healthcare worker communication and learner education: results from a quasi-experimental study at a Veterans Affairs medical center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saint, Sanjay; Fowler, Karen E; Krein, Sarah L; Flanders, Scott A; Bodnar, Timothy W; Young, Eric; Moseley, Richard H

    2013-12-01

    Although hospitalists may improve efficiency and quality of inpatient care, their effect on healthcare-worker communication and education has been less well-studied. To test various approaches to improving healthcare-worker communication and learner education within the context of a newly designed academic hospital medicine program. Before-and-after design with concurrent control group. A Midwestern Veterans Affairs medical center. Multimodal systems redesign of 1 of 4 medical teams (Gold team) that included clinical modifications (change in rounding structure, with inclusion of nurses, a Clinical Care Coordinator, and a pharmacist) and educational interventions (providing explicit expectations of learners and providing a reading list for both learners and attending physicians). Number of admissions, length of stay, readmissions, house officer and medical student ratings of attendings' teaching, medical student internal medicine National Board of Medical Examiners Subject Examination ("shelf" exam) scores, and clinical staff surveys. Length of stay was reduced by about 0.3 days on all teams after the initiative began (P = 0.004), with no significant differences between Gold and non-Gold teams. The majority of physicians (83%) and nurses (68%) felt that including nurses during rounds improved healthcare-worker communication; significantly more nurses were satisfied with communication with the Gold team than with the other teams (71% vs 53%; P = 0.02). Gold attendings generally received higher teaching scores compared with non-Gold attendings, and third-year medical students on the Gold team scored significantly higher on the shelf exam compared with non-Gold team students (84 vs 82; P = 0.006). Academic hospitalists working within a systems redesign intervention were able to improve healthcare-worker communication and enhance learner education without increasing patient length of stay or readmission rates. © 2013 Society of The Authors. Journal of Hospital Medicine

  5. 78 FR 70088 - Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-22

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION... Business Affairs. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: December 5, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m...

  6. Timing of Initiation of Maintenance Dialysis: A Qualitative Analysis of the Electronic Medical Records of a National Cohort of Patients From the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Susan P Y; Vig, Elizabeth K; Taylor, Janelle S; Burrows, Nilka R; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Williams, Desmond E; Hebert, Paul L; O'Hare, Ann M

    2016-02-01

    There is often considerable uncertainty about the optimal time to initiate maintenance dialysis in individual patients and little medical evidence to guide this decision. To gain a better understanding of the factors influencing the timing of initiation of dialysis in clinical practice. A qualitative analysis was conducted using the electronic medical records from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of a national random sample of 1691 patients for whom the decision to initiate maintenance dialysis occurred in the VA between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2009. Data analysis took place from June 1 to November 30, 2014. Central themes related to the timing of initiation of dialysis as documented in patients' electronic medical records. Of the 1691 patients, 1264 (74.7%) initiated dialysis as inpatients and 1228 (72.6%) initiated dialysis with a hemodialysis catheter. Cohort members met with a nephrologist during an outpatient clinic visit a median of 3 times (interquartile range, 0-6) in the year prior to initiation of dialysis. The mean (SD) estimated glomerular filtration rate at the time of initiation for cohort members was 10.4 (5.7) mL/min/1.73 m(2). The timing of initiation of dialysis reflected the complex interplay of at least 3 interrelated and dynamic processes. The first was physician practices, which ranged from practices intended to prepare patients for dialysis to those intended to forestall the need for dialysis by managing the signs and symptoms of uremia with medical interventions. The second process was sources of momentum. Initiation of dialysis was often precipitated by clinical events involving acute illness or medical procedures. In these settings, the imperative to treat often seemed to override patient choice. The third process was patient-physician dynamics. Interactions between patients and physicians were sometimes adversarial, and physician recommendations to initiate dialysis sometimes seemed to conflict with patient priorities

  7. Families' perceptions of end-of-life care in Veterans Affairs versus non-Veterans Affairs facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hien; Trancik, Emily; Bailey, F Amos; Ritchie, Christine; Rosenfeld, Kenneth; Shreve, Scott; Furman, Christian; Smith, Dawn; Wolff, Catherine; Casarett, David

    2010-08-01

    The Veterans Affairs (VA) has made significant investments in care for veterans. However, it is not known whether these investments have produced improvements in end-of-life care in the VA compared to other settings. Therefore, the goal of this study was to compare families' perceptions of end-of-life care among patients who died in VA and non-VA facilities. Retrospective 32-item telephone surveys were conducted with family members of patients who died in VA and non-VA facilities. Five Veterans Affairs medical centers and their affiliated nursing homes and outpatient clinics. Patients were eligible if they received any care from a participating VA facility in the last month of life and if they died in an inpatient setting. One family member per patient completed the survey. In bivariate analysis, patients who died in VA facilities (n = 520) had higher mean satisfaction scores compared to those who died in non-VA facilities (n = 89; 59 versus 51; rank sum test p = 0.002). After adjusting for medical center, the overall score was still significantly higher for those dying in the VA (beta = 0.07; confidence interval [CI] = 0.02-0.11; p = 0.004), as was the domain measuring care around the time of death (beta = 0.11; CI = 0.04-0.17; p = 0.001). Families of patients who died in VA facilities rated care as being better than did families of those who died in non-VA facilities. These results provide preliminary evidence that the VA's investment in end-of-life care has contributed to improvements in care in VA facilities compared to non-VA facilities.

  8. 38 CFR 17.90 - Medical care for veterans receiving vocational training under 38 U.S.C. chapter 15.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Medical care for veterans... Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Vocational Training and Health-Care Eligibility Protection for Pension Recipients § 17.90 Medical care for veterans receiving vocational training under 38 U...

  9. Veterans’s Medical Care: FY2014 Appropriations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-14

    B and flu vaccinations . 25 Department of Veterans Affairs, FY2014 Budget Submission, Medical Programs and Information Technology Programs, Volume 2...veterans of World War II allied nations, and employees receiving preventative occupational immunizations such as Hepatitis A&B and flu vaccinations . The...based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services such as professional readjustment counseling to veterans who

  10. 32 CFR Appendix D to Part 45 - State Directors of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false State Directors of Veterans Affairs D Appendix D..., App. D Appendix D to Part 45—State Directors of Veterans Affairs Alabama Director, Department of... 06067. Indiana Director, Department of Veterans Affairs, 707 State Office Building, 100 N. Senate Avenue...

  11. 48 CFR 852.203-71 - Display of Department of Veterans Affairs hotline poster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Veterans Affairs hotline poster. 852.203-71 Section 852.203-71 Federal Acquisition Regulations System... Provisions and Clauses 852.203-71 Display of Department of Veterans Affairs hotline poster. As prescribed in 803.7001, insert the following clause: Display of Department of Veterans Affairs Hotline Poster (DEC...

  12. Use of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid Services for Dually Enrolled Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Jean; Vanneman, Megan E; Dally, Sharon K; Trivedi, Amal N; Phibbs, Ciaran S

    2017-06-13

    To examine how dual coverage for nonelderly, low-income veterans by Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicaid affects their demand for care. Veterans Affairs utilization data and Medicaid Analytic Extract Files. A retrospective, longitudinal study of VA users prior to and following enrollment in Medicaid 2006-2010. Veterans Affairs reliance, or proportion of care provided by VA, was estimated with beta-binomial models, adjusting for patient and state Medicaid program factors. In a cohort of 19,890 nonelderly veterans, VA utilization levels were similar before and after enrolling in Medicaid. VA outpatient reliance was 0.65, and VA inpatient reliance was 0.53 after Medicaid enrollment. Factors significantly associated with greater VA reliance included sociodemographic factors, having a service-connected disability, comorbidity, and higher state Medicaid reimbursement. Factors significantly associated with less VA reliance included months enrolled in Medicaid, managed care enrollment, Medicaid eligibility type, longer drive time to VA care, greater Medicaid eligibility generosity, and better Medicaid quality. Veterans Affairs utilization following new Medicaid enrollment remained relatively unchanged, and the VA continued to provide the large majority of care for dually enrolled veterans. There was variation among patients as Medicaid eligibility and other program factors influenced their use of Medicaid services. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  13. 38 CFR 3.201 - Exchange of evidence; Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ...; Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs. 3.201 Section 3.201 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans... Compensation Evidence Requirements § 3.201 Exchange of evidence; Social Security and Department of Veterans... Social Security Administration or to have the Department of Veterans Affairs obtain such evidence from...

  14. Veterans' use of Department of Veterans Affairs care and perceptions of outsourcing inpatient care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakefield, Bonnie J; Tripp-Reimer, Toni; Rosenbaum, Marcy E; Rosenthal, Gary E

    2007-06-01

    The objective of the study was to examine veterans' perceptions of problems and benefits of outsourcing inpatient care from Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals to private sector hospitals. Primary data were collected from a cross-section of 42 veterans who were VA users and nonusers using focus groups. Focus group discussion examined reasons patients use VA care, differences between VA and civilian care, positive and negative impacts of outsourcing, and special needs of veterans. Analyses revealed five domains related both to use of VA services and perceptions of outsourcing: costs, access, quality of care, contract (i.e., a covenant between veterans and the U.S. government), veteran milieu, and special needs. Participants identified a variety of potential positive and negative impacts. In general, veterans perceived more advantages than disadvantages to outsourcing VA care but still expressed significant concerns related to outsourcing. These issues should be considered in the development of future policy toward outsourcing VA care to the private sector.

  15. Assessment of Service Members Knowledge and Trust of the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-12

    OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom VA Department of Veterans Affairs VA OIG Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General VBA Veterans Benefits...reorganization into the three administrations: Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration ( VBA ) and National Cemetery...features. VBA also implemented a similar program in coordination with DoD called eBenefits which allows Veterans, Service Members and their families to

  16. Resources and Capabilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs to Provide Timely and Accessible Care to Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussey, Peter S; Ringel, Jeanne S; Ahluwalia, Sangeeta; Price, Rebecca Anhang; Buttorff, Christine; Concannon, Thomas W; Lovejoy, Susan L; Martsolf, Grant R; Rudin, Robert S; Schultz, Dana; Sloss, Elizabeth M; Watkins, Katherine E; Waxman, Daniel; Bauman, Melissa; Briscombe, Brian; Broyles, James R; Burns, Rachel M; Chen, Emily K; DeSantis, Amy Soo Jin; Ecola, Liisa; Fischer, Shira H; Friedberg, Mark W; Gidengil, Courtney A; Ginsburg, Paul B; Gulden, Timothy; Gutierrez, Carlos Ignacio; Hirshman, Samuel; Huang, Christina Y; Kandrack, Ryan; Kress, Amii; Leuschner, Kristin J; MacCarthy, Sarah; Maksabedian, Ervant J; Mann, Sean; Matthews, Luke Joseph; May, Linnea Warren; Mishra, Nishtha; Miyashiro, Lisa; Muchow, Ashley N; Nelson, Jason; Naranjo, Diana; O'Hanlon, Claire E; Pillemer, Francesca; Predmore, Zachary; Ross, Rachel; Ruder, Teague; Rutter, Carolyn M; Uscher-Pines, Lori; Vaiana, Mary E; Vesely, Joseph V; Hosek, Susan D; Farmer, Carrie M

    2016-05-09

    The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) current and projected health care capabilities and resources. An examination of data from a variety of sources, along with a survey of VA medical facility leaders, revealed the breadth and depth of VA resources and capabilities: fiscal resources, workforce and human resources, physical infrastructure, interorganizational relationships, and information resources. The assessment identified barriers to the effective use of these resources and capabilities. Analysis of data on access to VA care and the quality of that care showed that almost all veterans live within 40 miles of a VA health facility, but fewer have access to VA specialty care. Veterans usually receive care within 14 days of their desired appointment date, but wait times vary considerably across VA facilities. VA has long played a national leadership role in measuring the quality of health care. The assessment showed that VA health care quality was as good or better on most measures compared with other health systems, but quality performance lagged at some VA facilities. VA will require more resources and capabilities to meet a projected increase in veterans' demand for VA care over the next five years. Options for increasing capacity include accelerated hiring, full nurse practice authority, and expanded use of telehealth.

  17. Epidemiology of Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia in a Veterans Affairs Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, Andrew J; McClellan, Allison L; Pezon, Candido F; Karp, Carol L; Feuer, William; Galor, Anat

    2013-10-01

    To evaluate the epidemiology of ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) and its associated risk factors in a South Florida Veterans Affairs Hospital population. Retrospective case-control study. Twenty-eight confirmed cases of OSSN from 24,179 veterans who received care at the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and affiliated satellite eye clinics between March 1, 2007, and March 1, 2012. Data extracted from the veterans administration database that comprised demographic information and medical diagnosis information [based on International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) codes]. The main outcome measures were the period prevalence of OSSN and identification of factors associated with the presence of disease. The period prevalence of OSSN in our population was 0.1%. The risk factors studied included UV-related dermatologic diseases (melanoma, squamous and basal cell cancer, and actinic keratosis), UV-related ocular conditions (pterygium), HIV seropositivity, human papilloma virus-related diseases, and tobacco use. The presence of skin malignancy (squamous cell carcinoma and/or basal cell carcinoma) and pterygium was found to be significantly associated with the presence of OSSN [odds ratio, 4.40; 95% confidence interval, 2.03-9.55; P ocular conditions related to sun exposure was the most important risk factor for the occurrence of OSSN in a South Florida Veterans Affairs Healthcare System population consistent with previous epidemiological reports worldwide.

  18. 38 CFR 17.351 - Grants for the replacement and upgrading of equipment at Veterans Memorial Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Grants for the..., Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Grants to the Republic of the Philippines § 17.351 Grants for the replacement and upgrading of equipment at Veterans Memorial Medical Center...

  19. Veterans Affairs Contracting: Improved Oversight Needed for Certain Contractual Arrangements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

    Contracting Letter 1 Background 3 The Extent to Which VA Used IAAs Is Unknown Due to Incomplete Information 10 Management of the Award and Oversight...of IAAs Varied, and in Some Cases Did Not Comply with Policy 13 VA Obligated Over $244 Million to FFRDCs with Significant Increases for Two VA...Documentation among Selected IAA Orders 14 Table 2: Veterans Affairs Obligations to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, Fiscal

  20. 38 CFR 3.108 - State Department as agent of Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Administrative § 3.108 State Department as agent of Department of Veterans Affairs. Diplomatic and consular officers of the Department of State are authorized to act as agents of the Department of Veterans Affairs... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false State Department as agent...

  1. 38 CFR 3.1611 - Official Department of Veterans Affairs representation at funeral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... representation at funeral. When requested by the person entitled to the custody of the body of a deceased beneficiary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, official representation at the funeral will be granted... Veterans Affairs representation at funeral. 3.1611 Section 3.1611 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief...

  2. Migration by Veterans Who Received Homeless Services From the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metraux, Stephen; Treglia, Dan; O'Toole, Thomas P

    2016-10-01

    We examined migration patterns among 113,400 homeless veterans, focusing on the prevalence and the basic geographic patterns of this migration. Data were for all veterans who initiated use of Veterans Affairs homeless services in 2011 or 2012; and we followed them using Veterans Affairs administrative records for up to 2 years following this initial contact. Results showed that 15.3% of the veterans migrated across regions while homeless. Those who were homeless for longer periods were more likely to migrate, and migration, were it to occur, was most likely earlier on in veterans' homelessness episodes. There were no clear geographic correlates that explained the dynamics of this migration as, overall, in-migration tended to roughly balance out-migration in a region. These findings suggest that concerns about the extent of migration and its impact on localities are exaggerated, but also sets forth an agenda for more in-depth study of these data to gain a deeper and more expansive understanding of this phenomenon. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  3. The Health and Social Isolation of American Veterans Denied Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Dennis Adrian; Passannante, Marian; Helmer, Drew; Holland, Bart K; Halperin, William E

    2017-02-01

    Authors comparatively analyzed health and social isolation between U.S. military veterans denied Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and veterans awarded VA disability compensation. The 2001 National Survey of Veterans was used to create a sample of 4,522 veterans denied or awarded VA disability compensation. Using the Andersen health services utilization model as a conceptual framework, multivariate logistic regression was applied to assess relationships between VA disability compensation award status, three separate domains of health, and correlates of social isolation. Results indicate that denied applicants were more likely than those awarded to have poor overall health (odds ratio [OR] = 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23, 1.70), and limitations in activities of daily living (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.21). Denied applicants' physical functioning (40.3) and mental functioning (41.2) composite summary scores were not clinically different from those of awarded applicants (39.0 and 40.1, respectively), indicating that both were comparably impaired. Veterans denied VA disability compensation had poor health and functional impairments. They also experienced poverty and isolation, suggesting that they may be in need of additional supportive services. Connecting veterans to community resources could be a vital service to provide to all veterans applying for disability compensation. © 2016 National Association of Social Workers.

  4. 38 CFR 14.514 - Suits by or against United States or Department of Veterans Affairs officials; indemnification of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... United States or Department of Veterans Affairs officials; indemnification of Department of Veterans... States or Department of Veterans Affairs officials. When a suit involving any activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs is filed against the United States or the Secretary or a suit is filed against...

  5. The Post-9/11 GI Bill: Insights from Veterans Using Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Geri L.; Boland, Elizabeth A.; Dudgeon, Brian; Johnson, Kurt

    2013-01-01

    Because the Post-9/11 GI Bill was implemented in August of 2009, increasing numbers of veterans returning from the Global War on Terror (GWT) have drawn on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits. Based on the findings of a mixed-methods study, quantitative and qualitative survey responses from veterans enrolled at a major…

  6. Department of Veterans Affairs, Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-29

    overall exposure of troops to Leishmania tropica? 3. What were the exposure concentrations to various petroleum products, and their combustion products...have been identified in Veterans of the 1990 – 1991 Gulf War. 3. What were the exposure concentrations to various petroleum products, and their...Research Program within CDMRP (DoD). A clinical study to examine the effects of aspirin and Clopidogrel on biomarkers of Gulf War Veterans

  7. Dengue surveillance in Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities, 2007-2010.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia L Schirmer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although dengue is endemic in Puerto Rico (PR, 2007 and 2010 were recognized as epidemic years. In the continental United States (US, outside of the Texas-Mexico border, there had not been a dengue outbreak since 1946 until dengue re-emerged in Key West, Florida (FL, in 2009-2010. The objective of this study was to use electronic and manual surveillance systems to identify dengue cases in Veterans Affairs (VA healthcare facilities and then to clinically compare dengue cases in Veterans presenting for care in PR and in FL. METHODOLOGY: Outpatient encounters from 1/2007-12/2010 and inpatient admissions (only available from 10/2009-12/2010 with dengue diagnostic codes at all VA facilities were identified using VA's Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE. Additional case sources included VA data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BioSense and VA infection preventionists. Case reviews were performed. Categorical data was compared using Mantel-Haenszel or Fisher Exact tests and continuous variables using t-tests. Dengue case residence was mapped. FINDINGS: Two hundred eighty-eight and 21 PR and FL dengue cases respectively were identified. Of 21 FL cases, 12 were exposed in Key West and 9 were imported. During epidemic years, FL cases had significantly increased dengue testing and intensive care admissions, but lower hospitalization rates and headache or eye pain symptoms compared to PR cases. There were no significant differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory abnormalities or outcomes between epidemic and non-epidemic year cases in FL and PR. Confirmed/probable cases were significantly more likely to be hospitalized and have thrombocytopenia or leukopenia compared to suspected cases. CONCLUSIONS: Dengue re-introduction in the continental US warrants increased dengue surveillance and education in VA. Throughout VA, under-testing of suspected cases highlights the need to

  8. Dengue surveillance in Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities, 2007-2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmer, Patricia L; Lucero-Obusan, Cynthia A; Benoit, Stephen R; Santiago, Luis M; Stanek, Danielle; Dey, Achintya; Martinez, Mirsonia; Oda, Gina; Holodniy, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Although dengue is endemic in Puerto Rico (PR), 2007 and 2010 were recognized as epidemic years. In the continental United States (US), outside of the Texas-Mexico border, there had not been a dengue outbreak since 1946 until dengue re-emerged in Key West, Florida (FL), in 2009-2010. The objective of this study was to use electronic and manual surveillance systems to identify dengue cases in Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities and then to clinically compare dengue cases in Veterans presenting for care in PR and in FL. Outpatient encounters from 1/2007-12/2010 and inpatient admissions (only available from 10/2009-12/2010) with dengue diagnostic codes at all VA facilities were identified using VA's Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE). Additional case sources included VA data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BioSense and VA infection preventionists. Case reviews were performed. Categorical data was compared using Mantel-Haenszel or Fisher Exact tests and continuous variables using t-tests. Dengue case residence was mapped. Two hundred eighty-eight and 21 PR and FL dengue cases respectively were identified. Of 21 FL cases, 12 were exposed in Key West and 9 were imported. During epidemic years, FL cases had significantly increased dengue testing and intensive care admissions, but lower hospitalization rates and headache or eye pain symptoms compared to PR cases. There were no significant differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory abnormalities or outcomes between epidemic and non-epidemic year cases in FL and PR. Confirmed/probable cases were significantly more likely to be hospitalized and have thrombocytopenia or leukopenia compared to suspected cases. Dengue re-introduction in the continental US warrants increased dengue surveillance and education in VA. Throughout VA, under-testing of suspected cases highlights the need to emphasize use of diagnostic testing to better understand the

  9. The Veterans Affairs's Corporate Data Warehouse: Uses and Implications for Nursing Research and Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Lauren E; Shea, Kimberly; Gephart, Sheila

    2015-01-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) is supported by one of the largest integrated health care information systems in the United States. The VHA's Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) was developed in 2006 to accommodate the massive amounts of data being generated from more than 20 years of use and to streamline the process of knowledge discovery to application. This article describes the developments in research associated with the VHA's transition into the world of Big Data analytics through CDW utilization. The majority of studies utilizing the CDW also use at least one other data source. The most commonly occurring topics are pharmacy/medications, systems issues, and weight management/obesity. Despite the potential benefit of data mining techniques to improve patient care and services, the CDW and alternative analytical approaches are underutilized by researchers and clinicians.

  10. Preliminary Data from the Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home (COACH) Program: A Care Coordination Program for Home-Based Dementia Care and Caregiver Support in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Maria F; Davagnino, Judith; Hastings, S Nicole; Sloane, Richard; Kamholz, Barbara; Twersky, Jack

    2015-06-01

    Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home (COACH) is an innovative care coordination program of the Durham Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, that provides home-based dementia care and caregiver support for individuals with dementia and their family caregivers, including attention to behavioral symptoms, functional impairment, and home safety, on a consultation basis. The objectives of this study were to describe the COACH program in its first 2 years of operation, assess alignment of program components with quality measures, report characteristics of program participants, and compare rates of placement outside the home with those of a nontreatment comparison group using a retrospective cohort design. Participants were community-dwelling individuals with dementia aged 65 and older who received primary care in the medical center's outpatient clinics and their family caregivers, who were enrolled as dyads (n = 133), and a control group of dyads who were referred to the program and met clinical eligibility criteria but did not enroll (n = 29). Measures included alignment with Dementia Management Quality Measures and time to placement outside the home during 12 months of follow-up after referral to COACH. Results of the evaluation demonstrated that COACH aligns with nine of 10 clinical process measures identified using quality measures and that COACH delivers several other valuable services to enhance care. Mean time to placement outside the home was 29.6 ± 14.3 weeks for both groups (P = .99). The present study demonstrates the successful implementation of a home-based care coordination intervention for persons with dementia and their family caregivers that is strongly aligned with quality measures. © 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.

  11. Infertility Care Among OEF/OIF/OND Women Veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattocks, Kristin; Kroll-Desrosiers, Aimee; Zephyrin, Laurie; Katon, Jodie; Weitlauf, Julie; Bastian, Lori; Haskell, Sally; Brandt, Cynthia

    2015-01-01

    s commitment to comprehensive medical care for women Veterans. PMID:25767979

  12. Infertility care among OEF/OIF/OND women Veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattocks, Kristin; Kroll-Desrosiers, Aimee; Zephyrin, Laurie; Katon, Jodie; Weitlauf, Julie; Bastian, Lori; Haskell, Sally; Brandt, Cynthia

    2015-04-01

    An increasing number of young women Veterans seek reproductive health care through the VA, yet little is known regarding the provision of infertility care for this population. The VA provides a range of infertility services for Veterans including artificial insemination, but does not provide in vitro fertilization. This study will be the first to characterize infertility care among OEF/OIF/OND women Veterans using VA care. We analyzed data from the OEF/OIF/OND roster file from the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC)-Contingency Tracking System Deployment file of military discharges from October 1, 2001-December 30, 2010, which includes 68,442 women Veterans between the ages of 18 and 45 who utilized VA health care after separating from military service. We examined the receipt of infertility diagnoses and care using ICD-9 and CPT codes. Less than 2% (n=1323) of OEF/OIF/OND women Veterans received an infertility diagnosis during the study period. Compared with women VA users without infertility diagnosis, those with infertility diagnosis were younger, obese, black, or Hispanic, have a service-connected disability rating, a positive screen for military sexual trauma, and a mental health diagnosis. Overall, 22% of women with an infertility diagnosis received an infertility assessment or treatment. Thirty-nine percent of women Veterans receiving infertility assessment or treatment received this care from non-VA providers. Overall, a small proportion of OEF/OIF/OND women Veterans received infertility diagnoses from the VA during the study period, and an even smaller proportion received infertility treatment. Nearly 40% of those who received infertility treatments received these treatments from non-VA providers, indicating that the VA may need to examine the training and resources needed to provide this care within the VA. Understanding women's use of VA infertility services is an important component of understanding VA's commitment to comprehensive medical care for

  13. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY08 by State and County

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  14. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY06 by Congressional District

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  15. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY09 by Congressional District

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  16. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY07 by Congressional District

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  17. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY06 by State and County

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  18. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY09 by State and County

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  19. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY08 by Congressional District

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  20. Department of Veterans Affairs - Monthly Report to Congress of Data Incidents (April 2014)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This is a monthly report that the VA Office of Information Technology provides to congress about data incidents that took place during the month (April 2014). The...

  1. Veterans Affairs Geographic Distribution of Expenditures FY07 by State and County

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...

  2. A qualitative study of anticipated barriers and facilitators to the implementation of nurse-delivered alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for hospitalized patients in a Veterans Affairs medical center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broyles, Lauren Matukaitis; Rodriguez, Keri L; Kraemer, Kevin L; Sevick, Mary Ann; Price, Patrice A; Gordon, Adam J

    2012-05-02

    Unhealthy alcohol use includes the spectrum of alcohol consumption from risky drinking to alcohol use disorders. Routine alcohol screening, brief intervention (BI) and referral to treatment (RT) are commonly endorsed for improving the identification and management of unhealthy alcohol use in outpatient settings. However, factors which might impact screening, BI, and RT implementation in inpatient settings, particularly if delivered by nurses, are unknown, and must be identified to effectively plan randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of nurse-delivered BI. The purpose of this study was to identify the potential barriers and facilitators associated with nurse-delivered alcohol screening, BI and RT for hospitalized patients. We conducted audio-recorded focus groups with nurses from three medical-surgical units at a large urban Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Transcripts were analyzed using modified grounded theory techniques to identify key themes regarding anticipated barriers and facilitators to nurse-delivered screening, BI and RT in the inpatient setting. A total of 33 medical-surgical nurses (97% female, 83% white) participated in one of seven focus groups. Nurses consistently anticipated the following barriers to nurse-delivered screening, BI, and RT for hospitalized patients: (1) lack of alcohol-related knowledge and skills; (2) limited interdisciplinary collaboration and communication around alcohol-related care; (3) inadequate alcohol assessment protocols and poor integration with the electronic medical record; (4) concerns about negative patient reaction and limited patient motivation to address alcohol use; (5) questionable compatibility of screening, BI and RT with the acute care paradigm and nursing role; and (6) logistical issues (e.g., lack of time/privacy). Suggested facilitators of nurse-delivered screening, BI, and RT focused on provider- and system-level factors related to: (1) improved provider knowledge, skills, communication, and collaboration

  3. 38 CFR 1.553a - Time limits for Department of Veterans Affairs response to requests for records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... of Veterans Affairs Records Other Than Claimant Records § 1.553a Time limits for Department of... jurisdiction and allow the Department of Veterans Affairs additional time to complete its review of the records... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Time limits for...

  4. Dengue Surveillance in Veterans Affairs Healthcare Facilities, 2007–2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmer, Patricia L.; Lucero-Obusan, Cynthia A.; Benoit, Stephen R.; Santiago, Luis M.; Stanek, Danielle; Dey, Achintya; Martinez, Mirsonia; Oda, Gina; Holodniy, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Background Although dengue is endemic in Puerto Rico (PR), 2007 and 2010 were recognized as epidemic years. In the continental United States (US), outside of the Texas-Mexico border, there had not been a dengue outbreak since 1946 until dengue re-emerged in Key West, Florida (FL), in 2009–2010. The objective of this study was to use electronic and manual surveillance systems to identify dengue cases in Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities and then to clinically compare dengue cases in Veterans presenting for care in PR and in FL. Methodology Outpatient encounters from 1/2007–12/2010 and inpatient admissions (only available from 10/2009–12/2010) with dengue diagnostic codes at all VA facilities were identified using VA's Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE). Additional case sources included VA data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BioSense and VA infection preventionists. Case reviews were performed. Categorical data was compared using Mantel-Haenszel or Fisher Exact tests and continuous variables using t-tests. Dengue case residence was mapped. Findings Two hundred eighty-eight and 21 PR and FL dengue cases respectively were identified. Of 21 FL cases, 12 were exposed in Key West and 9 were imported. During epidemic years, FL cases had significantly increased dengue testing and intensive care admissions, but lower hospitalization rates and headache or eye pain symptoms compared to PR cases. There were no significant differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory abnormalities or outcomes between epidemic and non-epidemic year cases in FL and PR. Confirmed/probable cases were significantly more likely to be hospitalized and have thrombocytopenia or leukopenia compared to suspected cases. Conclusions Dengue re-introduction in the continental US warrants increased dengue surveillance and education in VA. Throughout VA, under-testing of suspected cases highlights the need to emphasize use

  5. The influence of veteran race and psychometric testing on veterans affairs posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) disability exam outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marx, Brian P; Engel-Rebitzer, Eden; Bovin, Michelle J; Parker-Guilbert, Kelly S; Moshier, Samantha; Barretto, Kenneth; Szafranski, Derek; Gallagher, Matthew W; Holowka, Darren W; Rosen, Raymond C; Keane, Terence M

    2017-06-01

    This study examined the influence of veterans' race and examiners' use of psychometric testing during a Department of Veterans Affairs posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) disability examination on diagnostic and service connection status outcomes. Participants were 764 veterans enrolled in a national longitudinal registry. Current and lifetime PTSD diagnostic status was determined with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) and was compared with PTSD diagnosis conferred upon veterans by their compensation and pension (C&P) examiners as well as with ultimate Veterans Affairs (VA) PTSD service connected status. The concordance rate between independent SCID current PTSD diagnosis and PTSD disability examination diagnosis was 70.4%, and between SCID lifetime PTSD diagnosis and PTSD disability examination diagnosis was 77.7%. Among veterans with current SCID diagnosed PTSD, Black veterans were significantly less likely than White veterans to receive a PTSD diagnosis from their C&P examiner (odds ratio [OR] = .39, p = .003, confidence interval [CI] = .20-.73). Among veterans without current SCID diagnosed PTSD, White veterans were significantly more likely than Black veterans to receive a PTSD diagnosis from their C&P examiner (OR = 4.07, p = .005, CI = 1.51-10.92). Splitting the sample by use of psychometric testing revealed that examinations that did not include psychometric testing demonstrated the same relation between veteran race and diagnostic concordance. However, for examinations in which psychometric testing was used, the racial disparity between SCID PTSD status and disability exam PTSD status was no longer significant. Results suggest that psychometric testing may reduce disparities in VA PTSD disability exam outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Veterans Affairs: Better Understanding Needed to Enhance Services to Veterans Readjusting to Civilian Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Reserve, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation , or therapy and is in an outpatient status while recovering from a serious injury or...Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony Order by Phone Connect with GAO To Report Fraud, Waste , and Abuse in Federal Programs Congressional Relations Public Affairs Please Print on Recycled Paper.

  7. Lean Six Sigma in health care and the challenge of implementation of Six Sigma methodologies at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pocha, Christine

    2010-01-01

    Six Sigma and Lean Thinking are quality initiatives initially deployed in industry to improve operational efficiency leading to better quality and subsequent cost savings. The financial rationale for embarking on this quality journey is clear; applying it to today's health care remains challenging. The cost of medical care is increasing at an alarming rate; most of these cost increases are attributed to an aging population and technological advances; therefore, largely beyond control. Furthermore, health care cost increases are caused by unnecessary operational inefficiency associated with the direct medical service delivery process. This article describes the challenging journey of implementing Six Sigma methodology at a tertiary care medical center. Many lessons were learned; however, of utmost importance were team approach, "buy in" of the stakeholders, and the willingness of team members to change daily practice and to adapt new and innovative ways how health care can be delivered. Six Sigma incorporated as part of the "company's or hospital's culture" would be most desirable but the learning curve will be steep.

  8. Veterans Medical Care: FY2011 Appropriations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-21

    services to veterans who meet certain eligibility rules including hospital and medical care , disability compensation and pensions,3 education ,4...prosthetic and orthotic devices, including eyeglasses and hearing aids; home health services, hospice care , palliative care , and institutional respite care ...CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Veterans Medical Care : FY2011 Appropriations Sidath Viranga

  9. 76 FR 72047 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

    ... placement for senior, disabled, homeless and/or at-risk Veterans and their families. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810...

  10. 76 FR 71441 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... placement for senior Veterans, homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families... self-sufficiency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461...

  11. Clinical practice guideline implementation strategy patterns in Veterans Affairs primary care clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Best, Richard G; Pugh, Jacqueline A

    2007-02-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mandated the system-wide implementation of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in the mid-1990s, arming all facilities with basic resources to facilitate implementation; despite this resource allocation, significant variability still exists across VA facilities in implementation success. This study compares CPG implementation strategy patterns used by high and low performing primary care clinics in the VA. Descriptive, cross-sectional study of a purposeful sample of six Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) with high and low performance on six CPGs. One hundred and two employees (management, quality improvement, clinic personnel) involved with guideline implementation at each VAMC primary care clinic. MEASURES; Participants reported specific strategies used by their facility to implement guidelines in 1-hour semi-structured interviews. Facilities were classified as high or low performers based on their guideline adherence scores calculated through independently conducted chart reviews. High performing facilities (HPFs) (a) invested significantly in the implementation of the electronic medical record and locally adapting it to provider needs, (b) invested dedicated resources to guideline-related initiatives, and (c) exhibited a clear direction in their strategy choices. Low performing facilities exhibited (a) earlier stages of development for their electronic medical record, (b) reliance on preexisting resources for guideline implementation, with little local adaptation, and (c) no clear direction in their strategy choices. A multifaceted, yet targeted, strategic approach to guideline implementation emphasizing dedicated resources and local adaptation may result in more successful implementation and higher guideline adherence than relying on standardized resources and taxing preexisting channels.

  12. Implementing and Evaluating a Telephone-Based Centralized Maternity Care Coordination Program for Pregnant Veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattocks, Kristin M; Kuzdeba, Judy; Baldor, Rebecca; Casares, Jose; Lombardini, Lisa; Gerber, Megan R

    The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a comprehensive, telephonic maternity care coordination (MCC) program for all pregnant veterans enrolled for care at New England Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities that comprise the Veterans Integrated Service Network 1. Telephone interviews were conducted with postpartum women veterans who had participated in the MCC program during their pregnancies. The program evaluation instrument assessed satisfaction and use of MCC services, prenatal education classes, and infant and maternal outcomes (e.g., newborn birthweight, insurance status, maternal depression) using both closed-ended and open-ended questions. A substantial majority (95%) of women enrolled in the MCC program expressed satisfaction with the services they received in the program. Women were most satisfied with help understanding VA maternity benefits and acquiring VA services and equipment, such as breast pumps and pregnancy-related medications. More than one-third of women noted their infants had experienced health problems since delivery, including neonatal intensive care unit hospitalizations. A majority of women planned to return to VA care in the future. Our findings suggest that MCC services play an important role for women veterans as they navigate both VA and non-VA care systems. MCC staff members coordinated maternity, medical, and mental health care services for women veterans. Additionally, by maintaining contact with the veteran during the postpartum period, MCC staff were able to assess the health of the mother and the infant, and refer women and their infants to medical and psychosocial services in the community as needed. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. A national clinical quality program for Veterans Affairs catheterization laboratories (from the Veterans Affairs clinical assessment, reporting, and tracking program).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddox, Thomas M; Plomondon, Mary E; Petrich, Megan; Tsai, Thomas T; Gethoffer, Hans; Noonan, Gregory; Gillespie, Brian; Box, Tamara; Fihn, Stephen D; Jesse, Robert L; Rumsfeld, John S

    2014-12-01

    A "learning health care system", as outlined in a recent Institute of Medicine report, harnesses real-time clinical data to continuously measure and improve clinical care. However, most current efforts to understand and improve the quality of care rely on retrospective chart abstractions complied long after the provision of clinical care. To align more closely with the goals of a learning health care system, we present the novel design and initial results of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking (CART) program-a national clinical quality program for VA cardiac catheterization laboratories that harnesses real-time clinical data to support clinical care and quality-monitoring efforts. Integrated within the VA electronic health record, the CART program uses a specialized software platform to collect real-time patient and procedural data for all VA patients undergoing coronary procedures in VA catheterization laboratories. The program began in 2005 and currently contains data on 434,967 catheterization laboratory procedures, including 272,097 coronary angiograms and 86,481 percutaneous coronary interventions, performed by 801 clinicians on 246,967 patients. We present the initial data from the CART program and describe 3 quality-monitoring programs that use its unique characteristics-procedural and complications feedback to individual labs, coronary device surveillance, and major adverse event peer review. The VA CART program is a novel approach to electronic health record design that supports clinical care, quality, and safety in VA catheterization laboratories. Its approach holds promise in achieving the goals of a learning health care system. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Impact of ocular surface symptoms on quality of life in a United States veterans affairs population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pouyeh, Bozorgmehr; Viteri, Eduardo; Feuer, William; Lee, David J; Florez, Hermes; Fabian, James A; Perez, Victor L; Galor, Anat

    2012-06-01

    To evaluate the impact of ocular surface symptoms on quality of life in a veteran population receiving eye care services. Cross-sectional survey study. setting: Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). patient population: Patients seen at the eye clinic between June and August 2010 were asked to fill out the Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 (DEQ5) and the Impact of Dry Eye on Everyday Life (IDEEL) questionnaire. main outcome measures: Correlation between ocular surface symptoms and functionality. Four hundred eighty-nine patients elected to fill out the DEQ5 questionnaire (36% response rate). The mean age of respondents was 66 years (standard deviation 12). Ninety-four percent were male; 62% were white and 37% were black. Using the DEQ5 as a surrogate measure of ocular surface symptoms, 65% of respondents reported at least mild ocular surface symptoms (DEQ5 ≥6) and 27% of them reported severe symptoms (DEQ5 ≥12). Black subjects had a 2-fold increased risk of severe symptoms compared to white subjects (odds ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.33-3.19). Several medications were associated with a significantly increased risk of severe symptoms, including glaucoma medications (1.7-fold increase), antidepressants (2.3-fold increase), and antihistamines (2.1-fold increase). There was an inverse correlation between DEQ5 and IDEEL scores with regard to ability to perform activities of daily living (n = 391, r = -0.54, P life of Miami VAMC veterans. Eye care professionals should be vigilant in eliciting ocular surface complaints from their patients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Redesigning a joint replacement program using Lean Six Sigma in a Veterans Affairs hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayed, Benjamin; Black, Stephen; Daggy, Joanne; Munshi, Imtiaz A

    2013-11-01

    In April 2009, an analysis of joint replacement surgical procedures at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, revealed that total hip and knee replacements incurred $1.4 million in non-Veterans Affairs (VA) care costs with an average length of stay of 6.1 days during fiscal year 2008. The Joint Replacement Program system redesign project was initiated following the Vision-Analysis-Team-Aim-Map-Measure-Change-Sustain (VA-TAMMCS) model to increase efficiency, decrease length of stay, and reduce non-VA care costs. To determine the effectiveness of Lean Six Sigma process improvement methods applied in a VA hospital. Perioperative processes for patients undergoing total joint replacement were redesigned following the VA-TAMMCS model--the VA's official, branded method of Lean Six Sigma process improvement. A multidisciplinary team including the orthopedic surgeons, frontline staff, and executive management identified waste in the current processes and initiated changes to reduce waste and increase efficiency. Data collection included a 1-year baseline period and a 20-month sustainment period. The primary endpoint was length of stay; a secondary analysis considered non-VA care cost reductions. Length of stay decreased 36% overall, decreasing from 5.3 days during the preproject period to 3.4 days during the 20-month sustainment period (P Six Sigma process improvement initiatives in a surgical practice, producing a 36% sustained reduction in length of stay and completely eliminating non-VA care for total hip and knee replacements while increasing total joint replacement volume at this medical center.

  16. 2 CFR 801.995 - Principal (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2 CFR 180...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 2 Grants and Agreements 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Principal (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2 CFR 180.995.) 801.995 Section 801.995 Grants and Agreements Federal Agency Regulations for Grants and Agreements DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NONPROCUREMENT...

  17. 2 CFR 801.1010 - Suspending official (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 2 Grants and Agreements 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Suspending official (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2 CFR 180.1010). 801.1010 Section 801.1010 Grants and Agreements Federal Agency Regulations for Grants and Agreements DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NONPROCUREMENT...

  18. 2 CFR 801.930 - Debarring official (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 2 Grants and Agreements 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Debarring official (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2 CFR 180.930). 801.930 Section 801.930 Grants and Agreements Federal Agency Regulations for Grants and Agreements DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NONPROCUREMENT...

  19. Ethnic Disparities in Emergency Severity Index Scores among U.S. Veteran's Affairs Emergency Department Patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob M Vigil

    Full Text Available The goal of these analyses was to determine whether there were systematic differences in Emergency Severity Index (ESI scores, which are intended to determine priority of treatment and anticipate resource needs, across categories of race and ethnicity, after accounting for patient-presenting vital signs and examiner characteristics, and whether these differences varied among male and female Veterans Affairs (VA ED patients.We used a large national database of electronic medical records of ED patients from twenty-two U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ED stations to determine whether ESI assignments differ systematically by race or ethnicity. Multi-level, random effects linear modeling was used to control for demographic characteristics and patient's vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate, and pain level, as well as age, gender, and experience of triage nurses. The dataset included 129,991 VA patients presenting for emergency care between 2008 and 2012 (91% males; 61% non-Hispanic White, 28% Black, 7% Hispanic, 2% Asian, <1% American Indian/Alaska Native, 1% mixed ethnicity and 774 nurses for a total of 359,642 patient/examiner encounters. Approximately 13% of the variance in ESI scores was due to patient characteristics and 21% was due to the nurse characteristics. After controlling for characteristics of nurses and patients, Black patients were assigned less urgent ESI scores than White patients, and this effect was more prominent for Black males compared with Black females. A similar interaction was found for Hispanic males. It remains unclear how these results may generalize to EDs and patient populations outside of the U.S. VA Health Care system.The findings suggest the possibility that subgroups of VA patients receive different ESI ratings in triage, which may have cascading, downstream consequences for patient treatment quality, satisfaction with care, and trust in the health equity of emergency care.

  20. Nationwide veterans affairs quality measure for cancer: the family assessment of treatment at end of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, Esme; Shreve, Scott; Casarett, David

    2008-08-10

    The Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has created a national initiative to measure quality of care at the end of life. This article describes the first phase of this national initiative, the Family Assessment of Treatment at End of Life (FATE), in evaluating the quality of end-of-life care for veterans dying with cancer. In the initial phase, next of kin of patients from five VA Medical Centers were contacted 6 weeks after patients' deaths and invited to participate in a telephone interview, and surrogates for 262 cancer patients completed FATE interviews. Decedents were 98% male with an average age of 72 years. There was substantial variation among sites. Higher FATE scores, consistent with family reports of higher satisfaction with care, were associated with palliative care consultation and hospice referral and having a Do Not Resuscitate order at the time of death, whereas an intensive care unit death was associated with lower scores. Early experience with FATE suggests that it will be a helpful tool to characterize end-of-life cancer care and to identify targets for quality improvement.

  1. When health insurance is not a factor: national comparison of homeless and nonhomeless US veterans who use Veterans Affairs Emergency Departments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Doran, Kelly M; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2013-12-01

    We examined the proportion of homeless veterans among users of Veterans Affairs (VA) emergency departments (EDs) and compared sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of homeless and nonhomeless VA emergency department users nationally. We used national VA administrative data from fiscal year 2010 for a cross-sectional study comparing homeless (n = 64,091) and nonhomeless (n = 866,621) ED users on sociodemographics, medical and psychiatric diagnoses, and other clinical characteristics. Homeless veterans had 4 times the odds of using EDs than nonhomeless veterans. Multivariate analyses found few differences between homeless and nonhomeless ED users on the medical conditions examined, but homeless ED users were more likely to have been diagnosed with a drug use disorder (odds ratio [OR] = 4.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.97, 4.27), alcohol use disorder (OR = 3.67; 95% CI = 3.55, 3.79), or schizophrenia (OR = 3.44; 95% CI = 3.25, 3.64) in the past year. In a national integrated health care system with no specific requirements for health insurance, the major differences found between homeless and nonhomeless ED users were high rates of psychiatric and substance abuse diagnoses. EDs may be an important location for specialized homeless outreach (or "in" reach) services to address mental health and addictive disorders.

  2. 75 FR 7648 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Veterans Affairs...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-22

    .../Veterans Benefits Administration (VA/ VBA))--Match Number 1309 AGENCY: Social Security Administration (SSA... announces a renewal of an existing computer matching program that we are currently conducting with VA/VBA... Matching Program, SSA With the Department of Veterans Affairs/Veterans Benefits Administration (VA/VBA) A...

  3. 76 FR 71439 - Amendment to an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... preference and priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their...-term self-sufficiency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461...

  4. Use of the surgical Apgar score to enhance Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program surgical risk assessment in veterans undergoing major intra-abdominal surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masi, Antonio; Amodeo, Salvatore; Hatzaras, Ioannis; Pinna, Antonio; Rosman, Alan S; Cohen, Steven; Saunders, John K; Berman, Russell; Newman, Elliot; Ballantyne, Garth H; Pachter, Leon H; Melis, Marcovalerio

    2017-04-01

    We investigated whether the surgical Apgar score (SAS) may enhance the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) risk assessment for prediction of early postoperative outcomes. We retrospectively evaluated demographics, medical history, procedure, SAS, VASQIP assessment, and postoperative data for patients undergoing major/extensive intra-abdominal surgery at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs between October 2006 and September 2011. End points were overall morbidity and 30-, 60- , and 90-day mortality. Pearson's chi-square, ANOVA, and multivariate regression modeling were employed. Six hundred twenty-nine patients were included. Apgar groups did not differ in age, sex, and race. Low SASs were associated with worse functional status, increased postoperative morbidity, and 30-, 60- , and 90-day mortality rates. SAS did not significantly enhance VASQIP prediction of postoperative outcomes, although a trend was detected. Multivariate analysis confirmed SAS as an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality. SAS effectively identifies veterans at high risk for poor postoperative outcome. Additional studies are necessary to evaluate the role of SAS in enhancing VASQIP risk prediction. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Results of a Veterans Affairs employee education program on antimicrobial stewardship for older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Barbara; Bernhardt, Jaime; Michalski, Thomas J; Crnich, Christopher J; Moehring, Rebekah; Schmader, Kenneth E; Olds, Danielle; Higgins, Patricia A; Jump, Robin L P

    2016-03-01

    We describe a course in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Employee Education System designed to engage nursing staff working in VA long-term care facilities as partners in antimicrobial stewardship. We found that the course addressed an important knowledge gap. Our outcomes suggest opportunities to engage nursing staff in advancing antimicrobial stewardship, particularly in the long-term care setting. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Identification of rheumatoid arthritis patients using an administrative database: a Veterans Affairs study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Bernard; Aslam, Fawad; Petersen, Nancy J; Yu, Hong-Jen; Suarez-Almazor, Maria E

    2012-10-01

    The accuracy of the diagnosis is vital when administrative databases are used for pharmacoepidemiologic and outcome studies. Data pertaining to the utility of databases for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are sparse and variable. We assessed the utility of various diagnostic algorithms to identify RA patients within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) databases. Using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code for RA at 2 visits at least 6 months apart, we identified 1,779 patients between October 1, 1998 and September 30, 2009 in our local Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) administrative database. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) use was ascertained from the pharmacy database. Cases were analyzed based on DMARD therapy and RA codes at clinic visits. A total of 543 patients' medical records, selected by stratification and random selection on the basis of their visits, were reviewed to ascertain the clinicians' diagnoses and clinical criteria documentation. Positive predictive values (PPVs) were calculated for various database case identification algorithms using diagnosis of RA by medical record review as the gold standard. The PPV for identification of RA with 2 RA codes 6 months apart was 30.9%. Addition of DMARD therapy increased the PPV to 60.4%. The PPV further increased to 91.4% when having an RA code at the last VAMC rheumatology clinic visit criterion was added. An algorithm using only 2 administrative RA codes 6 months apart had a low PPV for correctly identifying patients with RA in the VHA database. Including DMARD therapy and requiring an RA code at the last visit with a rheumatologist increased the performance of the data extraction algorithm. Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.

  7. Assessing Hospital Disaster Readiness Over Time at the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Radcliff, Tiffany A; Gable, Alicia R; Riopelle, Deborah; Hagigi, Farhad A; Brewster, Pete; Dobalian, Aram

    2017-02-01

    Introduction There have been numerous initiatives by government and private organizations to help hospitals become better prepared for major disasters and public health emergencies. This study reports on efforts by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration, Office of Emergency Management's (OEM) Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP) to assess the readiness of VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) across the nation. Hypothesis/Problem This study conducts descriptive analyses of preparedness assessments of VAMCs and examines change in hospital readiness over time. To assess change, quantitative analyses of data from two phases of preparedness assessments (Phase I: 2008-2010; Phase II: 2011-2013) at 137 VAMCs were conducted using 61 unique capabilities assessed during the two phases. The initial five-point Likert-like scale used to rate each capability was collapsed into a dichotomous variable: "not-developed=0" versus "developed=1." To describe changes in preparedness over time, four new categories were created from the Phase I and Phase II dichotomous variables: (1) rated developed in both phases; (2) rated not-developed in Phase I but rated developed in Phase II; (3) rated not-developed in both phases; and (4) rated developed in Phase I but rated not- developed in Phase II. From a total of 61 unique emergency preparedness capabilities, 33 items achieved the desired outcome - they were rated either "developed in both phases" or "became developed" in Phase II for at least 80% of VAMCs. For 14 items, 70%-80% of VAMCs achieved the desired outcome. The remaining 14 items were identified as "low-performing" capabilities, defined as less than 70% of VAMCs achieved the desired outcome. Measuring emergency management capabilities is a necessary first step to improving those capabilities. Furthermore, assessing hospital readiness over time and creating robust hospital readiness assessment tools can help hospitals make informed decisions

  8. 38 CFR 17.251 - The Subcommittee on Academic Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false The Subcommittee on Academic Affairs. 17.251 Section 17.251 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Grants for Exchange of Information § 17.251 The Subcommittee on Academic Affairs. There is...

  9. Rapid HIV testing experience at Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System's Homeless Stand Downs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooshyar, Dina; Surís, Alina M; Czarnogorski, Maggie; Lepage, James P; Bedimo, Roger; North, Carol S

    2014-01-01

    In the USA, 21% of the estimated 1.1 million people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are unaware they are HIV-infected. In 2011, Veterans Health Administration (VHA)'s Office of Public Health in conjunction with VHA's Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program funded grants to support rapid HIV testing at homeless outreach events because homeless populations are more likely to obtain emergent rather than preventive care and have a higher HIV seroprevalence as compared to the general population. Because of a Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System (VANTHCS)'s laboratory testing requirement, VANTHCS partnered with community agencies to offer rapid HIV testing for the first time at VANTHCS' 2011 Homeless Stand Downs in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Texoma, Texas. Homeless Stand Downs are outreach events that connect Veterans with services. Veterans who declined testing were asked their reasons for declining. Comparisons by Homeless Stand Down site used Pearson χ², substituting Fisher's Exact tests for expected cell sizes Veterans attending the Homeless Stand Downs, 261 Veterans reported reasons for declining HIV testing, and 133 Veterans were tested, where 92% of the tested Veterans obtained their test results at the events - all tested negative. Veterans' reported reasons for declining HIV testing included previous negative result (n=168), no time to test (n=49), no risk factors (n=36), testing is not a priority (n=11), uninterested in knowing serostatus (n=6), and HIV-infected (n=3). Only "no time to test" differed significantly by Homeless Stand Down site. Nonresponse rate was 54%. Offering rapid HIV testing at Homeless Stand Downs is a promising testing venue since 15% of Veterans attending VANTHCS' Homeless Stand Downs were tested for HIV, and majority obtained their HIV test results at point-of-care while further research is needed to determine how to improve these rates.

  10. The state of Veterans Affairs sleep medicine programs: 2012 inventory results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento, Kathleen; Rossettie, John; Stepnowsky, Carl; Atwood, Charles; Calvitti, Alan

    2016-03-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) represents one of the largest integrated health-care systems in the country. In 2012, the Veterans Affairs Sleep Network (VASN) sought to identify available sleep resources at VA medical centers (VAMCs) across the country through a national sleep inventory. The sleep inventory was administered at the annual 2012 VA Sleep Practitioners meeting and by email to sleep contacts at each VAMC. National prosthetics contacts were used to identify personnel at VAMCs without established sleep programs. Follow-up emails and telephone calls were made through March 2013. One hundred eleven VA medical centers were included for analysis. Thirty-nine programs did not respond, and 10 were considered "satellites," referring all sleep services to a larger neighboring VAMC. Sleep programs were stratified based on extent of services offered (i.e., in-lab and home testing, sleep specialty clinics, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i)): 28 % were complex sleep programs (CSPs), 46 % were intermediate (ISPs), 9 % were standard (SSPs), and 17 % offered no formal sleep services. Overall, 138,175 clinic visits and 90,904 sleep testing encounters were provided in fiscal year 2011 by 112.1 physicians and clinical psychologists, 100.4 sleep technologists, and 115.3 respiratory therapists. More than half of all programs had home testing and CBT-i programs, and 26 % utilized sleep telehealth. The 2012 VA sleep inventory suggests considerable variability in sleep services within the VA. Demand for sleep services is high, with programs using home testing, sleep telehealth, and a growing number of mid-level providers to improve access to care.

  11. Local Area Unemployment and the Demand for Inpatient Care Among Veterans Affairs Enrollees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Edwin S; Hebert, Paul L; Nelson, Karin M; Hernandez, Susan E; Sylling, Philip W; Fihn, Stephan D; Liu, Chuan-Fen

    2015-08-01

    Prior research examining the relationship between economic conditions and health service demand has focused primarily on outpatient use. This study examines whether local area unemployment, as an indicator of economic conditions, was associated with use of inpatient care, which is theoretically less subject to discretionary use. Using a random sample of 131,603 patients dually enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Health System and fee-for-service Medicare, we measured VA, Medicare, and total (VA and Medicare) hospitalizations. Overall, local unemployment was not associated with VA, Medicare, or total hospitalization probability. Among low-income veterans exempt from VA copayments, higher local unemployment was moderately associated with a lower probability of hospitalization through Medicare. For veterans subject to VA copayments, higher local unemployment was moderately associated with a higher likelihood of VA hospitalization. These results suggest inpatient use is less sensitive to the economy, although worse economic conditions slightly affected inpatient demand for select veterans. © The Author(s) 2015.

  12. Overlapping buprenorphine, opioid, and benzodiazepine prescriptions among veterans dually enrolled in Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicare Part D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gellad, Walid F; Zhao, Xinhua; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Thorpe, Joshua M; Sileanu, Florentina E; Cashy, John P; Mor, Maria; Hale, Jennifer A; Radomski, Thomas; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Fine, Michael J; Good, Chester B

    2017-01-01

    Buprenorphine is a key tool in the management of opioid use disorder, but there are growing concerns about abuse, diversion, and safety. These concerns are amplified for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), whose patients may receive care concurrently from multiple prescribers within and outside VA. To illustrate the extent of this challenge, we examined overlapping prescriptions for buprenorphine, opioids, and benzodiazepines among veterans dually enrolled in VA and Medicare Part D. We constructed a cohort of all veterans dually enrolled in VA and Part D who filled an opioid prescription in 2012. We identified patients who received tablet or film buprenorphine products from either source. We calculated the proportion of buprenorphine recipients with any overlapping prescription (based on days supply) for a nonbuprenorphine opioid or benzodiazepine, focusing on veterans who received overlapping prescriptions from a different system than their buprenorphine prescription (Part D buprenorphine recipients receiving overlapping opioids or benzodiazepines from VA and vice versa). There were 1790 dually enrolled veterans with buprenorphine prescriptions, including 760 (43%) from VA and 1091 (61%) from Part D (61 veterans with buprenorphine from both systems were included in each group). Among VA buprenorphine recipients, 199 (26%) received an overlapping opioid prescription and 11 (1%) received an overlapping benzodiazepine prescription from Part D. Among Part D buprenorphine recipients, 208 (19%) received an overlapping opioid prescription and 178 (16%) received an overlapping benzodiazepine prescription from VA. Among VA and Part D buprenorphine recipients with cross-system opioid overlap, 25% (49/199) and 35% (72/208), respectively, had >90 days of overlap. Many buprenorphine recipients receive overlapping prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines from a different health care system than the one in which their buprenorphine was filled. These findings highlight

  13. The Veterans Choice Act: A Qualitative Examination of Rapid Policy Implementation in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattocks, Kristin M; Mengeling, Michelle; Sadler, Anne; Baldor, Rebecca; Bastian, Lori

    2017-07-01

    Congress enacted the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 [Veterans Choice Act (VCA)] to improve access to timely, high-quality health care for Veterans. Although Congress mandated that VCA must begin within 90 days of passage of the legislation, no guidelines were provided in the legislation to ensure that Veterans had access to an adequate number of community providers across different specialties of care or distinct geographic areas, including rural areas of the country. To examine VCA policy implementation across a sampling of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Medical Centers. We conducted a qualitative study of 43 VHA staff and providers by conducting in-person interviews at 5 VA medical centers in the West, South, and Midwest United States. Interview questions focused on perceptions and experiences with VCA and challenges related to implementation for VHA staff and providers. We identified 3 major themes to guide description of choice implementation: (1) VCA implemented too rapidly with inadequate preparation; (2) community provider networks insufficiently developed; and (3) communication and scheduling problems with subcontractors may lead to further delays in care. Our evaluation suggests that VCA was implemented far too rapidly, with little consideration given to the adequacy of community provider networks available to provide care to Veterans. Given the challenges we have highlighted in VCA implementation, it is imperative that the VHA continue to develop care coordination systems that will allow the Veterans to receive seamless care in the community.

  14. Safety risks with investigational drugs: Pharmacy practices and perceptions in the veterans affairs health system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Jennifer L; Brown, Jamie N

    2015-06-01

    Rigorous practices for safe dispensing of investigational drugs are not standardized. This investigation sought to identify error-prevention processes utilized in the provision of investigational drug services (IDS) and to characterize pharmacists' perceptions about safety risks posed by investigational drugs. An electronic questionnaire was distributed to an audience of IDS pharmacists within the Veteran Affairs Health System. Multiple facets were examined including demographics, perceptions of medication safety, and standard processes used to support investigational drug protocols. Twenty-one respondents (32.8% response rate) from the Northeast, Midwest, South, West, and Non-contiguous United States participated. The mean number of pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTEs) dedicated to the IDS was 0.77 per site with 0.2 technician FTEs. The mean number of active protocols was 22. Seventeen respondents (81%) indicated some level of concern for safety risks. Concerns related to the packaging of medications were expressed, most notably lack of product differentiation, expiration dating, barcodes, and choice of font size or color. Regarding medication safety practices, the majority of sites had specific procedures in place for storing and securing drug supply, temperature monitoring, and prescription labeling. Repackaging bulk items and proactive error-identification strategies were less common. Sixty-seven percent of respondents reported that an independent double check was not routinely performed. Medication safety concerns exist among pharmacists in an investigational drug service; however, a variety of measures have been employed to improve medication safety practices. Best practices for the safe dispensing of investigational medications should be developed in order to standardize these error-prevention strategies.

  15. Availability of gynecologic services in the department of veterans affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seelig, Michelle D; Yano, Elizabeth M; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Lanto, Andy B; Washington, Donna L

    2008-01-01

    The optimum approach to providing the Congressionally mandated gender-specific services for which women veterans are eligible is unknown. We evaluated onsite availability of gynecologic services, clinic type and staffing arrangements, and the impact of having a gynecology clinic (GYN) and/or an obstetrician gynecologist (OBGYN) routinely available. We analyzed data from the 2001 national VHA Survey of Women Veterans Health Programs and Practices (n = 136 sites; response rate, 83%). We assessed availability of gynecologic services, and evaluated differences in availability by clinic type (designated women's health provider in primary care [PC], separate women's health clinic for primary care [WHC], and/or separate GYN) and staffing arrangements (OBGYN routinely involved versus not). Out of 133 sites, 77 sites (58%) offered services through a GYN and 56 sites (42%) did not have GYN. Seventy-two (54%) sites had a WHC. More sites with an OBGYN provided endometrial biopsies (91% vs. 20%), IUD insertion (85% vs. 14%), infertility evaluation (56% vs. 23%), infertility treatment (25% vs. none), gynecologic surgery (65 vs. 28%), p gynecologic surgery 2.3 (1.0-5.4). As the VA develops strategic plans for accommodating the growing number of women veterans, leaders should consider focusing on establishing WHC for primary care and routine availability of OBGYN or other qualified clinicians, rather than establishing separate GYN.

  16. Variation in Formulary Management Practices Within the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radomski, Thomas R; Good, Chester B; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Zhao, Xinhua; Marcum, Zachary A; Glassman, Peter A; Lowe, John; Mor, Maria K; Fine, Michael J; Gellad, Walid F

    2016-02-01

    All Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) operate under a single national drug formulary, yet substantial variation in prescribing and spending exists across facilities. Local management of the national formulary may differ across VAMCs and may be one cause of this variation. To characterize variation in the management of nonformulary medication requests and pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee member perceptions of the formulary environment at VAMCs nationwide. We performed an online survey of the chief of pharmacy and an additional staff pharmacist and physician on the P&T committee at all VAMCs. Respondents were asked questions regarding criteria for use for nonformulary medications, specific procedures for ordering nonformulary medications in general and specific lipid-lowering and diabetes agents, the appeals process, and the formulary environment at their VAMCs. We compared responses across facilities and between chiefs of pharmacy, pharmacists, and physicians. A total of 212 chief pharmacists (n = 80), staff pharmacists (n = 78), and physicians (n = 54) responded, for an overall response rate of 49%. In total, 107/143 (75%) different VAMCs were represented. The majority of VAMCs reported adhering to national criteria for use, with 38 (36%) being very adherent and 69 (65%) being mostly adherent. There was substantial variation between VAMCs regarding how nonformulary drugs were ordered, evaluated, and appealed. The nonformulary lipid-lowering drugs ezetimibe, rosuvastatin, and atorvastatin were viewable to providers in the order entry screen at 67 (63%), 67 (63%), and 64 (60%) VAMCs, respectively. The nonformulary diabetes medication pioglitazone was only viewable at 58 (55%) VAMCs. In the remaining VAMCs, providers could not order these nonformulary drugs through the normal order-entry process. For questions about the formulary environment, physician respondent perceptions differed from those of staff pharmacists and chief pharmacists

  17. 38 CFR 14.518 - Litigation involving beneficiaries in custody of Department of Veterans Affairs employees acting...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... with a writ of habeas corpus involving a beneficiary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the... steps as in his or her judgment are necessary for self protection. (b) Habeas corpus writs. (1) If a...

  18. Personal, Medical, and Healthcare Utilization Among Homeless Veterans Served by Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Veteran Facilities

    OpenAIRE

    Gordon, Adam J.; Haas, Gretchen L.; Luther, James F.; Hilton, Michael T.; Goldstein, Gerald

    2010-01-01

    This study assessed differences in personal, medical, and health care utilization characteristics of homeless veterans living in metropolitan versus nonmetropolitan environments. Data were obtained from a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) network sample of homeless veterans. Chi-square tests were used to assess differences in demographics, military history, living situation, medical history, employment status, and health care utilization. Moderator analyses determined whether predictors of...

  19. Benchmarking US Department of Veterans Affairs dermatologic services: results from a national survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, L Kendall; Townsend, Leilani; Orser, Michael L; Mulhausen, Jennifer; Duke, Jodi; Waxweiler, Weston T; Dellavalle, Robert P

    2012-03-01

    How well Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) dermatology services provide clinical care, medical education, and innovative research is a largely unexplored topic in the literature. We sought to benchmark VA dermatology services by surveying VA dermatologists about their environment, resources, and the pros and cons of working in the VA. Printed surveys were mailed to VA dermatologists and responses were compiled and analyzed. Of 105 dermatology services surveyed, 48% returned surveys completed by board-certified dermatologists (n = 50); 20 surveys completed by nondermatologists were excluded from the analysis. Most services trained dermatology residents (72%) and medical students (80%). One third of services reported significant research involvement. Qualitative analysis revealed the academic environment, patient population, and decreased business management responsibilities as the 3 most commonly cited advantages to VA employment. The most commonly listed disadvantages included low salaries, bureaucracy, and lack of resources. The survey data were self-reported and not independently verified. Not all services returned the survey. Outpatient VA dermatology services accomplish significant primary care and preventive services (eg, sun safety counseling, skin cancer screening, and treatment). However, the small number of dedicated dermatology services, their irregular geographic distribution, and the lack of staffing and resources may adversely affect optimal patient care. Dermatologist responses regarding the positive and negative aspects of working in the VA system may lead to improved management strategies to better retain and recruit dermatologists to provide patient care, medical education, and medical research despite dramatically lower dermatologist salaries within the VA system compared with private practice. Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. An Examination of the External and Internal Forces that have Shaped the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-22

    OF THIS MONOGRAPH IS TO RESEARCH THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SHAPING FORCES THAT HAVE CHANGED THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ( DVA ) AT THE...STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL LEVEL. THE HISTORY OF DVA , MAJOR LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE, AND JUDICIAL SHAPING FORCES HAVE MOLDED THE DEPARTMENT. HOWEVER, THE...SCANDALS OF CHARLES FORBES AND THE ARMY ACTIONS AGAINST THE BONUS ARMY MADE LASTING IMPRESSIONS ON THE DEPARTMENT. THE MODERN DVA WAS CREATED WHEN A

  1. 76 FR 72045 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

    ... required to provide preference and priority placement for Veterans at risk for homelessness, and provide on-site supportive services. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461...

  2. Perceived Stigma, Discrimination, and Disclosure of Sexual Orientation Among a Sample of Lesbian Veterans Receiving Care in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattocks, Kristin M; Sullivan, J Cherry; Bertrand, Christina; Kinney, Rebecca L; Sherman, Michelle D; Gustason, Carolyn

    2015-06-01

    Many lesbian women experience stigma and discrimination from their healthcare providers as a result of their sexual orientation. Additionally, others avoid disclosure of their sexual orientation to their providers for fear of mistreatment. With the increasing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) veterans seeking care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), it is important to understand lesbian veterans' experiences with stigma, discrimination, and disclosure of sexual orientation. This article examines lesbian veterans' experiences with perceived stigma and discrimination in VHA healthcare, their perspectives on disclosure of sexual orientation to VHA providers, and their recommendations for improvements in VHA healthcare to create a welcoming environment for lesbian veterans. This is a mixed methods study of twenty lesbian veterans at four VHA facilities. The women veterans participated in a one-hour interview and then completed an anonymous survey. Ten percent of lesbian veterans had experienced mistreatment from VHA staff or providers, but nearly 50% feared that their Veterans Affairs (VA) providers would mistreat them if they knew about their sexual orientation. A majority of lesbian veterans (70%) believed that VHA providers should never ask about sexual orientation or should only ask if the veteran wanted to discuss it. A majority (80%) believed the VHA had taken steps to create a welcoming environment for LBGT veterans. Though many lesbian veterans have fears of stigma and discrimination in the context of VHA care, few have experienced this. Most lesbian veterans believed the VHA was trying to create a welcoming environment for its LGBT veterans. Future research should focus on expanding this study to include a larger and more diverse sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans receiving care at VA facilities across the country.

  3. Accuracy and completeness of mortality data in the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maynard Charles

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the national mortality databases in the U.S. is the Beneficiary Identification and Record Locator Subsystem (BIRLS Death File that contains death dates of those who have received any benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA. The completeness of this database was shown to vary widely from cohort to cohort in previous studies. Three other sources of death dates are available in the VA that can complement the BIRLS Death File. The objective of this study is to evaluate the completeness and accuracy of death dates in the four sources available in the VA and to examine whether these four sources can be combined into a database with improved completeness and accuracy. Methods A random sample of 3,000 was drawn from 8.3 million veterans who received benefits from the VA between 1997 and 1999 and were alive on January 1, 1999 according to at least one source. Death dates found in BIRLS Death File, Medical SAS Inpatient Datasets, Medicare Vital Status, and Social Security Administration (SSA Death Master File were compared with dates obtained from the National Death Index. A combined dataset from these sources was also compared with National Death Index dates. Results Compared with the National Death Index, sensitivity (or the percentage of death dates correctly recorded in a source was 77.4% for BIRLS Death File, 12.0% for Medical SAS Inpatient Datasets, 83.2% for Medicare Vital Status, and 92.1% for SSA Death Master File. Over 95% of death dates in these sources agreed exactly with dates from the National Death Index. Death dates in the combined dataset demonstrated 98.3% sensitivity and 97.6% exact agreement with dates from the National Death Index. Conclusion The BIRLS Death File is not an adequate source of mortality data for the VA population due to incompleteness. When the four sources of mortality data are carefully combined, the resulting dataset can provide more timely data for death ascertainment than the

  4. Comparative safety of benzodiazepines and opioids among veterans affairs patients with posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Eric J; Malte, Carol A; Grossbard, Joel; Saxon, Andrew J; Imel, Zac E; Kivlahan, Daniel R

    2013-01-01

    Although Veterans Affairs (VA) patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are prescribed benzodiazepines and opioids in addition to recommended pharmacotherapies, little is known about the safety of these medications. This study compared the 2-year incidence of adverse events among VA patients with PTSD exposed to combinations of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), benzodiazepines, and opioids. This retrospective cohort study used VA administrative data from 2004 to 2010 to identify and follow 5236 VA patients with PTSD with new episodes of (1) SSRIs/SNRIs only; (2) concurrent SSRIs/SNRIs and benzodiazepines; and (3) concurrent SSRIs/SNRIs, benzodiazepines, and opioids. Outcome measures were the 2-year incidence and adjusted hazard ratios (AHR) of mental health and medicine/surgery hospitalizations, emergency department visits, harmful events (eg, injuries and death), and any adverse event after adjustment for demographics, clinical covariates, and adverse event history. Compared with SSRIs/SNRIs only, the adjusted risk of mental health hospitalizations (AHR: 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.37-2.53) was greater among patients prescribed SSRIs/SNRIs and benzodiazepines concurrently. The AHR of mental health hospitalizations (AHR: 2.00; 95% CI: 1.35-2.98), medicine/surgery hospitalizations (AHR: 4.86; 95% CI: 3.30-7.14), emergency department visits (AHR: 2.01; 95% CI: 1.53-2.65), any harmful event (2.92; 95% CI: 2.21-3.84), and any adverse event (AHR: 2.65; 95% CI: 2.18-3.23) were all significantly greater among patients prescribed SSRIs/SNRIs, benzodiazepines, and opioids than among those prescribed SSRIs/SNRIs only. Concurrently prescribing SSRIs/SNRIs, benzodiazepines, and opioids among patients with PTSD is associated with adverse events. Although efforts are warranted to monitor patients who are prescribed combinations of these medications to prevent adverse events, these results

  5. 38 CFR 3.159 - Department of Veterans Affairs assistance in developing claims.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... such as medical and scientific articles and research reports or analyses. (2) Competent lay evidence... and military unit of a person who served with the veteran; or the name and address of a medical care... local governments, private medical care providers, current or former employers, and other non-Federal...

  6. Alcohol Consumption among Urban, Suburban, and Rural Veterans Affairs Outpatients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Emily C.; McFarland, Lynne V.; Nelson, Karin M.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: United States rural residents tend toward poorer health than urban residents. Although alcohol use is associated with multiple medical conditions and can be reduced via brief primary care-based interventions, it is unknown whether alcohol consumption differs by rurality among primary care patients. We sought to describe alcohol…

  7. Do medical house officers value the health of veterans differently from the health of non-veterans?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luckhaupt Sara

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little information is available regarding medical residents' perceptions of patients' health-related quality of life. Patients cared for by residents have been shown to receive differing patterns of care at Veterans Affairs facilities than at community or university settings. We therefore examined: 1 how resident physicians value the health of patients; 2 whether values differ if the patient is described as a veteran; and 3 whether residency-associated variables impact values. Methods All medicine residents in a teaching hospital were asked to watch a digital video of an actor depicting a 72-year-old patient with mild-moderate congestive heart failure. Residents were randomized to 2 groups: in one group, the patient was described as a veteran of the Korean War, and in the other, he was referred to only as a male. The respondents assessed the patient's health state using 4 measures: rating scale (RS, time tradeoff (TTO, standard gamble (SG, and willingness to pay (WTP. We also ascertained residents' demographics, risk attitudes, residency program type, post-graduate year level, current rotation, experience in a Veterans Affairs hospital, and how many days it had been since they were last on call. We performed univariate and multivariable analyses using the RS, TTO, SG and WTP as dependent variables. Results Eighty-one residents (89.0% of eligible participated, with 36 (44.4% viewing the video of the veteran and 45 (55.6% viewing the video of the non-veteran. Their mean (SD age was 28.7 (3.1 years; 51.3% were female; and 67.5% were white. There were no differences in residents' characteristics or in RS, TTO, SG and WTP scores between the veteran and non-veteran groups. The mean RS score was 0.60 (0.14; the mean TTO score was 0.80 (0.20; the mean SG score was 0.91 (0.10; and the median (25th, 75th percentile WTP was $10,000 ($7600, $20,000 per year. In multivariable analyses, being a resident in the categorical program was

  8. Veterans Affairs: Data Needed to Help Improve Decisions Concerning Veterans’ Access to Burial Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Appendix II Objectives, Scope, and Methodology 45 Appendix III Printer Friendly Version of National Service Area Map 50 Appendix IV Leading...Unserved Veterans by the end of Fiscal Year 2017, Calculated Using Different Methodologies 15 Figure 4: National Service Area Map 17 Figure 5...different ways using the national service area map we created. 20 2. Methodology 2, proportional distribution of county populations: We multiplied the

  9. Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-22

    1) Achondroplasia; (2) Cleft lip and cleft palate ; (3) Congenital heart disease; (4) Congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot); (5) Esophageal and...cell); breast cancer; cancers of reproductive organs (cervix, uterus, ovary, testes , and penis; excluding prostate); urinary bladder cancer; renal... tests . Each veteran is also required to answer a set of questions relevant to exposure. In September 2000, the Agent Orange Registry was expanded to

  10. Measuring the intensity of resident supervision in the department of veterans affairs: the resident supervision index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, John M; Kashner, Michael; Gilman, Stuart C; Aron, David C; Cannon, Grant W; Chang, Barbara K; Godleski, Linda; Golden, Richard M; Henley, Steven S; Holland, Gloria J; Kaminetzky, Catherine P; Keitz, Sheri A; Kirsh, Susan; Muchmore, Elaine A; Wicker, Annie B

    2010-07-01

    To develop a survey instrument designed to quantify supervision by attending physicians in nonprocedural care and to assess the instrument's feasibility and reliability. In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations convened an expert panel to adopt a working definition of attending supervision in nonprocedural patient care and to construct a survey to quantify it. Feasibility was field-tested on residents and their supervising attending physicians at primary care internal medicine clinics at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System in their encounters with randomly selected outpatients diagnosed with either major depressive disorder or diabetes. The authors assessed both interrater concurrent reliability and test-retest reliability. The expert panel adopted the VA's definition of resident supervision and developed the Resident Supervision Index (RSI) to measure supervision in terms of residents' case understanding, attending physicians' contributions to patient care through feedback to the resident, and attending physicians' time (minutes). The RSI was field-tested on 60 residents and 37 attending physicians for 148 supervision episodes from 143 patient encounters. Consent rates were 94% for residents and 97% for attending physicians; test-retest reliability intraclass correlations (ICCs) were 0.93 and 0.88, respectively. Concurrent reliability between residents' and attending physicians' reported time was an ICC of 0.69. The RSI is a feasible and reliable measure of resident supervision that is intended for research studies in graduate medical education focusing on education outcomes, as well as studies assessing quality of care, patient health outcomes, care costs, and clinical workload.

  11. Examining Burnout, Depression, and Self-Compassion in Veterans Affairs Mental Health Staff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, David M; Rodman, John L; Thuras, Paul D; Shiroma, Paulo R; Lim, Kelvin O

    2017-07-01

    Burnout, a state of emotional exhaustion associated with negative personal and occupational outcomes, is prevalent among healthcare providers. A better understanding of the psychological factors that may be associated with resilience to burnout is essential to develop effective interventions. Self-compassion, which includes kindness toward oneself, recognition of suffering as part of shared human experience, mindfulness, and nonjudgment toward inadequacies and failures, may be one such factor. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between burnout, depression, and self-compassion in Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health staff. Cross-sectional study. VA medical center and affiliated community-based clinics. VA mental health staff. The 19-item Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, the 26-item Self-Compassion Scale, and the Patient Health Questionnaire 2-item depression screen. Demographic information included age, sex, years worked in current position, and number of staff supervised. One hundred and twenty-eight of a potential 379 individuals (33.8%) responded. Clerical support, nursing, social work, psychology, and psychiatry were the major professions represented. Self-compassion was inversely correlated with burnout (r = -0.41, p burnout remained significant even after accounting for depressive symptoms and demographic variables in a multiple linear regression model. Of all the variables examined, self-compassion was the strongest predictor of burnout. The results of this study support the hypothesis that self-compassion may be associated with resilience to burnout. Alternatively, decreased self-compassion may be a downstream effect of increased burnout. Prospective, longitudinal studies are needed to determine the directional relationship between these factors, and whether interventions that cultivate self-compassion may decrease burnout and/or protect against its negative personal and professional outcomes.

  12. Differences in cause of death of Washington State veterans who did and did not use Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Charles; Boyko, Edward J

    2006-01-01

    Relatively little is known about the cause of death in the veteran population, although more is known about the cause of death in Vietnam veterans or veterans receiving mental health services. This article compares characteristics and causes of death in Washington State veterans who did and did not use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare services in the 5 years prior to death. This study included 62,080 veterans who died between 1998 and 2002, of whom 21% were users of VA healthcare services. The veterans who used VA healthcare services were younger, more often men, less educated, more often divorced, and more often smokers than the veterans who did not use VA healthcare services. Both female and male veterans who used VA healthcare services were more likely to die from drug- and/or alcohol-related causes. These findings suggest that the VA patient population is socially disadvantaged and more severely affected by substance-use disorders compared with veterans who do not use VA healthcare services.

  13. Improving Trends in Gender Disparities in the Department of Veterans Affairs: 2008–2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czarnogorski, Maggie; Wright, Steve M.; Hayes, Patricia M.; Haskell, Sally G.

    2014-01-01

    Increasing numbers of women veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services has contributed to the need for equitable, high-quality care for women. The VA has evaluated performance measure data by gender since 2006. In 2008, the VA launched a 5-year women’s health redesign, and, in 2011, gender disparity improvement was included on leadership performance plans. We examined data from VA Office of Analytics and Business Intelligence quarterly gender reports for trends in gender disparities in gender-neutral performance measures from 2008 to 2013. Through reporting of data by gender, leadership involvement, electronic reminders, and population management dashboards, VA has seen a decreasing trend in gender inequities on most Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance measures. PMID:25100416

  14. Improving trends in gender disparities in the Department of Veterans Affairs: 2008-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Alison M; Czarnogorski, Maggie; Wright, Steve M; Hayes, Patricia M; Haskell, Sally G

    2014-09-01

    Increasing numbers of women veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services has contributed to the need for equitable, high-quality care for women. The VA has evaluated performance measure data by gender since 2006. In 2008, the VA launched a 5-year women's health redesign, and, in 2011, gender disparity improvement was included on leadership performance plans. We examined data from VA Office of Analytics and Business Intelligence quarterly gender reports for trends in gender disparities in gender-neutral performance measures from 2008 to 2013. Through reporting of data by gender, leadership involvement, electronic reminders, and population management dashboards, VA has seen a decreasing trend in gender inequities on most Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance measures.

  15. Chaplaincy and mental health in the department of Veterans affairs and department of defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieuwsma, Jason A; Rhodes, Jeffrey E; Jackson, George L; Cantrell, William C; Lane, Marian E; Bates, Mark J; Dekraai, Mark B; Bulling, Denise J; Ethridge, Keith; Drescher, Kent D; Fitchett, George; Tenhula, Wendy N; Milstein, Glen; Bray, Robert M; Meador, Keith G

    2013-01-01

    Chaplains play important roles in caring for Veterans and Service members with mental health problems. As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) Integrated Mental Health Strategy, we used a sequential approach to examining intersections between chaplaincy and mental health by gathering and building upon: 1) input from key subject matter experts; 2) quantitative data from the VA / DoD Chaplain Survey (N = 2,163; response rate of 75% in VA and 60% in DoD); and 3) qualitative data from site visits to 33 VA and DoD facilities. Findings indicate that chaplains are extensively involved in caring for individuals with mental health problems, yet integration between mental health and chaplaincy is frequently limited due to difficulties between the disciplines in establishing familiarity and trust. We present recommendations for improving integration of services, and we suggest key domains for future research.

  16. Assessing health status differences between Veterans Affairs home-based primary care and state Medicaid Waiver Program clients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharton, Tracy C; Nnodim, Joseph; Hogikyan, Robert; Mody, Lona; James, Mary; Montagnini, Marcos; Fries, Brant E

    2013-04-01

    Comprehensive health care for older adults is complex, involving multiple comorbidities and functional impairments of varying degrees and numbers. In response to this complexity and associated barriers to care, home-based care models have become prevalent. The home-based primary care (HBPC) model, based at a Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Michigan Waiver Program (MWP) that includes home-based care are 2 of these. Although both models are formatted to address barriers to effective and efficient health care, there are differences in disease prevalence and functional performance between groups. The objective of this study was to explore the differences between the 2 groups, to shed some light on potential trends that could suggest areas for resource allocation by service providers. Using a retrospective analysis of data collected using the interRAI-home care, we examined a cross-sectional representation of clients enrolled in HBPC and MWP in 2008. The HBPC sample had 89 participants. The MWP database contained 9324 participants from across the State of Michigan and were weighted to be comparable to the HBPC population in sex and age, and to simulate the HBPC sample size. Veterans were more independent in basic activities of daily living performance, but there was no difference in the rate of reported falls between the 2 groups. Veterans had more pain and a higher prevalence of coronary artery disease (z = 7.0; P Affairs Medical Center were more burdened by chronic disease and had higher degrees of loneliness than their MWP counterparts- factors, which may increase their likelihood of hospitalizations. MWP participants had more cases of cerebrovascular accident (z = 2.1; P = .039), as well as a higher rate of diagnosed dementias (z = 2.7; P = .006). Though not different, stress among caregivers in both groups, and depression in clients of both groups were substantial. Overall, sleep, pain, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive

  17. Smoking mediates the effect of conscientiousness on mortality: The Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turiano, Nicholas A; Hill, Patrick L; Roberts, Brent W; Spiro, Avron; Mroczek, Daniel K

    2012-12-01

    This study examined the relationship between conscientiousness and mortality over 18 years and whether smoking behavior mediated this relationship. We utilized data from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study on 1349 men who completed the Goldberg (1992) adjectival markers of the Big Five. Over the 18-year follow-up, 547 (41%) participants died. Through proportional hazards modeling in a structural equation modeling framework, we found that higher levels of conscientiousness significantly predicted longer life, and that this effect was mediated by current smoking status at baseline. Methodologically, we also demonstrate the effectiveness of using a structural equation modeling framework to evaluate mediation when using a censored outcome such as mortality.

  18. Ethnic differences in blood pressure control among men at Veterans Affairs clinics and other health care sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehman, Shakaib U; Hutchison, Florence N; Hendrix, Katharine; Okonofua, Eni C; Egan, Brent M

    2005-05-09

    Differential access to health care may contribute to lower blood pressure (BP) control rates to under 140/90 mm Hg in African American compared with white hypertensive patients, especially men (26.5% vs 36.5% of all hypertensive patients in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system, which provides access to health care and medications across ethnic and economic boundaries, may reduce disparities in BP control. To test this hypothesis, BP treatment and control groups were compared between African American (VA, n = 4379; non-VA, n = 2754) and white (VA, n = 7987; non-VA, n = 4980) hypertensive men. In both groups, whites were older than African Americans (Pcardiovascular risk.

  19. 2 CFR 801.137 - Who in the Department of Veterans Affairs may grant an exception to allow an excluded person to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 2 Grants and Agreements 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Who in the Department of Veterans Affairs may grant an exception to allow an excluded person to participate in a covered transaction? 801.137... Veterans Affairs may grant an exception to allow an excluded person to participate in a covered transaction...

  20. Exploring Rural Disparities in Medical Diagnoses Among Veterans With Transgender-related Diagnoses Utilizing Veterans Health Administration Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukowski, Leigh A; Blosnich, John; Shipherd, Jillian C; Kauth, Michael R; Brown, George R; Gordon, Adam J

    2017-09-01

    Research shows transgender individuals experience pronounced health disparities compared with their nontransgender peers. Yet, there remains insufficient research about health differences within transgender populations. This study seeks to fill this gap by exploring how current urban/rural status is associated with lifetime diagnosis of mood disorder, alcohol dependence disorder, illicit drug abuse disorder, tobacco use, posttraumatic stress disorder, human immunodeficiency virus, and suicidal ideation or attempt among veterans with transgender-related diagnoses. This study used a retrospective review of The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data for transgender patients who received VA care from 1997 through 2014. Transgender patients were defined as individuals that had a lifetime diagnosis of any of 4 International Classification of Diseases-9 diagnosis codes associated with transgender status. Independent multivariable logistic regression models were used to explore associations of rural status with medical conditions. Veterans with transgender-related diagnoses residing in small/isolated rural towns had increased odds of tobacco use disorder (adjusted odds ratio=1.39; 95% confidence intervals, 1.09-1.78) and posttraumatic stress disorder (adjusted odds ratio=1.33; 95% confidence intervals, 1.03-1.71) compared with their urban transgender peers. Urban/rural status was not significantly associated with other medical conditions of interest. This study contributes the first empirical investigations of how place of residence is associated with medical diagnoses among veterans with transgender-related diagnoses. The importance of place as a determinant of health is increasingly clear, but for veterans with transgender-related diagnoses this line of research is currently limited. The addition of self-reported sex identity data within VA electronic health records is one way to advance this line of research.

  1. Associations Between the Department of Veterans Affairs' Suicide Prevention Campaign and Calls to Related Crisis Lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossarte, Robert M.; Lu, Naiji; Tu, Xin; Stephens, Brady; Draper, John; Kemp, Janet E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective The Transit Authority Suicide Prevention (TASP) campaign was launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in a limited number of U.S. cities to promote the use of crisis lines among veterans of military service. Methods We obtained the daily number of calls to the VCL and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) for six implementation cities (where the campaign was active) and four control cities (where there was no TASP campaign messaging) for a 14-month period. To identify changes in call volume associated with campaign implementation, VCL and NSPL daily call counts for three time periods of equal length (pre-campaign, during campaign, and post-campaign) were modeled using a Poisson log-linear regression with inference based on the generalized estimating equations. Results Statistically significant increases in calls to both the VCL and the NSPL were reported during the TASP campaign in implementation cities, but were not reported in control cities during or following the campaign. Secondary outcome measures were also reported for the VCL and included the percentage of callers who are veterans, and calls resulting in a rescue during the study period. Conclusions Results from this study reveal some promise for suicide prevention messaging to promote the use of telephone crisis services and contribute to an emerging area of research examining the effects of campaigns on help seeking. PMID:25364053

  2. Associations between the Department of Veterans Affairs' suicide prevention campaign and calls to related crisis lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossarte, Robert M; Karras, Elizabeth; Lu, Naiji; Tu, Xin; Stephens, Brady; Draper, John; Kemp, Janet E

    2014-01-01

    The Transit Authority Suicide Prevention (TASP) campaign was launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in a limited number of U.S. cities to promote the use of crisis lines among veterans of military service. We obtained the daily number of calls to the VCL and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) for six implementation cities (where the campaign was active) and four control cities (where there was no TASP campaign messaging) for a 14-month period. To identify changes in call volume associated with campaign implementation, VCL and NSPL daily call counts for three time periods of equal length (pre-campaign, during campaign, and post-campaign) were modeled using a Poisson log-linear regression with inference based on the generalized estimating equations. Statistically significant increases in calls to both the VCL and the NSPL were reported during the TASP campaign in implementation cities, but were not reported in control cities during or following the campaign. Secondary outcome measures were also reported for the VCL and included the percentage of callers who are veterans, and calls resulting in a rescue during the study period. Results from this study reveal some promise for suicide prevention messaging to promote the use of telephone crisis services and contribute to an emerging area of research examining the effects of campaigns on help seeking.

  3. National Structural Survey of Veterans Affairs Home-Based Primary Care Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karuza, Jurgis; Gillespie, Suzanne M; Olsan, Tobie; Cai, Xeuya; Dang, Stuti; Intrator, Orna; Li, Jiejin; Gao, Shan; Kinosian, Bruce; Edes, Thomas

    2017-12-01

    To describe the current structural and practice characteristics of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) program. We designed a national survey and surveyed HBPC program directors on-line using REDCap. We received 236 surveys from 394 identified HBPC sites (60% response rate). HBPC site characteristics were quantified using closed-ended formats. HBPC program directors were most often registered nurses, and HBPC programs primarily served veterans with complex chronic illnesses that were at high risk of hospitalization and nursing home care. Primary care was delivered using interdisciplinary teams, with nurses, social workers, and registered dietitians as team members in more than 90% of the sites. Most often, nurse practitioners were the principal primary care providers (PCPs), typically working with nurse case managers. Nearly 60% of the sites reported dual PCPs involving VA and community-based physicians. Nearly all sites provided access to a core set of comprehensive services and programs (e.g., case management, supportive home health care). At the same time, there were variations according to site (e.g., size, location (urban, rural), use of non-VA hospitals, primary care models used). HBPC sites reflected the rationale and mission of HBPC by focusing on complex chronic illness of home-based veterans and providing comprehensive primary care using interdisciplinary teams. Our next series of studies will examine how HBPC site structural characteristics and care models are related to the processes and outcomes of care to determine whether there are best practice standards that define an optimal HBPC structure and care model or whether multiple approaches to HBPC better serve the needs of veterans. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  4. Predictors of Cognitive Decline in Older Adult Type 2 Diabetes from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimering, Mark B; Knight, Jeffrey; Ge, Ling; Bahn, Gideon

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive decline disproportionately affects older adult type 2 diabetes. We tested whether randomized intensive (INT) glucose-lowering reduces the rate(s) of cognitive decline in adults with advanced type 2 diabetes (mean: age, 60 years; diabetes duration, 11 years) from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial. A battery of neuropsychological tests [digit span, digit symbol substitution (DSym), and Trails-making Test-Part B (TMT-B)] was administered at baseline in ~1700 participants and repeated at year 5. Thirty-seven risk factors were evaluated as predictors of cognitive decline in multivariable regression analyses. The mean age-adjusted DSym or TMT-B declined significantly in all study participants (P < 0.001). Randomized INT glucose-lowering did not significantly alter the rate of cognitive decline. The final model of risk factors associated with 5-year decline in age-adjusted TMT-B included as significant predictors: longer baseline diabetes duration (beta = -0.028; P = 0.0057), lower baseline diastolic blood pressure (BP; beta = 0.028; P = 0.002), and baseline calcium channel blocker medication use (beta = -0.639; P < 0.001). Higher baseline pulse pressure was significantly associated with decline in age-adjusted TMT-B suggesting a role for both higher systolic and lower diastolic BPs. Baseline thiazide diuretic use (beta = -0.549; P = 0.015) was an additional significant predictor of 5-year decline in age-adjusted digit symbol score. Post-baseline systolic BP-lowering was significantly associated (P < 0.001) with decline in TMT-B performance. There was a significant inverse association between post-baseline plasma triglyceride-lowering (P = 0.045) and decline in digit symbol substitution task performance. A 5-year period of randomized INT glucose-lowering did not significantly reduce the rate of cognitive decline in older-aged adults with type 2 diabetes. Systolic and diastolic BPs as well as plasma triglycerides

  5. Predictors of cognitive decline in older adult type 2 diabetes from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Zimering

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Aims: Cognitive decline disproportionately affects older adult type 2 diabetes. We tested whether randomized intensive glucose-lowering reduces the rate(s of cognitive decline in adults with advanced type 2 diabetes (mean: age, 60 years; diabetes duration, 11 years from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial. Methods: A battery of neuropsychological tests (digit span, digit symbol substitution (DSym, and Trails-making Part B (TMT-B was administered at baseline in ~1700 participants and repeated at year 5. Thirty-six risk factors were evaluated as predictors of cognitive decline in multivariable regression analyses.Results: The mean age-adjusted, DSym or TMT-B declined significantly in all study participants (P < 0.001. Randomized intensive glucose-lowering did not significantly alter the rate of cognitive decline. The final model of risk factors associated with 5-year decline in age-adjusted TMT-B included as significant predictors: longer baseline diabetes duration (beta = -0.028; P = 0.0057, lower baseline diastolic blood pressure (beta = 0.028; P < 0.001, and baseline calcium channel blocker medication use (beta = -0.639; P < 0.001. Higher baseline pulse pressure was significantly associated with decline in age-adjusted TMT-B suggesting a role for both higher systolic and lower diastolic blood pressure. Baseline thiazide diuretic use (beta= -0.549; P =0.015 was an additional significant predictor of 5-year decline in age-adjusted digit symbol score. Post-baseline systolic blood pressure-lowering was significantly associated (P < 0.001 with decline in TMT-B performance. There was a significant inverse association between post-baseline plasma triglyceride- lowering (P = 0.045 and decline in digit symbol substitution task performance.Conclusions: A five-year period of randomized intensive glucose-lowering did not significantly reduce the rate of cognitive decline in older-aged adults with type 2 diabetes. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure as

  6. Trends in Timing of Dialysis Initiation within Versus Outside the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Hare, Ann M.; Batten, Adam; Sulc, Christine A.; Neely, Emily L.; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Hebert, Paul L.

    2015-01-01

    Background and objectives The secular trend toward dialysis initiation at progressively higher levels of eGFR is not well understood. This study compared temporal trends in eGFR at dialysis initiation within versus outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—the largest non–fee-for-service health system in the United States. Design, setting, participants, & measurements The study used linked data from the US Renal Data System, VA, and Medicare to compare temporal trends in eGFR at dialysis initiation between 2000 and 2009 (n=971,543). Veterans who initiated dialysis within the VA were compared with three groups who initiated dialysis outside the VA: (1) veterans whose dialysis was paid for by the VA, (2) veterans whose dialysis was not paid for by the VA, and (3) nonveterans. Logistic regression was used to estimate average predicted probabilities of dialysis initiation at an eGFR≥10 ml/min per 1.73 m2. Results The adjusted probability of starting dialysis at an eGFR≥10 ml/min per 1.73 m2 increased over time for all groups but was lower for veterans who started dialysis within the VA (0.31; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.30 to 0.32) than for those starting outside the VA, including veterans whose dialysis was (0.36; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.38) and was not (0.40; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.40) paid for by the VA and nonveterans (0.39; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.39). Differences in eGFR at initiation within versus outside the VA were most pronounced among older patients (P for interaction dialysis initiation within the VA mirrored those in the wider United States dialysis population, but eGFR at initiation was consistently lowest among those who initiated within the VA. Differences in eGFR at initiation within versus outside the VA were especially pronounced in older patients and those with higher 1-year mortality risk. PMID:26206891

  7. 77 FR 14600 - Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-12

    ... Management Service, in the Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction at (202) 461-6918, or email... Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of Public Availability of FY 2011 Service Contract Inventories. SUMMARY: In accordance with Section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated...

  8. Long-term follow-up of intensive glycaemic control on renal outcomes in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Lily; Azad, Nasrin; Bahn, Gideon D; Ge, Ling; Reaven, Peter D; Hayward, Rodney A; Reda, Domenic J; Emanuele, Nicholas V

    2017-11-03

    We conducted an analysis of data collected during the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) and the follow-up study (VADT-F) to determine whether intensive (INT) compared with standard (STD) glycaemic control during the VADT resulted in better long-term kidney outcomes. VADT randomly assigned 1791 veterans from 20 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centres who had type 2 diabetes mellitus and a mean HbA1c of 9.4 ± 2% (79.2 mmol/mol) at baseline to receive either INT or STD glucose control for a median of 5.6 years (randomisation December 2000 to May 2003; intervention ending in May 2008). After the trial, participants received routine care through their own physicians within the VA. This is an interim analysis of the VADT-F (June 2008 to December 2013). We collected data using VA and National databases and report renal outcomes based on serum creatinine, eGFR and urine albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) in 1033 people who provided informed consent to participate in the VADT-F. By the end of the VADT-F, significantly more people who received INT treatment during the VADT maintained an eGFR >60 ml min(-1) 1.73 m(-2) (OR 1.34 [95% CI 1.05, 1.71], p = 0.02). This benefit was most evident in those who were classified as at moderate risk (INT vs STD, RR 1.3, p = 0.03) or high risk (RR 2.3, p = 0.04) of chronic kidney disease on the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO-CKD) at the beginning of VADT. At the end of VADT-F, significantly more people from the INT group improved to a low KDIGO risk category (RR 6.1, p = 0.002). During the VADT-F there were no significant differences between INT and STD for average HbA1c, blood pressure or lipid levels. After just over 11 years of follow-up, there was a 34% greater odds of maintaining an eGFR of >60 ml min(-1) 1.73 m(-2) and of improving the KDIGO category in individuals with type 2 diabetes who had received INT for a median of 5.6 years. VADT clinical trials.gov number: NCT 00032487.

  9. New to care: demands on a health system when homeless veterans are enrolled in a medical home model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Toole, Thomas P; Bourgault, Claire; Johnson, Erin E; Redihan, Stephen G; Borgia, Matthew; Aiello, Riccardo; Kane, Vincent

    2013-12-01

    We compared service use among homeless and nonhomeless veterans newly enrolled in a medical home model and identified patterns of use among homeless veterans associated with reductions in emergency department (ED) use. We used case-control matching with a nested cohort analysis to measure 6-month health services use, new diagnoses, and care use patterns in veterans at the Providence, Rhode Island, Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 2008 to 2011. We followed 127 homeless and 106 nonhomeless veterans. Both groups had similar rates of chronic medical and mental health diagnoses; 25.4% of the homeless and 18.1% of the nonhomeless group reported active substance abuse. Homeless veterans used significantly more primary, mental health, substance abuse, and ED care during the first 6 months. Homeless veterans who accessed primary care at higher rates (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11, 1.92) or who used specialty and primary care (RRR = 10.95; 95% CI = 1.58, 75.78) had reduced ED usage. Homeless veterans in transitional housing or doubled-up at baseline (RRR = 3.41; 95% CI = 1.24, 9.42) had similar reductions in ED usage. Homeless adults had substantial health needs when presenting for care. High-intensity primary care and access to specialty care services could reduce ED use.

  10. Validity of code based algorithms to identify primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) in Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggerstaff, K S; Frankfort, B J; Orengo-Nania, S; Garcia, J; Chiao, E; Kramer, J R; White, D

    2017-09-25

    The validity of the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9) code for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic medical record has not been examined. We determined the accuracy of the ICD-9 code for POAG and developed diagnostic algorithms for the detection of POAG. We conducted a retrospective study of abstracted data from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center's medical records of 334 unique patients with at least one visit to the Eye Clinic between 1999 and 2013. Algorithms were developed to validly identify POAG using ICD-9 codes and pharmacy data. The positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), sensitivity, specificity and percent agreement of the various algorithms were calculated. For the ICD-9 code 365.1x, the PPV was 65.9%, NPV was 95.2%, sensitivity was 100%, specificity was 82.6%, and percent agreement was 87.8%. The algorithm with the highest PPV was 76.3%, using pharmacy data in conjunction with two or more ICD-9 codes for POAG, but this algorithm also had the lowest NPV at 88.2%. Various algorithms for identifying POAG in the VA administrative databases have variable validity. Depending on the type of research being done, the ICD-9 code 365.1x can be used for epidemiologic or health services database research.

  11. Treatment of dupuytren disease with injectable collagenase in a veteran population: a case series at the department of veterans affairs new jersey health care system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sood, Aditya; Therattil, Paul J; Paik, Angie M; Simpson, Mary F; Lee, Edward S

    2014-01-01

    Clinical trials seeking to establish long-term efficacy of injectable collagenase clostridium histolyticum for treatment of Dupuytren disease are ongoing. In this quality improvement study, the efficacy, recurrence rate, and complications of collagenase injection for Dupuytren disease are reviewed in a population of Veteran patients. A retrospective chart review was performed for patients who underwent treatment with injectable collagenase for Dupuytren disease from 2010 to 2013 at our regional Department of Veterans Affairs medical center. Data points of interest included the degree of joint contracture preoperatively, immediately after treatment, and at follow-up, complications, and patient satisfaction. Sixteen patients received 27 injections (18 metacarpophalangeal and 9 proximal interphalangeal injections). The mean time of follow-up was 12.3 months. There was a 50% or greater reduction of the original extension deficit in 74.1% (n = 27) of the joints treated. Metacarpophalangeal joint recurrence was "high" (≥50°) in 0% (n = 18) of joints, and "low" (5°-50°) in 33.3% (n = 18) of joints with a mean follow-up of 12 months. Proximal interphalangeal joint recurrence was "high" (≥40°) in 18.5% (n = 9) of joints and "low" (5°-40°) in 7.4% (n = 9) of joints with a mean follow-up of 12.9 months. Minor complications were experienced in 93.8% (n = 16) of patients who underwent collagenase injection and included ecchymosis, skin laceration, injection-site swelling, injection-site hemorrhage, tenderness, and pruritus. Seventy-five percent (n = 12) of patients in our study reported they would undergo treatment with collagenase again. The case series presented demonstrates that injectable collagenase clostridium histolyticum produced a clinical success rate of 74.1% and is a safe method to treat Dupuytren disease.

  12. Development of a Sleep Telementorship Program for Rural Department of Veterans Affairs Primary Care Providers: Sleep Veterans Affairs Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Elizabeth C; Mattox, Elizabeth A; Beste, Lauren A; Au, David H; Young, Bessie A; Chang, Michael F; Palen, Brian N

    2017-02-01

    Primary care providers (PCPs) frequently encounter sleep complaints, especially in regions with limited specialty care access. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (VA-ECHO) program (based on Project ECHO) has successfully provided rural PCP education in subspecialty areas, including hepatitis C. We describe the feasibility of an ECHO program for sleep medicine. ECHO creates a virtual learning community through video-teleconferencing, combining didactics with individualized clinical case review. We invited multidisciplinary providers to attend up to 10 stand-alone, 1-hour sessions. Invitees completed a needs assessment, which guided curriculum development. After program completion, we examined participant characteristics and self-reported changes in practice and comfort with managing sleep complaints. We surveyed participation barriers among invitees with low/no attendance. Of the 39 program participants, 38% worked in rural healthcare. Participants included nurse practitioners (26%), registered nurses (21%), and physicians (15%). Seventeen (44%) completed the summative program evaluation. Respondents anticipated practice change from the program, especially in patient education about sleep disorders (93% of respondents). Respondents reported improved comfort managing sleep complaints, especially sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia, and sleep in post-traumatic stress disorder (80% of respondents each). A follow-up survey of program invitees who attended zero to two sessions reported scheduling conflicts (62%) and lack of protected time (52%) as major participation barriers. Participants in a pilot sleep medicine VA-ECHO program report practice change and increased comfort managing common sleep complaints. Future work is needed to identify objective measures of return on investment and address participation barriers.

  13. Basic fibroblast growth factor predicts cardiovascular disease occurrence in participants from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark B Zimering

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of the present study was to test whether plasma basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF levels predict future cardiovascular disease (CVD occurrence in adults from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial. Methods: Nearly four- hundred veterans, 40 years of age or older, having a mean baseline diabetes duration of 11.4 years were recruited from outpatient clinics at six geographically distributed sites in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT. Within the VADT, they were randomly assigned to intensive or standard glycemic treatment, with follow-up as much as seven and one-half years. Cardiovascular disease occurrence was examined at baseline in the patient population and during randomized treatment. Plasma bFGF was determined with a sensitive, specific two-site enzyme-linked immunoassay at the baseline study visit in all 399 subjects. Results: One hundred-five first cardiovascular events occurred in these 399 subjects. The best fit model of risk factors associated with the time to first cardiovascular disease occurrence (in the study over a seven and one-half year period had as significant predictors: prior cardiovascular event, (hazard ratio [HR] 3.378; 95% confidence intervals [CI] 3.079- 3.807; P < .0001, baseline plasma bFGF (HR 1.008; 95% CI 1.002-1.014; P =.01, age, (HR 1.027; 95% CI 1.004-1.051; P =.019, baseline plasma triglycerides, (HR 1.001; 95% CI 1.000-1.002; P =.02 and diabetes duration-treatment interaction (P =.03. Intensive glucose-lowering was associated with significantly decreased hazard ratios for CVD occurrence (0.38-0.63 in patients with known diabetes duration of 0-10 years, and non-significantly increased hazard ratios for CVD occurrence (0.82-1.78 in patients with longer diabetes duration. Conclusion: High level ofplasma basic fibroblast growth factor is a predictive biomarker of future cardiovascular

  14. Mediation of smoking-associated postoperative mortality by perioperative complications in veterans undergoing elective surgery: data from Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP)?a cohort study

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Jasvinder A; Hawn, Mary; Campagna, Elizabeth J; Henderson, William G; Richman, Joshua; Houston, Thomas K

    2013-01-01

    Objective To assess the mediation of smoking-associated postoperative mortality by postoperative complications. Design Observational cohort study. Setting Using data from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Surgical Quality Improvement Programme, a quality assurance programme for major surgical procedures in the VA healthcare system, we assessed the association of current smoking at the time of the surgery with 6-month and 1-year mortality. Primary and secondary outcome measures Using mediation analyse...

  15. Ethical issues regarding caring for dermatology patients in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, Reuben; Stevens, Emily; Dellavalle, Robert P

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates the largest integrated health care system within the United States. VA budgets continue to escalate in an environment of heightened financial prudence and accountability. Despite having received many awards in areas from patient satisfaction and safety to product innovations, like any health care system, the VA is not immune to ethical conflict that requires exploration and evaluation. Several VA dermatologists, including section chiefs, were interviewed, and their responses to ethical complexities encountered or anticipated were analyzed in fictional case scenarios. Five morally concerning issues were highlighted. These include (1) providing care in a teaching setting with limited resources to a patient population with few other health care alternatives; (2) stereotyping patients, altogether an uncommon act, is possibly easier to do in the VA and has the potential to negatively affect patient care; (3) service-related disability claim cases often include medical opinion and findings documented in the medical record when judgments are made, thus the VA physician can have a significant effect on the outcome of these claims; (4) whether the VA provides a setting for apathetic physicians to thrive or instead allows for a more meaningful work experience and then how to manage the subpar performer; (5) except for the treatment of HIV lipodystrophy with injectables, primary cosmetic procedures are prohibited at the VA and can lead to difficulties for the VA dermatologist attempting to comply in a era where dermatology is being more closely associated with cosmesis. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Distance to Veterans Administration Medical Centers as a Barrier to Specialty Care for Homeless Women Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawron, Lori M; Pettey, Warren B P; Redd, Andrew M; Suo, Ying; Gundlapalli, Adi V

    2017-01-01

    Homeless women Veterans have a high prevalence of chronic mental and physical conditions that necessitate frequent healthcare visits, but travel burdens to specialty services may be overwhelming to navigate for this population, especially for those in rural settings. Access to specialty care is a key priority in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and understanding the geographic distribution and rural designation of this population in relation to medical centers (VAMC) can assist in care coordination. We identified 41,747 women Veterans age 18-44y with administrative evidence of homelessness in the VHA anytime during 2002-2015. We found 7% live in rural settings and 29% live >40miles from a VAMC. The mean travel distance for homeless women Veterans with a rural designation to a VAMC specialty center was 107 miles. Developing interventions to overcome this travel burden and engage vulnerable Veterans in necessary care can improve overall health outcomes for this high-risk population.

  17. Department of Veterans Affairs Quarterly Notice to Congress on Data Breaches First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2014 October 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This is a quarterly notice to congress containing statistics on data breeches for fiscal year 2014 for the first quarter (2014 October 1, 2013 through December 31,...

  18. Sleep quality and the role of sleep medications for veterans with chronic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Judith B; Lehman, Cassandra L; Elliott, Janette; Clark, J David

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature of sleep problems in veterans presenting to a pain clinic, factors that predict likelihood of being prescribed a sleep medication, types of medications prescribed, and the relationships between sleep medication use and sleep quality, pain, and depression. Participants were 201 consecutive patients referred to a Veterans Affairs outpatient pain clinic. They were administered the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Multidimensional Pain Inventory, and Beck Depression Inventory at intake and 2-month follow-up. Sleep and opioid medication prescriptions were also monitored. Pain severity did not predict global sleep quality; global sleep quality was not predictive of pain severity. Greater depression predicted both more severe pain and more sleep impairment. Having previously been prescribed such medications was the only significant predictor of being prescribed a sleep medication at the time of the 2-month assessment. For the 45% of participants on sleep medications, these medications were not associated with any significant change in pain factors or depression. However, sleep medication use was associated with worse global sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency. Opioid prescription was not a significant predictor of sleep factors, pain-related variables, or depression symptoms. Results suggest depression may contribute more significantly to sleep problems than pain-related variables in this population. The data suggest the need for controlled, prospective studies of sleep medication to further investigate the impact of sleep medications on sleep components in patients with chronic pain.

  19. Collaborating across the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to integrate mental health and chaplaincy services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieuwsma, Jason A; Jackson, George L; DeKraai, Mark B; Bulling, Denise J; Cantrell, William C; Rhodes, Jeffrey E; Bates, Mark J; Ethridge, Keith; Lane, Marian E; Tenhula, Wendy N; Batten, Sonja V; Meador, Keith G

    2014-12-01

    Recognizing that clergy and spiritual care providers are a key part of mental health care systems, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) jointly examined chaplains' current and potential roles in caring for veterans and service members with mental health needs. Our aim was to evaluate the intersection of chaplain and mental health care practices in VA and DoD in order to determine if improvement is needed, and if so, to develop actionable recommendations as indicated by evaluation findings. A 38-member multidisciplinary task group partnered with researchers in designing, implementing, and interpreting a mixed methods study that included: 1) a quantitative survey of VA and DoD chaplains; and 2) qualitative interviews with mental health providers and chaplains. Quantitative: the survey included all full-time VA chaplains and all active duty military chaplains (n = 2,163 completed of 3,464 invited; 62 % response rate). Qualitative: a total of 291 interviews were conducted with mental health providers and chaplains during site visits to 33 VA and DoD facilities. Quantitative: the online survey assessed intersections between chaplaincy and mental health care and took an average of 37 min to complete. Qualitative: the interviews assessed current integration of mental health and chaplain services and took an average of 1 h to complete. When included on interdisciplinary mental health care teams, chaplains feel understood and valued (82.8-100 % of chaplains indicated this, depending on the team). However, findings from the survey and site visits suggest that integration of services is often lacking and can be improved. Closely coordinating with a multidisciplinary task group in conducting a mixed method evaluation of chaplain-mental health integration in VA and DoD helped to ensure that researchers assessed relevant domains and that findings could be rapidly translated into actionable recommendations.

  20. Design of a prostate cancer patient navigation intervention for a Veterans Affairs hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nonzee Narissa J

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Patient navigation programs have been launched nationwide in an attempt to reduce racial/ethnic and socio-demographic disparities in cancer care, but few have evaluated outcomes in the prostate cancer setting. The National Cancer Institute-funded Chicago Patient Navigation Research Program (C-PNRP aims to implement and evaluate the efficacy of a patient navigation intervention for predominantly low-income minority patients with an abnormal prostate cancer screening test at a Veterans Affairs (VA hospital in Chicago. Methods/Design From 2006 through 2010, C-PNRP implemented a quasi-experimental intervention whereby trained social worker and lay health navigators worked with veterans with an abnormal prostate screen to proactively identify and resolve personal and systems barriers to care. Men were enrolled at a VA urology clinic and were selected to receive navigated versus usual care based on clinic day. Patient navigators performed activities to facilitate timely follow-up such as appointment reminders, transportation coordination, cancer education, scheduling assistance, and social support as needed. Primary outcome measures included time (days from abnormal screening to diagnosis and time from diagnosis to treatment initiation. Secondary outcomes included psychosocial and demographic predictors of non-compliance and patient satisfaction. Dates of screening, follow-up visits, and treatment were obtained through chart audit, and questionnaires were administered at baseline, after diagnosis, and after treatment initiation. At the VA, 546 patients were enrolled in the study (245 in the navigated arm, 245 in the records-based control arm, and 56 in a subsample of surveyed control subjects. Discussion Given increasing concerns about balancing better health outcomes with lower costs, careful examination of interventions aimed at reducing healthcare disparities attain critical importance. While analysis of the C-PNRP data is

  1. Increasing access and quality in Department of Veterans Affairs care at the end of life: a lesson in change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edes, Thomas; Shreve, Scott; Casarett, David

    2007-10-01

    The pursuit of a "good death" remains out of reach for many despite numerous piecemeal solutions to address the growing need for access to quality care at the end of life. In 2002, U.S. veteran deaths were at an all-time high, few Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals had inpatient palliative care services, and there was no reliable approach to meet home hospice needs. The VA embarked on a course of major change to improve veterans' care at the end of life. A coordinated plan to increase access to hospice and palliative care services was established, addressing policy development, program and staff development, collaboration with community hospices, outcomes measurement, and proving value to the organization. To determine progress and monitor resource allocation, workload and outcome measures were established in all settings. Within 3 years, the number of veterans receiving VA-paid home hospice had tripled, all VA hospitals had a palliative care team, 42% of all veterans who died as VA inpatients received a palliative care consultation, and a nationwide network of VA partnerships with community hospice agencies was established. Through a multifaceted strategic plan and a mission of honoring veterans' preferences for care at the end of life, the VA has made rapid progress in improved access to palliative care services for inpatients and outpatients. The VA's experience serves as a powerful example of the magnitude of change possible in a complex health system and a model for improving access and quality of palliative care services in other health systems.

  2. Racial And Ethnic Disparities Persist At Veterans Health Administration Patient-Centered Medical Homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington, Donna L; Steers, W Neil; Huynh, Alexis K; Frayne, Susan M; Uchendu, Uchenna S; Riopelle, Deborah; Yano, Elizabeth M; Saechao, Fay S; Hoggatt, Katherine J

    2017-06-01

    Patient-centered medical homes are widely promoted as a primary care delivery model that achieves better patient outcomes. It is unknown if their benefits extend equally to all racial/ethnic groups. In 2010 the Veterans Health Administration, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), began implementing patient-centered medical homes nationwide. In 2009 significant disparities in hypertension or diabetes control were present for most racial/ethnic groups, compared with whites. In 2014 hypertension disparities were similar for blacks, had become smaller but remained significant for Hispanics, and were no longer significant for multiracial veterans, whereas disparities had become significant for American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders. By contrast, in 2014 diabetes disparities were similar for American Indians/Alaska Natives, blacks, and Hispanics, and were no longer significant for Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders. We found that the modest benefits of the VA's implementation of patient-centered medical homes were offset by competing multifactorial external, health system, provider, and patient factors, such as increased patient volume. To promote health equity, health care innovations such as patient-centered medical homes should incorporate tailored strategies that account for determinants of racial/ethnic variations. Evaluations of patient-centered medical homes should monitor outcomes for racial/ethnic groups. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  3. 76 FR 78824 - Copayments for Medications in 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-20

    ... and dental schools; Medical devices; Medical research; Mental health programs; Nursing homes... Affairs. ACTION: Interim final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its medical regulations concerning the copayment required for certain medications. Under current regulations, beginning on...

  4. Regulatory affairs for biomaterials and medical devices

    CERN Document Server

    Amato, Stephen F; Amato, B

    2015-01-01

    All biomaterials and medical devices are subject to a long list of regulatory practises and policies which must be adhered to in order to receive clearance. This book provides readers with information on the systems in place in the USA and the rest of the world. Chapters focus on a series of procedures and policies including topics such as commercialization, clinical development, general good practise manufacturing and post market surveillance.Addresses global regulations and regulatory issues surrounding biomaterials and medical devicesEspecially useful for smaller co

  5. Suicide Mortality Following Nursing Home Discharge in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymanski, Benjamin R.; Karlin, Bradley E.; Katz, Ira R.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. We assessed suicide rates up to 6 months following discharge from US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes. Methods. In VA Minimum Data Set (MDS) records, we identified 281 066 live discharges from the 137 VA nursing homes during fiscal years 2002 to 2008. We used MDS and administrative data to assess resident age, gender, behaviors, pain, and indications of psychoses, bipolar disorder, dementia, and depression. We identified vital status and suicide mortality within 6 months of discharge through National Death Index searches. Results. Suicide rates within 6 months of discharge were 88.0 per 100 000 person-years for men and 89.4 overall. Standardized mortality ratios relative to age- and gender-matched individuals in the VA patient population were 2.3 for men (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.9, 2.8) and 2.4 overall (95% CI = 2.0, 2.9). In multivariable proportional hazards regression analyses, resident characteristics, diagnoses, behaviors, and pain were not significantly associated with suicide risk. Conclusions. Suicide risk was elevated following nursing home discharge. This underscores the importance of ongoing VA efforts to enhance discharge planning and timely postdischarge follow-up. PMID:24134359

  6. Longitudinal changes in hearing sensitivity among men: the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echt, Katharina V; Smith, Sherri L; Burridge, Andrea Backscheider; Spiro, Avron

    2010-10-01

    Over 35 years (1962-1996), participants of the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study (NAS), a study of healthy aging in men, completed up to eight audiometric assessments. This report describes the age-related hearing trajectories of screened men (n=953) aged 23 to 81 years at enrollment, estimates the typical rate of change per decade in hearing sensitivity, and compares longitudinal and cross-sectional estimates of change in hearing sensitivity. The men were followed 14 years on average. The hearing trajectories, based on a mixed-effects model analytical approach to the data, provide converging evidence that hearing loss in aging is pervasive and progressive even among men initially selected for good physical health. Typically the men accrued early losses (>25 dB HL) in hearing sensitivity at the higher frequencies beginning in the early 40s, but maintained hearing thresholds better than 25 dB HL for lower frequencies into old age. The average rate of change per year across frequencies and age was 0.69 dB. Predicted cross-sectional estimates of change in hearing sensitivity reliably approximated longitudinal trajectories, with slight misestimations in the 8th decade.

  7. 77 FR 5186 - Medical Foster Homes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-02

    ... the home continues to meet the requirements of this part, as well as oversight and medical foster home... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN80 Medical Foster Homes AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: This document amends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ``Medical...

  8. 77 FR 58913 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-24

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... provision of VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas, and discusses ways to improve and... Office of Rural Health (ORH) Telehealth Projects funded; Louis A. Johnson Medical Center Women's Health...

  9. State of affairs of emergency medicine in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Chad; Chen, Jennifer; Dill, Curt; Tyndall, Gary; Olszyk, Mark D

    2010-10-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has reformed its emergency medical services. This study updates an overview of emergency medicine within VHA. This is a cross-sectional survey of VHA medical facilities offering emergency medical care. Sixty-eight percent (95/140) of facilities had emergency departments (EDs) only, 12% (16/140) had both ED and urgent care centers (UCCs), and 16% (23/140) had only UCCs. The mean (SD) ED/UCC census was 13 371 (7664). A mean (SD) of 53% (27%) of facility admissions were admitted through ED/UCCs. The median of all ED/UCC admissions admitted to intensive care unit level care was 11% (interquartile range, 7-16). Of physicians with any board certification, 16% (209/1331) of physicians had emergency medicine board certification. Emergency medical care is now available at most VHA facilities. The specialty of emergency medicine has an important but minority presence within clinical emergency medical care at VHA. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Rosiglitazone treatment and cardiovascular disease in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florez, H; Reaven, P D; Bahn, G; Moritz, T; Warren, S; Marks, J; Reda, D; Duckworth, W; Abraira, C; Hayward, R; Emanuele, N

    2015-01-01

    Aims To evaluate the relationship between patterns of rosiglitazone use and cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT). Methods Time-dependent survival analyses, case–control and 1 : 1 propensity matching approaches were used to examine the relationship between patterns of rosiglitazone use and CV outcomes in the VADT, a randomized controlled study that assessed the effect of intensive glycaemic control on CV outcomes in 1791 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) whose mean age was 60.4 ± 9 years. Participants were recruited between 1 December 2000 and 31 May 2003, and were followed for 5–7.5 years (median 5.6) with a final visit by 31 May 2008. Rosiglitazone (4 mg and 8 mg daily) was initiated per protocol in both the intensive-therapy and standard-therapy groups. Main outcomes included a composite CV outcome, CV death and myocardial infarction (MI). Results Both daily doses of rosiglitazone were associated with lower risk for the primary composite CV outcome [4 mg: hazard ratio (HR) 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49–0.81 and 8 mg: HR 0.60, 95% CI 0.49–0.75] after adjusting for demographic and clinical covariates. A reduction in CV death was also observed (HR 0.25, p < 0.001, for both 4 and 8 mg/day rosiglitazone); however, the effect on MI was less evident for 8 mg/day and not significant for 4 mg/day. Conclusions In older patients with T2D the use of rosiglitazone was associated with decreased risk of the primary CV composite outcome and CV death. Rosiglitazone use did not lead to a higher risk of MI. PMID:25964070

  11. A Link Between Hypoglycemia and Progression of Atherosclerosis in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahn, Gideon D.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To determine whether a link exists between serious hypoglycemia and progression of atherosclerosis in a substudy of the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) and to examine whether glycemic control during the VADT modified the association between serious hypoglycemia and coronary artery calcium (CAC) progression. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Serious hypoglycemia was defined as severe episodes with loss of consciousness or requiring assistance or documented glucose <50 mg/dL. Progression of CAC was determined in 197 participants with baseline and follow-up computed tomography scans. RESULTS During an average follow-up of 4.5 years between scans, 97 participants reported severe hypoglycemia (n = 23) or glucose <50 mg/dL (n = 74). Serious hypoglycemia occurred more frequently in the intensive therapy group than in the standard treatment group (74% vs. 21%, P < 0.01). Serious hypoglycemia was not associated with progression of CAC in the entire cohort, but the interaction between serious hypoglycemia and treatment was significant (P < 0.01). Participants with serious hypoglycemia in the standard therapy group, but not in the intensive therapy group, had ∼50% greater progression of CAC than those without serious hypoglycemia (median 11.15 vs. 5.4 mm3, P = 0.02). Adjustment for all baseline differences, including CAC, or time-varying risk factors during the trial, did not change the results. Examining the effect of serious hypoglycemia by on-trial HbA1c levels (cutoff 7.5%) yielded similar results. In addition, a dose-response relationship was found between serious hypoglycemia and CAC progression in the standard therapy group only. CONCLUSIONS Despite a higher frequency of serious hypoglycemia in the intensive therapy group, serious hypoglycemia was associated with progression of CAC in only the standard therapy group. PMID:26786575

  12. Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites: Implications for Surgical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakaeen, Faisal G; Reda, Domenic J; Gelijns, Annetine C; Cornwell, Lorraine; Omer, Shuab; Al Jurdi, Rayan; Kougias, Panos; Anaya, Daniel; Berger, David H; Huang, Grant D

    2014-06-01

    Surgical clinical trials have played a critical role in shaping clinical practice, yet their launch and conduct remain challenging. Innovative approaches to carrying out such studies can not only help transform how trials produce definitive evidence but also move the field toward increased participation in trials. To review a recently launched pilot program aimed at enhancing patient enrollment and improving surgical trial operations at individual sites and nationally. After a solicitation to create a national network focused on making the conduct of clinical trials more efficient, 10 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sites were selected. These sites, collectively called the Cooperative Studies Program (CSP) Network of Dedicated Enrollment Sites (NODES), were evaluated with regard to their previous participation in CSP multisite trials, the strength of the local clinical research environment, and presentation of innovative plans to coordinate and enhance the operations of local CSP studies and share best practices with other centers. Node accountability was also emphasized and involved metrics that tracked productivity and efficiency. Building from available CSP experience in a range of clinical trials, including ones involving surgical interventions, NODES provides VA surgeons with resources for facilitating timely study initiation, determining patient availability, and addressing enrollment barriers. Such resources are particularly important for surgical studies, which often face challenges in patient recruitment and retention. In addition, NODES can maintain qualified and trained personnel at sites to support surgeons with limited time to fulfill the numerous administrative and regulatory responsibilities that often fall to the investigators. The VA's approach to enhancing trial efficiency may reinvigorate interest in surgical trials by offering a redesigned cooperative framework that builds on a core of high-yield sites and could mitigate traditional

  13. Complications and Failure to Rescue After Inpatient Noncardiac Surgery in the Veterans Affairs Health System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massarweh, Nader N; Kougias, Panagiotis; Wilson, Mark A

    2016-12-01

    The quality of surgical care in the Veterans Health Administration improved markedly in the 1990s after implementation of the Veterans Affairs (VA) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (now called the VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program). Although there have been many recent evaluations of surgical care in the private sector, to date, a contemporary global evaluation has not been performed within the VA health system. To provide a contemporaneous report of noncardiac postoperative outcomes in the VA health system during the past 15 years. A retrospective cohort study was conducted using data from the VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program among veterans who underwent inpatient general, vascular, thoracic, genitourinary, neurosurgical, orthopedic, or spine surgery from October 1, 1999, through September 30, 2014. Rates of 30-day morbidity, mortality, and failure to rescue (FTR) over time. Among 704 901 patients (mean [SD] age, 63.7 [11.8] years; 676 750 [96%] male) undergoing noncardiac surgical procedures at 143 hospitals, complications occurred in 97 836 patients (13.9%), major complications occurred in 66 816 (9.5%), FTR occurred in 12 648 of the 97 836 patients with complications (12.9%), FTR after major complications occurred in 12 223 of the 66 816 patients with major complications (18.3%), and 18 924 patients (2.7%) died within 30 days of surgery. There were significant decreases from 2000 to 2014 in morbidity (8202 of 59 421 [13.8%] vs 3368 of 32 785 [10.3%]), major complications (5832 of 59 421 [9.8%] vs 2284 of 32 785 [7%]), FTR (1445 of 8202 [17.6%] vs 351 of 3368 [10.4%]), and FTR after major complications (1388 of 5832 [23.8%] vs 343 of 2284 [15%]) (trend test, P < .001 for all). Although there were no clinically meaningful differences in rates of complications and major complications across hospital risk-adjusted mortality quintiles (any complications: lowest quintile, 20 945 of 147 721 [14.2%] vs highest

  14. Veterans Medical Care: FY2010 Appropriations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-21

    construction of state- owned nursing homes and domiciliary facilities and collaborates with the Department of Defense (DOD) in sharing health care ... domiciliary care , or travel for family members of veterans receiving mental health services from the VA except for such travel performed beyond a 100-mile...institutional respite care , geriatric evaluation, adult day healthcare - $15 per day; domiciliary care - $5 per day) Priority Group 1 (service

  15. 2007 Veterans Employability Research Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The 2007 Veterans Employability Research Survey (VERS) was conducted to determine the factors that impact veterans' employability resulting from participation in the...

  16. Women Veteran Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report summarizes the history of women Veterans in the military and as Veterans. It profiles the characteristics of women Veterans in 2015, and illustrates how...

  17. Perioperative use of anti-rheumatic agents does not increase early postoperative infection risks: a Veteran Affairs' administrative database study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abou Zahr, Zaki; Spiegelman, Andrew; Cantu, Maria; Ng, Bernard

    2015-02-01

    The aim of this study was to validate a novel technique that predicts stopping of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents (BA) from the Veterans Affairs (VA) database and compare infection risks of rheumatoid arthritis patients who stopped versus continued DMARDs/BA perioperatively. We identified 6,024 patients on 1 DMARD or BA in the perioperative period between 1999 and 2009. Time gap between medication stop date and the next start date predicted drug stoppage (X). Time gap between surgery date and stop date predicted whether stoppage was before surgery (Y). Chart review from Houston VA was used for validation. ROC analyses were performed on chart review data to obtain X and Y cutoffs. The primary endpoints were wound infections and other infections within 30 days. ROC analyses found X ≥ 33 (AUC = 0.954) and Y ≥ -11 (AUC = 0.846). Risk of postoperative infections was not different when stopping and continuing DMARDs/BA preoperatively. Stopping BA after surgery was associated with higher odds of postoperative wound (OR 14.15, 95 % CI 1.76-113.76) and general infection (OR 9.2, 95 % CI 1.99-42.60) compared to not stopping. Stopping DMARDs after surgery was associated with increased risk of postoperative general infection (OR 1.84, 95 % CI 1.07-3.16) compared with not stopping. There was positive association between stopping DMARDs after surgery and postoperative wound infection but failed to achieve statistical significance (OR 1.67, 95 % CI 0.96-2.91). There was no significant difference in postoperative infection risk when stopping or continuing DMARD/BA. Our new validated method can be utilized in the VA and other databases to predict drug stoppage.

  18. Who Gets Testosterone? Patient Characteristics Associated with Testosterone Prescribing in the Veteran Affairs System: a Cross-Sectional Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasuja, Guneet K; Bhasin, Shalender; Reisman, Joel I; Hanlon, Joseph T; Miller, Donald R; Morreale, Anthony P; Pogach, Leonard M; Cunningham, Francesca E; Park, Angela; Berlowitz, Dan R; Rose, Adam J

    2017-03-01

    There has been concern about the growing off-label use of testosterone. Understanding the context within which testosterone is prescribed may contribute to interventions to improve prescribing. To evaluate patient characteristics associated with receipt of testosterone. Cross-sectional. A national cohort of male patients, who had received at least one outpatient prescription within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system during Fiscal Year 2008- Fiscal Year 2012. The study sample consisted of 682,915 non-HIV male patients, of whom 132,764 had received testosterone and a random 10% sample, 550,151, had not. Conditions and medications associated with testosterone prescription. Only 6.3% of men who received testosterone from the VA during the study period had a disorder of the testis, pituitary or hypothalamus associated with male hypogonadism. Among patients without a diagnosed disorder of hypogonadism, the use of opioids and obesity were the strongest predictors of testosterone prescription. Patients receiving >100 mg/equivalents of oral morphine daily (adjusted odds ratio = 5.75, p 40 kg/m2 (adjusted odds ratio = 3.01, p testosterone than non-opioid users and men with BMI testosterone receipt, all with an adjusted odds ratio less than 2 (p testosterone did not have a diagnosed condition of the testes, pituitary, or hypothalamus. The strongest predictors of testosterone receipt (e.g., obesity, receipt of opioids), which though are associated with unapproved, off-label use, may be valid reasons for therapy. Interventions should aim to increase the proportion of testosterone recipients who have a valid indication.

  19. Patient perspectives on an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution program in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Elizabeth M; Nevedal, Andrea; Lewis, Eleanor T; McCaa, Matthew D; Cochran, Michael F; Konicki, P Eric; Davis, Corey S; Wilder, Christine

    2016-01-01

    In an effort to prevent opioid overdose mortality among Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities began implementing opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) in 2013 and a national program began in 2014. VA is the first national health care system to implement OEND. The goal of this study is to examine patient perceptions of OEND training and naloxone kits. Four focus groups were conducted between December 2014 and February 2015 with 21 patients trained in OEND. Participants were recruited from a VA residential facility in California with a substance use disorder treatment program (mandatory OEND training) and a homeless program (optional OEND training). Data were analyzed using matrices and open and closed coding approaches to identify participants' perspectives on OEND training including benefits, concerns, differing opinions, and suggestions for improvement. Veterans thought OEND training was interesting, novel, and empowering, and that naloxone kits will save lives. Some veterans expressed concern about using syringes in the kits. A few patients who never used opioids were not interested in receiving kits. Veterans had differing opinions about legal and liability issues, whether naloxone kits might contribute to relapse, and whether and how to involve family in training. Some veterans expressed uncertainty about the effects of naloxone. Suggested improvements included active learning approaches, enhanced training materials, and increased advertisement. OEND training was generally well received among study participants, including those with no indication for a naloxone kit. Patients described a need for OEND and believed it could save lives. Patient feedback on OEND training benefits, concerns, opinions, and suggestions provides important insights to inform future OEND training programs both within VA and in other health care settings. Training is critical to maximizing the potential for OEND to save lives, and this study

  20. Medical Care Cost Recovery National Database (MCCR NDB)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Medical Care Cost Recovery National Database (MCCR NDB) provides a repository of summary Medical Care Collections Fund (MCCF) billing and collection information...

  1. Veterans Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-18

    hospital, nursing home, or domiciliary care facility; and (2) a plot allowance for a veteran eligible for burial in a national cemetery who is not... domiciliary care . The VA was permitted to enter into contracts to provide the burial and funeral services for veterans who died in VA facilities...Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a range of benefits and services to veterans who meet certain eligibility rules; benefits include hospital and medical care

  2. Development of a Veterans Affairs hybrid operating room for transcatheter aortic valve replacement in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shunk, Kendrick A; Zimmet, Jeffrey; Cason, Brian; Speiser, Bernadette; Tseng, Elaine E

    2015-03-01

    Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) revolutionized the treatment of aortic stenosis. Developing a TAVR program with a custom-built hybrid operating room (HOR) outside the surgical operating room area poses unique challenges in Veterans Affairs (VA) institutions. To present the process by which the San Francisco VA Medical Center developed a VA-approved TAVR program, in which an HOR exists in a cardiac catheterization laboratory, as a guideline for future programs. Retrospective review of each required approval process for developing an HOR in a cardiac catheterization laboratory in a VA designated for complex surgery. Participants included San Francisco VA Medical Center health care professionals and individuals responsible for new program initiation in VA institutions. External reviews by industry vendors, the VA Central Office, and the Office for Construction, Facilities, and Management and an internal Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis. The timeline for each process. Developing a TAVR program required vetting and approval from industry vendors, who provided training and expertise. Architectural plans for construction of the HOR began in 2010-2011, followed by approval from Edwards Lifesciences, Inc, in 2012 and fundamentals training on February 8 and 9, 2013. Following a pilot launch of the first VA TAVR program at the Houston VA Medical Center, subsequent programs were required to submit a plan to the VA Central Office for proposed restructuring of their clinical programs. After the San Francisco VA Medical Center proposal submission on February 3, 2013, a site visit consisting of a National Chief of Catheterization Laboratory Managers, a cardiac surgeon, and an interventional cardiologist with TAVR experience was conducted on April 12, 2013. During construction, HOR plans were inspected by the Office for Construction, Facilities, and Management followed by on-site inspection on August 8, 2013, to assess the adequacy of the HOR, newly built

  3. AVTA Federal Fleet PEV Readiness Data Logging and Characterization Study for Department of Veterans Affairs – VA Manhattan Campus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephen Schey; Jim Francfort

    2014-10-01

    This report focuses on the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Manhattan Campus (VA- Manhattan) fleet to identify the daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and report findings on vehicle and mission characterizations to support successful introduction of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) into the agency’s fleet. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to electric vehicle adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively called PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements.

  4. The value from investments in health information technology at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Colene M; Mercincavage, Lauren M; Pan, Eric C; Vincent, Adam G; Johnston, Douglas S; Middleton, Blackford

    2010-04-01

    We compare health information technology (IT) in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to norms in the private sector, and we estimate the costs and benefits of selected VA health IT systems. The VA spent proportionately more on IT than the private health care sector spent, but it achieved higher levels of IT adoption and quality of care. The potential value of the VA's health IT investments is estimated at $3.09 billion in cumulative benefits net of investment costs. This study serves as a framework to inform efforts to measure and calculate the benefits of federal health IT stimulus programs.

  5. 38 CFR 12.21 - Action upon death of veteran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... veteran at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, center or domiciliary activity while receiving care... of the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, center, or domiciliary activity having jurisdiction...

  6. BP and Renal Outcomes in Diabetic Kidney Disease: The Veterans Affairs Nephropathy in Diabetes Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leehey, David J; Zhang, Jane H; Emanuele, Nicholas V; Whaley-Connell, Adam; Palevsky, Paul M; Reilly, Robert F; Guarino, Peter; Fried, Linda F

    2015-12-07

    Proteinuric diabetic kidney disease frequently progresses to ESRD. Control of BP delays progression, but the optimal BP to improve outcomes remains unclear. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the relationship between BP and renal outcomes in proteinuric diabetic kidney disease. BP data from all 1448 randomized participants in the Veterans Affairs Nephropathy in Diabetes Trial were included in a post hoc analysis. The associations of mean on-treatment BP with the primary end point (decline in eGFR, ESRD, or death), renal end point (decline in eGFR or ESRD), rate of eGFR decline, and mortality were measured. The median (25th, 75th percentile) follow-up time was 2.2 (1.2, 3.0) years. There were 284 primary end points. In univariate analyses, both mean systolic and mean diastolic BPs were strongly associated (P150 mmHg (P=0.02), with a significantly higher hazard ratio for 140-149 versus 120-129 mmHg (1.51 [1.06, 2.15]; P=0.02). There was also a significant association of mean diastolic BP with the hazard of developing the primary end point (P<0.01), with a significantly higher hazard ratio when mean diastolic BP was 80-89 versus 70-79 mmHg (1.54 [1.05, 2.25]; P=0.03); there was also a strong trend when mean diastolic BP was <60 mmHg. Associations between BP and both renal end point and rate of eGFR decline were similar to those with the primary end point. No association of BP with mortality was observed, possibly because of the limited number of mortality events. In patients with proteinuric diabetic kidney disease, mean systolic BP ≥ 140 mmHg and mean diastolic BP ≥ 80 mmHg were associated with worse renal outcomes. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.

  7. Hearing aid patients in private practice and public health (Veterans Affairs) clinics: are they different?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Robyn M; Alexander, Genevieve C; Gray, Ginger A

    2005-12-01

    In hearing aid research, it is commonplace to combine data across subjects whose hearing aids were provided in different service delivery models. There is reason to question whether these types of patients are always similar enough to justify this practice. To explore this matter, this investigation evaluated similarities and differences in self-report data obtained from hearing aid patients derived from public health (Veterans Affairs, VA) and private practice (PP) settings. The study was a multisite, cross-sectional survey in which 230 hearing aid patients from VA and PP audiology clinic settings provided self-report data on a collection of questionnaires both before and after the hearing aid fitting. Subjects were all older adults with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. About half of them had previous experience wearing hearing aids. All subjects were fitted with wide-dynamic-range-compression instruments and received similar treatment protocols. Numerous statistically significant differences were observed between the VA and PP subject groups. Before the fitting, VA patients reported higher expectations from the hearing aids and more severe unaided problems compared with PP patients with similar audiograms. Three wks after the fitting, VA patients reported more satisfaction with their hearing aids. On some measures VA patients reported more benefit, but different measures of benefit did not give completely consistent results. Both groups reported using the hearing aids an average of approximately 8 hrs per day. VA patients reported age-normal physical and mental health, but PP patients tended to report better than typical health for their age group. These data indicate that hearing aid patients seen in the VA public health hearing services are systematically different in self-report domains from those seen in private practice services. It is therefore risky to casually combine data from these two types of subjects or to generalize research results from one

  8. Predictors of patient communication in psychiatric medication encounters among veterans with serious mental illnesses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hack, Samantha M; Medoff, Deborah R; Brown, Clayton H; Fang, Lijuan; Dixon, Lisa B; Klingaman, Elizabeth A; Park, Stephanie G; Kreyenbuhl, Julie A

    2016-06-01

    Person-centered psychiatric services rely on consumers actively sharing personal information, opinions, and preferences with their providers. This research examined predictors of consumer communication during appointments for psychiatric medication prescriptions. The Roter Interaction Analysis System was used to code recorded Veterans Affairs psychiatric appointments with 175 consumers and 21 psychiatric medication prescribers and categorize communication by purpose: biomedical, psychosocial, facilitation, or rapport-building. Regression analyses found that greater provider communication, symptomology, orientation to psychiatric recovery, and functioning on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status Attention and Language indices, as well as consumer diagnostic label, were positive predictors of consumer communication, though the types of communication impacted varied. Provider communication is the easiest variable to intervene on to create changes in consumer communication. Future research should also consider how cognitive and symptom factors may impact specific types of consumer communication in order to identify subgroups for targeted interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Performance of a Natural Language Processing (NLP) Tool to Extract Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) Reports from Structured and Semistructured Veteran Affairs (VA) Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, Brian C; Jones, Barbara E; Globe, Gary; Leng, Jianwei; Lu, Chao-Chin; He, Tao; Teng, Chia-Chen; Sullivan, Patrick; Zeng, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are objective estimates of lung function, but are not reliably stored within the Veteran Health Affairs data systems as structured data. The aim of this study was to validate the natural language processing (NLP) tool we developed-which extracts spirometric values and responses to bronchodilator administration-against expert review, and to estimate the number of additional spirometric tests identified beyond the structured data. All patients at seven Veteran Affairs Medical Centers with a diagnostic code for asthma Jan 1, 2006-Dec 31, 2012 were included. Evidence of spirometry with a bronchodilator challenge (BDC) was extracted from structured data as well as clinical documents. NLP's performance was compared against a human reference standard using a random sample of 1,001 documents. In the validation set NLP demonstrated a precision of 98.9 percent (95 percent confidence intervals (CI): 93.9 percent, 99.7 percent), recall of 97.8 percent (95 percent CI: 92.2 percent, 99.7 percent), and an F-measure of 98.3 percent for the forced vital capacity pre- and post pairs and precision of 100 percent (95 percent CI: 96.6 percent, 100 percent), recall of 100 percent (95 percent CI: 96.6 percent, 100 percent), and an F-measure of 100 percent for the forced expiratory volume in one second pre- and post pairs for bronchodilator administration. Application of the NLP increased the proportion identified with complete bronchodilator challenge by 25 percent. This technology can improve identification of PFTs for epidemiologic research. Caution must be taken in assuming that a single domain of clinical data can completely capture the scope of a disease, treatment, or clinical test.

  10. 38 CFR 14.605 - Suits against Department of Veterans Affairs employees arising out of a wrongful act or omission...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... contain a factual description of the employee's duties and responsibilities at the time of the incident... by a physician, dentist, nurse, physician's assistant, dentist's assistant, pharmacist or paramedical... personnel, while furnishing medical care and treatment in the exercise of duties in or for the Veterans...

  11. 76 FR 61151 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

    ... INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans... homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families; and provide a supportive...

  12. Medical contraindications to estrogen and contraceptive use among women veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judge, Colleen P; Zhao, Xinhua; Sileanu, Florentina E; Mor, Maria K; Borrero, Sonya

    2017-10-27

    Women veterans have high rates of medical comorbidities and may be particularly vulnerable to adverse health outcomes associated with unintended pregnancy. The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of medical contraindications to estrogen-containing combined hormonal contraception among women veterans of reproductive age and to evaluate the relationship between contraindications and contraceptive use. This was a secondary analysis of data from a cross-sectional, telephone-based survey with a national sample of 2302 female veterans, aged 18-45 years, who use the Veterans Administration Healthcare System for primary care. This analysis included women at risk of unintended pregnancy, defined as heterosexually active and not pregnant or trying to conceive and with no history of hysterectomy or infertility. Seven contraindications to combined hormonal contraception were identified using survey data or medical diagnosis codes: hypertension; coronary artery disease; active migraine in women older than 35 years or migraine with aura; smoking in women older than 35 years; and a history of thromboembolism, stroke, or breast cancer. Outcomes were current use of combined hormonal contraception and contraceptive method type (combined hormonal contraception, and other prescription methods, nonprescription methods or no method). Multivariable logistic and multinomial regression were used to assess the relationship between contraindications and combined hormonal contraception use and method type, respectively. Among 1169 women veterans at risk of unintended pregnancy, 339 (29%) had at least 1 contraindication to combined hormonal contraception. The most prevalent conditions were hypertension (14.9%) and migraine (8.7%). In adjusted analyses, women with contraindications were less likely than women without contraindications to report use of combined hormonal contraception (adjusted odds ratio, 0.54, 95% confidence interval, 0.37-0.79). Relative to use of combined

  13. Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities Among Women in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Andrea; Borrero, Sonya; Wessel, Charles; Washington, Donna L; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Corbelli, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Women are a rapidly growing segment of patients who seek care in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System, yet many questions regarding their health care experiences and outcomes remain unanswered. Racial and ethnic disparities have been well-documented in the general population and among veterans; however, prior disparities research conducted in the VA focused primarily on male veterans. We sought to characterize the findings and gaps in the literature on racial and ethnic disparities among women using the VA. We systematically reviewed the literature on racial and ethnic health care disparities exclusively among women using the VA Healthcare System. We included studies that examined health care use, satisfaction, and/or quality, and stratified data by race or ethnicity. Nine studies of the 2,591 searched met our inclusion criteria. The included studies examined contraception provision/access (n = 3), treatment of low bone mass (n = 1), hormone therapy (n = 1), use of mental health or substance abuse-related services (n = 2), trauma exposure and use of various services (n = 1), and satisfaction with primary care (n = 1). Five of nine studies showed evidence of a significant racial or ethnic difference. In contrast with the wealth of literature examining disparities both among the male veterans and women in non-VA settings, only nine studies examine racial and ethnic disparities specifically among women in the VA Healthcare System. These results demonstrate that there is an unmet need to further assess health care disparities among female VA users. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. A Taxonomy of medical comorbidity for veterans who are homeless.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Gerald; Luther, James F; Jacoby, Aaron M; Haas, Gretchen L; Gordon, Adam J

    2008-08-01

    Homeless veterans have numerous medical and behavioral health problems. Grouping homeless people based on comorbidity patterns may assist in determining severity of illness and triaging health care more effectively. We sought to determine if a finite number of profiles could be identified related to demographic characteristics, living situation, length of homelessness, and referral areas using interview data from 2,733 veterans who were presently or recently homeless. We considered 12 disorders: eye problems, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, COPD/emphysema, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal problems, hepatic disease, neurologic disorders, orthopedic problems, skin problems, and trauma. Ratings were evaluated using cluster analysis. Comparison statistics were used to compare intercluster differences in demographics, homeless situation, and referral recommendations. A four-cluster solution is proposed: generalized illness, hepatic disease, lung disease, and neurologic disorder. Medical health problems are common and heterogeneous in homeless individuals. Classifications of these problems may be useful in planning treatment and predicting outcome.

  15. National Dissemination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System: Therapist and Patient-Level Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlin, Bradley E.; Brown, Gregory K.; Trockel, Mickey; Cunning, Darby; Zeiss, Antonette M.; Taylor, C. Barr

    2012-01-01

    Objective: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system is nationally disseminating and implementing cognitive behavioral therapy for depression (CBT-D). The current article evaluates therapist and patient-level outcomes associated with national training in and implementation of CBT-D in the VA health care system. Method: Therapist…

  16. Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Escherichia coli Infections after Transrectal Biopsy of the Prostate in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elie Antoun Saade

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recent reports suggest that infections due to fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli are an increasingly common complication of transrectal biopsy of the prostate (TBP in the United States. A better understanding of the magnitude and scope of these infections is needed to guide prevention efforts. Our objective is to determine whether the incidence of infections due to fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli after TBP has increased nationwide in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System and to identify risk factors for infection. Methods: We performed a retrospective, observational cohort study and a nested case-control study within the US Deparment of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. The primary outcomes were the incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI and bacteremia with E. coli and with fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli strains within 30 days after TBP. Secondary endpoints focused on the correlation between fluoroquinolone-resistance in all urinary E. coli isolates and post-TBP infection and risk factors for infection due to fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli infection. Results: 245 618 patients undergoing 302 168 TBP procedures from 2000 through 2013 were included in the cohort study, and 59 469 patients undergoing TBP from 2011 through 2013 were included in the nested case-control study. Between 2000 and 2013, there was a 5-fold increase in the incidence of E. coli UTI (0.18%–0.93% and a 4-fold increase in the incidence of E. coli bacteremia (0.04%–0.18% after TBP that was attributable to an increase in the incidence of fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli UTI (0.03%–0.75% and bacteremia (0.01%–0.14%. The increasing incidence of fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli infections after TBP occurred in parallel with increasing rates of fluoroquinolone-resistance in all urinary E. coli isolates. By multivariable logistic regression analysis, independent risk factors for fluoroquinolone

  17. Development and Validation of a Methodology to Reduce Mortality Using the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program Risk Calculator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Deborah S; Kroll, Donald; Papaconstantinou, Harry T; Ellis, C Neal

    2017-04-01

    To identify patients with a high risk of 30-day mortality after elective surgery, who may benefit from referral for tertiary care, an institution-specific process using the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) Risk Calculator was developed. The goal was to develop and validate the methodology. Our hypothesis was that the process could optimize referrals and reduce mortality. A VASQIP risk score was calculated for all patients undergoing elective noncardiac surgery at a single Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. After statistical analysis, a VASQIP risk score of 3.3% predicted mortality was selected as the institutional threshold for referral to a tertiary care center. The model predicted that 16% of patients would require referral, and 30-day mortality would be reduced by 73% at the referring institution. The main outcomes measures were the actual vs predicted referrals and mortality rates at the referring and receiving facilities. The validation included 565 patients; 90 (16%) had VASQIP risk scores greater than 3.3% and were identified for referral; 60 consented. In these patients, there were 16 (27%) predicted mortalities, but only 4 actual deaths (p = 0.007) at the receiving institution. When referral was not indicated, the model predicted 4 mortalities (1%), but no actual deaths (p = 0.1241). These data validate this methodology to identify patients for referral to a higher level of care, reducing mortality at the referring institutions and significantly improving patient outcomes. This methodology can help guide decisions on referrals and optimize patient care. Further application and studies are warranted. Copyright © 2017 American College of Surgeons. All rights reserved.

  18. 78 FR 55671 - Hospital Care and Medical Services for Camp Lejeune Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-11

    ..., Drug abuse, Health care, Health facilities, Health professions, Health records, Homeless, Medical.... 17.400;''. 0 3. Amend Sec. 17.108(e)(2) by removing ``or post-Gulf War combat- exposed veterans'' and adding, in its place, ``post-Gulf War combat- exposed veterans, or Camp Lejeune veterans pursuant to Sec...

  19. Veterans Crisis Line

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The caring responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Some of the responders are...

  20. 78 FR 73926 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-09

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... Health Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on January 14-15, 2014, in Room 1G12, Building 1, at the George E. Whalen VA Medical Center (VAMC), 500 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m...

  1. Spousal labor market effects from government health insurance: Evidence from a veterans affairs expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Melissa A; Lahey, Joanna N

    2016-01-01

    Measuring the total impact of health insurance receipt on household labor supply is important in an era of increased access to publicly provided and subsidized insurance. Although government expansion of health insurance to older workers leads to direct labor supply reductions for recipients, there may be spillover effects on the labor supply of uncovered spouses. While the most basic model predicts a decrease in overall household work hours, financial incentives such as credit constraints, target income levels, and the need for own health insurance suggest that spousal labor supply might increase. In contrast, complementarities of spousal leisure would predict a decrease in labor supply for both spouses. Utilizing a mid-1990s expansion of health insurance for U.S. veterans, we provide evidence on the effects of public insurance availability on the labor supply of spouses. Using data from the Current Population Survey and Health and Retirement Study, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy to compare the labor market behavior of the wives of older male veterans and non-veterans before and after the VA health benefits expansion. Although husbands' labor supply decreases, wives' labor supply increases, suggesting that financial incentives dominate complementarities of spousal leisure. This effect is strongest for wives with lower education levels and lower levels of household wealth and those who were not previously employed full-time. These findings have implications for government programs such as Medicare and Social Security and the Affordable Care Act. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISN), Markets, Submarkets, Sectors and Counties by Geographic Location

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides healthcare services to its veterans across the USA including territories and possessions. Healthcare services are...

  3. 76 FR 61150 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property at the VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

    ... INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044C), Department of Veterans... priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness; and provide a supportive...

  4. 76 FR 5432 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property at the Charlie...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-31

    ...-sufficiency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044...; provide preference and priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness; and...

  5. 76 FR 60965 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    ...-sufficiency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044... priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families; and...

  6. The Hidden Curriculum in Medical and Law Schools: A Role for Student Affairs Professionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Linda A.; Phye, Julie

    2006-01-01

    This chapter discusses responsibilities for student affairs professionals in law and medical schools. It poses that student affairs staff are particularly suited to teach the hidden curriculum of the professional schools, described as inculcating professional values. The chapter ends with four strategies for such instruction.

  7. Use of the Adaptive LASSO Method to Identify PM2.5 Components Associated with Blood Pressure in Elderly Men: The Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lingzhen; Koutrakis, Petros; Coull, Brent A; Sparrow, David; Vokonas, Pantel S; Schwartz, Joel D

    2016-01-01

    PM2.5 (particulate matter ≤ 2.5 μm) has been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, but it is unclear whether specific PM2.5 components, particularly metals, may be responsible for cardiovascular effects. We aimed to determine which PM2.5 components are associated with blood pressure in a longitudinal cohort. We fit linear mixed-effects models with the adaptive LASSO penalty to longitudinal data from 718 elderly men in the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study, 1999-2010. We controlled for PM2.5 mass, age, body mass index, use of antihypertensive medication (ACE inhibitors, non-ophthalmic beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, and angiotensin receptor antagonists), smoking status, alcohol intake, years of education, temperature, and season as fixed effects in the models, and additionally applied the adaptive LASSO method to select PM2.5 components associated with blood pressure. Final models were identified by the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). For systolic blood pressure (SBP), nickel (Ni) and sodium (Na) were selected by the adaptive LASSO, whereas only Ni was selected for diastolic blood pressure (DBP). An interquartile range increase (2.5 ng/m3) in 7-day moving-average Ni was associated with 2.48-mmHg (95% CI: 1.45, 3.50 mmHg) increase in SBP and 2.22-mmHg (95% CI: 1.69, 2.75 mmHg) increase in DBP, respectively. Associations were comparable when the analysis was restricted to study visits with PM2.5 below the 75th percentile of the distribution (12 μg/m3). Our study suggested that exposure to ambient Ni was associated with increased blood pressure independent of PM2.5 mass in our study population of elderly men. Further research is needed to confirm our findings, assess generalizability to other populations, and identify potential mechanisms for Ni effects. Dai L, Koutrakis P, Coull BA, Sparrow D, Vokonas PS, Schwartz JD. 2016. Use of the adaptive LASSO method to identify PM2.5 components associated with blood pressure in

  8. Decisions about Renal Replacement Therapy in Patients with Advanced Kidney Disease in the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2000–2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert, Paul L.; Laundry, Ryan J.; Hammond, Kenric W.; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Burrows, Nilka R.; O’Hare, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    Background and objectives It is not known what proportion of United States patients with advanced CKD go on to receive RRT. In other developed countries, receipt of RRT is highly age dependent and the exception rather than the rule at older ages. Design, setting, participants, & measurements We conducted a retrospective study of a national cohort of 28,568 adults who were receiving care within the US Department of Veteran Affairs and had a sustained eGFR <15 ml/min per 1.73 m2 between January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2009. We used linked administrative data from the US Renal Data System, US Department of Veteran Affairs, and Medicare to identify cohort members who received RRT during follow-up through October 1, 2011 (n=19,165). For a random 25% sample of the remaining 9403 patients, we performed an in-depth review of their VA–wide electronic medical records to determine the treatment status of their CKD. Results Two thirds (67.1%) of cohort members received RRT on the basis of administrative data. On the basis of the results of chart review, we estimate that an additional 7.5% (95% confidence interval, 7.2% to 7.8%) of cohort members had, in fact, received dialysis, that 10.9% (95% confidence interval, 10.6% to 11.3%) were preparing for and/or discussing dialysis but had not started dialysis at most recent follow-up, and that a decision had been made not to pursue dialysis in 14.5% (95% confidence interval, 14.1% to 14.9%). The percentage of cohort members who received or were preparing to receive RRT ranged from 96.2% (95% confidence interval, 94.4% to 97.4%) for those <45 years old to 53.3% (95% confidence interval, 50.7% to 55.9%) for those aged ≥85 years old. Results were similar after stratification by tertile of Gagne comorbidity score. Conclusions In this large United States cohort of patients with advanced CKD, the majority received or were preparing to receive RRT. This was true even among the oldest patients with the highest burden of comorbidity

  9. 76 FR 82212 - Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-30

    ... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AO01 Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas AGENCY... to ``RIN 2900-AO01, Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas.'' Copies of comments... award grants to eligible entities to assist veterans in highly rural areas to travel to VA medical...

  10. Hearing testing in the U.S. Department of Defense: Potential impact on Veterans Affairs hearing loss disability awards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, J T; Swan, A A; Swiger, B; Packer, M; Pugh, M J

    2017-06-01

    Hearing loss is the second most common disability awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to former members of the U.S. uniformed services. Hearing readiness and conservation practices differ among the four largest uniformed military services (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy). Utilizing a data set consisting of all hearing loss claims submitted to the VA from fiscal years 2003-2013, we examined characteristics of veterans submitting claims within one year of separation from military service. Our results indicate that having a hearing loss disability claim granted was significantly more likely for men, individuals over the age of 26 years at the time of the claim, individuals most recently serving in the U.S. Army, and those with at least one hearing loss diagnosis. Importantly, individuals with at least one test record in the Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System-Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS-HC) system were significantly less likely to have a hearing loss disability claim granted by the VA. Within the DOEHRS-HC cohort, those with at least one threshold shift or clinical hearing loss diagnosis while on active duty were more than two and three times more likely to have a hearing loss disability claim granted, respectively. These findings indicate that an established history of reduced hearing ability while on active duty was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of an approved hearing loss disability claim relative to VA claims without such a history. Further, our results show a persistent decreased rate of hearing loss disability awards overall. These findings support increased inclusion of personnel in DoD hearing readiness and conservation programs to reduce VA hearing loss disability awards. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Evaluation of a command-line parser-based order entry pathway for the Department of Veterans Affairs electronic patient record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovis, C; Chapko, M K; Martin, D P; Payne, T H; Baud, R H; Hoey, P J; Fihn, S D

    2001-01-01

    To improve and simplify electronic order entry in an existing electronic patient record, the authors developed an alternative system for entering orders, which is based on a command- interface using robust and simple natural-language techniques. The authors conducted a randomized evaluation of the new entry pathway, measuring time to complete a standard set of orders, and users' satisfaction measured by questionnaire. A group of 16 physician volunteers from the staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System-Seattle Division participated in the evaluation. Thirteen of the 16 physicians (81%) were able to enter medical orders more quickly using the natural-language-based entry system than the standard graphical user interface that uses menus and dialogs (mean time spared, 16.06 +/- 4.52 minutes; P=0.029). Compared with the graphical user interface, the command--based pathway was perceived as easier to learn (P<0.01), was considered easier to use and faster (P<0.01), and was rated better overall (P<0.05). Physicians found the command- interface easier to learn and faster to use than the usual menu-driven system. The major advantage of the system is that it combines an intuitive graphical user interface with the power and speed of a natural-language analyzer.

  12. 2001 National Survey of Veterans (NSV)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The 2001 National Survey of Veterans (NSV) is the fifth in a series of comprehensivenationwide surveys designed to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan...

  13. Homeless and Unemployed Veterans. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Education, Training and Employment of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. House of Representatives, Ninety-Ninth Congress, Second Session.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

    This congressional report contains the testimony that was presented at a hearing to examine the needs of homeless and unemployed veterans. Testimony was provided by representatives of the following agencies and organizations: the Vietnam Veterans Ensemble; the National Coalition for the Homeless; the various Veterans' Administration (VA)…

  14. Caregivers Create a Veteran-Centric Community in VHA Medical Foster Homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverhals, Leah M; Manheim, Chelsea E; Gilman, Carrie V; Jones, Jacqueline; Levy, Cari

    2016-01-01

    The Veteran's Health Administration's Medical Foster Home program offers a unique long-term care option for veterans who require nursing-home- or assisted-living-level care. Veterans in a medical foster home reside with community-based caregivers who provide 24-hr-a-day care and monitoring. The veterans often remain in the medical foster home until end of life. Support and oversight is provided to the caregiver from the Veteran's Health Administration's community-based medical team. This qualitative descriptive study is based on secondary analysis of interviews with 20 medical foster home caregivers from 7 programs across the United States. The study's research aims are to describe and explain (a) the type of care backgrounds and skills these caregivers possess, (b) caregivers' primary motivations to open their homes to veterans who often have complex medical and social needs, and (c) how caregivers function in their role as primary caregiver for veterans. Findings indicated that caregivers interviewed had worked in long-term care settings and/or cared for family members. A strong desire to serve veterans was a primary motivation for caregivers, rather than financial gain. The caregivers' long-term care skills aided them in building and sustaining the unique medical foster home family-like community.

  15. Training satisfaction for subspecialty fellows in internal medicine: Findings from the Veterans Affairs (VA Learners' Perceptions Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byrne John M

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Learner satisfaction assessment is critical in the design and improvement of training programs. However, little is known about what influences satisfaction and whether trainee specialty is correlated. A national comparison of satisfaction among internal medicine subspecialty fellows in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA provides a unique opportunity to examine educational factors associated with learner satisfaction. We compared satisfaction across internal medicine fellows by subspecialty and compared factors associated with satisfaction between procedural versus non-procedural subspecialty fellows, using data from the Learners' Perceptions Survey (LPS, a validated survey tool. Methods We surveyed 2,221 internal medicine subspecialty fellows rotating through VA between 2001 and 2008. Learners rated their overall training satisfaction on a 100-point scale, and on a five-point Likert scale ranked satisfaction with items within six educational domains: learning, clinical, working and physical environments; personal experience; and clinical faculty/preceptor. Results Procedural and non-procedural fellows reported similar overall satisfaction scores (81.2 and 81.6. Non-procedural fellows reported higher satisfaction with 79 of 81 items within the 6 domains and with the domain of physical environment (4.06 vs. 3.85, p Conclusions Internal medicine fellows are highly satisfied with their VA training. Nonprocedural fellows reported higher satisfaction with most items. For both procedural and non-procedural fellows, clinical faculty/preceptor and personal experience have the strongest impact on overall satisfaction.

  16. Professional Quality of Life of Veterans Affairs Staff and Providers in a Patient-Centered Care Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatelli, Sara M; LaVela, Sherri L

    2015-01-01

    Changes to the work environment prompted by the movement toward patient-centered care have the potential to improve occupational stress among health care workers by improving team-based work activities, collaboration, and employee-driven quality improvement. This study was conducted to examine professional quality of life among providers at patient-centered care pilot facilities. Surveys were conducted with 76 Veterans Affairs employees/providers at facilities piloting patient-centered care interventions, to assess demographics, workplace practices and views (team-based environment, employee voice, quality of communication, and turnover intention), and professional quality of life (compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress).Professional quality-of-life subscales were not related to employee position type, age, or gender. Employee voice measures were related to lower burnout and higher compassion satisfaction. In addition, employees who were considering leaving their position showed higher burnout and lower compassion satisfaction scores. None of the work practices showed relationships with secondary traumatic stress.

  17. Mastering improvement science skills in the new era of quality and safety: the Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, Carlos A; Dolansky, Mary A; Singh, Mamta K; Oliver, Brant J; Callaway-Lane, Carol; Splaine, Mark; Gilman, Stuart; Patrician, Patricia A

    2012-04-01

    Healthcare professionals need a new skill set to ensure the success of quality improvement in healthcare. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiated the VA National Quality Scholars fellowship in 1998; its mission is to improve the quality of care, ensure safety, accelerate healthcare re-design, and advance the improvement science by educating the next generation of leaders in quality and safety. We describe the critical need for leadership in quality and safety and interprofessional education, illustrate the curriculum, provide lessons learned by fellows, summarize key lessons learned from the implementation of an interprofessional education approach, and present most recent accomplishments. Narrative review. As of 2011, 106 program alumni are embedded in the health care delivery system across the United States. Since 2009, when nurse fellows joined the program, of the first nine graduating interdisciplinary fellows, the tailored curriculum has resulted in five advanced academic degrees, 42 projects, 29 teaching activities, 44 presentations, 36 publications, six grants funded or submitted, and two awards. The VA National Quality Scholars program continues to nurture and develop leaders for the new millennium focusing on interprofessional education. The nations' health care systems need strong interdisciplinary leaders in advanced quality improvement science who are dedicated to improving the overall quality of health and health care. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  18. Joint replacement surgery in homeless veterans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chase G. Bennett, MD

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Total joint arthroplasty (TJA in a homeless patient is generally considered contraindicated. Here, we report our known medical and social (housing and employment results of homeless veterans who had TJA. Thirty-seven TJAs were performed on 33 homeless patients (31 men at our hospital between November 2000 and March 2014. This was 1.2% of all TJAs. Average age was 54 years. Average hospital stay was 4.1 days. There were no major inpatient complications. Thirty-four cases had at least 1-year follow-up in any clinic within the Veterans Affairs health care system. There were no known surgery-related reoperations or readmissions. At final follow-up, 24 patients had stable housing and 9 were employed. The extensive and coordinated medical and social services that were provided to veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs contributed to our positive results. Keywords: Homeless, Veteran, Joint replacement, Total hip, Total knee, Employment

  19. A Randomized, Controlled Multisite Study of Behavioral Interventions for Veterans with Mental Illness and Antipsychotic Medication-Associated Obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Zachary D; Kwan, Crystal L; Gelberg, Hollie A; Arnold, Irina Y; Chamberlin, Valery; Rosen, Jennifer A; Shah, Chandresh; Nguyen, Charles T; Hellemann, Gerhard; Aragaki, Dixie R; Kunkel, Charles F; Lewis, Melissa M; Sachinvala, Neena; Sonza, Patrick A; Pierre, Joseph M; Ames, Donna

    2017-04-01

    Weight gain and other metabolic sequelae of antipsychotic medications can lead to medication non-adherence, reduced quality of life, increased costs, and premature mortality. Of the approaches to address this, behavioral interventions are less invasive, cost less, and can result in sustained long-term benefits. We investigated behavioral weight management interventions for veterans with mental illness across four medical centers within the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. We conducted a 12-month, multi-site extension of our previous randomized, controlled study, comparing treatment and control groups. Veterans (and some non-veteran women) diagnosed with mental illness, overweight (defined as having a BMI over 25), and required ongoing antipsychotic therapy. One group received "Lifestyle Balance" (LB; modified from the Diabetes Prevention Program) consisting of classes and individual nutritional counseling with a dietitian. A second group received less intensive "Usual Care" (UC) consisting of weight monitoring and provision of self-help. Participants completed anthropometric and nutrition assessments weekly for 8 weeks, then monthly. Psychiatric, behavioral, and physical assessments were conducted at baseline and months 2, 6, and 12. Metabolic and lipid laboratory tests were performed quarterly. Participants in both groups lost weight. LB participants had a greater decrease in average waist circumference [F(1,1244) = 11.9, p Behavioral interventions specifically designed for individuals with mental illness can be effective for weight loss and improve dietary behaviors. "Lifestyle Balance" integrates well with VA healthcare's patient-centered "Whole Health" approach. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01052714.

  20. 76 FR 37201 - Reimbursement Offsets for Medical Care or Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-24

    ... Offsets for Medical Care or Services AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY... reimbursement of medical care and services delivered to veterans for nonservice-connected conditions. This rule... States reasonable charges for the cost of medical care or services furnished to a veteran for a...

  1. Oral chemotherapy handling and storage practices among Veterans Affairs oncology patients and caregivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trovato, James A; Tuttle, Laura A

    2014-04-01

    This questionnaire-based study was designed to identify the oral chemotherapy medication handling, storage, and disposal practices among cancer patients and their caregivers. This was a single-center observational survey study approved by the Investigational Review Board and VA Research & Development Committee. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they had an active order for an oral antineoplastic medication and an appointment at the oncology clinic. A questionnaire related to the storage, handling, disposal, patient education and counseling, and patients' perception of safety of oral antineoplastic medications was developed and given to patients in the clinic. Survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. A total of 45 surveys were given to eligible patients in the oncology clinic and 42 surveys were returned to the study team. The majority, 40 participants (95%) were male. Participants ranged in age from 51 to 85 years (median, 65 years). Thirty-eight patients (90.5%) responded that the medication was stored away from extreme heat, cold, and humidity. Thirty-two patients (76%) reported keeping their medications in the original container. Hand washing was not a consistent practice among patients. Eleven patients (26%) reported always washing their hands after handling their anticancer medication; another 6 (14%) responded "sometimes". Of the 42 participants who answered, only 6 patients (14%) reported always or sometimes wearing gloves. The majority of patients responding to this survey store their oral anticancer medications appropriately, but patients' and caregivers' handling and disposal practices are inconsistent and frequently do not follow the published recommendations.

  2. A comparison of HAART outcomes between the US military HIV Natural History Study (NHS and HIV Atlanta Veterans Affairs Cohort Study (HAVACS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jodie L Guest

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The Department of Defense (DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA provide comprehensive HIV treatment and care to their beneficiaries with open access and few costs to the patient. Individuals who receive HIV care in the VA have higher rates of substance abuse, homelessness and unemployment than individuals who receive HIV care in the DoD. A comparison between individuals receiving HIV treatment and care from the DoD and the VA provides an opportunity to explore the impact of individual-level characteristics on clinical outcomes within two healthcare systems that are optimized for clinic retention and medication adherence. METHODS: Data were collected on 1065 patients from the HIV Atlanta VA Cohort Study (HAVACS and 1199 patients from the US Military HIV Natural History Study (NHS. Patients were eligible if they had an HIV diagnosis and began HAART between January 1, 1996 and June 30, 2010. The analysis examined the survival from HAART initiation to all-cause mortality or an AIDS event. RESULTS: Although there was substantial between-cohort heterogeneity and the 12-year survival of participants in NHS was significantly higher than in HAVACS in crude analyses, this survival disparity was reduced from 21.5% to 1.6% (mortality only and 26.8% to 4.1% (combined mortality or AIDS when controlling for clinical and demographic variables. CONCLUSION: We assessed the clinical outcomes for individuals with HIV from two very similar government-sponsored healthcare systems that reduced or eliminated many barriers associated with accessing treatment and care. After controlling for clinical and demographic variables, both 12-year survival and AIDS-free survival rates were similar for the two study cohorts who have open access to care and medication despite dramatic differences in socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics.

  3. Declining mortality following acute myocardial infarction in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piñeros Sandy

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mortality from acute myocardial infarction (AMI is declining worldwide. We sought to determine if mortality in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA has also been declining. Methods We calculated 30-day mortality rates between 2004 and 2006 using data from the VHA External Peer Review Program (EPRP, which entails detailed abstraction of records of all patients with AMI. To compare trends within VHA with other systems of care, we estimated relative mortality rates between 2000 and 2005 for all males 65 years and older with a primary diagnosis of AMI using administrative data from the VHA Patient Treatment File and the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR files. Results Using EPRP data on 11,609 patients, we observed a statistically significant decline in adjusted 30-day mortality following AMI in VHA from 16.3% in 2004 to 13.9% in 2006, a relative decrease of 15% and a decrease in the odds of dying of 10% per year (p = .011. Similar declines were found for in-hospital and 90-day mortality. Based on administrative data on 27,494 VHA patients age 65 years and older and 789,400 Medicare patients, 30-day mortality following AMI declined from 16.0% during 2000-2001 to 15.7% during 2004-June 2005 in VHA and from 16.7% to 15.5% in private sector hospitals. After adjusting for patient characteristics and hospital effects, the overall relative odds of death were similar for VHA and Medicare (odds ratio 1.02, 95% C.I. 0.96-1.08. Conclusion Mortality following AMI within VHA has declined significantly since 2003 at a rate that parallels that in Medicare-funded hospitals.

  4. 76 FR 71442 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families; and provide a supportive services program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans...

  5. 76 FR 67023 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

    ...-sufficiency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044... placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families; and provide a...

  6. 75 FR 72871 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-26

    ...-sufficiency. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044C...; provide preference and priority placement for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness; and...

  7. Identifying Axial Spondyloarthritis in Electronic Medical Records of US Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Jessica A; Shao, Yijun; Leng, Jianwei; He, Tao; Teng, Chia-Chen; Redd, Doug; Treitler Zeng, Qing; Burningham, Zachary; Clegg, Daniel O; Sauer, Brian C

    2017-09-01

    Large database research in axial spondyloarthritis (SpA) is limited by a lack of methods for identifying most types of axial SpA. Our objective was to develop methods for identifying axial SpA concepts in the free text of documents from electronic medical records. Veterans with documents in the national Veterans Health Administration Corporate Data Warehouse between January 1, 2005 and June 30, 2015 were included. Methods were developed for exploring, selecting, and extracting meaningful terms that were likely to represent axial SpA concepts. With annotation, clinical experts reviewed sections of text containing the meaningful terms (snippets) and classified the snippets according to whether or not they represented the intended axial SpA concept. With natural language processing (NLP) tools, computers were trained to replicate the clinical experts' snippet classifications. Three axial SpA concepts were selected by clinical experts, including sacroiliitis, terms including the prefix spond*, and HLA-B27 positivity (HLA-B27+). With supervised machine learning on annotated snippets, NLP models were developed with accuracies of 91.1% for sacroiliitis, 93.5% for spond*, and 97.2% for HLA-B27+. With independent validation, the accuracies were 92.0% for sacroiliitis, 91.0% for spond*, and 99.0% for HLA-B27+. We developed feasible and accurate methods for identifying axial SpA concepts in the free text of clinical notes. Additional research is required to determine combinations of concepts that will accurately identify axial SpA phenotypes. These novel methods will facilitate previously impractical observational research in axial SpA and may be applied to research with other diseases. © 2016, American College of Rheumatology.

  8. Characteristics and use of treatment modalities of patients with binge-eating disorder in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellows, Brandon K; DuVall, Scott L; Kamauu, Aaron W C; Supina, Dylan; Pawaskar, Manjiri; Babcock, Thomas; LaFleur, Joanne

    2016-04-01

    In 2013 binge-eating disorder (BED) was recognized as a formal diagnosis, but was historically included under the diagnosis code for eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). This study compared the characteristics and use of treatment modalities in BED patients to those with EDNOS without BED (EDNOS-only) and to matched-patients with no eating disorders (NED). Patients were identified for this study from electronic health records in the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2000 to 2011. Patients with BED were identified using natural language processing and patients with EDNOS-only were identified by ICD-9 code (307.50). First diagnosis defined index date for these groups. NED patients were frequency matched to BED patients up to 4:1, as available, on age, sex, BMI, depression, and index month encounter. Baseline characteristics and use of treatment modalities during the post-index year were compared using t-tests or chi-square tests. There were 593 BED, 1354 EDNOS-only, and 1895 matched-NED patients identified. Only 68 patients with BED had an EDNOS diagnosis. BED patients were younger (48.7 vs. 49.8years, p=0.04), more were male (72.2% vs. 62.8%, p<0.001) and obese (BMI 40.2 vs. 37.0, p<0.001) than EDNOS-only patients. In the follow-up period fewer BED (68.0%) than EDNOS-only patients (87.6%, p<0.001), but more BED than NED patients (51.9%, p<0.001) used at least one treatment modality. The characteristics of BED patients were different from those with EDNOS-only and NED as was their use of treatment modalities. These differences highlight the need for a separate identifier of BED. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Review of the Report of the Commission To Assess Veterans' Education Policy and the Response of the DVA. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Education, Training and Employment of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, First Session.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

    This document describes a hearing to review a report of the Commission to Assess Veterans' Education Policy, which was established by Congress in 1986, and the initial response from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), which administers education and training programs. Following the opening statements by Congressmen Timothy J. Penny and…

  10. Assessment of admissions policies for veteran corpsmen and medics applying to physician assistant educational programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaud, Ed; Jacques, Paul F; Gianola, F J; Harbert, Ken

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the admission policies, experiences, and attitudes of physician assistant (PA) program directors with regard to recruiting, admitting, and training veteran corpsmen and medics. A descriptive survey consisting of 18 questions was distributed to all 154 PA program directors in the United States. One hundred ten (71.4%) program directors participated in the survey. Veterans were admitted into 83.6% of programs in the years 2008-2010, and accounted for an average of 2.6% of all students. A minority of PA programs accepted college credits earned by veterans for their military training (45.3%) or for their off-duty education (28.4%). Few PA programs participated in the Yellow Ribbon Program (16%) or actively recruited veterans (16%). Over half of PA programs (56.7%) would be more likely to give special consideration to the admission of veteran corpsmen and medics if it was easier to equate their military education and experience to the program's admission prerequisites. The most frequently reported benefits for educating veteran corpsmen and medics in PA programs are their health care and life experiences, maturity, and motivation. Barriers for educating veterans include veterans' lack of academic preparedness for graduate education, a lack of time/access for recruiting, and the cost of PA school. Most PA program directors cited multiple benefits for educating veteran corpsmen and medics, but veterans face barriers for admission into PA programs. Approaches are discussed for facilitating the transition of corpsmen and medics from the military to careers as PAs.

  11. Korean War Veterans by State

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The spreadsheet of Korean War Veterans by State includes the total Korean War Veteran population for each state and broken out by age and gender. It also includes...

  12. Mood disorders and risk of lung cancer in the EAGLE case-control study and in the U.S. Veterans Affairs inpatient cohort.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Capo-Ramos

    Full Text Available Mood disorders may affect lung cancer risk. We evaluated this hypothesis in two large studies.We examined 1,939 lung cancer cases and 2,102 controls from the Environment And Genetics in Lung cancer Etiology (EAGLE case-control study conducted in Italy (2002-2005, and 82,945 inpatients with a lung cancer diagnosis and 3,586,299 person-years without a lung cancer diagnosis in the U.S. Veterans Affairs Inpatient Cohort (VA study, composed of veterans with a VA hospital admission (1969-1996. In EAGLE, we calculated odds ratios (ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI, with extensive adjustment for tobacco smoking and multiple lifestyle factors. In the VA study, we estimated lung cancer relative risks (RRs and 95% CIs with time-dependent Poisson regression, adjusting for attained age, calendar year, hospital visits, time within the study, and related previous medical diagnoses. In EAGLE, we found decreased lung cancer risk in subjects with a personal history of mood disorders (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.44-0.79, based on 121 lung cancer incident cases and 192 controls and family history of mood disorders (OR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.50-0.77, based on 223 lung cancer cases and 345 controls. The VA study analyses yielded similar results (RR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.71-0.77, based on 2,304 incident lung cancer cases and 177,267 non-cancer person-years in men with discharge diagnoses for mood disorders. History of mood disorders was associated with nicotine dependence, alcohol and substance use and psychometric scales of depressive and anxiety symptoms in controls for these studies.The consistent finding of a relationship between mood disorders and lung cancer risk across two large studies calls for further research into the complex interplay of risk factors associated with these two widespread and debilitating diseases. Although we adjusted for smoking effects in EAGLE, residual confounding of the results by smoking cannot be ruled out.

  13. Veterans Affairs: Sustained Management Attention Needed to Address Numerous IT Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-22

    information about a veteran’s demographics, allergies , procedures, immunizations , and medical diagnoses. However, a number of VA’s systems are old...metrics, among other things. VA concurred with the recommendations and stated that it has initiated actions in response . • VA had made progress in...completing VBMS, establish goals for system response time, minimize the incidences of high and medium severity system defects for future VBMS releases

  14. Department of Veterans Affairs, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Volume 30, Number 2, 1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Michigan19. Reliability of Hlndfoot Goniometry When Using Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0506 a Flexible Electrogonlometer. Ball P, Johnson GR, Clin...equipment used (Figure 1). The measurement was performed between the two pho- 10-19 27 27 54 tocells. Goniometry was not used in the present 20-29 15 15 30... reliability analysis of power wheelchair frames. (Thesis). Charlottesville, VA: Univer-locations and load conditions that may be examined. sity of

  15. Addressing the Needs of Transgender Military Veterans: Better Access and More Comprehensive Care

    OpenAIRE

    Dietert, Michelle; Dentice, Dianne; Keig, Zander

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Purpose: There is a gap in social science literature addressing issues of access and quality of care for transgender military veterans. Psychologists, medical doctors, and other health professionals are beginning to address some of the barriers present in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system that affect veterans who are also transgender and intersex. Over a 7-year period, between 2006 and 2013, 2600 transgender veterans were served by the VA. Data from several surveys revea...

  16. Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to health care worker gowns and gloves during care of residents in Veterans Affairs nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineles, Lisa; Morgan, Daniel J; Lydecker, Alison; Johnson, J Kristie; Sorkin, John D; Langenberg, Patricia; Blanco, Natalia; Lesse, Alan; Sellick, John; Gupta, Kalpana; Leykum, Luci; Cadena, Jose; Lepcha, Nickie; Roghmann, Mary-Claire

    2017-09-01

    This was an observational study designed to estimate the frequency of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission to gowns and gloves worn by health care workers (HCWs) interacting with Veterans Affairs Community Living Center (VA nursing home) residents to inform MRSA prevention policies. Participants included residents and HCWs from 7 VA nursing homes in 4 states and Washington, DC. Residents were cultured for MRSA at the anterior nares, perianal skin, and wound (if present). HCWs wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities. After each activity, a research coordinator swabbed the HCW's gown and gloves. Swabs were cultured for MRSA. There were 200 residents enrolled; 94 (46%) were MRSA colonized. Glove contamination was higher than gown contamination (20% vs 11%, respectively; P  1.0, P < .05) for gown contamination included changing dressings (eg, wound), dressing, providing hygiene (eg, brushing teeth), and bathing. Low-risk care activities (OR < 1.0, P < .05 or no transmission) for gown contamination included glucose monitoring, giving medications, and feeding. MRSA transmission from colonized residents to gloves was higher than transmission to gowns. Transmission to gloves varies by type of care, but all care had a risk of contamination, demonstrating the importance of hand hygiene after all care. Transmission to gowns was significantly higher with certain types of care. Optimizing gown and glove use by targeting high-risk care activities could improve resident-centered care for MRSA-colonized residents by promoting a home-like environment. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Passing the baton: a grounded practical theory of handoff communication between multidisciplinary providers in two Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Christopher J; Maguen, Shira; Daley, Aaron; Cohen, Greg; Seal, Karen H

    2013-01-01

    Handoffs are communication processes that enact the transfer of responsibility between providers across clinical settings. Prior research on handoff communication has focused on inpatient settings between provider teams and has emphasized patient safety. This study examines handoff communication within multidisciplinary provider teams in two outpatient settings. To conduct an exploratory study that describes handoff communication among multidisciplinary providers, to develop a theory-driven descriptive framework for outpatient handoffs, and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different handoff types. Qualitative, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 31 primary care, mental health, and social work providers in two Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center outpatient clinics. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed using Grounded Practical Theory to develop a theoretical model of and a descriptive framework for handoff communication among multidisciplinary providers. Multidisciplinary providers reported that handoff decisions across settings were made spontaneously and without clear guidelines. Two situated values, clinic efficiency and patient-centeredness, shaped multidisciplinary providers' handoff decisions. Providers reported three handoff techniques along a continuum: the electronic handoff, which was the most clinically efficient; the provider-to-provider handoff, which balanced clinic efficiency and patient-centeredness; and the collaborative handoff, which was the most patient-centered. Providers described handoff choice as a practical response to manage constituent features of clinic efficiency (time, space, medium of communication) and patient-centeredness (information continuity, management continuity, relational continuity, and social interaction). We present a theoretical and descriptive framework to help providers evaluate differential handoff use, reflect on situated values guiding clinic communication, and guide

  18. Task Delegation and Burnout Trade-offs Among Primary Care Providers and Nurses in Veterans Affairs Patient Aligned Care Teams (VA PACTs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Samuel T; Helfrich, Christian D; Grembowski, David; Hulen, Elizabeth; Clinton, Walter L; Wood, Gordon B; Kim, Linda; Rose, Danielle E; Stewart, Greg

    2018-01-01

    Appropriate delegation of clinical tasks from primary care providers (PCPs) to other team members may reduce employee burnout in primary care. However, (1) the extent to which delegation occurs within multidisciplinary teams, (2) factors associated with greater delegation, and (3) whether delegation is associated with burnout are all unknown. We performed a national cross-sectional survey of Veterans Affairs (VA) PCP-nurse dyads in Department of VA primary care clinics, 4 years into the VA's patient-centered medical home initiative. PCPs reported the extent to which they relied on other team members to complete 15 common primary care tasks; paired nurses reported how much they were relied on to complete the same tasks. A composite score of task delegation/reliance was developed by taking the average of the responses to the 15 questions. We performed multivariable regression to explore predictors of task delegation and burnout. Among 777 PCP-nurse dyads, PCPs reported delegating tasks less than nurses reported being relied on (PCP mean ± standard deviation composite delegation score, 2.97± 0.64 [range, 1-4]; nurse composite reliance score, 3.26 ± 0.50 [range, 1-4]). Approximately 48% of PCPs and 35% of nurses reported burnout. PCPs who reported more task delegation reported less burnout (odds ratio [OR], 0.62 per unit of delegation; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49-0.78), whereas nurses who reported being relied on more reported more burnout (OR, 1.83 per unit of reliance; 95% CI, 1.33-2.5). Task delegation was associated with less burnout for PCPs, whereas task reliance was associated with greater burnout for nurses. Strategies to improve work life in primary care by increasing PCP task delegation must consider the impact on nurses. © Copyright 2018 by the American Board of Family Medicine.

  19. Increased risk among older veterans of prescribing psychotropic medication in the absence of psychiatric diagnoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiechers, Ilse R; Kirwin, Paul D; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2014-06-01

    This study uses Veterans Health Administration (VHA) pharmacy and encounter claims to evaluate the use of psychotropic medications without a psychiatric diagnosis across age groups. National VHA administrative data for fiscal year 2010 (FY2010) were used to identify all veterans who filled a prescription for at least one psychotropic medication from VHA (N = 1.85 million). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to compare the proportion of these veterans without any psychiatric diagnosis, across age groups, adjusting for possible medical indications. Analyses were repeated for six different classes of psychotropic medications and comparing mental health utilizers and non-mental health utilizers. Comparisons were made to prescribing of HIV and diabetes medications without an indicated diagnosis. Of all VHA patients prescribed a psychotropic medication in FY2010, 30% had no psychiatric diagnosis, with highest proportions among veterans ages 65-85. This practice was most frequent among nonmental health utilizers and far more prevalent for psychotropic medications than for HIV or diabetes medications. Logistic regression analysis found that age greater than 65 was the strongest predictor of being prescribed a psychotropic without a psychiatric diagnosis. Adjustment for possible medical use of psychotropics and overall medical comorbidity did not substantially alter these trends. Older veterans, especially those not using specialty mental healthcare, are more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications in the absence of a psychiatric diagnosis, perhaps representing unnecessary use, under-diagnosis of mental illness, or incomplete documentation. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. PTSD and Use of Outpatient General Medical Services Among Veterans of the Vietnam War.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlenger, William E; Mulvaney-Day, Norah; Williams, Christianna S; Kulka, Richard A; Corry, Nida H; Mauch, Danna; Nagler, Caryn F; Ho, Chia-Lin; Marmar, Charles R

    2016-05-01

    The primary goal of this analysis was to assess whether recent use of outpatient services for general medical concerns by Vietnam veterans varies according to level of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology over time. Another goal was to determine whether PTSD symptomatology was associated with veterans' reports of discussing behavioral health issues as part of a general medical visit. Self-reported service use data and measures of PTSD were from a nationally representative sample of 848 male and female Vietnam theater veterans (individuals who were deployed to the Vietnam theater of operations) who participated in the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study, a 25-year follow-up of a cohort of veterans originally interviewed from 1984-1988 as part of the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. Four categories of PTSD symptomatology course over 25 years were defined, and logistic regression models were used to assess their relationship with recent use of outpatient general medical services. Male and female theater veterans with high or increasing PTSD symptomatology over the period were more likely than those with low symptomatology to report recent VA outpatient visits. Males in the increasing and high categories were also more likely to discuss behavioral health issues at general medical visits. Vietnam veterans with high and increasing PTSD symptomatology over time were likely to use VA outpatient general health services. Attention to stressors of the aging process and to persistence of PTSD symptoms is important for Vietnam veterans, as is addressing PTSD with other psychiatric and medical comorbidities within the context of outpatient general medical care.

  1. PTSD and Use of Outpatient General Medical Services Among Veterans of the Vietnam War

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schlenger, William E; Mulvaney-Day, Norah; Williams, Christianna S; Kulka, Richard A; Corry, Nida H; Mauch, Danna; Nagler, Caryn F; Ho, Chia-Lin; Marmar, Charles R

    2016-01-01

    Objective:The primary goal of this analysis was to assess whether recent use of outpatient services for general medical concerns by Vietnam veterans varies according to level of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD...

  2. Despite variation in volume, Veterans Affairs hospitals show consistent outcomes among patients with non-postoperative mechanical ventilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Colin R; Kennedy, Edward H; Wiitala, Wyndy L; Almenoff, Peter L; Sales, Anne E; Iwashyna, Theodore J

    2012-09-01

    To assess the relationship between volume of nonoperative mechanically ventilated patients receiving care in a specific Veterans Health Administration hospital and their mortality. Retrospective cohort study. One-hundred nineteen Veterans Health Administration medical centers. We identified 5,131 hospitalizations involving mechanically ventilated patients in an intensive care unit during 2009, who did not receive surgery. None. We extracted demographic and clinical data from the VA Inpatient Evaluation Center. For each hospital, we defined volume as the total number of nonsurgical admissions receiving mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit during 2009. We examined the hospital contribution to 30-day mortality using multilevel logistic regression models with a random intercept for each hospital. We quantified the extent of interhospital variation in 30-day mortality using the intraclass correlation coefficient and median odds ratio. We used generalized estimating equations to examine the relationship between volume and 30-day mortality and risk-adjusted all models using a patient-level prognostic score derived from clinical data representing the risk of death conditional on treatment at a high-volume hospital. Mean age for the sample was 65 (SD 11) yrs, 97% were men, and 60% were white. The median VA hospital cared for 40 (interquartile range 19-62) mechanically ventilated patients in 2009. Crude 30-day mortality for these patients was 36.9%. After reliability and risk adjustment to the median patient, adjusted hospital-level mortality varied from 33.5% to 40.6%. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the hospital-level variation was 0.6% (95% confidence interval 0.1, 3.4%), with a median odds ratio of 1.15 (95% confidence interval 1.06, 1.38). The relationship between hospital volume of mechanically ventilated and 30-day mortality was not statistically significant: each 50-patient increase in volume was associated with a nonsignificant 2% decrease in

  3. Mental Health and Medical Health Disparities in 5135 Transgender Veterans Receiving Healthcare in the Veterans Health Administration: A Case-Control Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, George R; Jones, Kenneth T

    2016-04-01

    There are no large controlled studies of health disparities in transgender (TG) or gender dysphoric patients. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest healthcare system in the United States and was an early adopter of electronic health records. We sought to determine whether medical and/or mental health disparities exist in VHA for clinically diagnosed TG veterans compared to matched veterans without a clinical diagnosis consistent with TG status. Using four ICD-9-CM codes consistent with TG identification, a cohort of 5135 TG veterans treated in VHA between 1996 and 2013 was identified. Veterans without one of these diagnoses were matched 1:3 in a case-control design to determine if medical and/or mental health disparities exist in the TG veteran population. In 2013, the prevalence of TG veterans with a qualifying clinical diagnosis was 58/100,000 patients. Statistically significant disparities were present in the TG cohort for all 10 mental health conditions examined, including depression, suicidality, serious mental illnesses, and post-traumatic stress disorder. TG Veterans were more likely to have been homeless, to have reported sexual trauma while on active duty, and to have been incarcerated. Significant disparities in the prevalence of medical diagnoses for TG veterans were also detected for 16/17 diagnoses examined, with HIV disease representing the largest disparity between groups. This is the first study to examine a large cohort of clinically diagnosed TG patients for psychiatric and medical health outcome disparities using longitudinal, retrospective medical chart data with a matched control group. TG veterans were found to have global disparities in psychiatric and medical diagnoses compared to matched non-TG veterans. These findings have significant implications for policy, healthcare screening, and service delivery in VHA and potentially other healthcare systems.

  4. Screening for homelessness among individuals initiating medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachhuber, Marcus A; Roberts, Christopher B; Metraux, Stephen; Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    To determine the prevalence of homelessness and risk for homelessness among veterans with opioid use disorder initiating treatment. Addiction treatment programs operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). All veterans initiating treatment with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid use disorder between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 (n = 2,699) who were administered the VA's national homelessness screener. Self-reported homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness. The prevalence of homelessness was 10.2 percent and 5.3 percent were at risk for homelessness. Compared to male veterans, women veterans were less likely to report homelessness (8.9 percent vs 10.3 percent) but more likely to be at risk (11.8 percent vs 4.9 percent). By age group, veterans aged 18-34 and 45-54 years most frequently reported homelessness (12.0 and 11.7 percent, respectively) and veterans aged 45-54 and 55-64 years most frequently reported risk for homelessness (6.5 and 6.8 percent, respectively). The prevalence of homelessness in this population is approximately 10 times that of the general veteran population accessing care at VA. Screening identified a substantial number of veterans who could benefit from VA housing assistance and had not received it recently. Programs to address veteran homelessness should engage with veterans seeking addiction treatment. Integration of homelessness services into addiction treatment settings may, in turn, improve outcomes.

  5. Veterans and Homelessness

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Perl, Libby

    2007-01-01

    .... The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that it has served approximately 300 returning veterans in its homeless programs and has identified over 1,000 more as being at risk of homelessness...

  6. Minority Veteran Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report is the first comprehensive report that chronicles the history of racial and ethnic minorities in the military and as Veterans, profiles characteristics...

  7. Minority Veteran Report 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report is the first comprehensive report that chronicles the history of racial and ethnic minorities in the military and as Veterans, profiles characteristics...

  8. Master Veteran Index (MVI)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — As of June 28, 2010, the Master Veteran Index (MVI) database based on the enhanced Master Patient Index (MPI) is the authoritative identity service within the VA,...

  9. 38 CFR 8.9 - Application and medical evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Application and medical evidence. 8.9 Section 8.9 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NATIONAL SERVICE LIFE INSURANCE Reinstatement § 8.9 Application and medical evidence. The applicant for reinstatement of National Service Life Insurance,...

  10. 38 CFR 17.362 - Acceptance of medical supplies as payment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Acceptance of medical supplies as payment. 17.362 Section 17.362 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Grants to the Republic of the Philippines § 17.362 Acceptance of medical supplies as...

  11. Veterans Health Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... code here VA » Veterans Health Administration Veterans Health Administration Veterans – Here's how to Avoid Getting the Flu ... Read more » VA Medical Centers The Veterans Health Administration is home to the United States’ largest integrated ...

  12. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement: establishing a comprehensive program model for hybrid cardiac catheterization laboratories in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speiser, Bernadette; Dutra-Brice, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    Aortic valve disease, especially aortic stenosis, becomes progressively debilitating and carries a high mortality risk if it is categorized as severe and symptomatic (J Thorac Cardiovas Surg. 2012;144(3):e29-e84). In the past, the only treatment for aortic stenosis was surgical aortic valve replacement. Surgical treatment may require several hours of cardioplegia, and if the patient has comorbidities, such as renal failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, their operative mortality percentage increases.In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure for patients who were deemed high risk or inoperative for the routine surgical aortic valve replacement surgery. More than 20, 000 TAVRs have been performed in patients worldwide since 2002 when Dr Alain Cribier performed the first-in-man TAVR (Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2012;105(3):145-152). The Edwards Lifesciences SAPIEN XT valve and the Medtronic CoreValve are commercially available.The clinical findings and economic statistic have supported the expansion of the TAVR procedure. However, there has been considerable controversy over where the procedure is to occur and who is directly responsible for directing the TAVR care. This debate has identified barriers to the implementation of a TAVR program. The operating rooms and a cardiac catheterization laboratory are underprepared for the hybrid valve replacement therapy. Because of the barriers identified, the Department of Veterans Affairs determined a need for a systematic approach to review the programs that applied for this structural heart disease program. A centralized team was developed to ensure room readiness and staff competency. The use of the Health Failure Mode and Effects Analysis can define high-risk clinical processes and conduct a hazard analysis. Worksheets can show potential failure modes and their probabilities, along with actions and outcome measures, team collaboration

  13. National Cemetery Administration Summary of Veteran and Non-Veteran Interments: FY2000 to FY2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Total Veteran and Non-Veteran Interments at National Cemetery, and shown by Interment Type of Casket or Cremain, FY2000 to FY2012. Non-Veteran includes dependents,...

  14. Report of VA Medical Training Programs

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Report of VA Medical Training Programs Database is used to track medical center health services trainees and VA physicians serving as faculty. The database also...

  15. 77 FR 18307 - Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-27

    ... addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans' illnesses. The GWVI-TF published its first annual report in September... AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Secretary Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans...

  16. 76 FR 28917 - Medical Foster Homes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-19

    ... home, VA will provide inspections of the home, oversight, and medical foster home caregiver training... oversight and medical foster home caregiver training. If a medical foster home does not meet VA's criteria... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN80 Medical Foster Homes AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION...

  17. Internationalization of medical education in the Netherlands: state of affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemantsverdriet, S; Majoor, G D; van der Vleuten, C P M; Scherpbier, A J J A

    2006-03-01

    In the framework of the Bologna Process, internationalization co-ordinators of seven (out of eight) Dutch medical schools completed an electronic survey about internationalization-related aspects of the curriculum. Common features of internationalization in Dutch medical schools were: the numbers of outgoing students exceeded the numbers of incoming students, and most international programmes involved clinical training and research projects. We recommend that Dutch medical schools should pay more attention to 'Internationalization at Home' and focus on conditions that are conducive to participation by foreign students.

  18. A Decade’s Experience With Quality Improvement in Cardiac Surgery Using the Veterans Affairs and Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grover, Frederick L.; Shroyer, A. Laurie W.; Hammermeister, Karl; Edwards, Fred H.; Ferguson, T. Bruce; Dziuban, Stanley W.; Cleveland, Joseph C.; Clark, Richard E.; McDonald, Gerald

    2001-01-01

    Objective To review the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) national databases over the past 10 years to evaluate their relative similarities and differences, to appraise their use as quality improvement tools, and to assess their potential to facilitate improvements in quality of cardiac surgical care. Summary Background Data The VA developed a mandatory risk-adjusted database in 1987 to monitor outcomes of cardiac surgery at all VA medical centers. In 1989 the STS developed a voluntary risk-adjusted database to help members assess quality and outcomes in their individual programs and to facilitate improvements in quality of care. Methods A short data form on every veteran operated on at each VA medical center is completed and transmitted electronically for analysis of unadjusted and risk-adjusted death and complications, as well as length of stay. Masked, confidential semiannual reports are then distributed to each program’s clinical team and the associated administrator. These reports are also reviewed by a national quality oversight committee. Thus, VA data are used both locally for quality improvement and at the national level with quality surveillance. The STS dataset (217 core fields and 255 extended fields) is transmitted for each patient semiannually to the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) for warehousing, analysis, and distribution. Site-specific reports are produced with regional and national aggregate comparisons for unadjusted and adjusted surgical deaths and complications, as well as length of stay for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), valvular procedures, and valvular/CABG procedures. Both databases use the logistic regression modeling approach. Data for key processes of care are also captured in both databases. Research projects are frequently carried out using each database. Results More than 74,000 and 1.6 million cardiac surgical patients have been entered into the VA and STS databases

  19. 76 FR 72046 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

    ... provide preference and priority placement for homeless and at-risk Veterans, and provide on-site supportive services. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management...

  20. 76 FR 61150 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

    ... will be set aside to provide transitional housing and supportive services for homeless and at-risk Veterans. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward L. Bradley, III, Office of Asset Enterprise Management...

  1. 76 FR 71443 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... placement for homeless and/or at-risk Veterans and their families; and provide a supportive services program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044...

  2. 76 FR 71439 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... placement for homeless and/or at-risk Veterans and their families; and provide a supportive services program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044...

  3. Systemic Vulnerabilities to Suicide among Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts: Review of Case Reports from a National Veterans Affairs Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Peter D.; Huber, Samuel J.; Watts, Bradley Vince; Bagian, James P.

    2011-01-01

    While suicide among recently returned veterans is of great concern, it is a relatively rare occurrence within individual hospitals and clinics. Root cause analysis (RCA) generates a detailed case report that can be used to identify system-based vulnerabilities following an adverse event. Review of a national database of RCA reports may identify…

  4. Application of the U.S. Army’s Integrated Planning to the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-22

    Art and Science MDMP Military Decision Making Process SOP Standard Operating Procedure SAMS School of Advanced Military Studies VBA Veterans...technological elements in the course of action. Furthermore the staff had access to Veterans Benefits Administration ( VBA ) data showing that factors...later than 1 January 2015, the VBA will have no unprocessed claims older than 125 days. The VBA will place processes into action which will ensure

  5. The associations between organizational culture and knowledge, attitudes, and practices in a multicenter Veterans Affairs quality improvement initiative to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinkowitz-Cochran, Ronda L; Burkitt, Kelly H; Cuerdon, Timothy; Harrison, Cassandra; Gao, Shasha; Obrosky, D Scott; Jain, Rajiv; Fine, Michael J; Jernigan, John A

    2012-03-01

    Previous research demonstrates that organizational culture (OC) and knowledge, attitudes, and practices of health care personnel are associated with the overall success of infection control programs; however, little attention has been given to the relationships among these factors in contributing to the success of quality improvement programs. Cross-sectional surveys assessing OC and knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were distributed to 16 medical centers participating in a Veterans Affairs MRSA prevention initiative in 2 time periods. Factor analysis was performed on the OC survey responses, and factor scores were generated. To assess associations between OC and knowledge, attitudes, and practices of health care personnel, regression analyses were performed overall and then stratified by job type. The final analyzable sample included 2,314 surveys (43% completed by nurses, 9% by physicians, and 48% by other health care personnel). Three OC factors emerged accounting for 53% of the total variance: "Staff Engagement," "Overwhelmed/Stress-Chaos," and "Hospital Leadership." Overall, higher Staff Engagement was associated with greater knowledge scores, better hand hygiene practices, fewer reported barriers, and more positive attitudes. Higher Hospital Leadership scores were associated with better hand hygiene practices, fewer reported barriers, and more positive attitudes. Conversely, higher Overwhelmed/Stress-Chaos scores were associated with poorer reported prevention practices, more barriers, and less positive attitudes. When these associations were stratified by job type, there were significant associations between OC factors and knowledge for nurses only, between OC factors and practice items for nurses and other health care personnel, and between OC factors and the barriers and attitudes items for all job types. OC factors were not associated with knowledge and practices among physicians. Three OC

  6. Relationships between drug company representatives and medical students: medical school policies and attitudes of student affairs deans and third-year medical students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierles, Frederick; Brodkey, Amy; Cleary, Lynn; McCurdy, Frederick A; Mintz, Matthew; Frank, Julia; Lynn, Deborah Joanne; Chao, Jason; Morgenstern, Bruce; Shore, William; Woodard, John

    2009-01-01

    The authors sought to ascertain the details of medical school policies about relationships between drug companies and medical students as well as student affairs deans' attitudes about these interactions. In 2005, the authors surveyed deans and student affairs deans at all U.S. medical schools and asked whether their schools had a policy about relationships between drug companies and medical students. They asked deans at schools with policies to summarize them, queried student affairs deans regarding their attitudes about gifts, and compared their attitudes with those of students who were studied previously. Independently of each other, 114 out of 126 deans (90.5%) and 114 out of 126 student affairs deans (90.5%) responded (identical numbers are not misprints). Ten schools had a policy regarding relationships between medical students and drug company representatives. Student affairs deans were much more likely than students to perceive that gifts were inappropriate. These 2005 policies show trends meriting review by current medical schools in considering how to comply with the 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges recommendations about relationships between drug companies and medical students or physicians.

  7. 38 CFR 3.401 - Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... domiciliary. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501) (3) Spouse, additional compensation for aid and attendance: Date of...) Director of a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center or domiciliary. From day following date of last... from hospitalization (regular or release to non-bed care). (i) Increased disability pension based on...

  8. Health Programs for Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Health Administration » Health Programs for Veterans Veterans Health Administration Health Programs for Veterans Beyond the doctors and ... families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers Geriatrics & Extended Care Geriatric ...

  9. The Department of Veterans Affairs Nutritional Status Classification Scheme Allows for Rapid Assessment of Nutritional Status Prior to Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation and Identifies Patients at High Risk of Transplant-Related Complications

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Toro, Juan J; Haile, David J; Chao, Ju-Hsien; Schneider, Deanna; Jewell, Pamela S; Lee, Shuko; Freytes, César O

    2009-01-01

    ... of Veterans Affairs (VA) developed a Nutritional Status Classification Scheme (NSCS) to identify nutritionally compromised inpatients rapidly and reliably. The VA-NSCS takes into account a combination of body weight, routine laboratory tests, and clinical and dietary history. The VA-NSCS is routinely utilized for the nutritional evaluation ...

  10. VA-INPC: Linking Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC) data to assess surveillance testing among veterans with colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haggstrom, David A; Rosenman, Marc; Myers, Laura J; Teal, Evgenia; Doebbeling, Bradley N

    2010-11-13

    The goal of this project was to provide empiric evidence about the benefit to US veterans and the VA of capturing data from a citywide clinical informatics network (INPC) to assess care received outside the VA. We identified 468 veterans diagnosed with colorectal cancer from 2000-2007 in the Indianapolis VA cancer registry. Electronic VA healthcare data were linked with electronic health records from the regional health information organization (RHIO) INPC; 341 matches were found. Both the VA and INPC systems were queried regarding receipt of surveillance tests. The proportion with additional data from INPC varied by test: colonoscopy (3%), CT scan/abdomen (13%), CT scan/chest (79%), carcinoembryonic antigen test (8%), and other laboratory tests (25%-53%). An incremental benefit of linking VA and INPC data was present and may increase when expanded beyond patients with a single condition. New, important information about care outside the VA is obtained through RHIO data linkage.

  11. 75 FR 61621 - Charges Billed to Third Parties for Prescription Drugs Furnished by VA to a Veteran for a...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

    ... reasonable charges for medical care or services (including the provision of prescription drugs) from a third... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN15 Charges Billed to Third Parties for Prescription Drugs Furnished by...: Final rule. SUMMARY: This document amends the medical regulations of the Department of Veterans Affairs...

  12. Long-term electrical survival analysis of Riata and Riata ST silicone leads: National Veterans Affairs experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Raphael K; Massie, Barry M; Varosy, Paul D; Moore, Hans; Rumsfeld, John; Lee, Byron K; Keung, Edmund

    2012-12-01

    A medical device advisory issued by St Jude Medical in November 2011 estimated 0.63% all-cause abrasion rate on their Riata and Riata ST silicone high-voltage lead families (Riata/ST), leading to Food and Drug Administration class I recall. We performed an independent comparative, long-term electrical survival analysis of Riata/ST and 3 other high-voltage lead families in a large national cohort of patients. To evaluate long-term electrical survival of Riata/ST leads relative to other commonly evaluated high-voltage leads. Failure rates of Riata/ST, Sprint Quattro Secure (Quattro), Sprint Fidelis (Fidelis), and Endotak Reliance G/SG (Endotak) leads from the Veterans Administration's National Cardiac Device Surveillance Center database, consisting of 24,145 patients with remote transmissions since 2003, were analyzed. Survival Probabilities were determined with Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and compared using the log-rank test. Of 1,403 Riata/ST, 6,091 Quattro, 5,073 Fidelis, and 2,401 Endotak leads identified, 5-year survival probability of Riata/ST leads (97.5%) was significantly lower than that of Quattro (99.3%) and Endotak (99.4%) leads (P leads (89.6%) (P leads showed a 5-year survival of 95.5% (95% confidence interval 92.4-97.4) compared to 98.4% (95% confidence interval 97.1-99.1) in Riata leads (P = .003). There is decreased survival probability of Riata/ST leads compared to other contemporary high-voltage leads, with decreased survival of Riata ST silicone compared to Riata lead series. Careful long-term follow-up should be maintained in patients with Riata/ST leads in order to prevent inappropriate shocks or failed device interventions. Our results were determined in advance of Food and Drug Administration class I recall, which suggested that large-scale remote monitoring may be an effective tool for continued implantable cardioverter-defibrillator system surveillance. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Honoring our Nation's Veterans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. Today is Armistice Day, renamed Veterans Day in 1954, to honor our Nation's Veterans. In Washington the rhetoric from both the political right and left supports our Veterans. My cynical side reminds me that this might have something to do with Veterans voting in a higher percentage than the population as a whole, but let me give the politicians this one. Serving our Country in the military is something that deserves to be honored. I was proud to serve our Veterans over 30 years at the four Department of Veterans Affairs (VA hospitals. However, the VA has had a very bad year. First, in Washington there were the resignations of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki; the undersecretary for the Veterans Health Administration, Robert Petzel; and the undersecretary for the Veterans Benefits Administration, Allison Hickey. Locally, in the light of the VA wait scandal there were the firing of ...

  14. 38 CFR 17.86 - Provision of hospital care and medical services during certain disasters and emergencies under 38...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Provision of hospital care and medical services during certain disasters and emergencies under 38 U.S.C. 1785. 17.86 Section 17.86 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Care During Certain Disasters and Emergencies § 17.86 Provision...

  15. Profile of Vietnam War Veterans (2015).

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Profile of Vietnam War Veterans uses the 2015 ACS to provide a view into the demographic characteristics and socioeconomic conditions of the Vietnam War Veteran...

  16. Factors related to rapidity of housing placement in Housing and Urban Development-Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program of 1990s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; O'Connell, Maria; Kasprow, Wesley J; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2011-01-01

    The Housing and Urban Development-Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program is the largest supported housing program in the country for homeless veterans who are seeking rapid entry into permanent independent housing. This study examined factors related to how rapidly clients were housed in the early years of the program and how long they stayed in the program. Mental health, substance abuse, work/income, criminal history, and site were examined as predictors of process times. Regression analyses based on 627 HUD-VASH clients who entered the program between 1992 and 2003 showed that client characteristics were not rate-limiting factors for obtaining HUD-VASH housing; i.e., clients who had greater substance abuse problems or more extensive criminal histories did not take longer to obtain housing. The large differences associated with site of entry partly reflected a curvilinear relationship between the duration of operation of the HUD-VASH program and process times; i.e., at relatively younger and older programs, clients entered housing slightly faster than at programs in the middle range. Lastly, HUD-VASH clients whose case managers reported good therapeutic alliances stayed in the program longer. These findings have implications for the continued expansion of the HUD-VASH program.

  17. Medical Care Needs of Returning Veterans with PTSD: Their Other Burden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Victor Y.; Iqbal, Samina; Berg, Eric A.; Laungani, Kaajal J.; Cronkite, Ruth C.; Pavao, Joanne; Kimerling, Rachel

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT BACKGROUND There has been considerable focus on the burden of mental illness (including post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD) in returning Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans, but little attention to the burden of medical illness in those with PTSD. OBJECTIVES (1) Determine whether the burden of medical illness is higher in women and men OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD than in those with No Mental Health Conditions (MHC). (2) Identify conditions common in those with PTSD. DESIGN Cross-sectional study using existing databases (Fiscal Year 2006–2007). SETTING Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients nationally. PATIENTS All 90,558 OEF/OIF veterans using VHA outpatient care nationally, categorized into strata: PTSD, Stress-Related Disorders, Other MHCs, and No MHC. MEASUREMENTS (1) Count of medical conditions; (2) specific medical conditions (from ICD9 codes, using Agency for Health Research and Quality’s Clinical Classifications software framework). MAIN RESULTS The median number of medical conditions for women was 7.0 versus 4.5 for those with PTSD versus No MHC (p PTSD patients, the most frequent conditions among women were lumbosacral spine disorders, headache, and lower extremity joint disorders, and among men were lumbosacral spine disorders, lower extremity joint disorders, and hearing problems. These high frequency conditions were more common in those with PTSD than in those with No MHC. CONCLUSIONS Burden of medical illness is greater in women and men OEF/OIF veteran VHA users with PTSD than in those with No MHC. Health delivery systems serving them should align clinical program development with their medical care needs. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1497-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20853066

  18. 75 FR 62348 - Reimbursement Offsets for Medical Care or Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-08

    ... Offsets for Medical Care or Services AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule... reimbursement of medical care and services delivered to veterans for nonservice-connected conditions. The... 2900-AN55, Reimbursement Offsets for Medical Care or Services.'' Copies of comments received will be...

  19. Rural Veterans by State (2014)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This speadsheet contains data from the 2014 American Community Survey and shows the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Veterans who live in rural and...

  20. The Veteran Population Projection 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — VetPop2014 is an actuarial projection model developed by the Office of the Actuary (OACT) for Veteran population projection from Fiscal Year FY2014 to FY2043. Using...

  1. Veteran Religious Affiliation by State

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This dataset provide a count of Veteran by their religious affiliation and state of residence. The dataset set covers all 50 states, District of Columbia and other...

  2. Rural Veterans by State (2015)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This spreadsheet contains data from the 2015 American Community Survey and shows the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Veterans who live in rural and...

  3. Interactions between medical residents and drug companies: a national survey after the Mediator® affair.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Montastruc

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The present study aimed to describe exposure and attitudes of French medical residents towards pharmaceutical industry. The study was performed shortly after the Mediator affair which revealed several serious conflicts of interest inside the French health system. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A cross-sectional study was implemented among residents from 6 French medical faculties. Independent education in pharmacology, attitudes towards the practices of pharmaceutical sales representatives, opinions concerning the pharmaceutical industry, quality of information provided by the pharmaceutical industry, and opinions about pharmaceutical company sponsorship were investigated through a web-based questionnaire. We also assessed potential changes in resident attitudes following the Mediator affair. The mean value of exposure to drug companies was 1.9 times per month. Global opinions towards drug company information were negative for 42.7% of the residents and positive for only 8.2%. Surprisingly, 81.6% of residents claimed that they had not changed their practices regarding drug information since the Mediator affair. Multivariate analyses found that residents in anesthesiology were less likely to be exposed than others (OR = 0.17 CI95% [0.05-0.61], exposure was significantly higher at the beginning of residence (p<0.001 and residents who had a more positive opinion were more frequently exposed to drug companies (OR = 2.12 CI95% [1.07-4.22]. CONCLUSIONS: Resident exposure to drug companies is around 1 contact every 2 weeks. Global opinion towards drug information provided by pharmaceutical companies was negative for around 1 out of 2 residents. In contrast, residents tend to consider the influences of the Mediator affair on their practice as relatively low. This survey enabled us to identify profiles of residents who are obviously less exposed to pharmaceutical industry. Current regulatory provisions are not sufficient, indicating that

  4. 38 CFR 17.49 - Priorities for outpatient medical services and inpatient hospital care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... medical services and inpatient hospital care. 17.49 Section 17.49 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Hospital, Domiciliary and Nursing Home Care § 17.49 Priorities for outpatient medical services and inpatient hospital care. In scheduling appointments for outpatient medical...

  5. PTSD, Psychotropic Medication Use, and the Risk of Dementia Among US Veterans: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mawanda, Francis; Wallace, Robert B; McCoy, Kimberly; Abrams, Thad E

    2017-05-01

    To determine the associations between PTSD, psychotropic medication use, and the risk for dementia. Retrospective cohort. Nationwide sample of US veterans (N = 417,172) aged ≥56 years during fiscal year (FY) 2003 without a diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment at baseline (FY02-03) and ≥1 clinical encounter every 2 years during follow-up (FY04-12). Demographic characteristics; diagnosis of PTSD, dementia, and medical and psychiatric comorbidity (defined by ICD-9 codes); and psychotropic medication use including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), novel antidepressants (NA), benzodiazepines (BZA), and atypical antipsychotics (AA). Cox proportional hazard models examined for associations between PTSD diagnosis, psychotropic medication use, and risk for a dementia diagnosis. PTSD diagnosis significantly increased the risk for dementia diagnosis (HR = 1.35; [95% CI = 1.27-1.43]). However, there were significant interactions between PTSD diagnosis and use of SSRIs (P dementia diagnosis. HR for dementia diagnosis among veterans diagnosed with PTSD and not using psychotropic medications was 1.55 [1.45-1.67]. Among veterans diagnosed with PTSD prescribed SSRI, SNRI, or AA, HR for dementia diagnosis varied by drug class use ranging from 1.99 for SSRI to 4.21 for AA, relative to veterans without a PTSD diagnosis and no psychotropic medication receipt. BZAs or SNRIs use at baseline was associated with a significantly increased risk for dementia diagnosis independent of a PTSD diagnosis. PTSD diagnosis is associated with an increased risk for dementia diagnosis that varied with receipt of psychotropic medications. Further research would help to delineate if these findings are due to differences in PTSD severity, psychiatric comorbidity, or independent effects of psychotropic medications on cognitive decline. © 2017, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2017, The American Geriatrics

  6. Mental Health, Quality of Life, and Health Functioning in Women Veterans: Differential Outcomes Associated with Military and Civilian Sexual Assault

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suris, Alina; Lind, Lisa; Kashner, T. Michael; Borman, Patricia D.

    2007-01-01

    The present study examined psychiatric, physical, and quality-of-life functioning in a sample of 270 women veterans receiving outpatient treatment at a Veterans Affairs medical center. Participants were interviewed regarding their civilian (CSA) and military sexual assault (MSA) histories, and data regarding quality of life and health outcomes…

  7. 76 FR 4152 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-24

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV... Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Department of... application and servicing processes for the VBA Compensation and Pension (C&P) Service, Education (EDU...

  8. 78 FR 37278 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-20

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV... Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Department of... application and servicing processes for the VBA Compensation Service (CS), Pension Service (P&F), Education...

  9. Grants for transportation of veterans in highly rural areas. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its regulations to establish a new program to provide grants to eligible entities to assist veterans in highly rural areas through innovative transportation services to travel to VA medical centers, and to otherwise assist in providing transportation services in connection with the provision of VA medical care to these veterans, in compliance with section 307 of title III of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010. This final rule establishes procedures for evaluating grant applications under the new grant program, and otherwise administering the new grant program.

  10. Opioid pain medication prescriptions obtained through emergency medical visits in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grasso, Michael A; Dezman, Zachary D W; Grasso, Clare T; Jerrard, David A

    This study sought to characterize national patterns for opioid pain medication (OPM) prescriptions received during emergency medical encounters in the Veterans Health Administration (VA). The authors conducted a retrospective study of all emergency department (ED) visits by adults in the VA between January 2009 and June 2015. We examined demographics, comorbidities, utilization measures, diagnoses, and prescriptions. The percentage of ED visits that culminated in the receipt of a prescription for an OPM. There were 6,721,134 emergency medical visits by 1,708,545 individuals during the study period. An OPM was prescribed during 913,872 visits (13.6 percent), and 407,408 individuals (27.5 percent) received at least one OPM prescription. Prescriptions for OPMs peaked in 2011 at 14.5 percent, declining to 12.3 percent in 2015. The percentage of prescriptions limited to 12 pills increased from 25.0 to 32.4 percent. The heaviest users (top 1.5 percent, n = 7,247) received an average 602.5 total doses, and had at least 10 ED visits during the study period. The most frequently prescribed OPMs were acetaminophen/hydrocodone, followed by tramadol and acetaminophen/oxycodone. Receiving a prescription was associated with younger patients, musculoskeletal diagnoses, higher pain scores, a history of chronic pain, a history of mental illness, a history of substance abuse, prior heavy prescription OPM use, and lower participation in outpatient services. The writing of OPM prescriptions after an ED visit is on the decline in the VA. Compliance with prescribing guidelines is increasing, but is not yet at goal.

  11. Improving healthcare systems' disclosures of large-scale adverse events: a Department of Veterans Affairs leadership, policymaker, research and stakeholder partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elwy, A Rani; Bokhour, Barbara G; Maguire, Elizabeth M; Wagner, Todd H; Asch, Steven M; Gifford, Allen L; Gallagher, Thomas H; Durfee, Janet M; Martinello, Richard A; Schiffner, Susan; Jesse, Robert L

    2014-12-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mandates disclosure of large-scale adverse events to patients, even if risk of harm is not clearly present. Concerns about past disclosures warranted further examination of the impact of this policy. Through a collaborative partnership between VA leaders, policymakers, researchers and stakeholders, the objective was to empirically identify critical aspects of disclosure processes as a first step towards improving future disclosures. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants at nine VA facilities where recent disclosures took place. Ninety-seven stakeholders participated in the interviews: 38 employees, 28 leaders (from facilities, regions and national offices), 27 Veteran patients and family members, and four congressional staff members. Facility and regional leaders were interviewed by telephone, followed by a two-day site visit where employees, patients and family members were interviewed face-to-face. National leaders and congressional staff also completed telephone interviews. Interviews were analyzed using rapid qualitative assessment processes. Themes were mapped to the stages of the Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication model: pre-crisis, initial event, maintenance, resolution and evaluation. Many areas for improvement during disclosure were identified, such as preparing facilities better (pre-crisis), creating rapid communications, modifying disclosure language, addressing perceptions of harm, reducing complexity, and seeking assistance from others (initial event), managing communication with other stakeholders (maintenance), minimizing effects on staff and improving trust (resolution), and addressing facilities' needs (evaluation). Through the partnership, five recommendations to improve disclosures during each stage of communication have been widely disseminated throughout the VA using non-academic strategies. Some improvements have been made; other recommendations will be addressed through

  12. The empowerment paradox as a central challenge to patient centered medical home implementation in the veteran's health administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solimeo, Samantha L; Ono, Sarah S; Lampman, Michelle A M; Paez, Monica B W; Stewart, Gregory L

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we present results of a mixed methods study conducted to identify barriers to team function among staff implementing patient aligned care teams - the Department of Veterans Affairs' patient centered medical home (PCMH) model. Using a convergent mixed methods design, we administered a standardized survey measure (Team and Individual Role Perception Survey) to assess work role challenge and engagement; and conducted discussion groups to gather context pertaining to role change. We found that the role of primary care providers is highly challenging and did not become less difficult over the initial year of implementation. Unexpectedly over the course of the first year nurse care managers reported a decrease in their perceptions of empowerment and clerical associates reported less skill variety. Qualitative data suggest that more skilled team members fail to delegate and share tasks within their teams. We characterize this interprofessional knowledge factor as an empowerment paradox where team members find it difficult to share tasks in ways that are counter to traditionally structured hierarchical roles. Health care systems seeking to implement PCMH should dedicate resources to facilitating within-team role knowledge and negotiation.

  13. [The coordination of the forensic medical service with the medical criminology subdivisions of internal affairs organs in the personal identification of unidentified corpses].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pashinian, G A; Tuchik, E S

    1997-01-01

    In order to improve the cooperation between medical criminology departments of the organs of home affairs and forensic medical service in personality identification of unidentified corpses, the authors propose amendments to the routine procedure regulated by documents of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Russian Federation, for these documents are in need of serious correction and revision, so that they conform to the judicial legislation and other documents.

  14. Towards a Heterogeneous, Polystore-like Data Architecture for the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Enterprise Analytics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Begoli, Edmon [ORNL; Bates, Jack [Veterans Administration; Kistler, Derek E [ORNL

    2016-01-01

    The Polystore architecture revisits the federated approach to access and querying of the standalone, independent databases in the uniform and optimized fashion, but this time in the context of heterogeneous data and specialized analyses. In the light of this architectural philosophy, and in the light of the major data architecture development efforts at the US Department of Veterans Administration (VA), we discuss the need for the heterogeneous data store consisting of the large relational data warehouse, an image and text datastore, and a peta-scale genomic repository. The VA's heterogeneous datastore would, to a larger or smaller degree, follow the architectural blueprint proposed by the polystore architecture. To this end, we discuss the current state of the data architecture at VA, architectural alternatives for development of the heterogeneous datastore, the anticipated challenges, and the drawbacks and benefits of adopting the polystore architecture.

  15. Exposure to High Risk Medications is Associated with Worse Outcomes in Older Veterans with Chronic Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makris, Una E; Pugh, Mary Jo; Alvarez, Carlos A; Berlowitz, Dan R; Turner, Barbara J; Aung, KoKo; Mortensen, Eric M

    2016-01-01

    Background Chronic pain is common, costly, and leads to significant morbidity in older adults, yet we have limited data on medication safety. We sought to evaluate the association of incident High Risk Medication in the Elderly (HRME) with mortality, emergency department (ED) or hospital care among older adults with chronic pain. Methods A retrospective Veterans Health Administration cohort study was conducted examining older Veterans with chronic pain diagnoses and use of incident HRME (opioids, skeletal muscle relaxants, antihistamines, and psychotropics). Outcomes evaluated included all-cause mortality, ED visits, or inpatient hospital care. Descriptive statistics summarized variables for the overall cohort, the chronic pain cohort, and those with and without HRME. Separate generalized linear mixed-effect regression models were used to examine the association of incident HRME on each outcome, controlling for potential confounders. Results Among 1,807,404 Veterans who received VA care in 2005–2006, 584,066 (32.3%) had chronic pain; 45,945 Veterans with chronic pain (7.9%) had incident HRME exposure. The strongest significant associations of incident HRME were for: high-risk opioids with all-cause hospitalizations (OR 2.08, 95%CI 1.95–2.23); skeletal muscle relaxants with all-cause ED visits (OR 2.62, 95%CI 2.52–2.73) and mortality (OR 0.80, 95%CI 0.74–0.86); antihistamines with all-cause ED visits (OR 2.82 95%CI 2.72–2.95); and psychotropics with all-cause hospitalizations (OR 2.15, 95%CI 1.96–2.35). Conclusions Our data indicate that incident HRME is associated with clinically important adverse outcomes in older Veterans with chronic pain and highlight the importance of being judicious with prescribing certain classes of drugs in this vulnerable population. PMID:26418380

  16. Institutional Incentives for Mentoring at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Universities: Associations With Mentors' Perceptions and Time Spent Mentoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maisel, Natalya C; Halvorson, Max A; Finney, John W; Bi, Xiaoyu; Hayashi, Ko P; Blonigen, Daniel M; Weitlauf, Julie C; Timko, Christine; Cronkite, Ruth C

    2017-04-01

    Limited empirical attention to date has focused on best practices in advanced research mentoring in the health services research domain. The authors investigated whether institutional incentives for mentoring (e.g., consideration of mentoring in promotion criteria) were associated with mentors' perceptions of mentoring benefits and costs and with time spent mentoring. The authors conducted an online survey in 2014 of a national sample of mentors of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) mentored career development award recipients who received an award during 2000-2012. Regression analyses were used to examine institutional incentives as predictors of perceptions of benefits and costs of mentoring and time spent mentoring. Of the 145 mentors invited, 119 (82%) responded and 110 (76%) provided complete data for the study items. Overall, mentors who reported more institutional incentives also reported greater perceived benefits of mentoring (P = .03); however, more incentives were not significantly associated with perceived costs of mentoring. Mentors who reported more institutional incentives also reported spending a greater percentage of time mentoring (P = .02). University incentives were associated with perceived benefits of mentoring (P = .02), whereas VA incentives were associated with time spent mentoring (P = .003). Institutional policies that promote and support mentorship of junior investigators, specifically by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of mentors, are integral to fostering mentorship programs that contribute to the development of early-career health services researchers into independent investigators.

  17. Can the Theory of Planned Behavior Predict Dietary Intention and Future Dieting in an Ethnically Diverse Sample of Overweight and Obese Veterans Attending Medical Clinics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lash, Denise N.; Smith, Jane Ellen; Rinehart, Jenny K.

    2016-01-01

    Obesity has become a world-wide epidemic; in the United States (U.S.) approximately two-thirds of adults are classified as overweight or obese. Military veterans’ numbers are even higher, with 77% of retired or discharged U.S. veterans falling in these weight categories. One of the most common methods of changing one’s weight is through dieting, yet little is known regarding the factors that facilitate successful dieting behavior. The current investigation tested the Theory of Planned Behavior’s (TPB) ability to predict dietary intention and future dieting in a sample of 84 overweight and obese patients attending medical clinics at a Veterans Affairs Hospital in the southwestern part of the U.S. Participants primarily were male (92%) and ethnic/racial minorities (58%). Perceived need and anticipated regret were added to the standard TPB model. While the TPB predicted dietary intention, it did not significantly account for improved dietary behaviors. Anticipated regret significantly enhanced the basic TPB’s ability to predict intention to diet, while perceived need did not. These findings highlight the difficulty in predicting sustained change in a complex behavior such as dieting to lose weight. The need for more work with older, overweight/obese medical patients attending veterans’ facilities is stressed, as is the need for such work with male patients and ethnic minorities in particular. PMID:26792774

  18. A retrospective review of insulin requirements in patients using U-500 insulin hospitalized to a Veterans Affairs Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kedia, Rohit; Desouza, Cyrus; Smith, Lynette M; Shivaswamy, Vijay

    2017-05-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the changes in the total daily dose (TDD) of insulin of patients on U-500 insulin; before hospitalization, during hospitalization and six weeks after discharge. A retrospective chart review of veterans with type 2 diabetes receiving U-500 insulin in the ambulatory setting and who were admitted between 2012 and 2015 was performed. During hospitalization, patients were transitioned to receive U-100 insulin (detemir or glargine for basal and aspart for bolus). Paired t-tests were conducted to compare TDD of insulin during hospitalization to prior to admission and at six week of follow-up. The average hemoglobin A1c at the time of hospital admission was 8.3±1.5% (n=20). The average TDD of insulin during hospitalization (124±67units) was significantly less than prior to admission (295±123units) and at six week follow-up (310±105units). The average glucose during hospitalization was 180±36mg/dL. Hypoglycemia was less than 0.5%. We showed that patients received significantly less total daily insulin while hospitalized compared to their insulin doses in the ambulatory setting, and we demonstrate that patients receiving U-500 insulin can be safely transitioned to U-100 insulin while hospitalized, with minimal hypoglycemia. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Predictive Modeling and Concentration of the Risk of Suicide: Implications for Preventive Interventions in the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, John F; Bossarte, Robert M; Katz, Ira R; Thompson, Caitlin; Kemp, Janet; Hannemann, Claire M; Nielson, Christopher; Schoenbaum, Michael

    2015-09-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) evaluated the use of predictive modeling to identify patients at risk for suicide and to supplement ongoing care with risk-stratified interventions. Suicide data came from the National Death Index. Predictors were measures from VHA clinical records incorporating patient-months from October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2011, for all suicide decedents and 1% of living patients, divided randomly into development and validation samples. We used data on all patients alive on September 30, 2010, to evaluate predictions of suicide risk over 1 year. Modeling demonstrated that suicide rates were 82 and 60 times greater than the rate in the overall sample in the highest 0.01% stratum for calculated risk for the development and validation samples, respectively; 39 and 30 times greater in the highest 0.10%; 14 and 12 times greater in the highest 1.00%; and 6.3 and 5.7 times greater in the highest 5.00%. Predictive modeling can identify high-risk patients who were not identified on clinical grounds. VHA is developing modeling to enhance clinical care and to guide the delivery of preventive interventions.

  20. Fertility Counseling and Treatment for Certain Veterans and Spouses. Interim final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-19

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its regulation regarding fertility counseling and treatment available to certain veterans and spouses. VA currently provides certain infertility services other than in vitro fertilization (IVF) to veterans as part of the medical benefits package. IVF is the process of fertilization by manually fertilizing an egg, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus. This interim final rulemaking adds a new section authorizing IVF for a veteran with a service-connected disability that results in the inability of the veteran to procreate without the use of fertility treatment. In addition, we add a new section stating that VA may provide fertility counseling and treatment using assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including IVF, to a spouse of a veteran with a service-connected disability that results in the inability of the veteran to procreate without the use of fertility treatment. VA will provide ART treatment, including IVF, to these veterans and spouses as specified in the Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act to the extent such services are consistent with the services available to enrolled veterans under the medical benefits package.

  1. Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — The purpose of this agreement is for SSA to verify SSNs and other identifying information for the Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA. DVA will use the information...

  2. Veterans Choice Program

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — If you are already enrolled in VA health care, the Choice Program allows you to receive health care within your community. Using this program does NOT impact your...

  3. 78 FR 59769 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-27

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-21), this notice announces that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA...-0782.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran...

  4. 76 FR 20823 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-13

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV... U.S.C. 3501-21), this notice announces that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Department... INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV) Pilot Surveys. a...

  5. 76 FR 67022 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for a Mixed-Use...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

    ... INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Bradley, Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044), Department of Veterans... permanent housing facility for homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families where the lessee will give...

  6. Initial Results from the Survey of Organizational Research Climates (SOuRCe in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian C Martinson

    Full Text Available In service to its core mission of improving the health and well-being of veterans, Veterans Affairs (VA leadership is committed to supporting research best practices in the VA. Recognizing that the behavior of researchers is influenced by the organizational climates in which they work, efforts to assess the integrity of research climates and share such information with research leadership in VA may be one way to support research best practices. The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOuRCe is the first validated survey instrument specifically designed to assess the organizational climate of research integrity in academic research organizations. The current study reports on an initiative to use the SOuRCe in VA facilities to characterize the organizational research climates and pilot test the effectiveness of using SOuRCe data as a reporting and feedback intervention tool.We administered the SOuRCe using a cross-sectional, online survey, with mailed follow-up to non-responders, of research-engaged employees in the research services of a random selection of 42 VA facilities (e.g., Hospitals/Stations believed to employ 20 or more research staff. We attained a 51% participation rate, yielding more than 5,200 usable surveys.We found a general consistency in organizational research climates across a variety of sub-groups in this random sample of research services in the VA. We also observed similar SOuRCe scale score means, relative rankings of these scales and their internal reliability, in this VA-based sample as we have previously documented in more traditional academic research settings. Results also showed more substantial variability in research climate scores within than between facilities in the VA research service as reflected in meaningful subgroup differences. These findings suggest that the SOuRCe is suitable as an instrument for assessing the research integrity climates in VA and that the tool has similar patterns of results that

  7. Initial Results from the Survey of Organizational Research Climates (SOuRCe) in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Brian C; Nelson, David; Hagel-Campbell, Emily; Mohr, David; Charns, Martin P; Bangerter, Ann; Thrush, Carol R; Ghilardi, Joseph R; Bloomfield, Hanna; Owen, Richard; Wells, James A

    2016-01-01

    In service to its core mission of improving the health and well-being of veterans, Veterans Affairs (VA) leadership is committed to supporting research best practices in the VA. Recognizing that the behavior of researchers is influenced by the organizational climates in which they work, efforts to assess the integrity of research climates and share such information with research leadership in VA may be one way to support research best practices. The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOuRCe) is the first validated survey instrument specifically designed to assess the organizational climate of research integrity in academic research organizations. The current study reports on an initiative to use the SOuRCe in VA facilities to characterize the organizational research climates and pilot test the effectiveness of using SOuRCe data as a reporting and feedback intervention tool. We administered the SOuRCe using a cross-sectional, online survey, with mailed follow-up to non-responders, of research-engaged employees in the research services of a random selection of 42 VA facilities (e.g., Hospitals/Stations) believed to employ 20 or more research staff. We attained a 51% participation rate, yielding more than 5,200 usable surveys. We found a general consistency in organizational research climates across a variety of sub-groups in this random sample of research services in the VA. We also observed similar SOuRCe scale score means, relative rankings of these scales and their internal reliability, in this VA-based sample as we have previously documented in more traditional academic research settings. Results also showed more substantial variability in research climate scores within than between facilities in the VA research service as reflected in meaningful subgroup differences. These findings suggest that the SOuRCe is suitable as an instrument for assessing the research integrity climates in VA and that the tool has similar patterns of results that have been

  8. Initial Results from the Survey of Organizational Research Climates (SOuRCe) in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Brian C.; Nelson, David; Hagel-Campbell, Emily; Mohr, David; Charns, Martin P.; Bangerter, Ann; Thrush, Carol R.; Ghilardi, Joseph R.; Bloomfield, Hanna; Owen, Richard; Wells, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Background In service to its core mission of improving the health and well-being of veterans, Veterans Affairs (VA) leadership is committed to supporting research best practices in the VA. Recognizing that the behavior of researchers is influenced by the organizational climates in which they work, efforts to assess the integrity of research climates and share such information with research leadership in VA may be one way to support research best practices. The Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOuRCe) is the first validated survey instrument specifically designed to assess the organizational climate of research integrity in academic research organizations. The current study reports on an initiative to use the SOuRCe in VA facilities to characterize the organizational research climates and pilot test the effectiveness of using SOuRCe data as a reporting and feedback intervention tool. Methods We administered the SOuRCe using a cross-sectional, online survey, with mailed follow-up to non-responders, of research-engaged employees in the research services of a random selection of 42 VA facilities (e.g., Hospitals/Stations) believed to employ 20 or more research staff. We attained a 51% participation rate, yielding more than 5,200 usable surveys. Results We found a general consistency in organizational research climates across a variety of sub-groups in this random sample of research services in the VA. We also observed similar SOuRCe scale score means, relative rankings of these scales and their internal reliability, in this VA-based sample as we have previously documented in more traditional academic research settings. Results also showed more substantial variability in research climate scores within than between facilities in the VA research service as reflected in meaningful subgroup differences. These findings suggest that the SOuRCe is suitable as an instrument for assessing the research integrity climates in VA and that the tool has similar patterns of

  9. 76 FR 77327 - Reasonable Charges for Medical Care or Services; V3.9, 2012 Calendar Year Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-12

    ... AFFAIRS Reasonable Charges for Medical Care or Services; V3.9, 2012 Calendar Year Update AGENCY... for medical care or services provided or furnished by VA to a veteran for: (1) A non service-connected... ``Reasonable Charges'' for medical care or services provided or furnished by VA to a veteran for: (1) A non...

  10. Medical Affairs Efficiency in Pharma – a Pragmatic Approach to Success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Aleixo Dias

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Along recent years Pharma operations became increasingly complex. Trying to adapt to the requests of a fast changing and demanding environment, companies moved from the standard medical, marketing and sales structure to a much more complex puzzle of units, departments, internal and external reporting lines. Along with these, the number of functions increased so much that titles became confused for customers as for colleagues. The number of systems and tools grew alike; some are useful while others not compatible or redundant. The medical structure which was minimal two decades ago, increased to meet the requirements for scientific evidence, both from prescribers and payers. The roles of these medical affairs (MA functions, the way these are organized, the processes of interaction with other relevant players, their contribution to capture insights and translate these into actions, their reporting lines and the impact generated for the business and to the customers, are very much under discussion. Companies have been adopting different models to respond to these needs, but the change is constant, showing that most probably, the best fit has not yet been reached. The customer facing medical is a natural strategic evolution of the traditional MA role, demonstrating value, business alignment, integration and governance, which are essential pillars in building customer partnerships. This article describes the situation, and discusses pragmatic approaches to some of the most common challenges and issues, aiming to contribute to the improvement and effectiveness of the MA operations.

  11. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Department of Veterans Affairs: a conceptual model for understanding the evacuation of nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobalian, Aram; Claver, Maria; Fickel, Jacqueline J

    2010-01-01

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita exposed significant flaws in US preparedness for catastrophic events and the nation's capacity to respond to them. These flaws were especially evident in the affected disaster areas' nursing homes, which house a particularly vulnerable population of frail older adults. Although evacuation of a healthcare facility is a key preparedness activity, there is limited research on factors that lead to effective evacuation. Our review of the literature on evacuation is focused on developing a conceptual framework to study future evacuations rather than as a comprehensive assessment of prior work. This paper summarizes what is known thus far about disaster response activities of nursing homes following natural and human-caused disasters, describes a conceptual model to guide future inquiry regarding this topic, and suggests future areas of research to further understand the decision-making process of nursing home facilitators regarding evacuating nursing home residents. To demonstrate the utility of the conceptual model and to provide guidance about effective practices and procedures, this paper focuses on the responses of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) nursing homes to the 2 hurricanes. Quarantelli's conceptual framework, as modified by Perry and Mushkatel, is useful in guiding the development of central hypotheses related to the decision-making that occurred in VA nursing homes and other healthcare facilities following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. However, we define evacuation somewhat differently to account for the fact that evacuation may, in some instances, be permanent. Thus, we propose modifying this framework to improve its applicability beyond preventive evacuation. We need to better understand how disaster plans can be adapted to meet the needs of frail elders and other residents in nursing homes. Moreover, we must address identified gaps in the scientific literature with respect to health outcomes by tracking outcomes over time

  12. Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — These quick facts use data from the 2011 Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch to compare Veteran employment in the Federal Government by agency,...

  13. National Survey of Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, Demobilized National Guard and Reserve Members, Family Members, and Surviving Spouses

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The 2010 National Survey of Veterans (NSV) is the sixth in a series of comprehensive nationwide surveys designed to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan...

  14. Audit of the Transfer of DoD Service Treatment Records to the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-07-31

    2010, an STR is a record of all essential medical, mental health, and dental care received by service members during their military career . The STR is...care repository that contains results of annual health care assessments and information from private physicians and dentists . Although the Army

  15. Healthcare costs and resource utilization of patients with binge-eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellows, Brandon K; DuVall, Scott L; Kamauu, Aaron W C; Supina, Dylan; Babcock, Thomas; LaFleur, Joanne

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the one-year healthcare costs and utilization of patients with binge-eating disorder (BED) to patients with eating disorder not otherwise specified without BED (EDNOS-only) and to matched patients without an eating disorder (NED). A natural language processing (NLP) algorithm identified adults with BED from clinical notes in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic health record database from 2000 to 2011. Patients with EDNOS-only were identified using ICD-9 code (307.50) and those with NLP-identified BED were excluded. First diagnosis date defined the index date for both groups. Patients with NED were randomly matched 4:1, as available, to patients with BED on age, sex, BMI, depression diagnosis, and index month. Patients with cost data (2005-2011) were included. Total healthcare, inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy costs were examined. Generalized linear models were used to compare total one-year healthcare costs while adjusting for baseline patient characteristics. There were 257 BED, 743 EDNOS-only, and 823 matched NED patients identified. The mean (SD) total unadjusted one-year costs, in 2011 US dollars, were $33,716 ($38,928) for BED, $37,052 ($40,719) for EDNOS-only, and $19,548 ($35,780) for NED patients. When adjusting for patient characteristics, BED patients had one-year total healthcare costs $5,589 higher than EDNOS-only (p = 0.06) and $18,152 higher than matched NED patients (p < 0.001). This study is the first to use NLP to identify BED patients and quantify their healthcare costs and utilization. Patients with BED had similar one-year total healthcare costs to EDNOS-only patients, but significantly higher costs than patients with NED. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Can participation in a health affairs interdisciplinary case conference improve medical students' knowledge and attitudes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harward, Donna H; Tresolini, Carol P; Davis, William A

    2006-03-01

    To explore whether participation in a three-hour health affairs interdisciplinary case conference (HAICC) changed medical students' knowledge and attitudes about the role of interdisciplinary teams in health care. Faculty from ten University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill health professions' schools helped to design the HAICC. Conference goals included improving students' knowledge and attitudes about the skills of various health professions and the benefits of interdisciplinary care. From 2001-04, 2,005 health professions students, including 615 second-year medical students, participated in the HAICC. Working in teams, students, using the World Health Organization's International Classification of Function and Disability, interviewed a standardized patient and, then, developed a patient-centered management plan. A self-report instrument to assess medical students' knowledge about each of the ten health professions and to assess students' attitudes about working with other health professionals was administered before and after the conference. Repeated measures were used to assess whether medical students' knowledge and attitudes about interdisciplinary teams changed as a result of participating in HAICC. A total of 605 medical students (98.5%) completed both instruments. Following participation in the HAICC, there were significant increases in students' knowledge about the training and skills of all ten professions, the advantages of working in an interdisciplinary team, and the importance of care provided by these professions. In general, there were significant improvements in students' attitudes toward the value of interdisciplinary team work and leadership by all health professionals. Participation in a three-hour HAICC resulted in medical students' increased knowledge about and attitudes toward the role of interdisciplinary teams in health care.

  17. Reduction in patient enrollment in the Veterans Health Administration after media coverage of adverse medical events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, William B; Mills, Peter D

    2003-12-01

    Health care organizations may experience costs associated with preventable adverse events in the form of poor brand image and subsequent patient disenrollment. A retrospective cohort design was used to determine whether media coverage of adverse events that occurred in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals was associated with subsequent veteran disenrollment. Twenty-four newspaper reports of medical adverse events that occurred between 1994 and 1999 within the VHA system were identified. Regionally adjusted changes in enrollment rates for VHA facilities that had reported adverse events were compared with those that had not one year before and one and three years after publication of the newspaper reports. Facilities that had published reports of adverse events had lower enrollment rates after publication of the report for two groups of veterans. Within the VHA system, health care organizations involved in adverse events that generated publicity suffered a greater rate of patient disenrollment. If safe patient care practices can reduce adverse publicity, they may enhance corporate value by maintaining enrollment of the patient population.

  18. 77 FR 13390 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-06

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... Affairs on health care issues affecting enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas. The Committee examines programs and policies that impact the provision of VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural...

  19. Predictors of homeless veterans' irregular discharge status from a domiciliary care program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenzel, S L; Bakhtiar, L; Caskey, N H; Hardie, E; Redford, C; Sadler, N; Gelberg, L

    1995-01-01

    This study addresses the relationship of homeless veterans' discharge status from a domiciliary care program to biopsychosocial characteristics presented at admission into the program. Hypotheses were that younger age, less education, and substance abuse or psychiatric disorder would predict an irregular discharge. Research participants were 367 homeless male veterans who had been admitted to a domiciliary care program at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center for treatment of medical, psychiatric, or substance disorders. Status of veterans' program discharge (regular or irregular) served as the outcome measure. Logistic regression analysis revealed that irregular discharge from the program was more likely among veterans who were black, who had poor employment histories, or who had problems with alcohol. Results are discussed in light of the need to maintain homeless veterans in treatment programs so that they can achieve maximum benefit from available programs.

  20. A Comparison of Homeless Male Veterans in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas in Nebraska: A Methodological Caveat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Ramaswamy, Sriram; Bhatia, Subhash C; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2015-12-01

    This study explored differences between homeless male veterans in metropolitan and micropolitan cities in Nebraska on sociodemographic, housing, clinical, and psychosocial characteristics as well as health service use. A convenience sample of 151 homeless male veterans (112 metropolitan, 39 micropolitan) were recruited from Veterans Affairs facilities and area shelters in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Hastings in Nebraska. Research staff conducted structured interviews with homeless veterans. Results showed that compared to homeless veterans in metropolitans, those in micropolitans were more likely to be White, unmarried, living in transitional settings, and were far more transient but reported greater social support and housing satisfaction. Veterans in micropolitans also reported more medical problems, diagnoses of anxiety and personality disorders, and unexpectedly, were more likely to report using various health services and less travel time for services. Together, these findings suggest access to homeless and health services for veterans in micropolitan areas may be facilitated through Veterans Affairs facilities and community providers that work in close proximity to one another. Many homeless veterans in these areas are transient, making them a difficult population to study and serve. Innovative ways to provide outreach to homeless veterans in micropolitan and more rural areas are needed.

  1. Homeless Veterans Eligible for Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Kasprow, Wesley J; Culhane, Dennis; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2015-12-01

    Among homeless veterans and those at risk of homelessness currently enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care, this study examined the proportion likely to become eligible for Medicaid in 2014 and their health needs. A total of 114,497 homeless and at-risk veterans were categorized into three groups: currently covered by Medicaid, likely to become eligible for Medicaid, and not likely. Seventy-eight percent of the sample was determined to be likely to become eligible for Medicaid in states that expand Medicaid. Compared with veterans not likely to become eligible for Medicaid, those likely to become eligible were less likely to have general medical and psychiatric conditions and to have a VA service-connected disability but more likely to have substance use disorders. Programs serving homeless and at-risk veterans should anticipate the potential interplay between VA health care and the expansion of Medicaid in states that implement the expansion.

  2. [Cluster Analysis of Medication Laws for Treating Coronary Heart Disease by Distinguished Veteran Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yi; Chen, Zhi-qiang; Zhang, Min-zhou; Guo, Li-heng; He, De-ying

    2016-04-01

    To provide inspiration and ideas for clinical treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD) by data mining technology based frequency analysis and cluster analysis of medical records, prescriptions and herbs in treating CHD by distinguished veteran doctors of traditional Chinese Dedicine (TCM). Totally 386 medical cases were retrieved from Wanfang Data, Chinese Scientific Journals Database (VIP medical information resources system, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Typical Collections of Medical Cases by Contemporary Distinguished Veteran Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They input into database trimmed after unified standard. Medication laws of CHD by distinguished veteran doctors of TCM were analyzed using frequency analysis and cluster analysis, and so on. Distinguished veteran doctors of TCM frequently used top ten herbs in treatment of C D as Salvia miltiorrhiz , Ligusticum wallichii, Trichosanthes kirilowi, Pinellia ternat, Angelica sinensis, Poria coco stragalu , Panax ginseng, Allium macrostemon, and Radix Ophiopogonis. Cluster analysis summarized that there were 16 herb pairs commonly used, 7drug assemblies consisting of 3 herbs and 5 drug assemblies consisting of multiple herbs. Distinguished veteran doctors of TCM mainly used herbs assemblies capable for invigorating Pi to resolve phlegm, and promoting qi and activating blood circulation in treating CHD. Meanwhile, they concurrently used herbs combination of nourishing Xin and tranquilization, and regulating yin and yang.

  3. Employment of Veterans in Executive Branch

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This quick facts summarizes the Veteran new hires into the Federal government by disabled and by 30 percent and higher disabled groups for 2008 to 2015. It shows the...

  4. Health risk factors and differences in outcomes between younger and older veterans using VA transitional housing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Lisa M; Barnett, Scott D; Frahm, Kathryn A; Schinka, John A; Schonfeld, Lawrence; Casey, Roger J

    2015-01-01

    This study examined age-related differences in general medical and mental health risk factors for veterans participating in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Grant Per Diem (GPD) transitional supportive housing program. The subpopulation of older homeless veterans is growing, and little is known about the implications of this fact for health care providers and for supportive programs intended to meet homeless veterans' needs. Data were obtained from the VA records of all veterans (N=40,820) who used the GPD program during fiscal years 2003 to 2009. Unconditional adjusted and unadjusted odds ratios for general medical and psychiatric characteristics were calculated and were the primary study focus. Significant predictors of homeless program completion assessed from univariate models were then evaluated in multivariate models. Younger (homeless veterans reported an equal number of days homeless before enrollment. Younger veterans averaged 19 fewer days in GPD. Older veterans had more general medical problems and approximately $500 more in program costs. Findings from this study indicate that older homeless veterans are at increased risk of serious medical problems. This group is especially vulnerable to experiencing negative consequences related to homelessness. Addressing these complex needs will allow the VA to provide enhanced care to older homeless veterans.

  5. Clinical characteristics of veterans prescribed high doses of opioid medications for chronic non-cancer pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morasco, Benjamin J; Duckart, Jonathan P; Carr, Thomas P; Deyo, Richard A; Dobscha, Steven K

    2010-12-01

    Little is known about patients prescribed high doses of opioids to treat chronic non-cancer pain, though these patients may be at higher risk for medication-related complications. We describe the prevalence of high-dose opioid use and associated demographic and clinical characteristics among veterans treated in a VA regional healthcare network. Veterans with chronic non-cancer pain prescribed high doses of opioids (≥ 180 mg/day morphine equivalent; n=478) for 90+ consecutive days were compared to two groups with chronic pain: Traditional-dose (5-179 mg/day; n=500) or no opioid (n=500). High-dose opioid use occurred in 2.4% of all chronic pain patients and in 8.2% of all chronic pain patients prescribed opioids long-term. The average dose in the high-dose group was 324.9 (SD=285.1)mg/day. The only significant demographic difference among groups was race (p=0.03) with black veterans less likely to receive high doses. High-dose patients were more likely to have four or more pain diagnoses and the highest rates of medical, psychiatric, and substance use disorders. After controlling for demographic factors and VA facility, neuropathy, low back pain, and nicotine dependence diagnoses were associated with increased likelihood of high-dose prescriptions. High-dose patients frequently did not receive care consistent with treatment guidelines: there was frequent use of short-acting opioids, urine drug screens were administered to only 25.7% of patients in the prior year, and 32.0% received concurrent benzodiazepine prescriptions, which may increase risk for overdose and death. Further study is needed to identify better predictors of high-dose usage, as well as the efficacy and safety of such dosing. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. 77 FR 52135 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-28

    ... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA... Committee on Homeless Veterans will be held on September 5-7, 2012, in the Onondaga 3 Room at the Embassy... Veterans. The Committee shall assemble and review information relating to the needs of homeless Veterans...

  7. 76 FR 21107 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-14

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas and discusses ways to improve and enhance... Secretary, VA Veteran Centers services, rural women Veteran health care, and the meeting agenda and planning...

  8. Venous Thromboembolism: A Comparison of Chronic Spinal Cord Injury and General Surgery Patients in a Metropolitan Veterans Affairs Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Ryan M; Rimler, Jonathan; Smith, Brian R; Wirth, Garrett A; Paydar, Keyianoosh Z

    2016-11-01

    Venous thromboembolic events result in significant morbidity, mortality, and costly therapeutic interventions. As medical resource allocation strategies are becoming more pervasive, appropriate risk stratification and prophylactic regimens are essential. Previous studies have shown a decreased incidence of perioperative venous thromboembolism in the chronic spinal cord injury population. The question remains of whether chronic spinal cord injury is protective against venous thromboembolism. A retrospective review of all cases involving chronic spinal cord injury patients who underwent plastic and reconstructive surgery operations (n = 424) and general surgery patients (n = 777) with a primary outcome of deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism within 90 days of surgery was performed. The incidence of postoperative deep venous thrombosis in the control and spinal cord injury groups was 1.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively (p = 0.027). However, such significance was not observed with regard to postoperative pulmonary embolism incidence (p = 0.070). Collectively, the incidence of postoperative venous thromboembolism-specifically, deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism-was significantly greater in the general surgery population (p = 0.014). A nearly 10-fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism was seen among the control group (1.9 percent versus 0.2 percent) despite administration of optimal prophylaxis. This study demonstrates a profoundly low incidence of venous thromboembolism among chronic spinal cord injury patients compared with general surgery patients. Future efforts to elucidate how chronic spinal cord injury confers a protective mechanism may potentially influence the evolution of venous thromboembolism prevention guidelines, and spark the development of alternative prophylactic agents or customized application of prevention efforts.

  9. US veterans use vitamins and supplements as substitutes for prescription medication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Jennifer N; Long, Judith A; Arevalo, Doris; Ibrahim, Said A; Mao, Jun J

    2014-12-01

    Vitamins and supplements are the most commonly used form of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States. Growing research suggests that patients substitute vitamins and supplements for their prescription medications. The reasons might include cost of prescription medications and discordant patient and doctor health belief systems. To investigate the prevalence of substitution of vitamins and supplements for prescription medications among veterans who receive care in the VA health care system and whether substitution is associated with prescription rationing due to cost, treatment beliefs, or distrust of the health system. Cross-sectional observational survey. Primary care patients (n=275) at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Medication substitution, prescription medication rationing, treatment beliefs, and health system distrust were measured with structured instruments. Multivariate logistic regression was performed with substitution as the dependent variable. A significant number of primary care patients in the VA system use vitamins and supplements 206 (75%). The prevalence of medication substitution is high 48 (18%). Medication substitution is strongly associated with prescription rationing due to cost (adjusted odds ratio 6.3, 95% confidence interval: 2.0-19.5, P=0.001). Similarly, greater belief in complementary and alternative approaches to care positively predicts medication substitution (adjusted odds ratio 1.08, 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.15, P=0.011). There is no significant association between health system distrust and likelihood of medication substitution. Medication substitution is prevalent in this sample of inner city primary care patients who receive care in the VA system. Cost of prescriptions and belief in the value of complementary and alternative approaches to care appear to be associated with this patient-driven treatment decision.

  10. Medical costs of war in 2035: long-term care challenges for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiling, James; Rosen, Joseph M; Edwards, Ryan D

    2012-11-01

    War-related medical costs for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may be enormous because of differences between these wars and previous conflicts: (1) Many veterans survive injuries that would have killed them in past wars, and (2) improvised explosive device attacks have caused "polytraumatic" injuries (multiple amputations; brain injury; severe facial trauma or blindness) that require decades of costly rehabilitation. In 2035, today's veterans will be middle-aged, with health issues like those seen in aging Vietnam veterans, complicated by comorbidities of posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and polytrauma. This article cites emerging knowledge about best practices that have demonstrated cost-effectiveness in mitigating the medical costs of war. We propose that clinicians employ early interventions (trauma care, physical therapy, early post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis) and preventive health programs (smoking cessation, alcohol-abuse counseling, weight control, stress reduction) to treat primary medical conditions now so that we can avoid treating costly secondary and tertiary complications in 2035. (We should help an amputee reduce his cholesterol and maintain his weight at age 30, rather than treating his heart disease or diabetes at age 50.) Appropriate early interventions for primary illness should preserve veterans' functional status, ensure quality clinical care, and reduce the potentially enormous cost burden of their future health care.

  11. Critical pathway for the management of acute heart failure at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System: transforming performance measures into cardiac care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardetto, Nancy J; Greaney, Karen; Arai, Lisa; Brenner, April; Carroll, Karen C; Howerton, Nancy M; Lee, Melinda; Pada, Laureen; Tseng, Marilynne; Maisel, Alan S

    2008-09-01

    Acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) is a major public health problem and leading cause for hospitalization in people 65 years and older. Admission rates for ADHF, accounted for more than 1 million heart failure (HF) hospitalizations in 2004, and more than 6.5 million inpatient hospital days. Despite significant advances in HF management, including pharmacotherapy and devices; and extensive collaborative efforts of the American College of Cardiology, and American Heart Association to disseminate evidence-based practice guidelines for management of chronic HF in adults; 3 patients continue to present to the emergency departments in ADHF. The hospital treatment of HF frequently does not follow published guidelines, potentially contributing to the high morbidity, mortality, and economic cost of this disorder. This highlights an ongoing need for development of quality improvement programs that focus on delivering reliable, evidence-based care for patients with ADHF. Consequently, the development of clinical pathways has the potential to reduce the current variability in care, enhance guideline adherence, and improve outcomes for patients. The Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHCS) formed a multidisciplinary HF performance improvement team. The team set forth on the task of developing standard order sets for patients with ADHF. After analyzing local care processes, reviewing evidence of best care practices, and defining appropriate goals to satisfy the multidimensional needs of HF patient; the team developed a computerized pathway in a user-friendly format that is simple, yet comprehensive; and focuses on early stages of HF evaluation and treatment for patients presenting to the emergency department. Successful strategies to improve care for HF patients need to assist health care providers with rapid recognition and early aggressive treatment, while creating a reliable process that ensures continuity of care. This critical pathway for management of

  12. Evaluation of Non-Natural Deaths among Veterans: New Mexico Medical Examiner-Investigated Deaths, 2002-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Melissa R; Clifford, Camille P; Lathrop, Sarah L

    2017-05-01

    While it is recognized that veterans have increased rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide, and substance use disorders, rates of homicide and unintentional injury deaths in veterans have been minimally investigated. We evaluated all non-natural deaths in New Mexico veterans between 2002 and 2011 in comparison with non-natural deaths among non-veterans. We reviewed all decedents in New Mexico with a history of military service and investigated by the medical examiner, excluding natural deaths and deaths due to fall from standing height. The most common manner of death was unintentional injury (62%), most of these deaths due to motor vehicle accidents (29%) followed by unintentional overdose (26%). Suicide rates among veterans were consistently higher than the general population. The most common mechanism of suicide in men was gunshot wound (72%), and intentional overdose in women (49%). Services are needed for veterans that are tailored to all ages and both sexes. © 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  13. 75 FR 24514 - Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-05

    ... eligible homeless veterans, such as the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program, the Grant and Per... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 62 RIN 2900-AN53 Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program AGENCY: Department... concerning the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF Program) of the Department of Veterans...

  14. 38 CFR 3.454 - Veterans disability pension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Veterans disability pension. 3.454 Section 3.454 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Apportionments § 3.454 Veterans...

  15. Open access in the patient-centered medical home: lessons from the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    True, Gala; Butler, Anneliese E; Lamparska, Bozena G; Lempa, Michele L; Shea, Judy A; Asch, David A; Werner, Rachel M

    2013-04-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has undertaken a 5-year initiative to transform to a patient-centered medical home model. An early focus of implementation was on creating open access, defined as continuity and capacity in primary care. We describe the impact of readiness for implementation on efforts of pilot teams to make changes to improve access and identify successful strategies used by early adopters to overcome barriers to change. A qualitative, formative evaluation of the first 18 months of implementation in one Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) spread across six states. Members of local implementation teams including administrators, primary care providers, and staff from primary care clinics located at 10 medical centers and 45 outpatient clinics. We conducted site visits during the first 6 months of implementation, observations at Learning Collaboratives, semi-structured interviews, and review of internal organizational documents. All data collection took place between April 2010 and December 2011. Early adopters employed various strategies to enhance access, with a focus on decreasing demand for face-to-face care, increasing supply of different types of primary care encounters, and improving clinic efficiencies. Our interviews with key contacts revealed three important areas where readiness for implementation (or lack thereof) had an impact on interventions to improve access: leadership engagement, staffing resources, and access to information and knowledge. Key factors related to readiness for implementation had an impact on which interventions pilot teams could put into place, as well as the viability and sustainability of access gains. Wide variations in interventions to improve access occurring across sites situated within one organization have important implications for efforts to measure the impact of enhanced access on patient outcomes, costs, and other systems-level indicators of the Medical Home.

  16. Sexual assault during the time of Gulf War I: a cross-sectional survey of U.S. service men who later applied for Department of Veterans Affairs PTSD disability benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, Maureen; Polusny, Melissa A; Street, Amy; Noorbaloochi, Siamak; Simon, Alisha B; Bangerter, Ann; Grill, Joseph; Voller, Emily

    2014-03-01

    To estimate the cumulative incidence of sexual assault during the time of Gulf War I among male Gulf War I Veterans who later applied for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) post-traumatic stress disorder disability benefits and to identify potential risk and protective factors for sexual assault within the population. Mailed, national, cross-sectional survey supplemented with VA administrative and clinical data. Of 2,415 Veterans sampled, 1,700 (70%) responded. After adjusting for nonignorable missing data, the cumulative incidence of sexual assault during Gulf War I in this population ranged from 18% [95% confidence intervals (CI): 5.0%-51.9%] to 21% (95% CI: 20.0-22.0). Deployment was not associated with sexual assault [Odds Ratio (OR), 0.96; 95% CI: 0.75-1.23], but combat exposure was (OR, 1.80; 95% CI: 1.52-2.10). Other correlates of sexual assault within the population included working in a unit with greater tolerance of sexual harassment (OR, 1.80; 95% CI: 1.52-2.10) and being exposed to more sexual identity challenges (OR, 1.76; 95% CI: 1.55-2.00). The 9-month cumulative incidence of sexual assault in this particular population exceeded the lifetime cumulative incidence of sexual assault in U.S. civilian women. Although Persian Gulf deployment was not associated with sexual assault in this population, combat exposure was. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  17. Perspectives of family and veterans on family programs to support reintegration of returning veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Ellen P; Sherman, Michelle D; McSweeney, Jean C; Pyne, Jeffrey M; Owen, Richard R; Dixon, Lisa B

    2015-08-01

    Combat deployment and reintegration are challenging for service members and their families. Although family involvement in mental health care is increasing in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system, little is known about family members' preferences for services. This study elicited the perspectives of returning Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and their families regarding family involvement in veterans' mental health care. Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with 47 veterans receiving care for posttraumatic stress disorder at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System or Oklahoma City VA Medical Center and 36 veteran-designated family members. Interviews addressed perceived needs related to veterans' readjustment to civilian life, interest in family involvement in joint veteran/family programs, and desired family program content. Interview data were analyzed using content analysis and constant comparison. Both groups strongly supported inclusion of family members in programs to facilitate veterans' postdeployment readjustment and reintegration into civilian life. Both desired program content focused on information, practical skills, support, and gaining perspective on the other's experience. Although family and veteran perspectives were similar, family members placed greater emphasis on parenting-related issues and the kinds of support they and their children needed during and after deployment. To our knowledge, this is the first published report on preferences regarding VA postdeployment reintegration support that incorporates the perspectives of returning male and female veterans and those of their families. Findings will help VA and community providers working with returning veterans tailor services to the needs and preferences of this important-to-engage population. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. VeteranOtherInformationService

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This service is used to create, read, delete and update additional information captured during the EVSS Disability Compensation interview in an effort to align with...

  19. Activities Carried Out Under the Veterans' Administration Medical School Assistance and Health Manpower Training Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-541), An Annual Report Prepared by the Veterans' Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

    The third annual report (fiscal year 1979) of the activities carried out under the Veterans' Administration Medical School Assistance and Health Manpower Training Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-541) is presented. Under this special authority grants have been made to assist in the establishment of new state medical schools, to existing medical schools,…

  20. Trends in Susceptibility Rates and Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Production of Klebsiella pneumoniae in Bloodstream Infections Across the United States Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, Chris A; Williams, Riley J

    2015-12-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important pathogen, increasingly notorious for its ability to become resistant to antimicrobial agents. This study sought to characterize trends in antimicrobial susceptibility rates for K. pneumoniae causing bacteremias across the United States (U.S.) Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) from 2007 through 2013 utilizing a national clinical database. K. pneumoniae grew in 9,235 blood cultures from 8,414 patients. Nationally, ampicillin-sulbactam, ceftazidime, cefepime, ertapenem, fluoroquinolones, and amikacin demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases against K. pneumoniae in the 2010-2013 period versus the 2007-2009 period. No antimicrobial agent had a statistically significant nationwide susceptibility rate decrease. Of the 126 antibiotic-organism pairs tested among 9 U.S. regions, 18 demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases while 6 demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate decreases. The East North Central (eight agents), Mid-Atlantic (five agents), and South Atlantic (four agents) regions demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases for multiple antimicrobial agents. Of the 70 antibiotic-organism pairs tested among 5 different medical center complexity levels, 11 antibiotics demonstrated statistically significant susceptibility rate increases and 1 demonstrated a statistically significant rate decrease. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase production did not significantly change over the study period across an available nationwide representation of 31 facilities (10.6% in 2007-2009 vs. 9.21% in 2010-2013, p=0.17). The South Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic regions had the highest prevalence of extended-spectrum ß-lactamase production in the two periods, respectively. The recent trend of generally increasing susceptibility rates for K. pneumoniae bloodstream isolates in this nationwide U.S. VHA study contrasts from other U.S. health system reports

  1. Increased Postdeployment Use of Medication for Common Mental Disorders in Danish Gulf War Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissen, Lars Ravnborg; Stoltenberg, Christian; Vedtofte, Mia Sadowa; Nielsen, Anni Brit Sternhagen; Marott, Jacob Louis; Gyntelberg, Finn; Guldager, Bernadette

    2017-03-01

    Gulf War veterans (GWVs) have an elevated risk of reporting symptoms of mental disorders as compared with nondeployed military controls. A difficulty in the Gulf War health research is that most health outcomes are self-reported; therefore, it is highly relevant to study objective outcomes in this line of research. The Danish National Prescription Registry provides an opportunity to use the prescription of drugs as an objective evaluation of the impact of mental health disorders at the individual level. In this study, we investigated the prescription of drugs and postdeployment hospitalizations for mental disorders among GWVs compared with a control population of nonveterans (NVs). A prospective registry study including a cohort of 721 GWVs and a control cohort of 3,629 NVs. Main outcome measures were incidence of (1) use of antidepressants, (2) use of anxiolytic/hypnotic medication, and (3) number of postdeployment psychiatric contacts. The association between outcomes and GWVs status was studied by using time-to-event analysis. The index date was the return date from the last deployment to the Gulf. The follow-up period was the time from index date until December 31, 2014. GWVs had an elevated average risk over time for use of both types of medication compared with NV. For use of antidepressants the average hazard rate (HR) was 2.56, with 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.04-3.21 (p < 0.0001); for use of anxiolytic/hypnotic medication the corresponding results were HR = 1.78, CI = 1.37-2.31 (p < 0.0001). The interaction with time was statistically significant with HR increasing with time for both outcomes. Incident use of antidepressants in GWVs after 10 years was two times higher than among NV, after 20 years it was nearly four times higher than among NV. Incident use of anxiolytic/hypnotic medication was one and a half that of NV after 10 years, but nearly three times that of NV after 20 years. There was no difference in rate of postdeployment psychiatric

  2. Reducing the addictiveness of cigarettes. Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henningfield, J E; Benowitz, N L; Slade, J; Houston, T P; Davis, R M; Deitchman, S D

    1998-01-01

    To assess the feasibility of reducing tobacco-caused disease by gradually removing nicotine from cigarettes until they would not be effective causes of nicotine addiction. Issues posed by such an approach, and potential solutions, were identified from analysis of literature published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its 1996 Tobacco Rule, comments of the tobacco industry and other institutions and individuals on the rule, review of the reference lists of relevant journal articles, other government publications, and presentations made at scientific conferences. The role of nicotine in causing and sustaining tobacco use was evaluated to project the impact of a nicotine reduction strategy on initiation and maintenance of, and relapse to, tobacco use. A range of potential concerns and barriers was addressed, including the technical feasibility of reducing cigarette nicotine content to non-addictive levels, the possibility that compensatory smoking would reduce potential health benefits, and whether such an approach would foster illicit ("black market") tobacco sales. Education, treatment, and research needs to enable a nicotine reduction strategy were also addressed. The Council on Scientific Affairs came to the following conclusions: (a) gradually eliminating nicotine from cigarettes is technically feasible; (b) a nicotine reduction strategy holds great promise in preventing adolescent tobacco addiction and assisting the millions of current cigarette smokers in their efforts to quit using tobacco products; (c) potential problems such as compensatory over-smoking of denicotinised cigarettes and black market sales could be minimised by providing alternate forms of nicotine delivery with less or little risk to health, as part of expanded access to treatment; and (d) such a strategy would need to be accompanied by relevant research and increased efforts to educate consumers and health professionals about tobacco and health. The council recommends the

  3. An analysis of patient-provider secure messaging at two Veterans Health Administration medical centers: message content and resolution through secure messaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Stephanie L; Petrakis, Beth Ann; Rothendler, James A; Zirkle, Maryan; Zhao, Shibei; Feng, Hua; Fix, Gemmae M; Ozkaynak, Mustafa; Martin, Tracey; Johnson, Sharon A; Tulu, Bengisu; Gordon, Howard S; Simon, Steven R; Woods, Susan S

    2017-09-01

    We sought to understand how patients and primary care teams use secure messaging (SM) to communicate with one another by analyzing secure message threads from 2 Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. We coded 1000 threads of SM communication sampled from 40 primary care teams. Most threads (94.5%) were initiated by patients (90.4%) or caregivers (4.1%); only 5.5% were initiated by primary care team members proactively reaching out to patients. Medication renewals and refills (47.2%), scheduling requests (17.6%), medication issues (12.9%), and health issues (12.7%) were the most common patient-initiated requests, followed by referrals (7.0%), administrative issues (6.5%), test results (5.4%), test issues (5.2%), informing messages (4.9%), comments about the patient portal or SM (4.1%), appreciation (3.9%), self-reported data (2.8%), life issues (1.5%), and complaints (1.5%). Very few messages were clinically urgent (0.7%) or contained other potentially challenging content. Message threads were mostly short (2.7 messages), comprising an average of 1.35 discrete content types. A substantial proportion of issues (24.2%) did not show any evidence of being resolved through SM. Time to response and extent of resolution via SM varied by message content. Proactive SM use by teams varied, but was most often for test results (32.7%), medication-related issues (21.8%), medication renewals (16.4%), or scheduling issues (18.2%). The majority of messages were transactional and initiated by patients or caregivers. Not all content categories were fully addressed over SM. Further education and training for both patients and clinical teams could improve the quality and efficiency of SM communication.

  4. America's Women Veterans: Military Service History and VA Benefit Utilization Statistics

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This comprehensive report chronicles the history of women in the military and as Veterans, profiles the characteristics of women Veterans in 2009, illustrates how...

  5. 78 FR 36829 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-19

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment... solicits comments for information needed to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance. DATES: Written... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance...

  6. 76 FR 24571 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry); Comment Request

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-02

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry); Comment Request AGENCY... information needed to maintain Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance accounts. DATES: Written comments and... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance...

  7. 77 FR 20886 - Agency Information Collection (Conversion From Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance to Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-06

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Conversion From Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance to Veterans' Group Life Insurance); Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of... Evaluation of the Conversion Privilege from Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) to Veterans' Group...

  8. Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch: Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 to 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This chart summarizes Veteran employment in the federal government using data from the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) report, Employment of Veterans in the...

  9. 78 FR 57457 - Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for Grants for Transportation of Veterans in...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-18

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for Grants for Transportation of Veterans in... Wallace, National Coordinator, Highly Rural Transportation Grants, Veterans Transportation Program, Chief...

  10. 76 FR 72243 - Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-22

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans... facilities for returning Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their families.... Title: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment, VA Form 10...

  11. Who is served by programs for the homeless? Admission to a domiciliary care program for homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenheck, R; Leda, C

    1991-02-01

    Demographic and clinical data are presented on 4,138 veterans assessed in the 20-site Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans program during its first year of operation. More than two-thirds of the veterans who were screened had been hospitalized in VA medical centers during the year before assessment, and 34 percent were hospitalized at the time of assessment. Compared with veterans who were not admitted for residential treatment, veterans who were admitted were more likely to be previously involved in mental health treatment, literally homeless rather than at risk for homelessness, and without public financial support. Specialized service programs for the homeless such as the VA domiciliary care program may also be called on to play a broader role in the discharge and rehabilitative efforts of public mental health service systems.

  12. 78 FR 6405 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-30

    ... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA... Committee on Homeless Veterans will be held on February 13-15, 2013. On February 13, the Committee will meet... Department in assisting homeless Veterans. The Committee shall assemble and review information relating to...

  13. 76 FR 56881 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-14

    ... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA... Committee on Homeless Veterans will be held on September 20- 21, 2011. On September 20, the Committee will... services of the Department in assisting homeless Veterans. The Committee shall assemble and review...

  14. 78 FR 53820 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-30

    ... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA... Committee on Homeless Veterans will be held on September 11- 13, 2013, in the William Phillip King Room at..., organizational structures, and services of the Department in assisting homeless Veterans. The Committee shall...

  15. 75 FR 4453 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-27

    ... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA... Committee on Homeless Veterans will be held February 24-26, 2010, in the Lafayette Park Room at the Hamilton... services of the Department in assisting homeless Veterans. The Committee shall assemble and review...

  16. 76 FR 24087 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-29

    ... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA... Committee on Homeless Veterans will be held May 18-20, 2011, in the Harbor View Room at the Best Western Bay... services of the Department in assisting homeless Veterans. The Committee shall assemble and review...

  17. 76 FR 30244 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-24

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... provision of VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas, and discusses ways to improve and... Healthcare Coordinator, Montana and surrounding region rural health project managers, the Veterans Rural...

  18. 75 FR 39333 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-08

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... health care issues affecting enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas. The Committee examines programs and policies that impact the provision of VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas...

  19. Multiclonal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak and its control after use of the Veterans Affairs (VA) MRSA bundle in a VA long-term care facility, 2004-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Risa M; Denton, Carmelita; Spruill, Emily; Henson, Gay; Bruce, Lisa; Woods, Gail L; Swiatlo, Andrea; Walker, Erica D; Peel, Chere; Sullivan, Donna

    2016-06-01

    A multiclonal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak with 91 infections occurred in our Veterans Affairs (VA) community living center over 46 months. Both similar and unique strains were shown by repetitive polymerase chain reaction to contribute to the outbreak, including 1 strain causing infections over a 33-month period. Most infections were soft tissue infections (67%). For 21 months after the initiation of the VA MRSA bundle, no infections were identified, and low rates of infection have been sustained an additional 4 years. The average annual rate of MRSA infection decreased by 62% (P < .001) from 0.6 per 1,000 resident days for 4 years prior to the bundle implementation to 0.09 per 1,000 resident days for 4 years after the bundle implementation. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    and data analysis to the VBA and stakeholders. PA&I developed the VBA Enterprise Data Warehouse to enable the generation of recurring and ad hoc...reports in response to VBA decision-making and business needs. PA&I will be a primary source of information on Veteran education, vocational...Servicemembers UI Unemployment Insurance URL Uniform Resource Locator USB Under Secretary for Benefits VA Department of Veterans Affairs VBA Veterans

  1. Opioid medication use in patients with gastrointestinal diagnoses vs unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms in the US Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayuk, G S; Kanuri, N; Gyawali, C P; Gott, B M; Nix, B D; Rosenheck, R A

    2018-03-01

    While opioid prescriptions have increased alarmingly in the United States (US), their use for unexplained chronic gastrointestinal (GI) pain (eg, irritable bowel syndrome) carries an especially high risk for adverse effects and questionable benefit. To compare opioid use among US veterans with structural GI diagnoses (SGID) and those with unexplained GI symptoms or functional GI diagnoses (FGID), a group for whom opioids have no accepted role. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative data from fiscal year 2012 were used to identify veterans with diagnostic codes recorded for SGID and FGID. This cohort study examined VHA pharmacy data to compare groups receiving ≥ 1 opioid prescription during the year and number of prescriptions filled. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses adjusted for potential confounding factors (demographics, medical diagnoses, social factors) and identified potential mediators (service use, psychiatric comorbidity) of opioid use in these groups. A greater proportion of veterans with FGID received an opioid prescription during fiscal year 2012 (36.0% of 272 431) compared to only 28.9% of 1 223 744 in the SGID group (Relative Risk [RR] = 1.25). In multivariate logistic regression, personality disorders and drug abuse (OR 1.23 for each group), recent homelessness (OR 1.22), psychotropic medication fills (OR 1.55) and emergency department encounters (OR 1.21) were independently associated with opioid prescription use. Despite the potential for adverse consequences, opioids more often are prescribed for veterans with chronic, unexplained GI symptoms compared to those with structural diagnoses. Psychiatric comorbidities and frequent healthcare encounters mediate some of the opioid use risk. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. 38 CFR 17.101 - Collection or recovery by VA for medical care or services provided or furnished to a veteran for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... VA for medical care or services provided or furnished to a veteran for a nonservice-connected... MEDICAL Charges, Waivers, and Collections § 17.101 Collection or recovery by VA for medical care or... section covers collection or recovery by VA, under 38 U.S.C. 1729, for medical care or services provided...

  3. Challenges of Providing End-of-Life Care for Homeless Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutt, Evelyn; Whitfield, Emily; Min, Sung-Joon; Jones, Jacqueline; Weber, Mary; Albright, Karen; Levy, Cari; O'Toole, Thomas

    2016-05-01

    To describe challenges of caring for homeless veterans at end of life (EOL) as perceived by Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) homeless and EOL care staff. E-mail survey. Homelessness and EOL programs at VAMCs. Programs and their ratings of personal, structural, and clinical care challenges were described statistically. Homelessness and EOL program responses were compared in unadjusted analyses and using multivariable models. Of 152 VAMCs, 50 (33%) completed the survey. The VAMCs treated an average of 6.5 homeless veterans at EOL annually. Lack of appropriate housing was the most critical challenge. The EOL programs expressed somewhat more concern about lack of appropriate care site and care coordination than did homelessness programs. Personal, clinical, and structural challenges face care providers for veterans who are homeless at EOL. Deeper understanding of these challenges will require qualitative study of homeless veterans and care providers. © The Author(s) 2015.

  4. Achieving Medical Currency via Selected Staff Integration in Civilian and Veterans Administration Medical Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-01

    and the American College of Cardiology exist, their established standards are nonbinding. Instead, each state maintains a board of medical examiners... Congress of the United States, "Cornell University Law School U.S. Code 10 1074," 1 February 2010, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode10...DefenceInternet/DefenceFor/Jobseekers/CivilianC areers/SpecialistRecruitment.htm (accessed 28 January 2011). 32 26. Congress of the United States

  5. Comparison of Nutrition Profile and Diet Record Between Veteran and Nonveteran End-Stage Renal Disease Patients Receiving Hemodialysis in Veterans Affairs and Community Clinics in Metropolitan South-Central Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Sue E D; Verkaik, Darlene; Gross, Georgiana; Khazim, Khalid; Hirachan, Padam; Agarwal, Gurav; Lorenzo, Carlos; Matteucci, Elena; Bansal, Shweta; Fanti, Paolo

    2015-10-01

    U.S. military veterans have high rates of chronic disease and social disadvantage, which are risk factors for protein-energy wasting (PEW). It is not known whether this translates into high prevalence of PEW in veterans with end-stage renal disease. We compared the clinical, socioeconomic, and nutrition status and the diet of 33 veteran and 38 nonveteran clinically stable patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) in south-central Texas. The whole cohort included 82% Mexican Americans (MAs), 72% type 2 diabetics, and 73% males. The body mass index was 28.9 ± 6.2, while energy intake was 21.5 ± 8.2 kcal/kg/d and protein intake was 1.0 ± 0.4 g/kg/d. Serum albumin (bromocresol purple) was 3.5 ± 0.4 g/dL, transferrin was 171.9 ± 27.8 mg/d, C-reactive protein was 2.9 (1.4-6.5) mg/L, interleukin-6 (IL-6) was 8.3 (4.2-17.9) pg/mL, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin was 729 (552-1256) ng/mL, and the malnutrition-inflammation score was 8.8 ± 3.0. In group comparison that adjusted for sex and ethnicity, the veterans had better household income, less MAs (60% vs 100%), more males (94% vs 55%), more use of a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system blockade (66% vs 33%), and lower IL-6 levels (4.4 [3.1-5.8] vs 15.4 [8.3-20.5] pg/mL; P = .01) than nonveterans. In regression analysis, the lower serum IL-6 level in veterans was independently explained by dialysis clinic, sex, and, possibly, household income (intermediate significance). In a relatively small cohort of clinically stable MHD patients, the veterans showed equivalent nutrition status and dietary intake and less inflammation than the nonveterans, thus not supporting the possibility that veteran MHD patients may have worse nutrition than the nonveteran counterpart. © 2015 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

  6. Developing programs for homeless veterans: understanding driving forces in implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakashima, John; McGuire, Jim; Berman, Stephen; Daniels, William

    2004-01-01

    Between 1992 and 2003, services for homeless veterans at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System went from inappropriate utilization of hospital medical and psychiatric beds, to a continuum of residential treatment, transitional housing, and employment programs through arrangements with private agencies. The authors use elements of Hasenfeld and Brock's Political Economy Model (1991) to explain this transformation in service delivery that was spearheaded by a VA social work leadership team. It is argued that three driving forces crucial to program implementation were present: technological certainty, economic stability, and concentration of power. Evidence of the implementation's impact includes creation of new homeless program beds, a reduction in use of medical/psychiatric beds, and a large number of formerly homeless veterans with housing and employment at program discharge. Study limitations and implications for future studies are discussed.

  7. Health Hazard Evaluation Report HETA 91-395-2244, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Los Angeles, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelly, J.E.; Miller, A.

    1992-08-01

    In response to a request from an employee of the Veterans Administration Medical Center (SIC-8062), Los Angeles, California, an investigation was undertaken of exposures to chemicals in the laboratory department, excessive heat and humidity in the kitchen area of the dietetics department, and carbon-monoxide (630080) exposures inside the building. In three of five personal breathing zone samples taken in the histopathology laboratory, formaldehyde (50000) was detected at concentrations up to 0.17 part per million (ppm) and it was also present in all four of the area air samples at concentrations up to 1.1ppm. The predominant symptoms associated with work in the laboratory included occasional headaches and nose/throat irritation. Mild episodes of dermal irritation and rash were also reported. All carbon-monoxide levels were less than 5ppm. In the kitchens, relative humidity levels were below the recommended range. Temperatures were above the range of temperatures recommended for a medium level of work. The authors conclude that a potential carcinogenic risk existed for workers in laboratories which use formaldehyde. The authors recommend specific measures to lower the risk of formaldehyde exposures in the laboratory.

  8. 38 CFR 21.400 - Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Committee on Rehabilitation. 21.400 Section 21.400 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation § 21.400 Veterans...

  9. Teamwork and delegation in medical homes: primary care staff perspectives in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    True, Gala; Stewart, Greg L; Lampman, Michelle; Pelak, Mary; Solimeo, Samantha L

    2014-07-01

    The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) relies on a team approach to patient care. For organizations engaged in transitioning to a PCMH model, identifying and providing the resources needed to promote team functioning is essential. To describe team-level resources required to support PCMH team functioning within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and provide insight into how the presence or absence of these resources facilitates or impedes within-team delegation. Semi-structured interviews with members of pilot teams engaged in PCMH implementation in 77 primary care clinics serving over 300,000 patients across two VHA regions covering the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest United States. A purposive sample of 101 core members of pilot teams, including 32 primary care providers, 42 registered nurse care managers, 15 clinical associates, and 12 clerical associates. Investigators from two evaluation sites interviewed frontline primary care staff separately, and then collaborated on joint analysis of parallel data to develop a broad, comprehensive understanding of global themes impacting team functioning and within-team delegation. We describe four themes key to understanding how resources at the team level supported ability of primary care staff to work as effective, engaged teams. Team-based task delegation was facilitated by demarcated boundaries and collective identity; shared goals and sense of purpose; mature and open communication characterized by psychological safety; and ongoing, intentional role negotiation. Our findings provide a framework for organizations to identify assets already in place to support team functioning, as well as areas in need of improvement. For teams struggling to make practice changes, our results indicate key areas where they may benefit from future support. In addition, this research sheds light on how variation in medical home implementation and outcomes may be associated with variation in team-based task delegation.

  10. The impact of Agent Orange exposure on prognosis and management in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a National Veteran Affairs Tumor Registry Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Craig; Gilbertson, David; Randall, Nicole M; Tarchand, Gobind; Tomaska, Julie; Baumann Kreuziger, Lisa; Morrison, Vicki A

    2017-09-14

    Exposure to Agent Orange (AO) has been associated with the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We performed a retrospective study of 2052 Vietnam veterans identified in the National VA Tumor Registry to assess the impact of AO exposure on CLL prognosis, treatment and survival. Prognostic factors did not differ based on exposure. Veterans exposed to AO were diagnosed younger (63.2 vs. 70.5 years, p < .0001) and had longer overall survival (median not reached vs. 91 months, p < .001). This prolonged survival was in the subgroups of patients aged 60-69 years (p< .0001) and those with 11q deletion (p < .0001). Those exposed to AO were more likely to be treated with fludarabine, chlorambucil and rituximab (38 vs. 21%, p < .001) and bendamustine plus rituximab (25 vs. 18%, p = 0.039) as first line therapy. Exposure to AO was not associated with either poor prognostic factors or shortened overall survival in our large veteran population with CLL.

  11. Health care for homeless veterans. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-23

    This final rule establishes regulations for contracting with community-based treatment facilities in the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The HCHV program assists certain homeless veterans in obtaining treatment from non-VA community-based providers. The final rule formalizes VA's policies and procedures in connection with this program and clarifies that veterans with substance use disorders may qualify for the program.

  12. Characteristics and Use of Services Among Literally Homeless and Unstably Housed U.S. Veterans With Custody of Minor Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A; Kasprow, Wesley J; Kane, Vincent

    2015-10-01

    The study examined the number of homeless veterans with minor children in their custody ("children in custody"), compared sociodemographic and clinical characteristics among homeless veterans with and without children in custody, and observed differences in referral and admission patterns among veterans with and without children in custody for a variety of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs for homeless veterans. Data were obtained from the VA Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System for 89,142 literally homeless and unstably housed veterans. Sociodemographic, housing, health, and psychosocial characteristics of veterans were analyzed. Among literally homeless veterans, 9% of men and 30% of women had children in custody; among unstably housed veterans, 18% of men and 45% of women had children in custody. Both male and female veterans with children in custody were younger and less likely to have chronic general medical conditions and psychiatric disorders compared with other veterans, but, notably, 11% of homeless veterans with children in custody had psychotic disorders. Veterans with children in custody were more likely than other veterans to be referred and admitted to the VA's permanent supported housing program, and women were more likely than men to be admitted to the program. A substantial proportion of homeless veterans served by the VA have severe mental illness and children in custody, which raises concerns about the parenting environment for their children. Particular focus should be directed at VA's supported-housing program, and the practical and ethical implications of serving homeless parents and their children need to be considered.

  13. Services utilization among recently homeless veterans: a gender-based comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Byrne, Thomas H

    2014-03-01

    As women emerge as a significant segment of the Veteran population, there is a need to understand how they enter the homeless system, the impact of homelessness on healthcare, and how this varies by gender. This study provides a gender-based comparison of Veterans' utilization of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health and behavioral health services following the onset of a homeless episode and assesses the relationship between services utilization and Veterans' entry into the homeless system. Male and female veterans were equally as likely to use mainstream and VA homeless services. There were few differences between genders in inpatient services use following a homeless episode. Men used more substance abuse outpatient treatment and emergency services whereas women used outpatient medical treatment. Veterans who sought non-VA homeless services were less likely to use outpatient services but more likely to access emergency services. Veterans experiencing homelessness who do not use VA homeless assistance services are less engaged with preventative VA health and behavioral healthcare. Veterans who are homeless but not identified as such by VA, particularly women, need additional engagement. Ongoing study of gender-based differences in services utilization among homeless and at-risk Veterans is needed. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  14. Mental health utilization among older Veterans with coexisting depression and dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A DiNapoli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: We compared mental health service utilization among older, depressed Veterans (60 years or older with and without coexisting dementia. Methods: This retrospective study examined data from the 2010 Veterans Health Administration National Patient Care Database outpatient treatment files of Veterans with a newly recognized diagnosis of depression (N = 177,710. Results: Approximately 48.84% with coexisting depression and dementia and 32.00% with depression only received mental health services within 12 months of diagnosis (p < .0001. Veterans with coexisting depression and dementia were more likely to receive medication-management appointments (33.40% vs 20.62%, individual therapy (13.39% vs 10.91%, and family therapy (3.77% vs 1.19% than depressed Veterans without dementia. Conclusion: In general, Veterans with recently diagnosed depression are significantly underusing Veterans Affairs mental health treatment services. Those Veterans who have comorbid dementia are more likely than those with just depression to be enrolled in mental health treatments. Systemic improvements are needed to increase use of mental health services for older, depressed Veterans.

  15. The patient-centered medical home in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosland, Ann-Marie; Nelson, Karin; Sun, Haili; Dolan, Emily D; Maynard, Charles; Bryson, Christopher; Stark, Richard; Shear, Joanne M; Kerr, Eve; Fihn, Stephan D; Schectman, Gordon

    2013-07-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated US health system to implement the patient-centered medical home. The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) initiative (implemented 2010-2014) aims to achieve team based care, improved access, and care management for more than 5 million primary care patients nationwide. To describe PACT and evaluate interim changes in PACT-related care processes. Data from the VHA Corporate Data Warehouse were obtained from April 2009 (pre- PACT) to September 2012. All patients assigned to a primary care provider (PCP) at all VHA facilities were included. Nonparametric tests of trend across time points. VHA increased primary care staff levels from April 2010 to December 2011 (2.3 to 3.0 staff per PCP full-time equivalent). In-person PCP visit rates slightly decreased from April 2009 to April 2012 (53 to 43 per 100 patients per calendar quarter; P < .01), while in-person nurse encounter rates remained steady. Large increases were seen in phone encounters (2.7 to 28.8 per 100 patients per quarter; P < .01), enhanced personal health record use (3% to 13% of patients enrolled), and electronic messaging to providers (0.01% to 2.3% of patients per quarter). Post hospitalization follow-up improved (6.6% to 61% of VA hospital discharges), but home telemonitoring (0.8% to 1.4% of patients) and group visits (0.2 to 0.65 per 100 patients per quarter; P < .01) grew slowly. Thirty months into PACT, primary care staff levels and phone and electronic encounters have greatly increased; other changes have been positive but slower.

  16. Evaluation of Cholesterol as a Biomarker for Suicidality in a Veteran Sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Chuck; Caldwell, Barbara; Basehore, Heather

    2017-08-01

    A reduction in total cholesterol may alter the microviscosity of the brain-cell-membrane, reducing serotonin receptor exposure. The resulting imbalance between serotonin and dopamine may lead to an increased risk for suicidality. The objective of this research was to evaluate total cholesterol as a biological marker for suicidality in a sample of US military veterans. The study population consisted of veterans who received care at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and were included in the Suicide Prevention Coordinator's database for having suicidal ideation with evidence of escalating intent, a documented suicide attempt, or committed suicide between 2009 and 2015. The veterans' medical data were obtained from the facility's computerized patient record system. The final sample was 188 observations from 128 unique veterans. Veterans with total cholesterol levels below 168 mg/dl appeared to have a higher suicide risk than those with higher levels. The cholesterol levels of veterans reporting suicidal ideation or attempt were significantly lower than the group reporting neither [F(2, 185) = 30.19, p cholesterol levels from an earlier visit in which they did not report suicidality. A latent class analysis revealed that among other differences, suicidal veterans were younger, leaner, and had more anxiety, sleep problems, and higher education than those being seen for an issue unrelated to suicidality. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Effects of hospital procedure volume and resident training on clinical outcomes and resource use in radical retropubic prostatectomy surgery in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ku, Tse-Sun; Kane, Christopher J; Sen, Saunak; Henderson, William G; Dudley, R Adams; Cason, Brian A

    2008-01-01

    In this retrospective cohort study we used data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program of the Veterans Health Administration to examine the effect of case volume and resident participation on radical retropubic prostatectomy outcomes. The study population included 5,736 patients who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy in Veterans Administration hospitals between October 1, 2001 and September 30, 2004. Resource related outcomes included operative times and length of stay. Clinical outcomes included blood transfusion, complications, readmissions and reoperations. Hierarchical multivariate regression models were developed to predict outcomes. Risk adjustment was performed using patient chronic health factors and results of preoperative laboratory testing. A total of 5,070 radical retropubic prostatectomy surgeries met inclusion criteria. After adjustment for case mix, academic training institutions had longer operative times (3.2 vs 2.4 hours, p <0.01) but shorter length of stay (3.4 vs 4.2 days, p <0.01). Surgery at academic institutions was not associated with greater risk of transfusion (p = 0.36), reoperation (p = 0.93), complications (p = 0.53) or readmissions (p = 0.97). However, among the academic institutions low vs high hospital radical retropubic prostatectomy volume was associated with longer length of stay (3.7 vs 3.1 days, p = 0.02) and higher transfusion rate (29.6% vs 18.2%, p = 0.02). Substantial clustering of outcomes at the hospital level was observed. Within the Veterans Administration system academic training institutions have longer operative times for radical retropubic prostatectomy, but shorter length of stay. Among the same institutions, high volume hospitals tend to have lower transfusion rates and shorter length of stay. Clustering of outcomes at the hospital level suggests that unmeasured institutional factors are key determinants of clinical and resource related outcomes.

  18. Adherence and systemic reaction rates to allergy immunotherapy among veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellenburg, Joseph T; Lieberman, Jay A; Pattanaik, Debendra

    2016-01-01

    Although allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is effective and safe, nonadherence is common. Limited data exist regarding adherence to AIT, factors that affect adherence, and systemic reactions associated with AIT among veteran populations. To evaluate adherence to AIT and the prevalence of reactions secondary to AIT among patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee. A retrospective chart review was performed of veterans who received AIT at a single Veterans Affairs facility. Age, race, sex, the total number of shots, travel distance, a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the number of severe adverse reactions were compared between the veterans who were adherent and veterans who were nonadherent. The overall adherence rate was 60.9%. Factors associated with adherence were a chart diagnosis of PTSD (29.3% [adherent group] versus 13.6% [nonadherent group]; p = 0.03) and home residence being a further distance from the facility (21.9 miles / 35.2 kilometers [adherent group] versus 18.0 miles / 28.9 kilometers [nonadherent group]; p = 0.03). Patients who were adherent received an average of more total injections compared with patients who were nonadherent. Age, sex, race, and history of systemic reactions during AIT displayed no statistically significant differences between the groups. There were a total of 20 systemic reactions, and the systemic reaction rate was 0.2% per AIT encounter and 0.1% per injection. AIT adherence and systemic reaction rates among veterans at our facility was comparable with similar studies. Adherence was associated with a chart diagnosis of PTSD and home residence that was further away from the clinic.

  19. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism A1298C (Glu429Ala) predicts decline in renal function over time in the African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial and Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Maple M; Salem, Rany M; Lipkowitz, Michael S; Bhatnagar, Vibha; Pandey, Braj; Schork, Nicholas J; O'Connor, Daniel T

    2012-01-01

    Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with increased venous thrombosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Mutations in the human methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene have been associated with increased homocysteine levels and risks of CVD in various populations including those with kidney disease. Here, we evaluated the influence of MTHFR variants on progressive loss of kidney function. We analyzed 821 subjects with hypertensive nephrosclerosis from the longitudinal National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial to determine whether decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) over ∼4.2 years was predicted by common genetic variation within MTHFR at non-synonymous positions C677T (Ala222Val) and A1298C (Glu429Ala) or by MTHFR haplotypes. The effect on GFR decline was then supported by a study of 1333 subjects from the San Diego Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC), followed over ∼4.5 years. Linear effect models were utilized to determine both genotype [single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)] and genotype (SNP)-by-time interactions. In AASK, the polymorphism at A1298C predicted the rate of GFR decline: A1298/A1298 major allele homozygosity resulted in a less pronounced decline of GFR, with a significant SNP-by-time interaction. An independent follow-up study in the San Diego VAHC subjects supports that A1298/A1298 homozygotes have the greatest estimated GFR throughout the study. Haplotype analysis with C677T yielded concurring results. We conclude that the MTHFR-coding polymorphism at A1298C is associated with renal decline in African-Americans with hypertensive nephrosclerosis and is supported by a veteran cohort with a primary care diagnosis of hypertension. Further investigation is needed to confirm such findings and to determine what molecular mechanism may contribute to this association.

  20. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism A1298C (Glu429Ala) predicts decline in renal function over time in the African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial and Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salem, Rany M.; Lipkowitz, Michael S.; Bhatnagar, Vibha; Pandey, Braj; Schork, Nicholas J.; O’Connor, Daniel T.

    2012-01-01

    Background. Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with increased venous thrombosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Mutations in the human methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene have been associated with increased homocysteine levels and risks of CVD in various populations including those with kidney disease. Here, we evaluated the influence of MTHFR variants on progressive loss of kidney function. Methods. We analyzed 821 subjects with hypertensive nephrosclerosis from the longitudinal National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial to determine whether decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) over ∼4.2 years was predicted by common genetic variation within MTHFR at non-synonymous positions C677T (Ala222Val) and A1298C (Glu429Ala) or by MTHFR haplotypes. The effect on GFR decline was then supported by a study of 1333 subjects from the San Diego Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC), followed over ∼4.5 years. Linear effect models were utilized to determine both genotype [single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)] and genotype (SNP)-by-time interactions. Results. In AASK, the polymorphism at A1298C predicted the rate of GFR decline: A1298/A1298 major allele homozygosity resulted in a less pronounced decline of GFR, with a significant SNP-by-time interaction. An independent follow-up study in the San Diego VAHC subjects supports that A1298/A1298 homozygotes have the greatest estimated GFR throughout the study. Haplotype analysis with C677T yielded concurring results. Conclusion. We conclude that the MTHFR-coding polymorphism at A1298C is associated with renal decline in African-Americans with hypertensive nephrosclerosis and is supported by a veteran cohort with a primary care diagnosis of hypertension. Further investigation is needed to confirm such findings and to determine what molecular mechanism may contribute to this association. PMID:21613384

  1. The Application of Strategic Planning Tools for Enhanced Palliative Care Services at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mylan, Marci M

    2005-01-01

    .... Using selected strategic planning tools, the study examined the gaps in services by gathering staff opinions, examining local statistics regarding end-of-life care, and looking at community and national trends...

  2. 75 FR 81335 - Reasonable Charges for Medical Care or Services; 2011 Calendar Year Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-27

    ... AFFAIRS Reasonable Charges for Medical Care or Services; 2011 Calendar Year Update AGENCY: Department of... medical care or services provided or furnished by VA to a veteran for: (1) A non service-connected... regulations concerning ``reasonable charges'' for medical care or services provided or furnished by VA to a...

  3. Evolution of faculty affairs and faculty development offices in U.S. medical schools: a 10-year follow-up survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnino, Roberta E; Reznik, Vivian; Thorndyke, Luanne A; Chatterjee, Archana; Ríos-Bedoya, Carlos F; Mylona, Elza; Nelson, Kathleen G; Weisman, Carol S; Morahan, Page S; Wadland, William C

    2013-09-01

    To determine how U.S. MD-granting medical schools manage, fund, and evaluate faculty affairs/development functions and to determine the evolution of these offices between 2000 and 2010. In December 2010, the authors invited faculty affairs designees at 131 U.S. MD-granting medical schools to complete a questionnaire developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Faculty Affairs, based on a 2000 survey. Schools were asked about core functions, budget, staffing, and performance metrics. The authors analyzed the data using descriptive statistics. A total of 111 schools (84.7%) responded. Fifty percent of the offices were established since 2000. Seventy-eight percent reported their top core function as administrative support for appointments, promotions, and tenure, as in 2000. Faculty policies, appointments, databases, governance support, grievance proceedings, management issues, and annual trend analyses continued as major functions. All 11 core functions identified in 2000 remain predominantly provided by central offices of faculty affairs, except support of major leadership searches. Web site communication emerged as a new core function. Similar to 2000, several other offices were responsible for some faculty development functions. Office size and budget correlated positively with size of the faculty and age of the office (P < .05 for all). Thirty-five schools (31.5%) reported formally evaluating their faculty affairs office. The number of faculty affairs offices and their responsibilities have substantially increased since 2000. Most major core functions have not changed. These offices are now an established part of the central administration of most medical schools.

  4. Medical liability and orthopaedic trauma: history and current state of affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundy, Douglas W

    2014-10-01

    Orthopaedic trauma has been associated with the history of medical liability all the way back to the dark ages and the bubonic plague. Caps on noneconomic damages and other reforms have been challenged in many states, and an innovative approach to medical liability reform must be developed within the medical profession and the various legislatures. Orthopaedic trauma surgeons have a unique perspective in that they perform a critical service to the community, however they are often deprived of the benefit of preoperative risk reduction best practices because of the critical needs of the patients. Orthopaedic trauma surgeons must advocate for effective medical liability reforms.

  5. Health Care for Homeless Veterans program. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its medical regulations concerning eligibility for the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program. The HCHV program provides per diem payments to non-VA community-based facilities that provide housing, outreach services, case management services, and rehabilitative services, and may provide care and/or treatment to homeless veterans who are enrolled in or eligible for VA health care. The rule modifies VA's HCHV regulations to conform to changes enacted in the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. Specifically, the rule removes the requirement that homeless veterans be diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder to qualify for the HCHV program. This change makes the program available to all homeless veterans who are enrolled in or eligible for VA health care. The rule also updates the definition of homeless to match in part the one used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The rule further clarifies that the services provided by the HCHV program through non-VA community-based providers must include case management services, including non-clinical case management, as appropriate.

  6. Evaluation of US Veterans Nutrition Education for Diabetes Prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Megan; Braun, Katie; List, Riesa; Utech, Anne; Moore, Carolyn; White, Donna L; Garcia, Jose M

    2016-09-01

    Evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition education interventions for diabetes prevention. Retrospective cohort design. Tertiary-care US Veterans' Hospital, July 2007 to July 2012, using pre-existing database. Prediabetic, adult veterans (n = 372), mostly men (94.4%, n = 351). Visits with existing nutrition education classes were collected. diabetes status; predictors: visits/encounters, age, body mass index, weight change, and hemoglobin A1c. Cox proportional hazards method, χ(2) test, and logistic regression. In this sample, prediabetic veterans who received nutrition education were less likely to develop diabetes when compared with prediabetic veterans who did not receive nutrition education (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.55-0.92; P Nutrition education was significantly associated with preventing the progression from prediabetes to diabetes in US Veterans participating in a nutrition education intervention at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Copyright © 2016 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. All rights reserved.

  7. Clinical research: assessing the future in a changing environment; summary report of conference sponsored by the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs, Washington, DC, March 1996.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M; Genel, M; Altman, R D; Williams, M A; Allen, J R

    1998-03-01

    Concerns about funding of clinical research underlie all other problems identified at the Council on Scientific Affairs conference. Future National Institutes of Health (NIH) budgets are likely to be constant at best, and the general public expects cost containment to be an ongoing goal; this is exacerbated by the impending Medicare Trust Fund crisis. Meanwhile, traditional financial support of clinical research in academic medical centers (AMCs) through cross-subsidization is imperiled by competitive pressures largely caused by managed care. Although managed care organizations (MCOs) are potentially rich sources of funding and other resources, and some not-for-profit companies are conducting some research, for-profit MCOs have not demonstrated an understanding of the importance of clinical research. Young physicians are being discouraged from careers as clinical researchers and established investigators are "dropping out" because of demands for clinical productivity and competition for research grants, loss of patients/research subjects to managed care, perceived lack of status and compensation, and overall uncertainty about continued financial support. Efforts to assist current and potential clinical investigators are discussed in this report. Loss of patients, denial of reimbursement, and competition with MCOs and contract research organizations (CROs) have placed AMCs under unprecedented pressure. However, research centers located in AMCs have allowed investigators to conduct clinical research by providing a "protected environment." Furthermore, many AMCs are determined to continue conducting clinical research and are addressing related problems. Although the NIH will continue to be a major source of funding for clinical research, partnerships between various private and public entities provide important opportunities to maximize the productivity of all individuals and institutions involved. Potential partnerships include MCOs, AMCs, CROs, pharmaceutical

  8. FDA regulatory affairs: a guide for prescription drugs, medical devices, and biologics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mantus, David; Pisano, Douglas J

    2008-01-01

    ...: A Guide for Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices, and Biologics, Second Edition are covered in a straightforward format. It is a compilation and commentary of selected laws and regulations pertaining to the development and approval of drugs, biologics, and medical devices in the United States. It is not intended to take the place of an actual r...

  9. The department of veterans affairs nutritional status classification scheme allows for rapid assessment of nutritional status prior to autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation and identifies patients at high risk of transplant-related complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toro, Juan J; Haile, David J; Chao, Ju-Hsien; Schneider, Deanna; Jewell, Pamela S; Lee, Shuko; Freytes, César O

    2009-09-01

    The nutritional assessment of patients prior to autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (APBSCT) is labor intensive. A simple method of nutritional assessment prior to APSCT would be extremely helpful, especially if this method could identify patients at high risk of transplant-related complications. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) developed a Nutritional Status Classification Scheme (NSCS) to identify nutritionally compromised inpatients rapidly and reliably. The objective of this study was to determine if the use of the VA-NSCS could be utilized as a tool for the evaluation of patients prior to APBSCT and to determine if this tool could be used to identify patients at high risk of transplant-related complications. The nutritional status of 128 patients who underwent APBSCT was assessed by a registered dietician, utilizing the VA-NSCS, upon admission to the hospital and prior to conditioning regimen. Patients with moderately compromised nutritional status pretransplantation experienced a higher incidence of infections, longer duration of diarrhea, and longer length of hospital stay when compared to patients with normal or mildly compromised nutritional status. Our study demonstrates that the VA-NSCS, a simple and inexpensive tool to assess nutritional status, was useful in determining the pretransplant nutritional status of patients with lymphogenous malignancies who underwent APBSCT. In addition, this method was able to identify patients at a higher risk of posttransplant complications. Future studies should be undertaken to determine the optimal method for the nutritional assessment of autologous stem cell transplant candidates.

  10. Comparing the health status of VA and non-VA ambulatory patients: the veterans' health and medical outcomes studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, William H; Kazis, Lewis E; Miller, Donald R; Skinner, Katherine M; Clark, Jack A; Spiro, Avron; Fincke, R Graeme

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare health status and disease profiles of ambulatory patients in specific Veterans Administration (VA) and civilian healthcare settings. A random sample of 2425 male veterans seeking care at 4 Boston-area VA outpatient clinics, who took part in the Veterans Health Study (VHS) in 1993-1995, were compared to 1318 male patients seeking civilian outpatient care in 3 major metropolitan areas covered in the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) in 1986. The MOS sampled patients who had 1 of 5 conditions--hypertension, noninsulin-dependent diabetes, recent myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, or depression. These 2 samples were age adjusted and compared in terms of the SF-36 Health Status/Quality of Life measures, and a list of 100 clinical variables (diagnostic, symptom, and medical event reports) collected with comparable instruments by a trained clinical observer. Individual odds ratios (VHS to MOS) were calculated for each measure and clinical variables. SF-36 measures of patient health in the VHS were lower than those in the MOS by more than one half of a standard deviation (SD) on 4 of 8 scales, by more than one quarter of a SD on the other 4, by 58% of a SD on the physical health summary scale, and by 37% of a SD on the mental health summary scale (P illness burden than did patients in the MOS. Current economic condition and service-connected disability explain most, if not all, of the differences. The differences were clinically and socially meaningful and would be consistent with substantially higher expected healthcare use.

  11. Higher Education Benefits for Post-9/11 Military Service Members and Veterans. Testimony. CT-428

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Gabriella C.; Miller, Laura L.; Buryk, Peter; Wenger, Jennie W.

    2015-01-01

    This testimony was presented before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on March 17, 2015. To inform the Subcommittee hearing on the Department of Veterans Affairs' administration of its education programs, and the educational and training needs of post-9/11 veterans, the presenters offered the statement in…

  12. 78 FR 48543 - Veterans Health Administration Fund Availability Under the VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-08

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans Health Administration Fund Availability Under the VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per... continue to deliver services to the homeless Special Need veteran population as outlined in their FY 2009.... Quarles, Director, VA's Homeless Providers GPD Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, 10770 N. 46th...

  13. 77 FR 37839 - Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-25

    ... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO24 Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension... Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations governing eligibility for Veterans' Group Life Insurance... indicate that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO24--Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No...

  14. 38 CFR 1.575 - Social security numbers in veterans' benefits matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Social security numbers... Affairs Records § 1.575 Social security numbers in veterans' benefits matters. (a) Except as provided in... because of refusal to disclose to the Department of Veterans Affairs a social security number. (b) VA...

  15. 77 FR 30593 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-23

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... Friday, June 22, 2012, in Room GL20 of the Office of Rural Health (ORH), 1722 I Street NW., Washington... on health care issues affecting enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas. The Committee examines...

  16. 77 FR 77185 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-31

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... Tuesday, January ] 29, 2013, in Room GL20 of the Office of Rural Health (ORH), 1722 I Street, NW... on health care issues affecting enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas. The Committee examines...

  17. 76 FR 60965 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas, and discusses ways to improve and...HealthyVet; and Office of Rural Health. In the afternoon, the Committee ] will receive a briefing on the...

  18. 76 FR 44091 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... AFFAIRS Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The...) that the Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee will conduct a teleconference call meeting on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in Room GL20 of the Office of Rural Health, 1722 I Street...

  19. 75 FR 61574 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-05

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... policies that impact the provision of VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas, and... Committee will hear from its Chairman, ] the Director of the VA Office of Rural Health and the VA Under...

  20. 77 FR 75499 - Reasonable Charges for Medical Care or Services; V3.12, 2013 Calendar Year Update and National...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-20

    ... AFFAIRS Reasonable Charges for Medical Care or Services; V3.12, 2013 Calendar Year Update and National... for calculating the ``Reasonable Charges'' collected or recovered by VA for medical care or services... ``Reasonable Charges'' for medical care or services provided or furnished by VA to a veteran for: (1) A...

  1. Physical Health Conditions Among a Population-Based Cohort of Vietnam-Era Women Veterans: Agreement Between Self-Report and Medical Records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbourne, Amy M; Schumacher, Karen; Frayne, Susan M; Cypel, Yasmin; Barbaresso, Michelle M; Nord, Kristina M; Perzhinsky, Juliette; Lai, Zongshan; Prenovost, Katherine; Spiro, Avron; Gleason, Theresa C; Kimerling, Rachel; Huang, Grant D; Serpi, Tracey B; Magruder, Kathryn M

    2017-11-01

    Little is known about medical morbidity among women Vietnam-era veterans, or the long-term physical health problems associated with their service. This study assessed agreement comparing data on physical health conditions from self-report and medical records from a population-based cohort of women Vietnam-era Veterans from the Health of Vietnam Era Women's Study (HealthViEWS). Women Vietnam-era veterans (n = 4219) self-completed a survey and interview on common medical conditions. A subsample (n = 900) were contacted to provide permission to obtain medical records from as many as three of their providers. Medical record reviews were conducted using a standardized checklist. Agreement and kappa (agreement beyond chance) were calculated for physical health condition groups. Of the 900, 449 had medical records returned, and of those, 412 had complete surveys/interviews. The most commonly reported conditions based on self-report or medical record review included hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or arthritis. Kappa scores between self-reported conditions and medical record documentation were 0.75-0.91 for hypertension, diabetes, most cancers, and neurological conditions, but lower (k = 0.29-0.55) for cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal conditions. Generally, agreement did not significantly vary by different sociodemographic groups. There was relatively high agreement for physical health conditions when self-report was compared with medical record review. As more women are increasingly represented in the military and more veterans in general seek care outside the Veterans Health Administration, accurate measurement of physical health conditions among population-based samples is crucial.

  2. Are non-allergic drug reactions commonly documented as medication "allergies"? A national cohort of Veterans' admissions from 2000 to 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConeghy, Kevin W; Caffrey, Aisling R; Morrill, Haley J; Trivedi, Amal N; LaPlante, Kerry L

    2017-04-01

    Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) including medication allergies are not well-described among large national cohorts. This study described the most common documented medication allergies and their reactions among a national cohort of Veterans Affairs (VA) inpatients. We evaluated inpatient admissions in any VA Medical Center from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2014. Each admission was linked with allergy history preceding or upon admission. Individual drugs were aggregated into drug class category including: penicillins, sulfonamides, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, opiates, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors ("statins") and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory inhibitors (NSAID). Results were reported in aggregate and over time. Approximately ~10.8 million inpatient admissions occurred from 2000 to 2014. We found the most commonly reported allergy drug classes were penicillins (13%, n = 1 410 080), opiates (9.1%, n = 984 978), ACE inhibitors (5.7%, n = 618 075) sulfonamides (5.1%, n = 558 653), NSAIDs (5.1%, n = 551 216) and statins (3.6%, n = 391 983). Several allergy histories increased over time including opiates (6.2 to 11.2%), ACE inhibitors (1.3 to 10.2%), statins (0.3 to 7.3%) and NSAIDs (3.9 to 6.0%). Rash was the most commonly documented reaction on reports for penicillins (25.5%, n = 371 825), sulfonamides (25.6%, n = 165 954) and NSAIDs (10.3%, n = 65 741). The most common reaction for opiates was nausea/vomiting (17.9%, n = 211 864), cough/coughing for ACE inhibitors (41.0%, n = 270 537) and muscle pain/myalgia for statins (34.1%, n = 186 565). We report that penicillins and opiates are the most commonly documented drug allergies among VA inpatients, but other drug classes such as ACE inhibitors, statins and NSAIDs are becoming increasingly common. Clinicians also commonly document non-allergic ADRs in the allergy section such as cough or myalgia. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley

  3. Tobacco use among Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans: a qualitative study of barriers, facilitators, and treatment preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gierisch, Jennifer M; Straits-Tröster, Kristy; Calhoun, Patrick S; Beckham, Jean C; Acheson, Shawn; Hamlett-Berry, Kim

    2012-01-01

    Military service and combat exposure are risk factors for smoking. Although evidence suggests that veterans are interested in tobacco use cessation, little is known about their reasons for quitting, treatment preferences, and perceived barriers to effective tobacco use cessation treatment. Our study objective was to elicit perspectives of Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans who had not yet quit smoking postdeployment to inform the development of smoking cessation services for this veteran cohort. We conducted 3 focus groups among 20 participants in October 2006 at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center to explore issues on tobacco use and smoking cessation for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans who continued to smoke postdeployment. We used qualitative content analysis to identify major themes and organize data. Veterans expressed the belief that smoking was a normalized part of military life and described multiple perceived benefits of smoking. Although veterans expressed a high level of interest in quitting, they listed several behavioral, situational, and environmental triggers that derailed smoking cessation. They expressed interest in such cessation treatment features as flexible scheduling, free nicotine replacement therapy, peer support, and family inclusion in treatment. Our results indicate that the newest cohort of veterans perceives smoking as endemic in military service. However, they want to quit smoking and identified several personal and environmental obstacles that make smoking cessation difficult. Our findings may inform programmatic efforts to increase successful quit attempts in this unique veteran population.

  4. Correlates of Initiation of Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C Infection in United States Veterans, 2004-2009.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adi V Gundlapalli

    Full Text Available We describe the rates and predictors of initiation of treatment for chronic hepatitis C (HCV infection in a large cohort of HCV positive Veterans seen in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA facilities between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2009. In addition, we identify the relationship between homelessness among these Veterans and treatment initiation. Univariate and multivariable Cox Proportional Hazards regression models with time-varying covariates were used to identify predictors of initiation of treatment with pegylated interferon alpha plus ribavirin. Of the 101,444 HCV treatment-naïve Veterans during the study period, rates of initiation of treatment among homeless and non-homeless Veterans with HCV were low and clinically similar (6.2% vs. 7.4%, p<0.0001. For all U.S. Veterans, being diagnosed with genotype 2 or 3, black or other/unknown race, having Medicare or other insurance increased the risk of treatment. Veterans with age ≥50 years, drug abuse, diabetes, and hemoglobin < 10 g/dL showed lower rates of treatment. Initiation of treatment for HCV in homeless Veterans is low; similar factors predicted initiation of treatment. Additionally, exposure to treatment with medications for diabetes predicted lower rates of treatment. As newer therapies become available for HCV, these results may inform further studies and guide strategies to increase treatment rates in all U.S. Veterans and those who experience homelessness.

  5. Medical, psychiatric and demographic factors associated with suicidal behavior in homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Gerald; Luther, James Francis; Haas, Gretchen Louise

    2012-08-30

    This study assessed potential for suicidal behaviors associated with sociodemographic, predisposing physical and mental health factors and self-reported psychological problems among homeless veterans in a large northeastern region. Data were obtained from a demographic and clinical history interview conducted with 3595 homeless veterans. Odds-ratio (OR) statistics were used to assess potential for suicidal behavior. Statistically significant ratios were similar for ideation and attempts. The highest ratios were for self-report of depression and difficulty controlling violence, but statistically significant ratios were found for reporting sleeping in a treatment facility the night before the interview, receiving VA support for a psychiatric condition, and the diagnoses of Alcoholism, Mood Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Low but statistically significant odds-ratios were obtained for most of the physical health items. A negative odds-ratio was obtained for African-American ethnicity. Logistic regression results indicated that for ideation and attempts items entered first involved subjective report of trouble controlling violent behavior and experiencing depression. High odds ratios for the interview items concerning experiencing serious depression and having difficulties controlling violence may have strong implications for treatment and management of homeless veterans. There may be up to 14-1 odds that an individual who reports being seriously depressed or having difficulty inhibiting aggression may have a serious potential for suicidal behaviors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  6. Nicotine dependence and its risk factors among users of veterans health services, 2008-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Edens, Ellen L; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2011-11-01

    Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and is disproportionately higher among veterans than nonveterans. We examined the prevalence of nicotine dependence and its associated risk factors among veterans who used health services in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Using a case-control design, we compared all VA health service users in fiscal year 2008-2009 (N = 5,031,381) who received a nicotine dependence diagnosis with those who did not. Independent risk and protective factors associated with receiving a nicotine dependence diagnosis were identified using logistic regression analysis. We conducted subgroup analyses on 2 groups of particular policy concern: homeless veterans and veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among all recent VA health service users, 15% (n = 749,353) received a diagnosis of nicotine dependence. Substance abuse, other mental health diagnoses, and homelessness were identified as major risk factors. Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were not found to be at increased risk compared to veterans from other war eras. Major risk and protective factors within the subgroups of homeless veterans and veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were broadly similar to those in the general VA population. Given that other studies have found higher rates of nicotine dependence among veterans, this risk behavior may be underdiagnosed in VA medical records. Veterans who are homeless or have mental health or substance abuse problems are at highest risk and should be targeted for smoking prevention and cessation interventions. These results support, in principle, efforts to integrate smoking cessation programs with mental health and homeless services.

  7. Rural women veterans demographic report: defining VA users' health and health care access in rural areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Elizabeth; Dailey, Nancy; Bair, Byron; Shore, Jay

    2014-01-01

    While many women choose to live in rural areas after retiring from active military duty, a paucity of studies examine rural women veterans' health care needs. This report is the first of its kind to describe the population demographics and health care utilization of rural female veteran patients enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Using the National Patient Care Datasets (n = 327,785), we ran adjusted regression analyses to examine service utilization between (1) urban and rural and (2) urban and highly rural women veterans. Rural and highly rural women veterans were older and more likely to be married than their urban counterparts. Diagnostic rates were generally similar between groups for several mental health disorders, hypertension, and diabetes, with the exception of nonposttraumatic stress anxiety that was significantly lower for highly rural women veterans. Rural and highly rural women veterans were less likely to present to the VA for women's specific care than urban women veterans; highly rural women veterans were less likely to present for mental health care compared to urban women veterans. Among the users of primary care, mental health, women's specific, and all outpatient services, patients' annual utilization rates were similar. Improved service options for women's specific care and mental health visits may help rural women veterans access care. Telehealth technologies and increased outreach, perhaps peer-based, should be considered. Other recommendations for VA policy and planning include increasing caregiver support options, providing consistency for mental health services, and revising medical encounter coding procedures. © 2013 National Rural Health Association.

  8. Staff Perceptions of Key Factors Guiding Nursing Home Search and Selection Within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Edward Alan; Gidmark, Stefanie; Gadbois, Emily; Rudolph, James L; Intrator, Orna

    2017-06-21

    Veterans enter nursing homes (NHs) for short-term postacute, rehabilitation, respite, or end-of-life care. They also enter NHs on a long-term basis due to frailty, disability, functional deficits, and cognitive impairment. Little is known about how a particular NH is chosen once the decision to enter a NH has been made. This study identified VA staff perceptions of the key factors influencing the search and selection of NHs within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Data derived from 35 semistructured interviews with discharge planning and contracting staff from 12 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). VA staff placed a premium on Veteran and family preferences in the NH selection process, though VA staff knowledge and familiarity with placement options established the general parameters within which NH placement decisions were made. Geographic proximity to Veterans' homes and families was a major factor in NH choice. Other key considerations included Veterans' specialty care needs (psychiatric, postacute, ventilator) and Veteran/facility demographics (age, race/ethnicity, Veteran status). VA staff tried to remain neutral in NH selection, thus instructing families to visit facilities and review publicly available quality data. VA staff report that amenities (private rooms, activities, smoking) and aesthetics (cleanliness, smell, layout, décor) often outweighed objective quality indicators in Veteran and family decision making. Findings suggest that VAMCs facilitate Veteran and family decision making around NH selection. They also suggest that VAMCs endeavor to identify and recruit a broader array of higher quality NHs to better match the specific needs of Veterans and families to the choice set available.

  9. Characteristics and service use of homeless veterans and nonveterans residing in a low-demand emergency shelter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovich, James C; Pollio, David E; North, Carol S

    2014-06-01

    This study examined use of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA services and predictors of service use among veterans and nonveterans who resided in a low-demand emergency shelter. Equal numbers (N=110) of veterans and nonveterans recruited between January and June 2008 at a low-demand emergency shelter were interviewed about demographic characteristics, histories of military service and homelessness, general medical and mental functioning, current alcohol and drug problems and substance use, and use of medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse services. The Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations was used to identify need-based, enabling, and predisposing variables for analysis. Both groups reported high rates of arrest and incarceration, very low incomes, extensive histories of homelessness, and a similar need for services. However, significantly more veterans than nonveterans used psychiatric services, nonemergency medical services, and inpatient substance use services. Similar proportions of veterans and nonveterans used public non-VA health care services. Need-based variables appropriately predicted service use, but veterans and individuals with insurance were also more likely to access services. The veterans and nonveterans residing in a low-demand shelter faced several barriers to escaping homelessness. Both groups made similar use of non-VA services, but veterans used more services overall because of their access to VA services. The predictive power of insurance indicated that veterans may experience barriers to care despite the availability of VA services. The presence of veterans in this low-demand shelter may represent evidence of barriers to veteran and other public housing services.

  10. Addressing the Needs of Transgender Military Veterans: Better Access and More Comprehensive Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietert, Michelle; Dentice, Dianne; Keig, Zander

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: There is a gap in social science literature addressing issues of access and quality of care for transgender military veterans. Psychologists, medical doctors, and other health professionals are beginning to address some of the barriers present in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system that affect veterans who are also transgender and intersex. Over a 7-year period, between 2006 and 2013, 2600 transgender veterans were served by the VA. Data from several surveys revealed that most transgender veterans perceive the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to be less than accommodating for their special needs. The goal of this study was to investigate the experiences of a sample of transgender veterans with regard to their experiences with healthcare services provided by the VHA. Methods: Using snowball sampling techniques, we were able to recruit 22 transgender military veterans to participate in our study. A combination of telephone interviews and questionnaires provided data from veterans in various branches of the military throughout the United States. Results: Findings indicate that even though the VHA is working to address issues of inequality for transgender veterans, our participants indicated that there are still some problems with administration of care, proper training of staff and physicians, and availability of comprehensive services for the unique healthcare needs of transgender individuals. Conclusion: Since our data were collected, the VA has worked to bridge the gap by focusing on increased training for VHA providers and staff and establishing LGBT programs at VA facilities. However, we suggest that one key area of importance should continue to focus on how mental health and medical providers and ancillary staff are trained to interact with and provide care for their transgender patients.

  11. Medication adherence: process for implementation

    OpenAIRE

    Mendys P; Zullig LL; Burkholder R; Granger BB; Bosworth HB

    2014-01-01

    Phil Mendys,1,2 Leah L Zullig,3 Rebecca Burkholder,4 Bradi B Granger,5 Hayden B Bosworth3,5,6 1Pfizer Inc, Medical Affairs, New York, NY, USA; 2Division of Cardiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; 3Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; 4National Consumers League, Washington, DC, USA; 5School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; 6Department of Medicine and Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Du...

  12. 76 FR 31684 - Agency Information Collection (Medical Expense Report) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-01

    ... describes the nature of the information collection and its expected cost and burden; it includes the actual... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Medical Expense Report) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans...: Medical Expense Report, VA Form 21-8416. OMB Control Number: 2900-0161. Type of Review: Extension of a...

  13. 76 FR 40749 - Cost-Based and Inter-Agency Billing Rates for Medical Care or Services Provided by the Department...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-11

    ... BUDGET DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Cost-Based and Inter-Agency Billing Rates for Medical Care or... updates the Cost-Based and Inter-Agency billing rates for medical care or services provided by the... care or services provided by VA is set forth in 38 CFR 17.102(h). These rates apply to medical care or...

  14. Effectiveness of Sofosbuvir, Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir, or Paritaprevir/Ritonavir/Ombitasvir and Dasabuvir Regimens for Treatment of Patients With Hepatitis C in the Veterans Affairs National Health Care System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ioannou, George N; Beste, Lauren A; Chang, Michael F; Green, Pamela K; Lowy, Elliott; Tsui, Judith I; Su, Feng; Berry, Kristin

    2016-09-01

    We investigated the real-world effectiveness of sofosbuvir, ledipasvir/sofosbuvir, and paritaprevir/ritonavir/ombitasvir and dasabuvir (PrOD) in treatment of different subgroups of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1, 2, 3, or 4. We performed a retrospective analysis of data from 17,487 patients with HCV infection (13,974 with HCV genotype 1; 2131 with genotype 2; 1237 with genotype 3; and 135 with genotype 4) who began treatment with sofosbuvir (n = 2986), ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (n = 11,327), or PrOD (n = 3174), with or without ribavirin, from January 1, 2014 through June 20, 2015 in the Veterans Affairs health care system. Data through April 15, 2016 were analyzed to assess completion of treatments and sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12). Mean age of patients was 61 ± 7 years, 97% were male, 52% were non-Hispanic white, 29% were non-Hispanic black, 32% had a diagnosis of cirrhosis (9.9% with decompensated cirrhosis), 36% had a Fibrosis-4 index score >3.25 (indicator of cirrhosis), and 29% had received prior antiviral treatment. An SVR12 was achieved by 92.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 92.3%-93.2%) of subjects with HCV genotype 1 infection (no significant difference between ledipasvir/sofosbuvir and PrOD regimens), 86.2% (95% CI, 84.6%-87.7%) of those with genotype 2 infection (treated with sofosbuvir and ribavirin), 74.8% (95% CI, 72.2%-77.3%) of those with genotype 3 infection (77.9% in patients given ledipasvir/sofosbuvir plus ribavirin, 87.0% in patients given sofosbuvir and pegylated-interferon plus ribavirin, and 70.6% of patients given sofosbuvir plus ribavirin), and 89.6% (95% CI 82.8%-93.9%) of those with genotype 4 infection. Among patients with cirrhosis, 90.6% of patients with HCV genotype 1, 77.3% with HCV genotype 2, 65.7% with HCV genotype 3, and 83.9% with HCV genotype 4 achieved an SVR12. Among previously treated patients, 92.6% with genotype 1; 80.2% with genotype 2; 69.2% with genotype 3

  15. [Medication rules of famous veteran traditional Chinese medicine doctor in treatment of chronic bronchitis based on implicit structure model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Ping; Cai, Yong-Min; Li, Jian-Sheng

    2017-04-01

    To explore the medication rules of famous veteran traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctors in treatment of chronic bronchitis, a structured medical record database for famous veteran TCM doctors in modern clinical books was established. First, Lantern 3.1.2(Kongmin light) implicit structure analysis software was used to build an implicit structure model and make an implicit interpretation. Then, SAS 9.1 was adopted to mine herb-herb, herb-symptom and herb-syndrome association rules. Through the mining, 1 274 commonly used herbs for chronic bronchitis were found, including liquorice, bitter almond, pinellia, dried tangerine or orange peel, poria cocos. The medicine types included antiasthmatic medicine, qi-tonifying medicine, and heat-phlegm removing medicine. The medicine tastes included sweet, pungent and bitter. The meridian distributions included lung, spleen and stomach channels. The famous commonly used prescriptions included Xiaoqinglong decoction, Maxing Shigan decoction and Erchen decoction. The 147-herb implicit structure model for the first diagnosis was built to get 44 hidden variables, 88 hidden classes, 7 comprehensive clustering models, 9 dual herb associations, 50 triple herb associations and 89 quadruple associations. Totally 297 medical records for the second diagnosis were compared to obtain 24 herb-symptom associations, which reduced ephedra, bitter almond, pinellia and added poria cocos, atractylodes, dangshen, 20 dual herb associations and 8 triple herb associations. A model for the top 83 symptoms and top 96 herbs in the first diagnosis was built to get 50 hidden variables and 101 hidden classes. The commonly used herbs of famous veteran TCM doctors included bitter almond, pinellia, dried tangerine or orange peel, poria cocos, which feature mild property and sweet favor and enter lung, spleen, kidney meridians; the commonly herbal pairs included atractylodes and poria cocos, asarum, fructus schisandrae and pinellia, as well as poria cocos

  16. 75 FR 78806 - Agency Information Collection (Residency Verification Report-Veterans and Survivors) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-16

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Residency Verification Report-- Veterans and Survivors) Activity.... 2900-0655.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Residency Verification Report--Veterans and Survivors... submit the collection of information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for...

  17. 38 CFR 21.6420 - Coordination with the Veterans Service Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Temporary Program of Vocational... Coordination with the Veterans Service Center. It is the responsibility of the VR&E Division to inform the...

  18. 77 FR 3842 - Proposed Information Collection (Conversion from Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance to Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-25

    ... (SGLI) to Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) for Disabled Service Members. OMB Control Number: 2900... members, especially service members with disabilities are informed about their life insurance option... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Conversion from Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance to Veterans...

  19. Sexual self-esteem and psychosocial functioning in military veterans after cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syme, Maggie L; Delaney, Eileen; Wachen, Jennifer Schuster; Gosian, Jeffrey; Moye, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about the sexual well-being of male Veteran cancer survivors, or the relationship of sexual concerns to psychosocial adaptation postcancer. This study examined the association between sexual self-esteem and psychosocial concerns in male Veteran cancer survivors. Forty-one male survivors were recruited from a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital to participate in a pilot study addressing cancer survivorship care for Veterans. Sixty- to 90-minute interviews were conducted, assessing sociodemographic, medical, stress/burden (cancer-related posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression), and resource (social support, post-traumatic growth) variables. Twenty-one (51.2%) Veteran cancer survivors reported lowered sexual self-esteem as a result of cancer, which corresponded to significantly higher levels of depression and cancer-related PTSD. The lowered sexual self-esteem group also indicated significantly lower social support. Veteran cancer survivors with lowered sexual self-esteem tend to have higher levels of stress and lower levels of resources, putting them at risk for lowered quality of life. This increased risk highlights the importance of addressing sexual well-being in the survivorship care of Veterans.

  20. 38 CFR 3.712 - Improved pension elections; surviving spouses of Spanish-American War veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Improved pension elections; surviving spouses of Spanish-American War veterans. 3.712 Section 3.712 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and...

  1. 77 FR 70210 - Agency Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-23

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity... Pension, VA Form 21-526. b. Veteran's Supplemental Claim Application, VA Form 21-526b. c. Authorization.... Veterans complete VA Form 21-526 to initially apply for compensation and/or pension benefits. b. Veterans...

  2. 38 CFR 3.453 - Veterans compensation or service pension or retirement pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Veterans compensation or service pension or retirement pay. 3.453 Section 3.453 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation...

  3. 38 CFR 3.23 - Improved pension rates-Veterans and surviving spouses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Improved pension rates-Veterans and surviving spouses. 3.23 Section 3.23 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation General § 3...

  4. 78 FR 55338 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting Amendment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-10

    ... AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting Amendment The Department of Veterans... Committee on Homeless Veterans meeting on September 11-13, 2013, in the William Phillip King room at The... services of the Department in assisting homeless Veterans. The Committee shall assemble and review...

  5. 77 FR 26069 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-02

    ...: 2012-10524] DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting... Committee Act) that a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans will be held on June 1-2, 2012..., organizational structures, and services of the Department in assisting homeless Veterans. The Committee shall...

  6. 78 FR 58611 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-24

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB... ``OMB Control No. 2900-0212.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance... collection. Abstract: Veterans complete VA Form 29-8636 to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) or...

  7. 38 CFR 21.402 - Responsibilities of the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation. 21.402 Section 21.402 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Veterans' Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation § 21.402...

  8. 76 FR 27384 - Agency Information Collection Activity (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-11

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection Activity (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys.... Veterans Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513. b. Veterans Family Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513a. c. Veterans Primary Care Provider Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513b. OMB Control Number: 2900-New (VA Form 10-0513...

  9. 76 FR 9637 - Proposed Information Collection (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-18

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Activity.... Veterans Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513: b. Veterans Family Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513a. c. Veterans Primary Care Provider Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513b. OMB Control Number: 2900-New (VA Form 10-0513...

  10. Comparing Mobile Health Strategies to Improve Medication Adherence for Veterans With Coronary Heart Disease (Mobile4Meds): Protocol for a Mixed-Methods Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Linda G; Collins, Eileen G; Shim, Janet K; Whooley, Mary A

    2017-07-18

    Adherence to antiplatelet medications is critical to prevent life threatening complications (ie, stent thrombosis) after percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs), yet rates of nonadherence range from 21-57% by 12 months. Mobile interventions delivered via text messaging or mobile apps represent a practical and inexpensive strategy to promote behavior change and enhance medication adherence. The Mobile4Meds study seeks to determine whether text messaging or a mobile app, compared with an educational website control provided to all Veterans, can improve adherence to antiplatelet therapy among patients following acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or PCI. The three aims of the study are to: (1) determine preferences for content and frequency of text messaging to promote medication adherence through focus groups; (2) identify the most patient-centered app that promotes adherence, through a content analysis of all commercially available apps for medication adherence and focus groups centered on usability; and (3) compare adherence to antiplatelet medications in Veterans after ACS/PCI via a randomized clinical trial (RCT). We will utilize a mixed-methods design that uses focus groups to achieve the first and second aims (N=32). Patients will be followed for 12 months after being randomly assigned to one of three arms: (1) customized text messaging, (2) mobile app, or (3) website-control groups (N=225). Medication adherence will be measured with electronic monitoring devices, pharmacy records, and self-reports. Enrollment for the focus groups is currently in progress. We expect to enroll patients for the RCT in the beginning of 2018. Determining the efficacy of mobile technology using a Veteran-designed protocol to promote medication adherence will have a significant impact on Veteran health and public health, particularly for individuals with chronic diseases that require strict medication adherence. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03022669.

  11. 78 FR 72753 - Notice of Funds Availability for Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-03

    ... AFFAIRS Notice of Funds Availability for Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas; Extension of Application Deadline AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice; extension of NOFA... deadline for funds available under the Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas program...

  12. Optimizing strategies to improve interprofessional practice for veterans, part 1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhattacharya SB

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Shelley B Bhattacharya,1–3 Michelle I Rossi,1,2 Jennifer M Mentz11Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC, Veteran's Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 2University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 3Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program, Pittsburgh, PA, USAIntroduction: Interprofessional patient care is a well-recognized path that health care systems are striving toward. The Veteran's Affairs (VA system initiated interprofessional practice (IPP models with their Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM programs. GEM programs incorporate a range of specialties, including but not limited to, medicine, nursing, social work, physical therapy and pharmacy, to collaboratively evaluate veterans. Despite being a valuable resource, they are now faced with significant cut-backs, including closures. The primary goal of this project was to assess how the GEM model could be optimized at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania VA to allow for the sustainability of this important IPP assessment. Part 1 of the study evaluated the IPP process using program, patient, and family surveys. Part 2 examined how well the geriatrician matched patients to specialists in the GEM model. This paper describes Part 1 of our study.Methods: Three strategies were used: 1 a national GEM program survey; 2 a veteran/family satisfaction survey; and 3 an absentee assessment.Results: Twenty-six of 92 programs responded to the GEM IPP survey. Six strategies were shared to optimize IPP models throughout the country. Of the 34 satisfaction surveys, 80% stated the GEM clinic was beneficial, 79% stated their concerns were addressed, and 100% would recommend GEM to their friends. Of the 24 absentee assessments, the top three reasons for missing the appointments were transportation, medical illnesses, and not knowing/remembering about the appointment. Absentee rate diminished from 41% to 19% after instituting a reminder phone call policy.Discussion: Maintaining the

  13. Mistrust and Endorsement of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Conspiracy Theories Among Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected African American Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattocks, Kristin M; Gibert, Cynthia; Fiellin, David; Fiellin, Lynn E; Jamison, Annah; Brown, Amber; Justice, Amy C

    2017-11-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has taken a disproportionate toll on the lives of African Americans, and many previous studies suggest HIV conspiracy beliefs and physician mistrust play important roles in this racial disparity. Because many HIV conspiracy theories tie government involvement with the origin and potential cure for HIV, an area for further examination is HIV+ African American veterans in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care. In addition to HIV conspiracy beliefs, veterans may already be mistrustful of the VHA as a government healthcare provider. This mistrust is significantly associated with poor health outcomes, among both minority and nonminority persons living with HIV. We conducted interviews with 32 African American veterans at three VHA hospitals to assess HIV conspiracy beliefs and mistrust in physicians providing HIV care. A semistructured interview format allowed respondents to talk freely about their personal history with HIV, their perceptions about living with HIV, and their views on HIV conspiracy beliefs. Five major themes arose from these interviews, including that the government uses HIV to control minority populations; the Veterans Affairs healthcare providers may play a role in withholding HIV treatment, and many HIV-infected veterans are suspicious of HIV treatment regimens. Additionally, several HIV-infected veterans in our study disclosed that they did not follow the prescribed treatment recommendations to ensure adherence. A veteran's beliefs drive views of the healthcare system and trust of HIV-infected veterans' healthcare providers, and impact HIV-infected veterans' willingness to accept treatment for their medical conditions. Further research should continue to examine the impact of mistrust and endorsement of conspiracy beliefs among veterans receiving care in VHA. Reprint & Copyright © 2017 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  14. Psychiatric Correlates of Medical Care Costs among Veterans Receiving Mental Health Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Tracy L.; Moore, Sally A.; Luterek, Jane; Varra, Alethea A.; Hyerle, Lynne; Bush, Kristen; Mariano, Mary Jean; Liu, Chaun-Fen; Kivlahan, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

    Research on increased medical care costs associated with posttraumatic sequelae has focused on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the provisional diagnosis of Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS) encompasses broader trauma-related difficulties and may be uniquely related to medical costs. We investigated whether…

  15. Risk factors for ED use among homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2013-05-01

    Despite national concern about homeless veterans, there has been little examination of their use of emergency department (ED) services. This study examines factors related to the use of ED services in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, where insurance is not a barrier to ambulatory healthcare. National VA administrative data from fiscal year 2010 are used to describe the proportions of ED users among homeless and domiciled VA patients. A case-control design is then used to compare homeless ED and non-ED users on sociodemographic and clinical correlates, as well as use of ambulatory care and psychotropic medications. Sixteen percent of domiciled VA patients used EDs at least once during the year and 1% were frequent ED users (>4 ED visits) compared to 45% of homeless VA patients, 10% who were frequent ED users. Among homeless VA patients, those who used EDs were more likely to have a range of psychiatric and medical conditions, and had more service visits and psychotropic medication prescriptions than non-ED users. Multivariate analyses suggest their risk for psychiatric and medical conditions increase their likelihood of using ED services. The high rate of ED use among homeless veterans is associated with significant morbidity, but also greater use of ambulatory care and psychotropics suggesting their ED use may reflect unmet psychosocial needs. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Induced abortion among women veterans: data from the ECUUN study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Eleanor Bimla; Sileanu, Florentina E; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K; Callegari, Lisa S; Borrero, Sonya

    2018-01-01

    We compared rates of induced abortion among women veterans receiving Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare to rates in the general US population, as current policy prohibits VA provision of abortion counseling or services even when pregnancy endangers a veteran's life. We analyzed data from 2298 women veterans younger than 45 years who completed a telephone-based, cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled English-speaking women from across the United States who had received VA healthcare. We compared lifetime, last-5-year and last-year rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion among participants to age-matched data from the National Survey of Family Growth. As few abortions were reported in the last year, we used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between abortion in the last 5 years and age, race/ethnicity, income, education, religion, marital status, parity, geography, deployment history, housing instability, and past medical and mental health among VA patients. Women veterans were more likely than matched US women to report ever having an abortion [17.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 16.1%-19.3% vs. 15.2% of US women]. In the last 5 years, unintended pregnancy and abortion were reported by veterans at rates similar to US women. In multivariable models, VA patients were more likely to report abortion in the last 5 years if their annual income was less than $40,000 (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.95, 95% CI 1.30-6.70), they had experienced homelessness or housing instability (adjusted OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.01-3.62), they were single (adj. OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.23-4.91) and/or they had given birth (adjusted OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.19-4.40). Women veterans face unintended pregnancy and seek abortion as often as the larger US population. The Veterans Health Care Act, which prohibits provision of abortion services, increases vulnerable veterans' out-of-pocket healthcare costs and limits veterans' reproductive freedom. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Development of a curriculum and training program in Woman Veterans Health for Internal Medical Residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceylony, Manju; Porhomayon, Jahan; Pourafkari, Leili; Nader, Nader D

    2017-09-26

    Internal Medicine residents must develop competency as Primary Care Providers, but a gap exists in their curriculum and training with regard to women's reproductive health. With increasing need in VA due to new influx of women veterans it poses problems in recruitment of competent physicians trained in Women's health. An intensive, one-month women's reproductive health curriculum with hands on experience for Internal Medicine residents was provided. Curriculum was taught to the residents who rotated at the Women's Health Clinic for one month. Pre-test and post-test exams were administered. Increase in knowledge of residents in providing gender specific evaluations and management was objectively assessed by changes in post-test scores. Data were analyzed for statistically significant improvement in written tests scores. Total of 47 Internal Medicine residents rotated through Women's Health Center during the evaluation period. All residents completed both pre-test and post-test exams. The average time to complete the pre-test was 20.5 ± 5.4 min and 19.5 ± 4.8 min for post-test. There was no correlation between the time to complete the pre-test exam and the post-test exam. The total score was significantly improved from 8.5 ± 1.6 to 13.2 ± 1.8 (p training with information on women's health that enables them to provide safe and gender appropriate care in primary care settings. This practice will reduce the need for frequent referrals for specialized care and thus provide cost saving for patient and health care on the whole.

  18. Increased Postdeployment Use of Medication for Common Mental Disorders in Danish Gulf War Veterans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nissen, Lars Ravnborg; Stoltenberg, Christian Ditlev Gabriel; Vedtofte, Mia Sadowa

    2017-01-01

    /hypnotic medication, and (3) number of postdeployment psychiatric contacts. The association between outcomes and GWVs status was studied by using time-to-event analysis. The index date was the return date from the last deployment to the Gulf. The follow-up period was the time from index date until December 31, 2014....... FINDINGS: GWVs had an elevated average risk over time for use of both types of medication compared with NV. For use of antidepressants the average hazard rate (HR) was 2.56, with 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.04-3.21 (p medication the corresponding results were....... Incident use of anxiolytic/hypnotic medication was one and a half that of NV after 10 years, but nearly three times that of NV after 20 years. There was no difference in rate of postdeployment psychiatric contacts. DISCUSSION/IMPACT/RECOMMENDATIONS: The findings of increased use of antidepressants...

  19. Military veteran mortality following a survived suicide attempt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conigliaro Joseph

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Suicide is a global public health problem. Recently in the U.S., much attention has been given to preventing suicide and other premature mortality in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A strong predictor of suicide is a past suicide attempt, and suicide attempters have multiple physical and mental comorbidities that put them at risk for additional causes of death. We examined mortality among U.S. military veterans after hospitalization for attempted suicide. Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted with all military veterans receiving inpatient treatment during 1993-1998 at United States Veterans Affairs (VA medical facilities following a suicide attempt. Deaths occurring during 1993-2002, the most recent available year at the time, were identified through VA Beneficiary and Records Locator System data and National Death Index data. Mortality data for the general U.S. adult population were also obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics. Comparisons within the veteran cohort, between genders, and against the U.S. population were conducted with descriptive statistics and standardized mortality ratios. The actuarial method was used estimate the proportion of veterans in the cohort we expect would have survived through 2002 had they experienced the same rate of death that occurred over the study period in the U.S. population having the age and sex characteristics. Results During 1993-1998, 10,163 veterans were treated and discharged at a VA medical center after a suicide attempt (mean age = 44 years; 91% male. There was a high prevalence of diagnosed alcohol disorder or abuse (31.8%, drug dependence or abuse (21.8%, psychoses (21.2%, depression (18.5%, and hypertension (14.2%. A total of 1,836 (18.1% veterans died during follow up (2,941.4/100,000 person years. The cumulative survival probability after 10 years was 78.0% (95% CI = 72.9, 83.1. Hence the 10-year cumulative mortality risk was 22

  20. Hysterectomy risk in premenopausal-aged military veterans: associations with sexual assault and gynecologic symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Ginny L; Mengeling, Michelle A; Summers, Karen M; Booth, Brenda M; Torner, James C; Syrop, Craig H; Sadler, Anne G

    2016-03-01

    Several gynecological conditions associated with hysterectomy, including abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain, have been observed at increased rates in women who have experienced sexual assault. Previous findings have suggested that one of the unique health care needs for female military veterans may be an increased prevalence of hysterectomy and that this increase may partially be due to their higher risk of sexual assault history and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although associations between trauma, PTSD, and gynecological symptoms have been identified, little work has been done to date to directly examine the relationship between sexual assault, PTSD, and hysterectomy within the rapidly growing female veteran population. The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of hysterectomy in premenopausal-aged female veterans, compare with general population prevalence, and examine associations between hysterectomy and sexual assault, PTSD, and gynecological symptoms in this veteran population. We performed a computer-assisted telephone interview between July 2005 and August 2008 of 1004 female Veterans Affairs (VA)-enrolled veterans ≤ 52 years old from 2 Midwestern US Veterans Affairs medical centers and associated community-based outreach clinics. Within the veteran study population, associations between hysterectomy and sexual assault, PTSD, and gynecological symptoms were assessed with bivariate analyses using χ(2), Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney, and Student t tests; multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to look for independent associations. Hysterectomy prevalence and ages were compared with large civilian populations represented in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program databases from similar timeframes using χ(2) and Student t tests. Prevalence of hysterectomy was significantly higher (16.8% vs 13.3%, P = .0002), and mean age at hysterectomy was

  1. Trust is the basis for effective suicide risk screening and assessment in veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganzini, Linda; Denneson, Lauren M; Press, Nancy; Bair, Matthew J; Helmer, Drew A; Poat, Jennifer; Dobscha, Steven K

    2013-09-01

    To reduce suicides among Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has designated suicide risk assessments for Veterans who screen positive for depression or post-traumatic stress disorder as a national performance goal. Many VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) are using brief suicidal ideation screens, administered in non-mental health ambulatory care settings, as the first step in the assessment process. To explore Veterans' perceptions of the suicide screening and risk assessment process, the barriers and facilitators to disclosing suicidal thoughts, and perceptions of possible consequences of revealing suicidal thoughts. Investigators recorded one semi-structured interview with each Veteran. Transcripts were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Thirty-four Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans who screened positive for suicidal ideation in non-mental health ambulatory care settings in 2009 and 2010. Veterans accepted the need to assess suicide risk. They increasingly experienced attempts to suppress and avoid thoughts of suicide as burdensome and exhausting. Despite this, Veterans often failed to disclose severe and pervasive suicidal thoughts when screened because: (1) they considered suicidal thoughts as shameful and a sign of weakness; (2) they believed suicidal thoughts were private and not to be divulged to strangers; (3) they worried that disclosure would lead to unwanted hospitalization or medication recommendations; and (4) the templated computer reminder process was perceived as perfunctory and disrespectful. In contrast, admitting and discussing thoughts of suicide with a health provider who focused on building a relationship, demonstrated genuineness and empathy, offered information on the rationale for suicide risk assessment, and used straightforward and understandable language, all promoted trust that resulted in more honest disclosure of suicidal thoughts. In ambulatory care settings, both provider

  2. Patient-centered medical home initiative produced modest economic results for Veterans Health Administration, 2010-12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert, Paul L; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Wong, Edwin S; Hernandez, Susan E; Batten, Adam; Lo, Sophie; Lemon, Jaclyn M; Conrad, Douglas A; Grembowski, David; Nelson, Karin; Fihn, Stephan D

    2014-06-01

    In 2010 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) began a nationwide initiative called Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) that reorganized care at all VHA primary care clinics in accordance with the patient-centered medical home model. We analyzed data for fiscal years 2003-12 to assess how trends in health care use and costs changed after the implementation of PACT. We found that PACT was associated with modest increases in primary care visits and with modest decreases in both hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions and outpatient visits with mental health specialists. We estimated that these changes avoided $596 million in costs, compared to the investment in PACT of $774 million, for a potential net loss of $178 million in the study period. Although PACT has not generated a positive return, it is still maturing, and trends in costs and use are favorable. Adopting patient-centered care does not appear to have been a major financial risk for the VHA. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  3. Modeling veterans healthcare administration disclosure processes :

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beyeler, Walter E; DeMenno, Mercy B.; Finley, Patrick D.

    2013-09-01

    As with other large healthcare organizations, medical adverse events at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities can expose patients to unforeseen negative risks. VHA leadership recognizes that properly handled disclosure of adverse events can minimize potential harm to patients and negative consequences for the effective functioning of the organization. The work documented here seeks to help improve the disclosure process by situating it within the broader theoretical framework of issues management, and to identify opportunities for process improvement through modeling disclosure and reactions to disclosure. The computational model will allow a variety of disclosure actions to be tested across a range of incident scenarios. Our conceptual model will be refined in collaboration with domain experts, especially by continuing to draw on insights from VA Study of the Communication of Adverse Large-Scale Events (SCALE) project researchers.

  4. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Registry Veterans in VHA Care in 2015, for the Nation, by VISN and by Station

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report describes the number of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) registry Veterans in VHA care in 2015 based on serologic evidence of HCV infection status (HCV Positive)...

  5. Identifying US veterans who access services from health care for the homeless clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knopf-Amelung, Sarah M; Jenkins, Darlene M

    2013-12-01

    Research on veterans experiencing homelessness is predominantly focused on the US Department of Veterans Affairs setting, despite the fact that substantial numbers receive services from Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) clinics. We explored how HCH clinics identified veteran patients through a survey of administrators (49% response rate). The majority (98%) identified veterans but used varied language and approaches. Implementing a streamlined, culturally competent identification process is vital to collecting accurate data, connecting veterans with benefits, and informing treatment plans.

  6. 38 CFR 8.30 - Appeal to Board of Veterans Appeals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Appeal to Board of Veterans Appeals. 8.30 Section 8.30 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NATIONAL SERVICE LIFE INSURANCE Appeals § 8.30 Appeal to Board of Veterans Appeals. (a) The provisions of Part 19 of this chapter will be followed i...

  7. 77 FR 64386 - Agency Information Collection Activities (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-19

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection Activities (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State Homes) Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Health... day health services care to Veterans. VA requires facilities providing nursing home and adult day...

  8. 78 FR 46421 - Proposed Information Collection (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-31

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State Homes): Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Health... home and adult day health services care to Veterans. VA requires facilities providing nursing home and...

  9. 38 CFR 74.4 - Who does CVE consider to control a veteran-owned small business?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... of business operations. An applicant or participant's management and daily business operations must... control a veteran-owned small business? 74.4 Section 74.4 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS General Guidelines § 74.4 Who...

  10. Tagline: Information Extraction for Semi-Structured Text Elements in Medical Progress Notes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, Dezon Kile

    2012-01-01

    Text analysis has become an important research activity in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Statistical text mining and natural language processing have been shown to be very effective for extracting useful information from medical documents. However, neither of these techniques is effective at extracting the information stored in…

  11. Substance use disorders in military veterans: prevalence and treatment challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teeters JB

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Jenni B Teeters,1,2 Cynthia L Lancaster,1,2 Delisa G Brown,3 Sudie E Back1,2 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA; 2Ralph H Johnson Veterans Affairs (VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC, USA, 3Department of Human Development and Psychoeducation, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA Abstract: Substance use disorders (SUDs are a significant problem among our nation’s military veterans. In the following overview, we provide information on the prevalence of SUDs among military veterans, clinical characteristics of SUDs, options for screening and evidence-based treatment, as well as relevant treatment challenges. Among psychotherapeutic approaches, behavioral interventions for the management of SUDs typically involve short-term, cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions. These interventions focus on the identification and modification of maladaptive thoughts and behaviors associated with increased craving, use, or relapse to substances. Additionally, client-centered motivational interviewing approaches focus on increasing motivation to engage in treatment and reduce substance use. A variety of pharmacotherapies have received some support in the management of SUDs, primarily to help with the reduction of craving or withdrawal symptoms. Currently approved medications as well as treatment challenges are discussed. Keywords: addiction, alcohol use disorders, drug use disorders, treatment, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy

  12. Foot care education and self management behaviors in diverse veterans with diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan M Olson

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Jonathan M Olson1, Molly T Hogan2, Leonard M Pogach3, Mangala Rajan3, Gregory J Raugi4, Gayle E Reiber51University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Healthcare System, Center for Healthcare Knowledge Management, East Orange, NJ, USA; 4Division of Dermatology, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA, USA; 5Research and Development, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA, USAAbstract: The objective of this study was to examine differences in self-reported diabetes foot care education, self management behaviors, and barriers to good foot care among veterans with diabetes by race and ethnicity. Data was collected using the Veterans Health Administration Footcare Survey, a validated tool that assessed demographic, general health, diabetes and foot self-care information, barriers to foot self-care, receipt of professional foot care, and satisfaction with current care. We mailed surveys to a random sample of patients with diabetes from eight VA medical centers. Study participants were 81% White; 13% African American; 4% Asian, and 2% American Indian and Pacific Islanders. The majority of respondents felt that they did not know enough about foot self-care. There were large gaps between self-reported knowledge and actual foot care practices, even among those who reported “knowing enough” on a given topic. There were significant differences in self-reported foot care behaviors and education by race and ethnicity. These findings document the need for culturally-specific self-management education to address unique cultural preferences and barriers to care.Keywords: diabetes mellitus, diabetic foot, patient self-management, ethnic groups, education

  13. 77 FR 38395 - Agency Information Collection (Appointment of Veterans Service Organization/or Individuals as...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-27

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Appointment of Veterans Service Organization/or Individuals as... of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below to the Office of... information collection and its expected cost and burden; it includes the actual data collection instrument...

  14. 75 FR 8789 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... rural areas. The Committee examines programs and policies that impact the provision of VA health care to... hear from its chairman, the acting director of the VA Office of Rural Health, and the directors of the...

  15. 76 FR 36955 - West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998; Master Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-23

    .... One commenter stated that the ``inclusion of the State Veterans Home as Federal VA land in all maps... of the NHV (i.e., the Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers) in the...

  16. Latent homeless risk profiles of a national sample of homeless veterans and their relation to program referral and admission patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Kasprow, Wesley J; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2013-12-01

    We identified risk and need profiles of homeless veterans and examined the relation between profiles and referrals and admissions to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) homeless service programs. We examined data from the VA's new Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System on 120,852 veterans from 142 sites nationally in 2011 and 2012 using latent class analyses based on 9 homeless risk factors. The final 4-class solution compared both referral and admission to VA homeless services. We identified 4 latent classes: relatively few problems, dual diagnosis, poverty-substance abuse-incarceration, and disabling medical problems. Homeless veterans in the first group were more likely to be admitted to the VA's permanent supportive housing program, whereas those in the second group were more likely to be admitted to more restrictive VA residential treatment. Homeless veterans in the third group were more likely to be admitted to the VA's prisoner re-entry program, and those in the fourth group were more likely to be directed to VA medical services. The heterogeneous risk and need profiles of homeless veterans supported the diversity of VA homeless services and encouraged the development of specialized services to meet their diverse needs.

  17. Remote eye care screening for rural veterans with Technology-based Eye Care Services: a quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maa, April Y; Wojciechowski, Barbara; Hunt, Kelly; Dismuke, Clara; Janjua, Rabeea; Lynch, Mary G

    2017-01-01

    Veterans are at high risk for eye disease because of age and comorbid conditions. Access to eye care is challenging within the entire Veterans Hospital Administration's network of hospitals and clinics in the USA because it is the third busiest outpatient clinical service and growing at a rate of 9% per year. Rural and highly rural veterans face many more barriers to accessing eye care because of distance, cost to travel, and difficulty finding care in the community as many live in medically underserved areas. Also, rural veterans may be diagnosed in later stages of eye disease than their non-rural counterparts due to lack of access to specialty care. In March 2015, Technology-based Eye Care Services (TECS) was launched from the Atlanta Veterans Affairs (VA) as a quality improvement project to provide eye screening services for rural veterans. By tracking multiple measures including demographic and access to care metrics, data shows that TECS significantly improved access to care, with 33% of veterans receiving same-day access and >98% of veterans receiving an appointment within 30 days of request. TECS also provided care to a significant percentage of homeless veterans, 10.6% of the patients screened. Finally, TECS reduced healthcare costs, saving the VA up to US$148 per visit and approximately US$52 per patient in round trip travel reimbursements when compared to completing a face-to-face exam at the medical center. Overall savings to the VA system in this early phase of TECS totaled US$288,400, about US$41,200 per month. Other healthcare facilities may be able to use a similar protocol to extend care to at-risk patients.

  18. Prevalence of unplanned hospitalizations caused by adverse drug reactions in older veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcum, Zachary A; Amuan, Megan E; Hanlon, Joseph T; Aspinall, Sherrie L; Handler, Steven M; Ruby, Christine M; Pugh, Mary Jo V

    2012-01-01

    To describe the prevalence of unplanned hospitalizations caused by adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in older veterans and to examine the association between this outcome and polypharmacy after controlling for comorbidities and other patient characteristics. Retrospective cohort. Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Six hundred seventy-eight randomly selected unplanned hospitalizations of older (aged ≥ 65) veterans between October 1, 2003, and September 30, 2006. Naranjo ADR algorithm, ADR preventability, and polypharmacy (0-4, 5-8, and ≥9 scheduled medications). Seventy ADRs involving 113 drugs were found in 68 (10%) hospitalizations of older veterans, of which 25 (36.8%) were preventable. Extrapolating to the population of more than 2.4 million older veterans receiving care during the study period, 8,000 hospitalizations may have been unnecessary. The most common ADRs that occurred were bradycardia (n = 6; beta-blockers, digoxin), hypoglycemia (n = 6; sulfonylureas, insulin), falls (n = 6; antidepressants, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors), and mental status changes (n = 6; anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines). Overall, 44.8% of veterans took nine or more outpatient medications and 35.4% took five to eight. Using multivariable logistic regression and controlling for demographic, health-status, and access-to-care variables, polypharmacy (≥9 and 5-8) was associated with greater risk of ADR-related hospitalization (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 3.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.43-10.61 and AOR = 2.85, 95% CI = 1.03-7.85, respectively). ADRs, determined using a validated causality algorithm, are a common cause of unplanned hospitalization in older veterans, are frequently preventable, and are associated with polypharmacy. © 2011, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2011, The American Geriatrics Society.

  19. Patient-Centered Pain Care Using Artificial Intelligence and Mobile Health Tools: Protocol for a Randomized Study Funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piette, John D; Krein, Sarah L; Striplin, Dana; Marinec, Nicolle; Kerns, Robert D; Farris, Karen B; Singh, Satinder; An, Lawrence; Heapy, Alicia A

    2016-04-07

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for chronic low back pain. However, only half of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients have access to trained CBT therapists, and program expansion is costly. CBT typically consists of 10 weekly hour-long sessions. However, some patients improve after the first few sessions while others need more extensive contact. We are applying principles from "reinforcement learning" (a field of artificial intelligence or AI) to develop an evidence-based, personalized CBT pain management service that automatically adapts to each patient's unique and changing needs (AI-CBT). AI-CBT uses feedback from patients about their progress in pain-related functioning measured daily via pedometer step counts to automatically personalize the intensity and type of patient support. The specific aims of the study are to (1) demonstrate that AI-CBT has pain-related outcomes equivalent to standard telephone CBT, (2) document that AI-CBT achieves these outcomes with more efficient use of clinician resources, and (3) demonstrate the intervention's impact on proximal outcomes associated with treatment response, including program engagement, pain management skill acquisition, and patients' likelihood of dropout. In total, 320 patients with chronic low back pain will be recruited from 2 VA healthcare systems and randomized to a standard 10 sessions of telephone CBT versus AI-CBT. All patients will begin with weekly hour-long telephone counseling, but for patients in the AI-CBT group, those who demonstrate a significant treatment response will be stepped down through less resource-intensive alternatives including: (1) 15-minute contacts with a therapist, and (2) CBT clinician feedback provided via interactive voice response calls (IVR). The AI engine will learn what works best in terms of patients' personally tailored treatment plans based on daily feedback via IVR about their pedometer-measured step counts, CBT skill

  20. Lower urinary tract dysfunction in male Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans: association with mental health disorders: a population-based cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breyer, Benjamin N; Cohen, Beth E; Bertenthal, Daniel; Rosen, Raymond C; Neylan, Thomas C; Seal, Karen H

    2014-02-01

    To determine the prevalence and correlates of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among returned Iraq and Afghanistan veterans; in particular its association with mental health diagnoses and medication use. We performed a retrospective cohort study of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were new users of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care. Mental health diagnoses were defined by International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes from medical records. LUTS was defined by ICD-9-CM code, use of prescription medication for LUTS, or procedure for LUTS. We determined the independent association of mental health diagnoses and LUTS after adjusting for sociodemographic and military service characteristics, comorbidities, and medications. Of 519,189 veterans, 88% were men and the mean age was 31.8 years (standard deviation ± 9.3). The overall prevalence of LUTS was 2.2% (11,237/519,189). Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were significantly more likely to have a LUTS diagnosis, prescription, or related procedure (3.5%) compared with veterans with no mental health diagnoses (1.3%) or a mental health diagnosis other than PTSD (3.1%, P <.001). In adjusted models, LUTS was significantly more common in veterans with PTSD with and without other mental health disorders vs those without mental health disorders (adjusted relative risk [ARR] = 2.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.94-2.15) and in veterans prescribed opioids (ARR = 2.46, 95% CI = 2.36-2.56). In this study of young returned veterans, mental health diagnoses and prescription for opioids were independently associated with increased risk of receiving a diagnosis, treatment, or procedure for LUTS. Provider awareness may improve the detection and treatment of LUTS, and improve patient care and quality of life. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Access to Care Among Nonelderly Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Didem M; Selden, Thomas M

    2016-03-01

    Veteran access to care is an important policy issue that has not previously been examined with population-based survey data. This study compares access to care for nonelderly adult Veterans versus comparable non-Veterans, overall and within subgroups defined by simulated eligibility for health care from the Veterans Health Administration and by insurance status. We use household survey data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2006 to 2011. We use iterative proportional fitting to standardize (control for) differences in age, sex, income, medical conditions, disability, Census region, and Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nonelderly Veterans and comparable non-Veterans. For medical, dental, and prescription medicine treatments, we use 4 access measures: delaying care, inability to obtain care, perceiving delay as a big problem, and perceiving inability to obtain care as a big problem. We also examine having a usual source of care. Frequencies of access barriers are similar for nonelderly Veterans and comparable non-Veterans for dental and prescription medicine treatments. For medical treatment, we find that Veterans eligible for VA health care and Veterans with VA use who are uninsured report fewer access problems than the comparable non-Veteran populations for 2 measures: inability to obtain care and reporting inability to obtain care as a big problem. Our results show that uninsured Veterans, the most policy-relevant group, have better access to care than comparable non-Veterans. Our results highlight the importance of adjusting Veteran and non-Veteran comparisons to account for the higher than average health care needs of Veterans.

  2. Unified Medical Command and Control in the Department of Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-22

    they will also depend on the MHS. There are cost / benefit issues associated with deferring patients to the Department of Veterans Affairs ( DVA ...whether efficiencies can be gained by better integrating the two largest government institutional health systems. Should, for instance, the DVA take...over institutional health care in its entirety; operating Military and DVA Medical Treatment Facilities and training physicians, nurses, medics and

  3. 76 FR 6694 - Disclosure of Medical Information to the Surrogate of a Patient Who Lacks Decision-Making Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-08

    ... Lacks Decision-Making Capacity AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: This..., otherwise protected medical information with the representative of a patient who lacks decision-making... follows: ``To a representative of a patient who lacks decision-making capacity, when a practitioner deems...

  4. 76 FR 40451 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance-Change of Address Statement...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-08

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance-- Change of Address Statement.... 2900-0503.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance--Change of Address... continued ownership of property issued under Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance when an address change for the...

  5. 75 FR 52065 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-24

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment... solicits comments for information needed to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance. DATES: Written...: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement, VA Form 29-8636. OMB Control Number: 2900-0212. Type of Review...

  6. 78 FR 58264 - Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-23

    ... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO42 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life... Insurance (SGLI), Family SGLI, SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection, and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (all...-AO42 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access...

  7. 76 FR 40455 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-08

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry) Activity Under OMB Review... INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry, VA Form 29-0543. OMB Control Number: 2900-0501... insured under Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) completes VA Form 29-0543 to report any recent...

  8. 76 FR 73019 - Proposed Information Collection (Agreement To Train on the Job Disabled Veterans) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-28

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Agreement To Train on the Job Disabled Veterans) Activity... comments on information needed to assure that on the job training establishments are providing veterans... use of other forms of information technology. Title: Agreement to Train on the Job Disabled Veterans...

  9. 78 FR 41195 - Fund Availability Under the Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-09

    ... AFFAIRS Fund Availability Under the Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas AGENCY... announcing the availability of funds under the Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas. This Notice contains information concerning the Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural...

  10. 78 FR 56773 - Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for Grants for Transportation of Veterans in...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-13

    ... AFFAIRS Notice of Funds Availability Inviting Applications for Grants for Transportation of Veterans in... deadline for funds available under the Grant Program for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas..., Highly Rural Transportation Grants, Veterans Transportation Program, Chief Business Office (10NB2G), 2957...

  11. 78 FR 77204 - Proposed Information Collection (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-20

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys... solicits comments on the information needed to evaluate the National Veterans Sports Programs and Special... ``OMB Control No. 2900-NEW (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys)'' in any...

  12. 78 FR 36309 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-17

    ... diagnosing and treating Gulf War Veterans, and a drug treatment trial which is underway. On June 18, the... AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice of Meeting The Department of... Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on June 17 and 18, 2013, in room 230...

  13. 77 FR 3327 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-23

    ... No: 2012-1173] DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of... Committee Act) that the Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee will conduct a telephone conference call meeting from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, January 30, 2012, in Room GL20 of the Office of Rural Health...

  14. Factors Concerning Veterans With Dementia, Their Caregivers, and Coordination of Care: A Systematic Literature Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mileski, Michael; Scott Kruse, Clemens; Brooks, Matthew; Haynes, Christine; Collingwood, Ying; Rodriguez, Rachel

    2017-11-01

    Military veterans diagnosed with dementia compose a large portion of our population. Often ignored are their caregivers and their plight as well as the availability, quality, and accessibility of health care for this demographic. The purpose of this systematic literature review is three fold: to identify opportunities available to increase public awareness on the subject; to identify areas of improvement in the level of care and quality of life for our nation's veterans; and to identify if adequate resources are available to veterans with dementia and their caregivers. The authors conducted systematic searches of three databases: PubMed via The National Center for Biotechnology Information, the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Complete via Ebson B. Stephens Company (EBSCO Host), and Google. Data were collected regarding providing care to veterans who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers between 2008 and June 2016. Search results were filtered by date range, full text, English language, Boolean operators, and academic journals (n = 14). The review confirmed there are many facilitators and barriers in the coordination of care offered to veterans with dementia. Facilitators of quality care include veteran's expectations, family support, program development, and the availability of services. These positive aspects are aided by several community-based support services, new technology, and preventative care. Barriers are caregiver expectations, coordination of care, providers, and informal and formal costs. These negative facets are due to lack of educational resources, an increased veteran population diagnosed with dementia, limited knowledge of resources, and limited medical service in rural areas. Overall, there are a number of community programs that want to, and can, help veterans with dementia. There are also a number of ways to help veterans with dementia cope with their issues, which include

  15. How Are Race, Cultural, and Psychosocial Factors Associated With Outcomes in Veterans With Spinal Cord Injury?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myaskovsky, Larissa; Gao, Shasha; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Bornemann, Kellee R; Burkitt, Kelly H; Switzer, Galen E; Fine, Michael J; Phillips, Samuel L; Gater, David; Spungen, Ann M; Boninger, Michael L

    2017-09-01

    To understand the role of cultural and psychosocial factors in the outcomes of veteran wheelchair users with spinal cord injury (SCI) to help clinicians identify unique factors faced by their patients and help researchers identify target variables for interventions to reduce disparities in outcomes. Cross-sectional cohort study. Three urban Veterans Affairs medical centers affiliated with academic medical centers. Of the patients (N=516) who were eligible to participate, 482 completed the interview and 439 had SCI. Because of small numbers in other race groups, analyses were restricted to white and African American participants, resulting in a final sample of 422. Not applicable. Quality of life (QOL, Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey); satisfaction (Client Satisfaction Questionnaire); and participation (Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique Short Form). African American Veterans reported poorer physical QOL but better mental QOL than did white Veterans. No other significant race differences were found in unadjusted analyses. Multivariable analyses showed that psychosocial factors were predominantly associated with patients' QOL outcomes and satisfaction with service, but demographic and medical factors were predominantly associated with participation outcomes. Interaction analyses showed that there was a stronger negative association between anxiety and mental QOL for African Americans than for whites, and a positive association between higher self-esteem and social integration for whites but not African Americans. Findings suggest that attempts to improve the outcomes of Veterans with SCI should focus on a tailored approach that emphasizes patients' demographic, medical, and psychosocial assets (eg, building their sense of self-esteem or increasing their feelings of mastery), while providing services targeted to their specific limitations (eg, reducing depression and anxiety). Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. A Combined Patient and Provider Intervention for Management of Osteoarthritis in Veterans: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Kelli D; Yancy, William S; Bosworth, Hayden B; Coffman, Cynthia J; Jeffreys, Amy S; Datta, Santanu K; McDuffie, Jennifer; Strauss, Jennifer L; Oddone, Eugene Z

    2016-01-19

    Management of osteoarthritis requires both medical and behavioral strategies, but some recommended therapies are underused. To examine the effectiveness of a combined patient and provider intervention for improving osteoarthritis outcomes. Cluster randomized clinical trial with assignment to osteoarthritis intervention and usual care groups. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01130740). Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. 30 providers (clusters) and 300 outpatients with symptomatic hip or knee osteoarthritis. The telephone-based patient intervention focused on weight management, physical activity, and cognitive behavioral pain management. The provider intervention involved delivery of patient-specific osteoarthritis treatment recommendations to primary care providers through the electronic medical record. The primary outcome was total score on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) at 12 months. Secondary outcomes were WOMAC function and pain subscale scores, physical performance (Short Physical Performance Battery), and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-8). Linear mixed models that were adjusted for clustering of providers assessed between-group differences in improvement in outcomes. At 12 months, WOMAC scores were 4.1 points lower (indicating improvement) in the osteoarthritis intervention group versus usual care (95% CI, -7.2 to -1.1 points; P = 0.009). WOMAC function subscale scores were 3.3 points lower in the intervention group (CI, -5.7 to -1.0 points; P = 0.005). WOMAC pain subscale scores (P = 0.126), physical performance, and depressive symptoms did not differ between groups. Although more patients in the osteoarthritis intervention group received provider referral for recommended osteoarthritis treatments, the numbers who received them did not differ. The study was conducted in a single Veterans Affairs medical center. The combined patient and provider intervention resulted in

  17. Coordinating Care Across Health Care Systems for Veterans With Gynecologic Malignancies: A Qualitative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuchowski, Jessica L; Chrystal, Joya G; Hamilton, Alison B; Patton, Elizabeth W; Zephyrin, Laurie C; Yano, Elizabeth M; Cordasco, Kristina M

    2017-07-01

    Veterans concurrently using both Veterans Affairs (VA) and community providers and facilities have increased coordination needs related to bridging their care across health care settings. Women Veterans commonly require a combination of VA and community care if they have women-specific specialty care needs, such as gynecologic malignancies. We assessed VA women's health providers' and administrators' perceptions of coordination challenges for Veterans' gynecologic cancer care, and potential approaches for addressing these challenges. We carried out semistructured qualitative interviews with field-based key informants (VA gynecologists, women's health medical directors, and other staff directly involved in women's health care coordination) at 15 VA facilities. Transcripts were summarized in a template to capture key points. Themes were identified and iteratively revised (inductively/deductively) via a collaborative decision-making process utilizing matrices to compare content across interviews. Key informants (n=23) noted that services for patients with gynecologic cancers are provided through a combination of VA and community care with wide variation in care arrangements by facility. Care coordination challenges included care fragmentation, lack of role clarity and care tracking, and difficulties associated with VA and community provider communication, patient communication, patient records exchange, and authorizations. Care coordination roles suggested for addressing challenges included: care tracker, provider point-of-contact, patient liaison, and records administrator. Experiences in coordinating care for women Veterans with gynecologic malignancies receiving concurrent VA and community cancer care reveal challenges inherent in delivering care across health care systems, as well as potential approaches for addressing them.

  18. Evaluating the impact of dental care on housing intervention program outcomes among homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Elizabeth; Gibson, Gretchen; Jones, Judith A; Schinka, John A

    2013-12-01

    In this retrospective longitudinal cohort study, we examined the impact of dental care on outcomes among homeless veterans discharged from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) transitional housing intervention program. Our sample consisted of 9870 veterans who were admitted into a VA homeless intervention program during 2008 and 2009, 4482 of whom received dental care during treatment and 5388 of whom did not. Primary outcomes of interest were program completion, employment or stable financial status on discharge, and transition to permanent housing. We calculated descriptive statistics and compared the 2 study groups with respect to demographic characteristics, medical and psychiatric history (including alcohol and substance use), work and financial support, and treatment outcomes. Veterans who received dental care were 30% more likely than those who did not to complete the program, 14% more likely to be employed or financially stable, and 15% more likely to have obtained residential housing. Provision of dental care has a substantial positive impact on outcomes among homeless veterans participating in housing intervention programs. This suggests that homeless programs need to weigh the benefits and cost of dental care in program planning and implementation.

  19. Depression and incident lower limb amputations in veterans with diabetes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Lisa H.; Miller, Donald R.; Fincke, Graeme; Lafrance, Jean-Philippe; Etzioni, Ruth; Maynard, Charles; Raugi, Gregory J.; Reiber, Gayle E.

    2010-01-01

    Problem Depression is associated with a higher risk of macrovascular and microvascular complications and mortality in diabetes, but whether depression is linked to an increased risk of incident amputations is unknown. We examined the association between diagnosed depression and incident non-traumatic lower limb amputations in veterans with diabetes. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study from 2000-2004 that included 531,973 veterans from the Diabetes Epidemiology Cohorts, a national Veterans Affairs (VA) registry with VA and Medicare data. Depression was defined by diagnostic codes or antidepressant prescriptions. Amputations were defined by diagnostic and procedural codes. We determined the HR and 95% CI for incident non-traumatic lower limb amputation by major (transtibial and above) and minor (ankle and below) subtypes, comparing veterans with and without diagnosed depression and adjusting for demographics, health care utilization, diabetes severity, and comorbid medical and mental health conditions. Results Over a mean 4.1 years of follow up, there were 1,289 major and 2,541 minor amputations. Diagnosed depression was associated with an adjusted HR of 1.33 (95% CI: 1.15, 1.55) for major amputations. There was no statistically significant association between depression and minor amputations (adjusted HR 1.01, 95% CI: 0.90, 1.13). Conclusions Diagnosed depression is associated with a 33% higher risk of incident major lower limb amputation in veterans with diabetes. Further study is needed to understand this relationship and to determine whether depression screening and treatment in patients with diabetes could decrease amputation rates. PMID:20801060

  20. Prevalence of Unplanned Hospitalizations Caused by Adverse Drug Reactions Among Older Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcum, Zachary A.; Amuan, Megan E.; Hanlon, Joseph T.; Aspinall, Sherrie L.; Handler, Steven M.; Ruby, Christine M.; Pugh, Mary Jo V.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives To describe the prevalence of unplanned hospitalizations caused by ADRs among older Veterans and examine the association between this outcome and polypharmacy after controlling for comorbidities and other patient characteristics. Design Retrospective cohort. Setting Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC). Participants 678 randomly selected unplanned hospitalizations of older (age ≥ 65 years) Veterans between 10/01/03 and 09/30/06. Measurements Naranjo ADR algorithm, ADR preventability, and polypharmacy (0–4, 5–8, and ≥ 9 scheduled medications). Results Seventy ADRs involving 113 drugs were determined in 68 (10%) older Veterans’ hospitalizations, of which 36.8% (25/68) were preventable. Extrapolating to the population of over 2.4 million older Veterans receiving care during the study period, 8,000 hospitalizations may have been unnecessary. The most common ADRs that occurred were bradycardia (n=6; beta blockers, digoxin), hypoglycemia (n=6; sulfonylureas, insulin), falls (n=6; antidepressants, ACE-inhibitors), and mental status changes (n=6; anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines). Overall, 44.8% of Veterans took ≥ 9 outpatient medications and 35.4% took 5–8. Using multivariable logistic regression and controlling for demographic, health status, and access to care variables, polypharmacy (≥ 9 and 5–8) was associated with an increased risk of ADR-related hospitalization (AOR 3.90, 95% CI 1.43–10.61 and AOR 2.85, 95% CI 1.03–7.85, respectively). Conclusion ADRs determined by a validated causality algorithm are a common cause of unplanned hospitalization among older Veterans, are frequently preventable, and are associated with polypharmacy. PMID:22150441

  1. Veterans' homecomings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Birgitte Refslund

    2015-01-01

    social identity and find a meaningful life in the civilian world. When doing so, they need to navigate an ambiguous political environment and emergent public imaginaries of the veteran while also wrestling with their own military socialization and personal experiences of war. The certainty previously...... experiences, present conditions, and future ambitions are embedded in webs of concealment, disclosure, exposure, deception, lying, silence, and so forth, only partially controlled by the veterans themselves. The intricacies and anxieties associated with secrecy work are discussed in relation to three veteran...

  2. Homeless veterans' experiences with substance use, recovery, and treatment through photo elicitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sestito, Samuel F; Rodriguez, Keri L; Saba, Shaddy K; Conley, James W; Mitchell, Michael A; Gordon, Adam J

    2017-01-01

    Homeless veterans often have addictions and comorbidities that complicate utilization of longitudinal health care services, such as primary care. An understanding of experiences of veterans enrolled in a Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team (H-PACT) may improve addiction treatment engagement in these settings. The authors aimed to describe H-PACT veterans' experiences with substance use (SU), substance use recovery (SUR), and substance use treatment (SUT). Homeless veterans were recruited from a veteran primary care medical home clinic between September 2014 and March 2015. Twenty veterans were given digital cameras and prompts for taking photographs about their health and health care and participated in 2 photo elicitation interviews. For this secondary analysis, transcripts from the audio-recorded interviews were analyzed by 2 coders using qualitative content analysis. The majority of participants (75%, n = 15) discussed SU, SUR, and/or SUT in regards to their health and health care utilization. SU themes centered on disclosure of addiction or dependency; substances used; repercussions of SU; SU as a coping mechanism; and association of SU with military service. SUR themes included disclosure of length of sobriety; perceived facilitators of SUR in health, beliefs, social, environmental, financial, and creative pursuit domains; and perceived barriers to SUR in beliefs, social, and environmental domains. SUT themes focused on perceived facilitators of SUT in access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA services and social domains and perceived barriers to SUT in the social domain. Providers seeking to elicit addiction-related clinical history and facilitate SUR and SUT might look to the current findings for guidance. Provider training in motivational interviewing may be warranted, which allows for an exploration of health-related consequences of SU and supports patients' self-efficacy.

  3. Couple Therapy with Veterans: Early Improvements and Predictors of Early Dropout.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Melanie S; Bhatia, Vickie; Baddeley, Jenna L; Al-Jabari, Rawya; Libet, Julian

    2017-07-28

    Family services within Veterans Affairs Medical Centers fulfill an important role in addressing relationship distress among Veterans, which is highly prevalent and comorbid with psychopathology. However, even for evidence-based couple therapies, effectiveness is weaker compared to controlled studies, maybe because many Veteran couples drop out early and do not reach the "active" treatment stage after the 3-4 session assessment. In order to improve outcomes, it is critical to identify couples at high risk for early dropout, and understand whether couples may benefit from the assessment as an intervention. The current study examined (a) demographics, treatment delivery mode, relationship satisfaction, and psychological symptoms as predictors of dropout during and immediately following the assessment phase, and (b) changes in relationship satisfaction during assessment. 174 couples completed questionnaires during routine intake procedures. The main analyses focused on 140 male Veterans and their female civilian partners; 36.43% dropped out during the assessment phase and 24.74% of the remaining couples immediately following the first treatment session. More severe depressive symptoms in non-Veteran partners were associated with dropout during assessment. Relationship satisfaction improved significantly during the assessment phase for couples who did not drop out, with larger gains for non-Veteran partners. No demographics or treatment delivery mode were associated with dropout. Although more research is needed on engaging couples at risk for early dropout and maximizing early benefits, the findings suggest that clinicians should attend to the civilian partner's and Veteran's depressive symptoms at intake and consider the assessment part of active treatment. © 2017 Family Process Institute.

  4. Universal screening for homelessness and risk for homelessness in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Fargo, Jamison D; Byrne, Thomas H; Kane, Vincent R; Culhane, Dennis P

    2013-12-01

    We examined data for all veterans who completed the Veterans Health Administration's national homelessness screening instrument between October 1, 2012, and January 10, 2013. Among veterans who were not engaged with the US Department of Veterans Affairs homeless system and presented for primary care services, the prevalence of recent housing instability or homelessness was 0.9% and homelessness risk was 1.2%. Future research will refine outreach strategies, targeting of prevention resources, and development of novel interventions.

  5. Veteran satisfaction and treatment preferences in response to a posttraumatic stress disorder specialty clinic orientation group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumm, Jeremiah A; Walter, Kristen H; Bartone, Anne S; Chard, Kathleen M

    2015-06-01

    To maximize accessibility to evidence-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has widely disseminated cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy to VA clinicians. However, there is a lack of research on veteran preferences when presented with a range of psychotherapy and medication options. This study uses a mixed-method approach to explore veteran satisfaction with a VA PTSD specialty clinic pre-treatment orientation group, which provides education about available PTSD treatment options. This study also tested differences in treatment preference in response to the group. Participants were 183 US veterans. Most were White, male, and referred to the clinic by a VA provider. Results indicated high satisfaction with the group in providing an overview of services and helping to inform treatment choice. Most preferred psychotherapy plus medications (63.4%) or psychotherapy only (30.1%). Participants endorsed a significantly stronger preference for CPT versus other psychotherapies. PE was significantly preferred over nightmare resolution therapy and present-centered therapy, and both PE and cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy were preferred over virtual reality exposure therapy. Results suggest that by informing consumers about evidence-based treatments for PTSD, pre-treatment educational approaches may increase consumer demand for these treatment options. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Increasing Prevalence of Chronic Lung Disease in Veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugh, Mary Jo; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Leung, Kar-Wei; Faverio, Paola; Fleming, Nicholas; Mortensen, Eric; Amuan, Megan E; Wang, Chen-Pin; Eapen, Blessen; Restrepo, Marcos; Morris, Michael J

    2016-05-01

    Research from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and mental health conditions; however, it is becoming clear that other health concerns, such as respiratory illnesses, warrant further scientific inquiry. Early reports from theater and postdeployment health assessments suggested an association with deployment-related exposures (e.g., sand, burn pits, chemical, etc.) and new-onset respiratory symptoms. We used data from Veterans Affairs medical encounters between fiscal years 2003 and 2011 to identify trends in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and interstitial lung disease in veterans. We used data from Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense sources to identify sociodemographic (age, sex, race), military (e.g., service branch, multiple deployments) and clinical characteristics (TBI, smoking) of individuals with and without chronic lung diseases. Generalized estimating equations found significant increases over time for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses. Trends for interstitial lung disease were significant only in adjusted analyses. Age, smoking, and TBI were also significantly associated with chronic lung diseases; however, multiple deployments were not associated. Research is needed to identify which characteristics of deployment-related exposures are linked with chronic lung disease. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  7. Veterans and Homelessness

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-29

    health care and rehabilitation services for homeless veterans (the Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans...Health Care for Homeless Veterans ................................................................................... 19 Domiciliary Care for Homeless...for Homeless Veterans (HCHV), Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV), the Compensated Work Therapy/Therapeutic Residences Program, and the

  8. Higher Education Military and Veteran Student Program Success: A Qualitative Study of Program Administration Best Practice Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murillo, Rose L.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine how Southern California community colleges have implemented best practices based on the 8 Keys to Veterans' Success as identified by the U.S. Departments of Education, Defense, and Veterans Affairs to effectively support and retain military and veteran students in higher education programs. The…

  9. Supporting School Success for Homeless Children of Veterans and Active Duty Military Members. Best Practices in Interagency Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE, 2011

    2011-01-01

    This brief is designed for local staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), state McKinney-Vento coordinators and school district McKinney-Vento liaisons, educators, and other providers of services to active members of the military and veterans, and their children. It provides basic information to assist homeless children of veterans or…

  10. Special home adaptation grants for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain vision impairment. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-12

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing a final rule to amend its adjudication regulations regarding special home adaptation grants for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain vision impairment. This regulatory amendment is necessary to conform the regulations to changes mandated in the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.

  11. 76 FR 55570 - Per Diem Payments for the Care Provided to Eligible Veterans Evacuated From a State Home as a...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-08

    ... veteran receiving nursing home care, domiciliary care, and adult day health care in State home facilities... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Parts 17 and 51 RIN 2900-AN63 Per Diem Payments for the Care Provided to Eligible Veterans... for providing a specified level of care to eligible veterans in a facility that is officially...

  12. Protocol for the evaluation of a digital storytelling approach to address stigma and improve readiness to seek services among veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunnell, Brian E; Davidson, Tatiana M; Hamblen, Jessica L; Cook, Danna L; Grubaugh, Anouk L; Lozano, Brian E; Tuerk, Peter W; Ruggiero, Kenneth J

    2017-01-01

    Research suggests that at least 10% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan meet criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to their military experiences. National dissemination initiatives have increased veterans' access to best-practice interventions. However, treatment-seeking remains low among veterans with PTSD, often due to perceived stigma and other associated barriers. The National Center for PTSD recently developed and launched AboutFace, a digital storytelling (DST) resource designed to help veterans recognize PTSD and motivate them to seek evidence-based treatment. The Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and the National Center for PTSD have partnered to conduct pilot work to evaluate veterans' reactions to AboutFace to set the stage for a large-scale study to examine whether AboutFace effectively reduces stigma and improves attitudes toward treatment-seeking among veterans. If effective, this DST approach may serve as a valuable national model for a variety of treatment-seeking populations. During the first phase of the pilot, in-person usability assessments of AboutFace will be conducted via semi-structured interviews with 20 veterans. Audio recordings of interviews will undergo transcription and coding. A report of the results of qualitative analyses of these interviews will be provided to the National Center for PTSD and will inform revisions to the site. In the second phase of the pilot, 60 veterans referred to a specialized PTSD clinic will be recruited to demonstrate and refine the methodology that we propose to use in a larger randomized controlled trial evaluation of AboutFace. Veterans will be randomly assigned to receive AboutFace plus standard education vs. standard education alone. Baseline and 2-week telephone assessments will be conducted with participating veterans to measure stigma, attitudes toward seeking mental health services, and treatment access/engagement. The feedback we receive in this

  13. Implementation of the patient-centered medical home in the Veterans Health Administration: associations with patient satisfaction, quality of care, staff burnout, and hospital and emergency department use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Karin M; Helfrich, Christian; Sun, Haili; Hebert, Paul L; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Dolan, Emily; Taylor, Leslie; Wong, Edwin; Maynard, Charles; Hernandez, Susan E; Sanders, William; Randall, Ian; Curtis, Idamay; Schectman, Gordon; Stark, Richard; Fihn, Stephan D

    2014-08-01

    In 2010, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) began implementing the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) initiative aims to improve health outcomes through team-based care, improved access, and care management. To track progress and evaluate outcomes at all VHA primary care clinics, we developed and validated a method to assess PCMH implementation. To create an index that measures the extent of PCMH implementation, describe variation in implementation, and examine the association between the implementation index and key outcomes. We conducted an observational study using data on more than 5.6 million veterans who received care at 913 VHA hospital-based and community-based primary care clinics and 5404 primary care staff from (1) VHA clinical and administrative databases, (2) a national patient survey administered to a weighted random sample of veterans who received outpatient care from June 1 to December 31, 2012, and (3) a survey of all VHA primary care staff in June 2012. Composite scores were constructed for 8 core domains of PACT: access, continuity, care coordination, comprehensiveness, self-management support, patient-centered care and communication, shared decision making, and team-based care. Patient satisfaction, rates of hospitalization and emergency department use, quality of care, and staff burnout. Fifty-three items were included in the PACT Implementation Progress Index (Pi2). Compared with the 87 clinics in the lowest decile of the Pi2, the 77 sites in the top decile exhibited significantly higher patient satisfaction (9.33 vs 7.53; P burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory emotional exhaustion subscale, 2.29 vs 2.80; P = .02), lower hospitalization rates for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (4.42 vs 3.68 quarterly admissions for veterans 65 years or older per 1000 patients; P emergency department use (188 vs 245 visits per 1000 patients; P < .001). The extent of PCMH implementation, as

  14. Military service member and veteran self reports of efficacy of cranial electrotherapy stimulation for anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, insomnia, and depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsch, Daniel L; Price, Larry R; Nichols, Francine; Marksberry, Jeffrey A; Platoni, Katherine T

    2014-01-01

    Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) is being prescribed for service members and veterans for the treatment of anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia and depression. The purpose of this study was to examine service members' and veterans' perceptions of the effectiveness and safety of CES treatment. Service members and veterans (N=1,514) who had obtained a CES device through the Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 2006-2011 were invited to participate in the web based survey via email. One hundred fifty-two participants returned questionnaires. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Participants reported clinical improvement of 25% or more from using CES for anxiety (66.7%), PTSD (62.5%), insomnia (65.3%) and depression (53.9%). The majority of these participants reported clinical improvement of 50% or more. Respondents also perceived CES to be safe (99.0%). Those individuals who were not taking any prescription medication rated CES more effective than the combined CES and prescription medication group. CES provides service members and veterans with a safe, noninvasive, nondrug, easy to use treatment for anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and depression that can be used in the clinical setting or self-directed at home.

  15. Enhancing the Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Veterans Discharged from the Emergency Department (EQUiPPED): Preliminary Results from Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Veterans Discharged from the Emergency Department, a Novel Multicomponent Interdisciplinary Quality Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Melissa B; Hastings, Susan Nicole; Powers, James; Vandenberg, Ann E; Echt, Katharina V; Bryan, William E; Peggs, Kiffany; Markland, Alayne D; Hwang, Ula; Hung, William W; Schmidt, Anita J; McGwin, Gerald; Ikpe-Ekpo, Edidiong; Clevenger, Carolyn; Johnson, Theodore M; Vaughan, Camille P

    2015-05-01

    Suboptimal medication prescribing for older adults has been described in a number of emergency department (ED) studies. Despite this, few studies have examined ED-targeted interventions aimed at reducing the use of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). Enhancing Quality of Prescribing Practices for Older Veterans Discharged from the ED (EQUiPPED) is an ongoing multicomponent, interdisciplinary quality improvement initiative in eight Department of Veterans Affairs EDs. The project aims to decrease the use of PIMs, as identified by the Beers criteria, prescribed to veterans aged 65 and older at the time of ED discharge. Interventions include provider education; informatics-based clinical decision support with electronic medical record-embedded geriatric pharmacy order sets and links to online geriatric content; and individual provider education including academic detailing, audit and feedback, and peer benchmarking. Poisson regression was used to compare the number of PIMs that staff providers prescribed to veterans aged 65 and older discharged from the ED before and after the initiation of the EQUiPPED intervention. Initial data from the first implementation site show that the average monthly proportion of PIMs that staff providers prescribed was 9.4±1.5% before the intervention and 4.6±1.0% after the initiation of EQUiPPED (relative risk=0.48, 95% confidence interval=0.40-0.59, PJournal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.

  16. Payment or reimbursement for certain medical expenses for Camp Lejeune family members. Interim final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-24

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is promulgating regulations to implement statutory authority to provide payment or reimbursement for hospital care and medical services provided to certain veterans' family members who resided at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for at least 30 days during the period beginning on January 1, 1957, and ending on December 31, 1987. Under this rule, VA will reimburse family members, or pay providers, for medical expenses incurred as a result of certain illnesses and conditions that may be attributed to exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune during this time period. Payment or reimbursement will be made within the limitations set forth in statute and Camp Lejeune family members will receive hospital care and medical services that are consistent with the manner in which we provide hospital care and medical services to Camp Lejeune veterans.

  17. Important aspects of end-of-life care among veterans: implications for measurement and quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casarett, David; Pickard, Amy; Amos Bailey, F; Ritchie, Christine; Furman, Christian; Rosenfeld, Ken; Shreve, Scott; Shea, Judy A

    2008-02-01

    To identify aspects of end-of-life care in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system that are not assessed by existing survey instruments and to identify issues that may be unique to veterans, telephone interviews using open-ended questions were conducted with family members of veterans who had received care from a VA facility in the last month of life. Responses were compared to validated end-of-life care assessment instruments in common use. The study took place in four VA medical centers and one family member per patient was invited to participate, selected from medical records using predefined eligibility criteria. These family members were asked to describe positive and negative aspects of the care the veteran received in the last month of life. Interview questions elicited perceptions of care both at VA sites and at non-VA sites. Family reports were coded and compared with items in five existing prospective and retrospective instruments that assess the quality of care that patients receive near the end of life. Interviews were completed with 66 family members and revealed 384 codes describing both positive and negative aspects of care during the last month of life. Almost half of these codes were not represented in any of the five reference instruments (n=174; 45%). These codes, some of which are unique to the veteran population, were grouped into eight categories: information about VA benefits (n=36; 55%), inpatient care (n=36; 55%), access to care (n=33; 50%), transitions in care (n=32; 48%), care that the veteran received at the time of death (n=31; 47%), home care (n=26; 40%), health care facilities (n=12; 18%), and mistakes and complications (n=18; 27%). Although most of the reference instruments assessed some aspect of these categories, they did not fully capture the experiences described by our respondents. These data suggest that many aspects of veterans' end-of-life care that are important to their families are not assessed by

  18. Regional variation in post-stroke multidisciplinary rehabilitation care among veteran residents in community nursing homes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia H

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Huanguang Jia,1 Qinglin Pei,1 Charles T Sullivan,1 Diane C Cowper Ripley,1 Samuel S Wu,1 W Bruce Vogel,1 Xinping Wang,1 Douglas E Bidelspach,2 Jennifer L Hale-Gallardo,1 Barbara E Bates3 1Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, Gainesville, FL, 2Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC, 3Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Saginaw, MI, USA Introduction: Effective post-acute multidisciplinary rehabilitation therapy improves stroke survivors’ functional recovery and daily living activities. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA places veterans needing post-acute institutional care in private community nursing homes (CNHs. These placements are made under the same rules and regulations across the VA health care system and through individual per diem contracts between local VA facilities and CNHs. However, there is limited information about utilization of these veterans’ health services as well as the geographic variation of the service utilization. Aim: The aims of this study were to determine rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care utilization by veterans with stroke in VA-contracted CNHs and to assess risk-adjusted regional variations in the utilization of rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care. Methods: This retrospective study included all veterans diagnosed with stroke residing in VA-contracted CNHs between 2006 and 2009. Minimum Dataset (a health status assessment tool for CNH residents for the study CNHs was linked with veterans’ inpatient and outpatient data within the VA health care system. CNHs were grouped into five VA-defined geographic regions: the North Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Continental, and Pacific regions. A two-part model was applied estimating risk-adjusted utilization probability and average weekly utilization days. Two dependent variables were rehabilitation

  19. Veterans and Pell Grant Eligibility in 1982. Joint Hearing before the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Committee on Education and Labor and the Subcommittee on Education, Training and Employment of the Committee on Veterans Affairs, House of Representatives, Ninety-Seventh Congress, Second Session. Serial No. 97-81.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Education and Labor.

    This is a Congressional hearing to review and receive comment on H.R. 6190, legislation that would amend Title 38, United States Code, to exempt GI bill educational benefits from the determination of a veteran's eligibility for Federal educational benefits. Testimony includes statements, prepared statements, letters, and supplemental materials…

  20. Treatment-seeking veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan: comparison with veterans of previous wars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert

    2008-07-01

    Differences in the characteristics and mental health needs of veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan war when compared with those of veterans who served in the Persian Gulf war and in the Vietnam war may have important implications for Veterans Affairs (VA) program and treatment planning. Subjects were drawn from administrative data bases of veterans who sought treatment from specialized VA programs for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Current Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were compared with 4 samples of outpatient and inpatient Persian Gulf and Vietnam veterans whose admission to treatment was either contemporaneous or noncontemporaneous with their admission. A series of analyses of covariance was used hierachically to control for program site and age. In analyses of contemporaneous veterans uncontrolled for age, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans differed most notably from Vietnam veterans by being younger, more likely to be female, less likely to be either married or separated/divorced, more often working, less likely to have ever been incarcerated, and less likely to report exposure to atrocities in the military. Regarding clinical status, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were less often diagnosed with substance abuse disorders, manifested more violent behavior, and had lower rates of VA disability compensation because of PTSD. Differences are more muted in comparisons with Persian Gulf veterans, particularly in those involving noncontemporaneous samples, or those that controlled for age differences. Among recent war veterans with PTSD, social functioning has largely been left intact. There is a window of opportunity, therefore, for developing and focusing on treatment interventions that emphasize the preservation of these social assets.

  1. Use of VA and Medicare services by dually eligible veterans with psychiatric problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Kathleen; Montez-Rath, Maria E; Rosen, Amy K; Christiansen, Cindy L; Loveland, Susan; Ettner, Susan L

    2008-08-01

    To examine how service accessibility measured by geographic distance affects service sector choices for veterans who are dually eligible for veterans affairs (VA) and Medicare services and who are diagnosed with mental health and/or substance abuse (MH/SA) disorders. Primary VA data sources were the Patient Treatment (acute care), Extended Care (long-term care), and Outpatient Clinic files. VA cost data were obtained from (1) inpatient and outpatient cost files developed by the VA Health Economics and Resource Center and (2) outpatient VA Decision Support System files. Medicare data sources were the denominator, Medicare Provider Analysis Review (MEDPAR), Provider-of-Service, Outpatient Standard Analytic and Physician/Supplier Standard Analytic files. Additional sources included the Area Resource File and Census Bureau data. We identified dually eligible veterans who had either an inpatient or outpatient MH/SA diagnosis in the VA system during fiscal year (FY)'99. We then estimated one- and two-part regression models to explain the effects of geographic distance on both VA and Medicare total and MH/SA costs. Results provide evidence for substitution between the VA and Medicare, demonstrating that poorer geographic access to VA inpatient and outpatient clinics decreased VA expenditures but increased Medicare expenditures, while poorer access to Medicare-certified general and psychiatric hospitals decreased Medicare expenditures but increased VA expenditures. As geographic distance to VA medical facility increases, Medicare plays an increasingly important role in providing mental health services to veterans.

  2. Partnership to improve quality care for veterans: the VA Nursing Academy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Doreen C; Selleck, Cynthia S; Eagerton, Gregory; Froelich, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    More than 22 million living veterans reside in the United States. In fact, understanding military culture and the experiences of these veterans is important to their ongoing health care and the unique challenges faced by many. The Veterans Affairs (VA) Nursing Academy began in 2007 to fund pilot partnerships between schools of nursing and local VA health care facilities to better serve our veteran population. Fifteen academic/service partnerships were selected for funding between 2007 and 2009 with the goals of expanding faculty and professional development, increasing nursing student enrollment, providing opportunities for educational and practice innovations, and increasing the recruitment and retention of VA nurses. This article details critical components of the partnership developed between the Birmingham VA Medical Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, a VA Nursing Academy partnership funded in the 2009 cohort. Site-specific goals of the partnership are described along with a discussion of the framework used to develop the Birmingham VA Nursing Academy, which includes relationship building, engagement, governance, evaluation of outcomes, and sustainability. The logic model developed for the partnership is included, and the interim outputs and outcomes of this practice-academic partnership are detailed, a number of which can be replicated by VAs and schools of nursing across the country. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Elements of the Veterans Health Administration Patient-Centered Medical Home are Associated with Greater Adherence to Oral Hypoglycemic Agents in Patients with Diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meo, Nicholas; Wong, Edwin; Sun, Haili; Curtis, Idamay; Batten, Adam; Fihn, Stephan D; Nelson, Karin

    2017-07-05

    In 2010, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) primary care clinics adopted a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. This study sought to examine the association between the organizational features related to adoption of PCMH and the level of adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) among patients with diabetes. This retrospective cohort study involved 757 VA clinics that provide primary care to 440,971 patients with diabetes who were taking OHAs in fiscal year 2012. One-year refill-based medication possession ratios (MPRs) were calculated at the patient level. Clinic-level adherence was defined as the proportion of clinics with MPR ≥80%. Risk adjustment of adherence was performed using logistic regression to account for differences in patient populations at clinics. Eight domains of the PCMH model (ie, access, continuity, coordination, teamwork, comprehensive care, self-management, communication, shared decision making) were assessed using items from a previously validated index. Multivariate linear regression was applied to identify PCMH components associated with clinic-level adherence. Patients with diabetes per clinic ranged from 100 to 5011. The average level of adherence to OHAs among clinics ranged from 52.8% to 61.9% (interquartile range = 57.9% to 59.4%). In multivariate analysis, organizational features associated with higher clinic-level adherence included access to routine care (standardized beta [Sβ] = .21, P = .004), having a respectful office staff (Sβ = 0.21, P = .002), and utilization of telephone encounters (Sβ = 0.23, P < .001). Among a national cohort of veterans with diabetes, overall PCMH implementation did not significantly increase adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents, although aspects of implementation were associated with increased adherence. Measures of access to care appear the most significant.

  4. Hospital utilization and personality characteristics of veterans with psychiatric problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, W; Weiss, T W; Edens, A; Johnson, M; Thornby, J I

    1998-03-01

    The relationship between hospital utilization and psychometric, demographic, and diagnostic data was examined among veterans with psychiatric problems. Data were obtained from the records of 500 psychiatric inpatients admitted to a Veterans Affairs medical center between 1984 and 1987 and followed for four years. All patients completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the California Personality Inventory, the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, and the Psychological Inventory of Personality and Symptoms. Stepwise linear regression analysis was used to predict the number and length of inpatient stays, and Cox and logistic regression analyses predicted rehospitalization. Higher rates of psychiatric hospital utilization were found among patients who were unmarried, who had disabilities connected with their military service, who had lower levels of adaptive functioning, and who were diagnosed as having posttraumatic stress disorder, drug or alcohol use disorder, or passive-aggressive or antisocial personality disorder. Higher utilization was also found among those whom psychometric data characterized as less responsible and more compulsive. The data also predicted the length of subsequent medical hospitalization and identified patients who stayed out of the hospital longer and who were not rehospitalized. Hospital utilization was found to be a function of psychiatric diagnosis, marital status, and various personality factors. Factors relating to social disadvantage also played a role. Axis I diagnoses, particularly substance use disorders, were as important as, if not more important than, axis II diagnoses in predicting utilization.

  5. Impact of the seeking safety program on clinical outcomes among homeless female veterans with psychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Rani A; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan; Najavits, Lisa M; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2008-09-01

    Seeking Safety is a manualized cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention that is designed to treat clients with comorbid substance abuse and trauma histories. This study examined its effectiveness when used with homeless women veterans with psychiatric or substance abuse problems at 11 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers that had Homeless Women Veterans Programs. The intervention consists of 25 sessions that cover topics to help build safety in clients' lives and is present-focused, offering psychoeducation and coping skills. A cohort of homeless women veterans (N=359) was recruited before Seeking Safety was implemented (phase I). After clinicians were trained and certified in Seeking Safety, a postimplementation cohort was recruited and offered Seeking Safety treatment (phase II, N=91). Phase I lasted from January 2000 to June 2003. Phase II lasted from June 2003 to December 2005. The intervention lasted for six months. All participants were interviewed every three months for one year and received intensive case management and other services during the study. Mixed models were used to compare one-year clinical outcomes across phases. There were few differences across groups at baseline. All women entering the Homeless Women Veterans Programs showed significant improvement on most clinical outcome measures over one year. The Seeking Safety cohort reported significantly better outcomes over one year in employment, social support, general symptoms of psychiatric distress, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, particularly in the avoidance and arousal clusters. However, the Seeking Safety cohort was significantly more likely to have used drugs in the past 30 days. Seeking Safety appears to have had a moderately beneficial impact on several clinical outcomes. Although the nonequivalent comparison groups and low follow-up rates limit the internal validity of these results, availability of Seeking Safety may be of benefit for homeless female veterans

  6. Elder abuse and neglect among veterans in Greater Los Angeles: prevalence, types, and intervention outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Ailee; Lawson, Kerianne; Carpiac, Maria; Spaziano, Eleanor

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the prevalence, types, and intervention outcomes of elder abuse/neglect among a veteran population. A review of medical records of 575 veterans who had received services from the Veteran's Affairs Geriatric Outpatient Clinic in Los Angeles during a three-year period found 31 veterans (5.4%) who had an elder abuse report filed on their behalf. Prevalence of elder abuse/neglect was higher among older (80+) and Caucasian and African American veterans. Eight of 31 victims suffered from more than one type of elder abuse including self-neglect. Financial abuse and self-neglect were the most commonly reported types. Family members were perpetrators in the majority of the cases, excluding self-neglect. However, three-quarters of financial abuse cases were committed by non-family members. Almost one-half of the victims had dementia and eight were clinically depressed. The most common intervention was to move victims from their unsafe home into a nursing home or board and care facility, followed by conservatorship arrangement. These interventions were most frequently used for victims with dementia, and conservatorship was often arranged with another type of intervention, such as a move to a nursing home. Victims who remained at home received conservatorship or outside supportive services or a combination of both. This study calls for more comprehensive and systematic research on elder abuse/neglect at multi-settings in order to generate useful information for prevention and detection of, and effective intervention in elder abuse and neglect in the veteran population.

  7. Treatment of comorbid pain and PTSD in returning veterans: a collaborative approach utilizing behavioral activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plagge, Jane M; Lu, Mary W; Lovejoy, Travis I; Karl, Andrea I; Dobscha, Steven K

    2013-08-01

    We explore preliminary clinical effectiveness and feasibility of an intervention utilizing collaborative care components and behavioral activation (BA) to treat comorbid chronic pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Descriptive, including pre- and posttreatment assessment results. Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Fifty-eight Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with chronic pain and PTSD symptoms. Veterans participated in a biopsychosocial evaluation and up to eight BA sessions using a collaborative approach involving primary care, mental health, and other clinicians. A physiatrist assisted the psychologist in providing recommendations to primary care providers. Participants were administered pre- and posttreatment measures of PTSD, pain severity, pain interference, mental health, quality of life, satisfaction, and global ratings of change with the purpose of assessing progress and improving quality. Of the 58 participants, 30 completed treatment. Common recommendations included physical therapy and exercise programs, pain medication or pain medication adjustments, and additional diagnostic workups, such as imaging. Participants who completed the program showed significant improvements on measures of PTSD, pain severity, and pain interference. Improvements were also evident on measures of mental health and quality of life. Overall, participants were satisfied with the program, and on average reported feeling "somewhat better." These findings suggest that a collaborative approach that includes BA is feasible and a potentially effective treatment for comorbid chronic pain and PTSD. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Medically Unexplained Symptoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... overview of three specific MUS’s: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome and discusses things you ... Public Health Department of Veterans Affairs FIBROMYA LGIA Fibromyalgia (FM) is another MUS that is characterized by ...

  9. Electronic Medical Record Service

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This service provides web services used to obtain clinical data for patients. There are three service methods that allow write functionality signNote, writeNote and...

  10. Profile of Sheltered Homeless Veterans for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This brief uses data from the 2009 and 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Reports (AHAR) to Congress. The reports were sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban...

  11. Off-Label Prescribing of Second-Generation Antipsychotics to Elderly Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semla, Todd P; Lee, Austin; Gurrera, Ronald; Bajor, Laura; Li, Mingfei; Miller, Donald R; Smith, Eric G; Wang, Chao; Wan, Yun; Kazis, Lewis E; Bauer, Mark S

    2017-08-01

    To determine whether elderly veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dementia are more likely to be prescribed second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) than those with PTSD alone. National serial cross-sectional study. Veterans Health Affairs inpatient and outpatient settings. Veterans aged 65 and older with PTSD (excluding schizophrenia or bipolar disorder) with or without concomitant dementia who received care from the Veterans Health Administration between 2003 and 2010 were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes (N = 93,068; 11.1% with dementia). Trends in SGA prescribing and odds of being prescribed an SGA were determined using a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for clinical, sociodemographic, and geographic covariates. Between 2004 and 2009, SGA prescribing declined annually from 7.0% to 5.1% of elderly veterans with PTSD without dementia and 13.2% to 8.9% in those with dementia; findings over time consistently indicated that veterans with PTSD and dementia had at least twice the odds of being prescribed an SGA as those without PTSD (odds ratios 2.03 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.82-2.26) to 2.33 (95% CI = 2.10-2.58). Although the prescribing of SGAs to elderly veterans with PTSD has decreased, prescribing an SGA to those with dementia remained consistently higher than for those with PTSD alone and is problematic given the high prevalence of medical comorbidities in this aging population coupled with the lack of compelling evidence for effectiveness of SGAs in individuals with dementia. © 2017, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2017, The American Geriatrics Society.

  12. Foot care education and self management behaviors in diverse veterans with diabetes

    OpenAIRE

    Olson, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    Jonathan M Olson1, Molly T Hogan2, Leonard M Pogach3, Mangala Rajan3, Gregory J Raugi4, Gayle E Reiber51University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Healthcare System, Center for Healthcare Knowledge Management, East Orange, NJ, USA; 4Division of Dermatology, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA,...

  13. A Randomized Trial of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in High-Risk Suicidal Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Marianne; Banthin, David; Blair, Nicholas J; Mascitelli, Kathryn A; Wilsnack, Jaime; Chen, Jennifer; Messenger, Julie W; Perez-Rodriguez, M Mercedes; Triebwasser, Joseph; Koenigsberg, Harold W; Goetz, Raymond R; Hazlett, Erin A; New, Antonia S

    2016-12-01

    Despite advances in suicide prevention implemented throughout the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) including the hiring of Suicide Prevention Coordinators (SPCs) at every VA hospital, enhanced monitoring, and the availability of 24-hour crisis hotline services, suicide by veterans remains a critical problem affecting 20 veterans daily. Few empirically based treatment strategies for suicide prevention for postdeployment military personnel exist. This study aimed to test whether dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), one of the few psychosocial treatments with proven efficacy in diminishing suicidal behavior in individuals with personality disorder, can be applied to veterans irrespective of personality diagnosis. From January 2010 to December 2014, 91 nonpsychotic veterans at high risk for suicide (61 men, 30 women) were randomly assigned to a 6-month treatment trial at a veterans' medical center comparing standard DBT to treatment as usual (TAU) and followed for 6 months after trial completion. Primary outcome was suicide attempts, measured with the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale, and secondary outcomes were suicide ideation, depression, hopelessness, and anxiety. There were no exclusions pertaining to substance abuse, homelessness, or medical comorbidity. Both DBT and TAU resulted in improvements in suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety during the course of the 6-month treatment trial that did not differ between treatment arms. Survival analyses for suicide attempts and hospitalizations did not differ between treatment arms. However, DBT subjects utilized significantly more individual mental health services than TAU subjects (28.5 ± 19.6 vs 14.7 ± 10.9, F₁,₇₇ = 11.60, P = .001). This study is the first to examine 6-month DBT in a mostly male, veteran population. Increased mental health treatment service delivery, which included enhanced monitoring, outreach, and availability of a designated SPC, did not yield statistically significant

  14. Use of court-ordered supervised disulfiram therapy at DVA medical centers in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Brandon; Mangum, Laura; Beresford, Thomas P

    2005-01-01

    Having reported high adherence to court-mandated disulfiram treatment, we hypothesized that other Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) medical centers would report frequent use of this modality. Telephone interviews with DVA substance abuse clinics in 48 of the 50 states matched the national DVA frequencies. Phone survey responders reported disulfiram prescription as never/rarely 63%, sometimes 32%, and often 5%, while court-ordered disulfiram was used never/rarely 95%, sometimes 3%, and often 2%. Nationally, disulfiram prescriptions covered only 0.07% of all veterans seen. These data suggest a need for a re-evaluation of disulfiram as an underused treatment for alcohol dependence.

  15. Perspectives on Sexual Health and Function of Recent Male Combat Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helmer, Drew A; Beaulieu, Gregory; Powers, Catherine; Houlette, Cheryl; Latini, David; Kauth, Michael

    2015-09-01

    U.S. veterans of recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be at greater risk for sexual dysfunction due to injuries, mental health conditions, medications used to treat those conditions, and psychosocial factors. To explore the perceptions of recent Veterans about sexual health and dysfunction, contributing factors, its impact and solutions. Qualitative study. Eight men who screened positive for sexual dysfunction at initial presentation to a postdeployment clinic at a Veterans Affairs medical center. Patients who screened positive for sexual dysfunction and indicated an interest in participating were contacted and scheduled for an in-person private interview with a researcher. Interviews were semistructured, utilizing open-ended and follow-up probe questions to elicit the individual's perspective about sexual dysfunction and its cause, impact and solutions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed for themes. These heterosexual men discussed a range of sexual dysfunction in their activities including lack of desire, erectile dysfunction, delayed orgasm, premature ejaculation, and distraction. They also discussed the importance of setting or context and changes over time to their sexual health and function. The men shared their ideas about contributory factors, including normal aging, medication side effects, injury and a possible role for combat deployment more generally. Reported solutions for sexual dysfunction included medications, herbal remedies, and new positions and approaches to sexual activity. Participants reported discussing sexual dysfunction with their health-care providers and what was helpful. Finally, the men expressed in their own words the significant impact of sexual dysfunction on their self-perception, their partners, and their relationships. Sexual dysfunction in recent combat veterans can have important negative effects on their health and relationships. Our findings elucidate perceived contributory factors and preferred solutions

  16. Chronic disease management for recently homeless veterans: a clinical practice improvement program to apply home telehealth technology to a vulnerable population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielian, Sonya; Yuan, Anita; Andersen, Ronald M; McGuire, James; Rubenstein, Lisa; Sapir, Negar; Gelberg, Lillian

    2013-03-01

    Although vulnerable populations may benefit from in-home health information technologies (HIT) that promote disease self-management, there is a "digital divide" in which these groups are often unlikely to use such programs. We describe the early phases of applying and testing an existing Veterans Affairs (VA) HIT-care management program, Care Coordination Home Telehealth (CCHT), to recently homeless Veterans in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Peers were used to support patient participation. CCHT uses in-home messaging devices to provide health education and daily questions about clinical indicators from chronic illness care guidelines, with patient responses reviewed by VHA nurses. Patients could also receive adjunctive peer support. We used medical record review, Veteran interviews, and staff surveys to "diagnose" barriers to CCHT use, assess program acceptability, explore the role of peer support, and inform future quality improvement. Fourteen eligible Veterans in HUD-VASH agreed to CCHT participation. Ten of these Veterans opted to have adjunctive peer support and the other 4 enrolled in CCHT usual care. Although barriers to enrollment/engagement must be addressed, this subset of Veterans in HUD-VASH was satisfied with CCHT. Most Veterans did not require support from peers to engage in CCHT but valued peer social assistance amidst the isolation felt in their scattered-site homes. HIT tools hold promise for in-home care management for recently housed Veterans. Patient-level barriers to enrollment must be addressed in the next steps of quality improvement, testing and evaluating peer-driven CCHT recruitment.

  17. Retaining homeless veterans in outpatient care: a pilot study of mobile phone text message appointment reminders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInnes, D Keith; Petrakis, Beth Ann; Gifford, Allen L; Rao, Sowmya R; Houston, Thomas K; Asch, Steven M; O'Toole, Thomas P

    2014-09-01

    We examined the feasibility of using mobile phone text messaging with homeless veterans to increase their engagement in care and reduce appointment no-shows. We sent 2 text message reminders to participants (n = 20) before each of their outpatient appointments at an urban Veterans Affairs medical center. Evaluation included pre- and postsurvey questionnaires, open-ended questions, and review of medical records. We estimated costs and savings of large-scale implementation. Participants were satisfied with the text-messaging intervention, had very few technical difficulties, and were interested in continuing. Patient-cancelled visits and no-shows trended downward from 53 to 37 and from 31 to 25, respectively. Participants also experienced a statistically significant reduction in emergency department visits, from 15 to 5 (difference of 10; 95% confidence interval [CI]  = 2.2, 17.8; P = .01), and a borderline significant reduction in hospitalizations, from 3 to 0 (difference of 3; 95% CI = -0.4, 6.4; P = .08). Text message reminders are a feasible means of reaching homeless veterans, and users consider it acceptable and useful. Implementation may reduce missed visits and emergency department use, and thus produce substantial cost savings.

  18. Evaluation of Veterans' Suicide Risk With the Use of Linguistic Detection Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard Westgate, Christine; Shiner, Brian; Thompson, Paul; Watts, Bradley V

    2015-10-01

    Many people who die from suicide received recent medical care prior to their death. Suicide risk assessment tools for health care settings focus on a variety of clinical and demographic factors but generally do not examine the text of notes written by clinicians about patients who later die from suicide. This study examined whether clinicians' notes indicated increased use of distancing language during the year preceding patients' suicide. The linguistic content of clinicians' notes for outpatients of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers was examined in the year preceding suicide of 63 veterans. Approximately half of the veterans had received mental health services. They were matched based on mental health service use with living VA outpatients. Linguistics software was used to construct quantitative theme-based categories related to distancing language and to examine temporal trends via keyword analysis. Analysis of clinical notes for outpatients who died from suicide and those who did not revealed a significant difference in clinicians' distancing language. Multiple keywords emerged that also were related to distancing language, and their relative frequency increased in the time approaching the suicide. Linguistic analysis is a promising approach to identify use of distancing language by clinicians, which appears to be a marker of suicide risk. This pilot work indicates that additional analysis and validation with larger cohorts are warranted.

  19. Mental health outreach and screening among returning veterans: are we asking the right questions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloeser, Katharine; McCarron, Kelly K; Batorsky, Benjamin; Reinhard, Matthew J; Pollack, Stanley J; Amdur, Richard

    2014-01-01

    This study looked at predictors of mental health treatment utilization in a unique cohort of recently separated Veterans coming to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (N=152). This convenience sample voluntarily completed questionnaires, which included mental health screening tools, during an outreach event at a large urban VA Medical Center. Researchers reviewed computerized medical records of these consenting participants to record VA treatment utilization. There is a statistically significant association between posttraumatic stress disorder screening results, functional impairment, and treatment-seeking. Certain functional impairments increase the odds of participation in VA mental health care. These include problems with school and/or work (odds ratio (OR)=2.8), physical fights (OR=2.8), physical health problems (OR=3.0), financial difficulties (OR=3.0), irritability/anger (OR=3.4), isolation (OR=3.8), drug use (OR=5.7), and problems with social support (OR=7.0). This study concluded that asking about symptoms alone may not capture the breadth and nature of Veterans' postdeployment difficulties.

  20. 77 FR 70210 - Agency Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-23

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small....'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business and... from subcontractors to compare information obtained from subcontracting plans submitted by prime...