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Sample records for veteran affairs va

  1. 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...

  2. 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

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development of Space for Community Services and Parking in Memphis, TN AGENCY... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...

  3. 76 FR 72048 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Housing in Grand Island, NE AGENCY: Department of... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...

  4. VA Veterans Health Administration Access Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), our most important mission is to provide the high quality health care and benefits Veterans have earned and deserve —...

  5. VA Student Financial Aid. Opportunity To Reduce Overlap in Approving Education and Training Programs. Report to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contracts with state approving agencies (SAAs) to assess whether schools and training programs offer education of sufficient quality for veterans to receive VA education assistance benefits when attending them. The General Accounting Office examined the gatekeeping activities of the VA and the Department of…

  6. 78 FR 77204 - Proposed Information Collection (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-20

    ... AGENCY: Office of Public & Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Office of Public Affairs (OPA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is announcing an... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-NEW] Proposed Information Collection (VA...

  7. AVTA Federal Fleet PEV Readiness Data Logging and Characterization Study for Department of Veterans AffairsVA 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.

  8. 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

    ... the entire Knoxville campus of the VA Central Iowa Healthcare System. The selected lessee will finance... that includes integrated residential, commercial, agricultural and technology components. The... Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461...

  9. 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.

  10. The impact of the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Enhancement Act of 2004 on VA physicians' salaries and retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, William B; Wallace, Tanner A; Wallace, Amy E

    2009-01-01

    To determine whether the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Enhancement Act (the Act), which was designed to achieve VA physician salary parity with American Academy of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Associate Professors and enacted in 2006, had achieved its goal. Using VA human resources datasets and data from the AAMC, we calculated mean VA physician salaries, with 95 percent confidence intervals, for 15 different medical specialties. For each specialty, we compared VA salaries to the median, 25th, and 75th percentile of AAMC Associate Professors' incomes. The Act's passage resulted in a $20,000 annual increase in VA physicians' salaries. VA primary care physicians, medical subspecialists, and psychiatrists had salaries that were comparable to their AAMC counterparts prior to and after enactment of the Act. However, VA surgical specialists', anesthesiologists', and radiologists' salaries lagged their AAMC counterparts both before and after the Act's enactment. Income increases were negatively correlated with full-time workforce changes. VA does not appear to provide comparable salaries for physicians necessary for surgical care. In certain cases, VA should consider outsourcing surgical services.

  11. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Whistleblower Rights & Protections Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  12. 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/m 2 (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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-12

    www.va.gov/health/aboutVHA.asp. 24 Veterans Benefits Administration, “About VBA ,” last updated December 18, 2014, accessed May 10, 2015, http...Department of Veterans Affairs, 2014. Veterans Benefits Administration. “About VBA .” Last updated December 18, 2014. Accessed May 10, 2015. http...OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom VA Department of Veterans Affairs VA OIG Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General VBA Veterans Benefits

  14. 76 FR 8402 - Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2010 Service Contract Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-14

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2010 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of public availability... Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is publishing...

  15. 78 FR 27882 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-13

    ... Verification Self-Assessment Tool that walks the veteran through the regulation and how it applies to the...) Verification Guidelines AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking... regulations governing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification...

  16. 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.

  17. Home Health Care and Patterns of Subsequent VA and Medicare Health Care Utilization for Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houtven, Courtney Harold; Jeffreys, Amy S.; Coffman, Cynthia J.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The Veterans Affairs or VA health care system is in the process of significantly expanding home health care (HOC) nationwide. We describe VA HHC use in 2003 for all VA HHC users from 2002; we examine whether VA utilization across a broad spectrum of services differed for a sample of VA HHC users and their propensity-score-matched…

  18. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional Housing Facility on a 1-Acre Parcel at the George E... lessee will finance, design, develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  19. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Vancouver, WA AGENCY: Department..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  20. 76 FR 67022 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional Housing Facility in Pineville, LA AGENCY..., construct, renovate, manage, operate and maintain the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  1. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional and Permanent Housing Facility in Canandaigua, NY..., construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the lessees... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  2. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Senior Housing Facility in Kerrville, TX AGENCY: Department of..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  3. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Supportive Housing Facility in Lyons, NJ AGENCY..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  4. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Fort Harrison, MT AGENCY..., design, develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  5. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Menlo Park, CA AGENCY: Department..., construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the lessee will... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...

  6. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Housing in Augusta, GA AGENCY: Department of Veterans... lessee will be required to finance, design, develop, construct, maintain and operate the EUL development... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...

  7. 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,...

  8. 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,...

  9. 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,...

  10. 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,...

  11. Hospital System Performance within Veterans Affairs

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning Value Model or SAIL, is a system for summarizing hospital system performance within Veterans Health Administration...

  12. 77 FR 14600 - Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-12

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of... Affairs (VA) is publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of the FY 2011 Service...

  13. Accuracy of Veterans Affairs Databases for Diagnoses of Chronic Diseases

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Jasvinder A.

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Epidemiologic studies usually use database diagnoses or patient self-report to identify disease cohorts, but no previous research has examined the extent to which self-report of chronic disease agrees with database diagnoses in a Veterans Affairs (VA) health care setting. Methods All veterans who had a medical care visit from October 1, 1996, through May 31, 1998, at any of the Veterans Integrated Service Network 13 facilities were surveyed about physician diagnosis of chronic ob...

  14. 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...

  15. Creating a sampling frame for population-based veteran research: Representativeness and overlap of VA and Department of Defense databases

    OpenAIRE

    Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH; Su Sun, MPH; Mark Canning, BA

    2010-01-01

    Most veteran research is conducted in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings, although most veterans obtain healthcare outside the VA. Our objective was to determine the adequacy and relative contributions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and Department of Defense (DOD) administrative databases for representing the U.S. veteran population, using as an example the creation of a sampling frame for the National Survey of Women Vete...

  16. The effect of pre-existing mental health comorbidities on the stage at diagnosis and timeliness of care of solid tumor malignances in a Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wadia, Roxanne J; Yao, Xiaopan; Deng, Yanhong; Li, Jia; Maron, Steven; Connery, Donna; Gunduz-Bruce, Handan; Rose, Michal G

    2015-01-01

    There are limited data on the impact of mental health comorbidities (MHC) on stage at diagnosis and timeliness of cancer care. Axis I MHC affect approximately 30% of Veterans receiving care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. The purpose of this study was to compare stage at diagnosis and timeliness of care of solid tumor malignancies among Veterans with and without MHC. We performed a retrospective analysis of 408 charts of Veterans with colorectal, urothelial, and head/neck cancer diagnosed and treated at VA Connecticut Health Care System (VACHS) between 2008 and 2011. We collected demographic data, stage at diagnosis, medical and mental health co-morbidities, treatments received, key time intervals, and number of appointments missed. The study was powered to assess for stage migration of 15–20% from Stage I/II to Stage III/IV. There was no significant change in stage distribution for patients with and without MHC in the entire study group (p = 0.9442) and in each individual tumor type. There were no significant differences in the time intervals from onset of symptoms to initiation of treatment between patients with and without MHC (p = 0.1135, 0.2042 and 0.2352, respectively). We conclude that at VACHS, stage at diagnosis for patients with colorectal, urothelial and head and neck cancers did not differ significantly between patients with and without MHC. Patients with MHC did not experience significant delays in care. Our study indicates that in a medical system in which mental health is integrated into routine care, patients with Axis I MHC do not experience delays in cancer care

  17. 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...

  18. Accessibility and acceptability of the Department of Veteran Affairs health care: diverse veterans' perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damron-Rodriguez, JoAnn; White-Kazemipour, Whitney; Washington, Donna; Villa, Valentine M; Dhanani, Shawkat; Harada, Nancy D

    2004-03-01

    Diverse veteran's perspectives on the accessibility and acceptability of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health services are presented. The qualitative methodology uses 16 focus groups (N = 178) stratified by war cohort (World War II and Korean Conflict versus Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War) and four ethnic/racial categories (African American, Asian American, European American, Hispanic American). Five themes emerged regarding veterans' health care expectations: (1) better information regarding available services, (2) sense of deserved benefits, (3) concern about welfare stigma, (4) importance of physician attentiveness, and (5) staff respect for patients as veterans. Although veterans' ethnic/racial backgrounds differentiated their military experiences, it was the informants' veteran identity that framed what they expected of VA health services. Accessibility and acceptability of VA health care is related to veterans' perspectives of the nature of their entitlement to service. Provider education and customer service strategies should consider the identified factors to increase access to VA as well as improve veterans' acceptance of the care.

  19. Comparison of outcomes for veterans receiving dialysis care from VA and non-VA providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Virginia; Maciejewski, Matthew L; Patel, Uptal D; Stechuchak, Karen M; Hynes, Denise M; Weinberger, Morris

    2013-01-18

    Demand for dialysis treatment exceeds its supply within the Veterans Health Administration (VA), requiring VA to outsource dialysis care by purchasing private sector dialysis for veterans on a fee-for-service basis. It is unclear whether outcomes are similar for veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus non-VA providers. We assessed the extent of chronic dialysis treatment utilization and differences in all-cause hospitalizations and mortality between veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus VA-outsourced providers. We constructed a retrospective cohort of veterans in 2 VA regions who received chronic dialysis treatment financed by VA between January 2007 and December 2008. From VA administrative data, we identified veterans who received outpatient dialysis in (1) VA, (2) VA-outsourced settings, or (3) both ("dual") settings. In adjusted analyses, we used two-part and logistic regression to examine associations between dialysis setting and all-cause hospitalization and mortality one-year from veterans' baseline dialysis date. Of 1,388 veterans, 27% received dialysis exclusively in VA, 47% in VA-outsourced settings, and 25% in dual settings. Overall, half (48%) were hospitalized and 12% died. In adjusted analysis, veterans in VA-outsourced settings incurred fewer hospitalizations and shorter hospital stays than users of VA due to favorable selection. Dual-system dialysis patients had lower one-year mortality than veterans receiving VA dialysis. VA expenditures for "buying" outsourced dialysis are high and increasing relative to "making" dialysis treatment within its own system. Outcomes comparisons inform future make-or-buy decisions and suggest the need for VA to consider veterans' access to care, long-term VA savings, and optimal patient outcomes in its placement decisions for dialysis services.

  20. Comparison of outcomes for veterans receiving dialysis care from VA and non-VA providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Virginia

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Demand for dialysis treatment exceeds its supply within the Veterans Health Administration (VA, requiring VA to outsource dialysis care by purchasing private sector dialysis for veterans on a fee-for-service basis. It is unclear whether outcomes are similar for veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus non-VA providers. We assessed the extent of chronic dialysis treatment utilization and differences in all-cause hospitalizations and mortality between veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus VA-outsourced providers. Methods We constructed a retrospective cohort of veterans in 2 VA regions who received chronic dialysis treatment financed by VA between January 2007 and December 2008. From VA administrative data, we identified veterans who received outpatient dialysis in (1 VA, (2 VA-outsourced settings, or (3 both (“dual” settings. In adjusted analyses, we used two-part and logistic regression to examine associations between dialysis setting and all-cause hospitalization and mortality one-year from veterans’ baseline dialysis date. Results Of 1,388 veterans, 27% received dialysis exclusively in VA, 47% in VA-outsourced settings, and 25% in dual settings. Overall, half (48% were hospitalized and 12% died. In adjusted analysis, veterans in VA-outsourced settings incurred fewer hospitalizations and shorter hospital stays than users of VA due to favorable selection. Dual-system dialysis patients had lower one-year mortality than veterans receiving VA dialysis. Conclusions VA expenditures for “buying” outsourced dialysis are high and increasing relative to “making” dialysis treatment within its own system. Outcomes comparisons inform future make-or-buy decisions and suggest the need for VA to consider veterans’ access to care, long-term VA savings, and optimal patient outcomes in its placement decisions for dialysis services.

  1. VA Disability Compensation and Money Spent on Substance Use Among Homeless Veterans: A Controversial Association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2015-06-01

    There has long been concern that public support payments are used to support addictive behaviors. This study examined the amount of money homeless veterans spend on alcohol and drugs and the association between public support income, including VA disability compensation, and expenditures on alcohol and drugs. Data were from 1,160 veterans from 19 sites on entry into the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. Descriptive statistics and nonparametric analyses were conducted. About 33% of veterans reported spending money on alcohol and 22% reported spending money on drugs in the past month. No significant association was found between public support income, VA disability compensation, and money spent on alcohol and drugs. A substantial proportion of homeless veterans spend some income on alcohol and drugs, but disability income, including VA compensation, does not seem to be related to substance use or money spent on addictive substances.

  2. Technology Reference Model (TRM) Reports: VA Category Mapping Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...

  3. Technology Reference Model (TRM) Reports: VA Category Framework Count Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...

  4. 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...

  5. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the beaches of Normandy, from t... [...] Read Article House Doubles Down on Commitment to Veterans 08 Nov ... R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed nine veterans bills Tuesday and ...

  6. Identifying Homelessness among Veterans Using VA Administrative Data: Opportunities to Expand Detection Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Rachel; Gundlapalli, Adi V.; Metraux, Stephen; Carter, Marjorie E.; Palmer, Miland; Redd, Andrew; Samore, Matthew H.; Fargo, Jamison D.

    2015-01-01

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have used administrative criteria to identify homelessness among U.S. Veterans. Our objective was to explore the use of these codes in VA health care facilities. We examined VA health records (2002-2012) of Veterans recently separated from the military and identified as homeless using VA conventional identification criteria (ICD-9-CM code V60.0, VA specific codes for homeless services), plus closely allied V60 codes indicating housing instability. Logistic regression analyses examined differences between Veterans who received these codes. Health care services and co-morbidities were analyzed in the 90 days post-identification of homelessness. VA conventional criteria identified 21,021 homeless Veterans from Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (rate 2.5%). Adding allied V60 codes increased that to 31,260 (rate 3.3%). While certain demographic differences were noted, Veterans identified as homeless using conventional or allied codes were similar with regards to utilization of homeless, mental health, and substance abuse services, as well as co-morbidities. Differences were noted in the pattern of usage of homelessness-related diagnostic codes in VA facilities nation-wide. Creating an official VA case definition for homelessness, which would include additional ICD-9-CM and other administrative codes for VA homeless services, would likely allow improved identification of homeless and at-risk Veterans. This also presents an opportunity for encouraging uniformity in applying these codes in VA facilities nationwide as well as in other large health care organizations. PMID:26172386

  7. Identifying Homelessness among Veterans Using VA Administrative Data: Opportunities to Expand Detection Criteria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Peterson

    Full Text Available Researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA have used administrative criteria to identify homelessness among U.S. Veterans. Our objective was to explore the use of these codes in VA health care facilities. We examined VA health records (2002-2012 of Veterans recently separated from the military and identified as homeless using VA conventional identification criteria (ICD-9-CM code V60.0, VA specific codes for homeless services, plus closely allied V60 codes indicating housing instability. Logistic regression analyses examined differences between Veterans who received these codes. Health care services and co-morbidities were analyzed in the 90 days post-identification of homelessness. VA conventional criteria identified 21,021 homeless Veterans from Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (rate 2.5%. Adding allied V60 codes increased that to 31,260 (rate 3.3%. While certain demographic differences were noted, Veterans identified as homeless using conventional or allied codes were similar with regards to utilization of homeless, mental health, and substance abuse services, as well as co-morbidities. Differences were noted in the pattern of usage of homelessness-related diagnostic codes in VA facilities nation-wide. Creating an official VA case definition for homelessness, which would include additional ICD-9-CM and other administrative codes for VA homeless services, would likely allow improved identification of homeless and at-risk Veterans. This also presents an opportunity for encouraging uniformity in applying these codes in VA facilities nationwide as well as in other large health care organizations.

  8. Barriers to the use of Veterans Affairs health care services among female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newins, Amie R; Wilson, Sarah M; Hopkins, Tiffany A; Straits-Troster, Kristy; Kudler, Harold; Calhoun, Patrick S

    2018-02-08

    The study investigated barriers to the utilization of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care services among female veterans who served in served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including reasons for not choosing VA health care, reasons for not seeking mental health treatment, and types of desired VA services. Female respondents to a survey assessing Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans' needs and health (N = 186) completed measures of military history, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, barriers to VA health care, and preferences for services. Barriers to use of VA health care endorsed by female veterans included receiving care elsewhere and logistical issues. Barriers to utilization of mental health services among female veterans who screened positive for depression or posttraumatic stress disorder included negative treatment biases and concerns about stigma, privacy, and cost. Female veterans endorsed preferences for services related to eligibility education, nonprimary care physical health services, vocational assistance, and a few behavioral/mental health services. Findings highlight the need for ongoing outreach and education regarding eligibility and types of resources for physical and mental health problems experienced by female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as inform types of VA programming and services desired by female veterans. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. 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.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:28083424

  10. 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

  11. Current and Projected Characteristics and Unique Health Care Needs of the Patient Population Served by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M; Amaral, Ernesto F L; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii; Mendelsohn, Joshua; Ross, Rachel; Rutter, Carolyn M; Weinick, Robin M; Woods, Dulani; 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 current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next decade, and the demographic mix and geographic locations of these veterans will change. While the number of veterans using VA health care has increased over time, demand will level off in the coming years. Veterans have more favorable economic circumstances than non-veterans, but they are also older and more likely to be diagnosed with many health conditions. Not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care. Whether and to what extent an eligible veteran uses VA health care depends on a number of factors, including access to other sources of health care. Veterans who rely on VA health care are older and less healthy than veterans who do not, and the prevalence of costly conditions in this population is projected to increase. Potential changes to VA policy and the context for VA health care, including effects of the Affordable Care Act, could affect demand. Analysis of a range of data sources provided insight into how the veteran population is likely to change in the next decade.

  12. Current and Projected Characteristics and Unique Health Care Needs of the Patient Population Served by the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M.; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W.; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M.; Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii; Mendelsohn, Joshua; Ross, Rachel; Rutter, Carolyn M.; Weinick, Robin M.; Woods, Dulani; Hosek, Susan D.; Farmer, Carrie M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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 current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next decade, and the demographic mix and geographic locations of these veterans will change. While the number of veterans using VA health care has increased over time, demand will level off in the coming years. Veterans have more favorable economic circumstances than non-veterans, but they are also older and more likely to be diagnosed with many health conditions. Not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care. Whether and to what extent an eligible veteran uses VA health care depends on a number of factors, including access to other sources of health care. Veterans who rely on VA health care are older and less healthy than veterans who do not, and the prevalence of costly conditions in this population is projected to increase. Potential changes to VA policy and the context for VA health care, including effects of the Affordable Care Act, could affect demand. Analysis of a range of data sources provided insight into how the veteran population is likely to change in the next decade. PMID:28083423

  13. Current and Projected Characteristics and Unique Health Care Needs of the Patient Population Served by the Department of Veterans Affairs

    OpenAIRE

    Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M.; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W.; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M.; Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii

    2016-01-01

    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 current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next...

  14. Relation of Gemfibrozil Treatment and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Subpopulation Profile with Cardiovascular Events in the Veterans Affairs HDL Intervention Trial (VA-HIT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asztalos, Bela F.; Collins, Dorothea; Horvath, Katalin V.; Bloomfield, Hanna E.; Robins, Sander J.; Schaefer, Ernst J.

    2007-01-01

    Objective The significant cardiovascular disease (CVD) event reduction in VA-HIT could not be fully explained by the 6% increase in HDL-C with the fibrate, gemfibrozil. We examined whether measurement of HDL subpopulations provided additional information relative to CVD-risk reduction. Methods and Results HDL subpopulations were characterized by 2-dimensional gel-electrophoresis in subjects who were treated with gemfibrozil (n=754) or placebo (n=741). In this study, samples obtained at the 3-month visit were used and data were analyzed prospectively using CVD events (CHD death, MI, or stroke) during the 5.1 years follow up. Analyses in the gemfibrozil arm showed that subjects with recurrent CVD events had significantly higher preβ-1 and had significantly lower α-1 and α-2 HDL levels than those without such events. Preβ-1 level was a significant positive predictor; α-1 and α-2 levels were significant negative risk factors for future CVD events. α-2 level was superior to HDL-C level in CVD-risk assessment after adjustment for established risk factors. Gemfibrozil treatment was associated with 3%-6% decreases in the small, lipid-poor preβ-1 HDL and in the large, lipid-rich α-1 and α-2 HDL and with increases in the small α-3 (3%) and preα-3 (16%) HDLs. Conclusions While the use of gemfibrozil has been associated with reduction in CVD events in VA-HIT, HDL subpopulation analysis indicates that gemfibrozil-mediated improvement in CVD risk might not be the result of its effects on HDL. It is quite possible that much of the cardiovascular benefits of gemfibrozil are due to a much wider spectrum of effects on metabolic processes that is not reflected by changes in blood lipids and HDL subpopulations. PMID:18078862

  15. Examination of Veterans Affairs disability compensation as a disincentive for employment in a population-based sample of Veterans under age 65.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2013-12-01

    Concerns that disability benefits may create disincentives for employment may be especially relevant for young American military veterans, particularly veterans of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are facing a current economic recession and turning in large numbers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for disability compensation. This study describes the rate of employment and VA disability compensation among a nationally representative sample of veterans under the age of 65 and examines the association between levels of VA disability compensation and employment, adjusting for sociodemographics and health status. Data on a total of 4,787 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans were analyzed using multinomial logistic regressions to compare employed veterans with two groups that were not employed. Two-thirds of veterans under the age of 65 were employed, although only 36 % of veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating of 50 % or higher were employed. Veterans who received no VA disability compensation or who were service-connected 50 % or more were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for employment than veterans who were not service-connected or were service-connected less than 50 %, suggesting high but not all levels of VA disability compensation create disincentives for employment. Results were similar when analyses were limited to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Education and vocational rehabilitation interventions, as well as economic work incentives, may be needed to maximize employment among veterans with disabilities.

  16. Multidisciplinary HIS DICOM interfaces at the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmak, Peter M.; Dayhoff, Ruth E.

    2000-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is using the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard to integrate image data objects from multiple systems for use across the healthcare enterprise. DICOM uses a structured representation of image data and a communication mechanism that allows the VA to easily acquire images from multiple sources and store them directly into the online patient record. The VA can obtain both radiology and non- radiology images using DICOM, and can display them on low-cost clinician's color workstations throughout the medical center. High-resolution gray-scale diagnostic quality multi-monitor workstations with specialized viewing software can be used for reading radiology images. The VA's DICOM capabilities can interface six different commercial Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and over twenty different image acquisition modalities. The VA is advancing its use of DICOM beyond radiology. New color imaging applications for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Ophthalmology using DICOM are under development. These are the first DICOM offerings for the vendors, who are planning to support the recently passed DICOM Visible Light and Structured Reporting service classes. Implementing these in VistA is a challenge because of the different workflow and software support for these disciplines within the VA HIS environment.

  17. Helman defends decision to pull VA sponsorship of Veterans day parade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. Sharon Helman, Phoenix VA Director, defended her decision to cancel VA sponsorship of the annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade in a 4/10/13 email to VA employees. Helman said that VA sponsorship was cancelled because of “…priorities in the organization (specifically access, and heightened awareness over liability concerns which VA Legal Counsel brought forward”. She concluded her letter by warning “… that all media inquiries should be forwarded to Paul Coupaud, Acting Public Affairs Officer”. VA officials initially said fear of litigation prompted the review of VA support. Last year, a float carrying wounded Veterans in a Midland, Texas, parade collided with a freight train, killing four and injuring 17. Crash victims and their families filed lawsuits in Texas against Union Pacific Railroad and the float owner. The VA was not a defendant, and the VA has not issued any national directives on liability as a result of the tragedy.In…

  18. Veterans affairs disability compensation: a case study in countertherapeutic jurisprudence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossman, D

    1996-01-01

    This article examines the disability compensation programs and health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from the perspective of therapeutic jurisprudence scholarship. VA psychiatric patients have unambiguous financial incentives to endlessly litigate disability claims, to seek lengthy hospitalization rather than outpatient treatment, and to be ill, disabled, and unemployed. These countertherapeutic incentives reward incapacitation, encourage perceiving one-self as sick, diminish personal responsibility, taint treatment relationships, and lead to disparaging perceptions of VA patients. In addition, such perceptions produce moral dilemmas that arise from mutual distrust and frustration when patients and caregivers have antagonistic goals for the clinical encounter. Changes in disability determination procedures, compensation levels, and patterns of payment for treatment could give VA patients and caregivers a "healthier" health care system that encourages personal responsibility and promotes respectful attitudes toward patients. In the absence of such changes, an awareness of countertherapeutic financial incentives can help clinicians distinguish between psychopathological behavior and the pursuit of a rational income strategy, and can help practitioners recognize that apparently deceitful or litigious behavior represents a reasonable response to the economic contingencies that VA patients face.

  19. Creating a sampling frame for population-based veteran research: representativeness and overlap of VA and Department of Defense databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington, Donna L; Sun, Su; Canning, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Most veteran research is conducted in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings, although most veterans obtain healthcare outside the VA. Our objective was to determine the adequacy and relative contributions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and Department of Defense (DOD) administrative databases for representing the U.S. veteran population, using as an example the creation of a sampling frame for the National Survey of Women Veterans. In 2008, we merged the VHA, VBA, and DOD databases. We identified the number of unique records both overall and from each database. The combined databases yielded 925,946 unique records, representing 51% of the 1,802,000 U.S. women veteran population. The DOD database included 30% of the population (with 8% overlap with other databases). The VHA enrollment database contributed an additional 20% unique women veterans (with 6% overlap with VBA databases). VBA databases contributed an additional 2% unique women veterans (beyond 10% overlap with other databases). Use of VBA and DOD databases substantially expands access to the population of veterans beyond those in VHA databases, regardless of VA use. Adoption of these additional databases would enhance the value and generalizability of a wide range of studies of both male and female veterans.

  20. 75 FR 7648 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Veterans Affairs...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-22

    ... Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 100-503), amended the Privacy... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA 2010-0006] Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/ Department of Veterans Affairs/Veterans Benefits Administration (VA/ VBA...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Brief report: Comparison of methods to identify Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs administrative data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bangerter, Ann; Gravely, Amy; Cutting, Andrea; Clothier, Barb; Spoont, Michele; Sayer, Nina

    2010-01-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made treatment and care of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans a priority. Researchers face challenges identifying the OIF/OEF population because until fiscal year 2008, no indicator of OIF/OEF service was present in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative databases typically used for research. In this article, we compare an algorithm we developed to identify OIF/OEF veterans using the Austin Information Technology Center administrative data with the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster and veterans' self-report of military service. We drew data from two different institutional review board-approved funded studies. The positive predictive value of our algorithm compared with the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster and self-report was 92% and 98%, respectively. However, this method of identifying OIF/OEF veterans failed to identify a large proportion of OIF/OEF veterans listed in the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster. Demographic, diagnostic, and VA service use differences were found between veterans identified using our method and those we failed to identify but who were in the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster. Therefore, depending on the research objective, this method may not be a viable alternative to the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster for identifying OIF/OEF veterans.

  5. Perioperative management of obstructive sleep apnea: a survey of Veterans Affairs health care providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhanda Patil, Reena; Patil, Yash J

    2012-01-01

    (1) To determine the presence of Veterans Affairs (VA) institutional guidelines for the perioperative management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); (2) to examine current use of preoperative screening tools for OSA in the VA; and (3) to understand current VA practice patterns regarding postoperative disposition of patients with OSA. Survey study. Veterans Affairs hospitals with surgical services; sample size 102 facilities. Veterans Affairs health care providers. The authors surveyed health care providers at VA hospitals using a survey tool developed by the authors. The response rate was 80%. A variety of preoperative screening tools for OSA were used by respondents, most commonly American Society of Anesthesiologists guidelines (53%). A policy for postoperative disposition of known and presumed OSA was present in 26% and 19% of responses, respectively. Of those respondents reporting a formal postoperative care policy, 48% and 30% admitted patients to a monitored ward bed and surgical intensive care unit, respectively. Of the 74% of respondents unaware of an institutional policy, Anesthesia and Surgery worked together to dictate postoperative disposition of patients with known OSA 73% of the time. The degree of OSA was ranked as the most important factor (58%) influencing postoperative disposition. Ten percent of respondents reported a major perioperative complication attributable to OSA in the past year. This survey study elucidates the heterogeneity of preoperative screening for and postoperative care of veterans with OSA. Future investigators may use these data to formalize institutional policies with regard to patients with OSA, with potentially significant impacts on patient care and usage of financial resources.

  6. The relationship between local area labor market conditions and the use of Veterans Affairs health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Edwin S; Liu, Chuan-Fen

    2013-03-13

    In the U.S., economic conditions are intertwined with labor market decisions, access to health care, health care utilization and health outcomes. The Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has served as a safety net provider by supplying free or reduced cost care to qualifying veterans. This study examines whether local area labor market conditions, measured using county-level unemployment rates, influence whether veterans obtain health care from the VA. We used survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in years 2000, 2003 and 2004 to construct a random sample of 73,964 respondents self-identified as veterans. VA health service utilization was defined as whether veterans received all, some or no care from the VA. Hierarchical ordered logistic regression was used to address unobserved state and county random effects while adjusting for individual characteristics. Local area labor market conditions were defined as the average 12-month unemployment rate in veterans' county of residence. The mean unemployment rate for veterans receiving all, some and no care was 5.56%, 5.37% and 5.24%, respectively. After covariate adjustment, a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate in a veteran's county of residence was associated with an increase in the probability of receiving all care (0.34%, p-value = 0.056) or some care (0.29%, p-value = 0.023) from the VA. Our findings suggest that the important role of the VA in providing health care services to veterans is magnified in locations with high unemployment.

  7. OneVA Pharmacy

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The OneVA Pharmacy application design consists of 3 main components: VistA Medication Profile screen, Health Data Record Clinical Data Service (HDR/CDS), and OneVA...

  8. Perceptions regarding cardiothoracic surgical training at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakaeen, Faisal G; Stephens, Elizabeth H; Chu, Danny; Holman, William L; Vaporciyan, Ara A; Merrill, Walter H; Grover, Frederick L

    2011-05-01

    With cardiothoracic education going through a critical phase of reevaluation and adaptation, we investigated perceptions of Veterans Affairs hospitals in cardiothoracic training. A content-validated survey was distributed electronically to 676 cardiothoracic surgery residents, recent cardiothoracic graduates (on or after June 2006), cardiothoracic surgery chairpersons, program directors, associate program directors, and section heads. The Cardiothoracic Surgery Network was used to identify target recipients and their e-mail addresses. Forty-three percent of the target recipients (292/676) completed the survey. Of those who were residents, 59% (65/111) rotated at a Veterans Affairs hospital during their cardiothoracic training; this rotation accounted for 25% or more of the total training period for 19% of them (21/111). A Veterans Affairs appointment was held by 42% of program directors/chairpersons (20/48) and 24% of graduates, associate program directors, and section heads (31/129). An affiliation with a Veterans Affairs hospital was rated as somewhat to very beneficial by 93% of the responders (273/292), and the cardiothoracic training received at Veterans Affairs facilities was rated as good to excellent by 73% of the responders (213/292). Sixty-nine percent of respondents (201/292) reported the operating room environment at Veterans Affairs hospitals to be at least as conducive to learning as that at the affiliate teaching hospital, and 76% (223/292) indicated that residents get more autonomy and hands-on experience at Veterans Affairs institutions. In addition, 64% of responders (188/292) reported that they would seek or recommend a Veterans Affairs job. Responses were positive toward the Veterans Affairs system regardless of whether the responder had any Veterans Affairs affiliation (ie, appointment as staff or rotation as resident); however, a Veterans Affairs affiliation was associated with a higher rate of positive responses regarding Veterans Affairs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-29

    National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); and the National Health Interview Survey ( NHIS ). As of July 1, 2010, VA has submitted to...NHANES and NHIS staff specific questions that if answered positively, will identify Veteran study subjects beginning in 2011 in both these National...several discussions with investigators on the NHANES and NHIS . Staffs from both surveys are willing to include Veteran-specific questions and to plan

  10. Non-VA Hospital System (NVH)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) pays for care provided to VA beneficiaries in non-VA hospitals through its contract hospitalization program as mandated by...

  11. Veterans Affairs Intensive Case Management for older veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Somaia; Neale, Michael S; Rosenheck, Robert

    2009-08-01

    There is a growing need for information on evidence-based practices that may potentially address needs of elderly people with severe mental illness (SMI), and more specifically on community-based services such as assertive community treatment (ACT). This study examines national evaluation data from fiscal year 2001-2005 from Veterans Affairs Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) program (N = 5,222), an ACT-based service model, to characterize the age distribution of participants and the distinctive needs, patterns of service delivery, and treatment outcomes for elderly veterans. Altogether, 24.8% of participants were 55-64 years; 7.4% 65-74 years; and 2.8% were older than 75. Veterans over 75 formed a distinct subgroup that had a later age of onset of primarily nonpsychotic illnesses without comorbid substance abuse and had experienced more limited lifetime hospital treatment than younger participants. Older veterans were less symptomatic and more satisfied with their social relationships than younger clients. They mostly live independently or in minimally restrictive housing, but they received less recovery-focused services and more crisis intervention and medical services. They thus do not appear to be young patients with SMI who have aged but rather constitute a distinct group with serious late-onset problems. It is possible that MHICM services keep them in the community and avoid costly nursing home placement while providing a respite service that reduces family burden. These data highlight the unique characteristics of older veterans receiving ACT-like services and the need to focus greater attention on recovery-oriented services as well as community support for this subgroup.

  12. 77 FR 52379 - Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-29

    ... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of open Federal Advisory Committee meeting. SUMMARY: The SBA is... Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: September 10, 2012...

  13. 78 FR 70088 - Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-22

    ... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of open Federal Advisory Committee meeting. SUMMARY: The SBA is... Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: December 5, 2013 from...

  14. 75 FR 22434 - Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-28

    ... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of open Federal Advisory Committee Meeting. SUMMARY: The SBA is... Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: Tuesday, May 25, 2010...

  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. Headache diagnoses among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans enrolled in VA: a gender comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Kathleen F; Taylor, Brent C; Hagel, Emily M; Cutting, Andrea; Kerns, Robert; Sayer, Nina A

    2013-01-01

    To examine the prevalence and correlates of headache diagnoses, by gender, among Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans who use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care. Understanding the health care needs of recent Veterans, and how these needs differ between women and men, is a priority for the VA. The potential for a large burden of headache disorders among Veterans seeking VA services exists but has not been examined in a representative sample. We conducted a historical cohort study using national VA inpatient and outpatient data from fiscal year 2011. Participants were all (n = 470,215) Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran VA users in 2011; nearly 13% were women. We identified headache diagnoses using International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) diagnosis codes assigned during one or more VA inpatient or outpatient encounters. Descriptive analyses included frequencies of patient characteristics, prevalence and types of headache diagnoses, and prevalence of comorbid diagnoses. Prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to estimate associations between gender and headache diagnoses. Multivariate models adjusted for age and race. Additional models also adjusted for comorbid diagnoses. In 2011, 56,300 (11.9%) Veterans received a headache-related diagnosis. While controlling for age and race, headache diagnoses were 1.61 times more prevalent (95% CI = 1.58-1.64) among women (18%) than men (11%). Most of this difference was associated with migraine diagnoses, which were 2.66 times more prevalent (95% CI = 2.59-2.73) among women. Cluster and post-traumatic headache diagnoses were less prevalent in women than in men. These patterns remained the same when also controlling for comorbid diagnoses, which were common among both women and men with headache diagnoses. The most prevalent comorbid diagnoses examined were depression (46% of women with headache diagnoses vs 40% of men), post-traumatic stress disorder (38% vs 58%), and back

  17. Job satisfaction of Department of Veterans Affairs peer mental health providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Bei-Hung; Mueller, Lisa; Resnick, Sandra G; Osatuke, Katerine; Eisen, Susan V

    2016-03-01

    Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) peer specialists and vocational rehabilitation specialists are Veterans employed in mental health services to help other Veterans with similar histories and experiences. Study objectives were to (a) examine job satisfaction among these employees, (b) compare them to other VA mental health workers, and (c) identify factors associated with job satisfaction across the 3 cohorts. The study sample included 152 VA-employed peer specialists and 222 vocational rehabilitation specialists. A comparison group included 460 VA employees from the same job categories. All participants completed the Job Satisfaction Index (11 aspects and overall satisfaction ratings). Linear regression was used to compare job satisfaction and identify its predictors among the 3 cohorts. Job satisfaction was fairly high, averaging "somewhat satisfied" to "very satisfied" in 6 (peer specialists) and 9 (vocational rehabilitation specialists) of the 11 aspects and overall job ratings. Adjusting for length of employment, age and gender resulted in no significant group differences with 2 exceptions: White peer specialists were less satisfied with pay and promotion opportunities than vocational rehabilitation specialists and comparison-group employees. Across all cohorts, shorter length of time employed in the job was associated with higher job satisfaction. The high job satisfaction levels among the 2 peer cohorts suggest support for the policy of hiring peer specialists in the VA. Furthermore, the results are consistent with those of the nonveteran samples, indicating that integrating peer providers into mental health care is possible in VA and non-VA settings. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Do Older Rural and Urban Veterans Experience Different Rates of Unplanned Readmission to VA and Non-VA Hospitals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, William B.; Lee, Richard E.; Wallace, Amy E.; West, Alan N.; Bagian, James P.

    2009-01-01

    Context: Unplanned readmission within 30 days of discharge is an indicator of hospital quality. Purpose: We wanted to determine whether older rural veterans who were enrolled in the VA had different rates of unplanned readmission to VA or non-VA hospitals than their urban counterparts. Methods: We used the combined VA/Medicare dataset to examine…

  19. Access to mental health care among women Veterans: is VA meeting women's needs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimerling, Rachel; Pavao, Joanne; Greene, Liberty; Karpenko, Julie; Rodriguez, Allison; Saweikis, Meghan; Washington, Donna L

    2015-04-01

    Patient-centered access to mental health describes the fit between patient needs and resources of the system. To date, little data are available to guide implementation of services to women veterans, an underrepresented minority within Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health care. The current study examines access to mental health care among women veterans, and identifies gender-related indicators of perceived access to mental health care. A population-based sample of 6287 women veterans using VA primary care services participated in a survey of past year perceived need for mental health care, mental health utilization, and gender-related mental health care experiences. Subjective rating of how well mental health care met their needs was used as an indicator of perceived access. Half of all women reported perceived mental health need; 84.3% of those women received care. Nearly all mental health users (90.9%) used VA services, although only about half (48.8%) reported that their mental health care met their needs completely or very well. Gender related experiences (availability of female providers, women-only treatment settings, women-only treatment groups, and gender-related comfort) were each associated with 2-fold increased odds of perceived access, and associations remained after adjusting for ease of getting care. Women VA users demonstrate very good objective access to mental health services. Desire for, and access to specialized mental health services for women varies across the population and are important aspects of shared decision making in referral and treatment planning for women using VA primary care.

  20. 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...

  1. Medical-Legal Partnerships At Veterans Affairs Medical Centers Improved Housing And Psychosocial Outcomes For Vets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Middleton, Margaret; Villegas, Jennifer; Johnson, Cindy; Retkin, Randye; Seidman, Alison; Sherman, Scott; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2017-12-01

    Medical-legal partnerships-collaborations between legal professionals and health care providers that help patients address civil legal problems that can affect health and well-being-have been implemented at several Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers to serve homeless and low-income veterans with mental illness. We describe the outcomes of veterans who accessed legal services at four partnership sites in Connecticut and New York in the period 2014-16. The partnerships served 950 veterans, who collectively had 1,384 legal issues; on average, the issues took 5.4 hours' worth of legal services to resolve. The most common problems were related to VA benefits, housing, family issues, and consumer issues. Among a subsample of 148 veterans who were followed for one year, we observed significant improvements in housing, income, and mental health. Veterans who received more partnership services showed greater improvements in housing and mental health than those who received fewer services, and those who achieved their predefined legal goals showed greater improvements in housing status and community integration than those who did not. Medical-legal partnerships represent an opportunity to expand cross-sector, community-based partnerships in the VA health care system to address social determinants of mental health.

  2. Developing a Leadership Development Program for the Veterans Benefits Administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-13

    highest priorities: Veteran homelessness, “ VBA access ” to allow improved awareness of available VA services and benefits, and the backlog of benefits...Veterans by 2015. VBA access refers to improved Veteran awareness of the various VA benefits and services available, particularly through outreach and...claim completion time. While all three of these priorities impact VBA , the second two--increased access and decreased backlog--directly relate to

  3. 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....

  4. 38 CFR 26.7 - VA environmental decision making and documents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false VA environmental decision making and documents. 26.7 Section 26.7 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) ACTIONS § 26.7 VA environmental decision making and document...

  5. 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.

  6. OneVA EA Vision and Strategy

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The outcomes/goals supported by effective use of an EA are: Improved Service Delivery, Functional Integration, Resource Optimization and Authoritative Reference. VA...

  7. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY 2016

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  8. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  9. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  10. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  11. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  12. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  13. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  14. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...

  15. 78 FR 55777 - Proposed Information Collection (VA, National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events, Event...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-11

    ... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Titles: a. National Disabled Veterans Winter... Form 0928h. m. Surfing Personnel Application, VA Form 0928i. n. Venue Personnel Application, VA Form... Creative Arts Festival, National Veterans TEE Tournament, National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic...

  16. Impact of presumed service-connected diagnosis on the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare utilization patterns of Vietnam-Theater Veterans: A cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Dennis A; Rajan, Mangala; Tseng, Chin-Lin; Helmer, Drew

    2018-05-01

    During the Vietnam War, the US military sprayed almost 20 million gallons of Agent Orange (AO), an herbicide contaminated with dioxin, over Vietnam. Approximately, 2.7 million US military personnel may have been exposed to AO during their deployment. Ordinarily, veterans who can demonstrate a nexus between a diagnosed condition and military service are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) service-connected disability compensation. Vietnam Veterans have had difficulty, however, establishing a nexus between AO exposure and certain medical conditions that developed many years after the war. In response, VA has designated certain conditions as "presumed service connected" for Vietnam Veterans who were present and possibly exposed. Veterans with any of these designated conditions do not have to document AO exposure, making it easier for them to access the VA disability system. The extent to which VA healthcare utilization patterns reflect easier access afforded those with diagnosed presumptive conditions remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that Vietnam Veterans with diagnosed presumptive conditions would be heavier users of the VA healthcare system than those without these conditions. In our analysis of 85,699 Vietnam Veterans, we used binary and cumulative logit multivariable regression to assess associations between diagnosed presumptive conditions and VA healthcare utilization in 2013. We found that diagnosed presumptive conditions were associated with higher odds of 5+ VHA primary care visits (OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.93-2.07), 5+ specialty care visits (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 2.04-2.18), emergency department use (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.11-1.34), and hospitalization (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.17-1.29). Consistent with legislative intent, presumptive policies appear to facilitate greater VA system utilization for Vietnam Veterans who may have been exposed to AO.

  17. Impact of presumed service-connected diagnosis on the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare utilization patterns of Vietnam-Theater Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Dennis A.; Rajan, Mangala; Tseng, Chin-lin; Helmer, Drew

    2018-01-01

    Abstract During the Vietnam War, the US military sprayed almost 20 million gallons of Agent Orange (AO), an herbicide contaminated with dioxin, over Vietnam. Approximately, 2.7 million US military personnel may have been exposed to AO during their deployment. Ordinarily, veterans who can demonstrate a nexus between a diagnosed condition and military service are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) service-connected disability compensation. Vietnam Veterans have had difficulty, however, establishing a nexus between AO exposure and certain medical conditions that developed many years after the war. In response, VA has designated certain conditions as “presumed service connected” for Vietnam Veterans who were present and possibly exposed. Veterans with any of these designated conditions do not have to document AO exposure, making it easier for them to access the VA disability system. The extent to which VA healthcare utilization patterns reflect easier access afforded those with diagnosed presumptive conditions remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that Vietnam Veterans with diagnosed presumptive conditions would be heavier users of the VA healthcare system than those without these conditions. In our analysis of 85,699 Vietnam Veterans, we used binary and cumulative logit multivariable regression to assess associations between diagnosed presumptive conditions and VA healthcare utilization in 2013. We found that diagnosed presumptive conditions were associated with higher odds of 5+ VHA primary care visits (OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.93–2.07), 5+ specialty care visits (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 2.04–2.18), emergency department use (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.11–1.34), and hospitalization (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.17–1.29). Consistent with legislative intent, presumptive policies appear to facilitate greater VA system utilization for Vietnam Veterans who may have been exposed to AO. PMID:29742706

  18. 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 Lean and 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.

  19. Facility-Level Variation in Hospitalization, Mortality, and Costs in the 30 Days After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Insights on Short-Term Healthcare Value From the Veterans Affairs Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System (VA CART) Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, Steven M; O'Donnell, Colin I; Grunwald, Gary K; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Hebert, Paul L; Maddox, Thomas M; Jesse, Robert L; Fihn, Stephan D; Rumsfeld, John S; Ho, P Michael

    2015-07-14

    Policies to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are intended to improve healthcare value by reducing costs while maintaining patient outcomes. Whether facility-level hospitalization rates after PCI are associated with cost of care is unknown. We studied 32,080 patients who received PCI at any 1 of 62 Veterans Affairs hospitals from 2008 to 2011. We identified facility outliers for 30-day risk-standardized hospitalization, mortality, and cost. Compared with the risk-standardized average, 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a lower-than-expected hospitalization rate, and 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a higher-than-expected hospitalization rate. We observed no statistically significant variation in facility-level risk-standardized mortality. The facility-level unadjusted median per patient 30-day total cost was $23,820 (interquartile range, $19,604-$29,958). Compared with the risk-standardized average, 17 hospitals (27.4%) had lower-than-expected costs, and 14 hospitals (22.6%) had higher-than-expected costs. At the facility level, the index PCI accounted for 83.1% of the total cost (range, 60.3%-92.2%), whereas hospitalization after PCI accounted for only 5.8% (range, 2.0%-12.7%) of the 30-day total cost. Facilities with higher hospitalization rates were not more expensive (Spearman ρ=0.16; 95% confidence interval, -0.09 to 0.39; P=0.21). In this national study, hospitalizations in the 30 day after PCI accounted for only 5.8% of 30-day cost, and facility-level cost was not correlated with hospitalization rates. This challenges the focus on reducing hospitalizations after PCI as an effective means of improving healthcare value. Opportunities remain to improve PCI value by reducing the variation in total cost of PCI without compromising patient outcomes. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.

  20. 76 FR 65321 - Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-20

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...

  1. 78 FR 28292 - Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-14

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...

  2. 75 FR 16577 - Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...

  3. Characteristics Associated With Utilization of VA and Non-VA Care Among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, Erin P; Mader, Michael; Bollinger, Mary J; Haro, Elizabeth K; Garcia, Hector A; Huynh, Alexis K; Pugh, Jacqueline A; Pugh, Mary Jo

    2017-11-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects nearly one-fifth of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAV). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has invested in making evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD available at every VA facility nationwide; however, an unknown number of veterans opt to receive care in the community rather than with VA. We compared PTSD care utilization patterns among Texas IAV with PTSD, an ethnically, geographically, and economically diverse group. To identify IAV in Texas with service-connected disability for PTSD, we used a crosswalk of VA administrative data from the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Roster and service-connected disability data from the Veterans Benefits Administration. We then surveyed a random sample of 1,128 veterans from the cohort, stratified by sex, rurality, and past use/nonuse of any VA care. Respondents were classified into current utilization groups (VA only, non-VA only, dual care, and no professional PTSD treatment) on the basis of reported PTSD care in the prior 12 months. Responses were weighted to account for sample stratification and for response rate within each strata. Utilization group characteristics were compared to the population mean using the one sample Z-test for proportions, or the t-test for means. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to identify survey variables significantly associated with current utilization group. 249 IAV completed the survey (28.4% response rate). Respondents reported receiving PTSD care: in the VA only (58.3%); in military or community-based settings (including private practitioners) (non-VA only, 8.7%); and in both VA and non-VA settings (dual care, 14.5%). The remainder (18.5%) reported no professional PTSD care in the prior year. Veterans ineligible for Department of Defense care, uncomfortable talking about their problems, and opposed to medication were more likely to receive non-VA care only, whereas those with lower household income

  4. 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.

  5. Bringing the war back home: mental health disorders among 103,788 US veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seen at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal, Karen H; Bertenthal, Daniel; Miner, Christian R; Sen, Saunak; Marmar, Charles

    2007-03-12

    Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) have endured high combat stress and are eligible for 2 years of free military service-related health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, yet little is known about the burden and clinical circumstances of mental health diagnoses among OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities. US veterans separated from OEF/OIF military service and first seen at VA health care facilities between September 30, 2001 (US invasion of Afghanistan), and September 30, 2005, were included. Mental health diagnoses and psychosocial problems were assessed using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. The prevalence and clinical circumstances of and subgroups at greatest risk for mental health disorders are described herein. Of 103 788 OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA health care facilities, 25 658 (25%) received mental health diagnosis(es); 56% of whom had 2 or more distinct mental health diagnoses. Overall, 32 010 (31%) received mental health and/or psychosocial diagnoses. Mental health diagnoses were detected soon after the first VA clinic visit (median of 13 days), and most initial mental health diagnoses (60%) were made in nonmental health clinics, mostly primary care settings. The youngest group of OEF/OIF veterans (age, 18-24 years) were at greatest risk for receiving mental health or posttraumatic stress disorder diagnoses compared with veterans 40 years or older. Co-occurring mental health diagnoses and psychosocial problems were detected early and in primary care medical settings in a substantial proportion of OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities. Targeted early detection and intervention beginning in primary care settings are needed to prevent chronic mental illness and disability.

  6. Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs: FY2007 Appropriations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Else, Daniel H; Scott, Christine; Panangala, Sidath V

    2007-01-01

    ... construction, military housing allowances, military installation maintenance and operation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other veteran-related agencies, rested in the House Committee...

  7. 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...

  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. Mental health and substance use disorder spending in the Department of Veterans Affairs, fiscal years 2000-2007.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Todd H; Sinnott, Patricia; Siroka, Andrew M

    2011-04-01

    This study analyzed spending for treatment of mental health and substance use disorders in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in fiscal years (FYs) 2000 through 2007. VA spending as reported in the VA Decision Support System was linked to patient utilization data as reported in the Patient Treatment Files, the National Patient Care Database, and the VA Fee Basis files. All care and costs from FY 2000 to FY 2007 were analyzed. Over the study period the number of veterans treated at the VA increased from 3.7 million to over 5.1 million (an average increase of 4.9% per year), and costs increased .7% per person per year. For mental health and substance use disorder treatment, the volume of inpatient care decreased markedly, residential care increased, and spending decreased on average 2% per year (from $668 in FY 2000 to $578 per person in FY 2007). FY 2007 saw large increases in mental health spending, bucking the trend from FY 2000 through FY 2006. VA's continued emphasis on outpatient and residential care was evident through 2007. This trend in spending might be unimpressive if VA were enrolling healthier Veterans, but the opposite seems to be true: over this time period the prevalence of most chronic conditions, including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, increased. VA spending on mental health care grew rapidly in 2007, and given current military activities, this trend is likely to increase.

  10. Comparison of Accessibility, Cost, and Quality of Elective Coronary Revascularization Between Veterans Affairs and Community Care Hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Paul G; Hong, Juliette S; Carey, Evan; Grunwald, Gary K; Joynt Maddox, Karen; Maddox, Thomas M

    2018-02-01

    The Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Care (CC) Program supplements VA care with community-based medical services. However, access gains and value provided by CC have not been well described. To compare the access, cost, and quality of elective coronary revascularization procedures between VA and CC hospitals and to evaluate if procedural volume or publicly reported quality data can be used to identify high-value care. Observational cohort study of veterans younger than 65 years undergoing an elective coronary revascularization, controlling for differences in risk factors using propensity adjustment. The setting was VA and CC hospitals. Participants were veterans undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and veterans undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2011. The analysis was conducted between July 2014 and July 2017. Receipt of an elective coronary revascularization at a VA vs CC facility. Access to care as measured by travel distance, 30-day mortality, and costs. In the 3 years ending on September 30, 2011, a total of 13 237 elective PCIs (79.1% at the VA) and 5818 elective CABG procedures (83.6% at the VA) were performed in VA or CC hospitals among veterans meeting study inclusion criteria. On average, use of CC was associated with reduced net travel by 53.6 miles for PCI and by 73.3 miles for CABG surgery compared with VA-only care. Adjusted 30-day mortality after PCI was higher in CC compared with VA (1.54% for CC vs 0.65% for VA, P publicly reported mortality data identified hospitals that provided higher-value care with the exception that CABG mortality was lower in small-volume CC hospitals. In this veteran cohort, PCIs performed in CC hospitals were associated with shorter travel distance but with higher mortality, higher costs, and minimal travel savings compared with VA hospitals. The CABG procedures performed in CC hospitals were associated with shorter travel distance

  11. Preventing Hospitalization with Veterans Affairs Home-Based Primary Care: Which Individuals Benefit Most?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Samuel T; Saha, Somnath; Prentice, Julia C; Pizer, Steven D

    2017-08-01

    To examine how medical complexity modifies the relationship between enrollment in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home-based primary care (HBPC) and hospitalization for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSC) for veterans with diabetes mellitus and whether the effect of HBPC on hospitalizations varies according to clinical condition. Retrospective cohort study. VA and non-VA hospitals. VA beneficiaries aged 67 and older with diabetes mellitus and enrolled in Medicare (N = 364,972). Instrumental variables regression models were used to estimate the effect of HBPC enrollment on hospitalization for ACSCs (defined according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Prevention Quality Indicators) overall and in subgroups stratified according to medical complexity. Models were also estimated for each ACSC to determine which conditions were most sensitive to HBPC. Distance from the veteran's residence to the nearest HBPC site was used as the instrumental variable. HBPC was associated with fewer ACSC hospitalizations (odds ratio (OR) = 0.35 per person-month, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.30-0.42). For veterans in the highest quartile of medical complexity, HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer ACSC hospitalizations (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.19-0.93), whereas for those in the lowest quartile, HBPC was associated with more ACSC hospitalizations (OR = 33.2, 95% CI = 4.6-240.1). HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer hospitalizations for a range of ACSCs. HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer hospitalizations for a range of ACSCs in veterans with diabetes mellitus but only in the most medically complex individuals. This demonstrates the importance of appropriate targeting and suggests that the effect of HBPC is attributable to its comprehensive approach rather than condition-specific interventions. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  12. The Use of Telemental Health to Meet the Mental Health Needs of Women Using Department of Veterans Affairs Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Jessica L; Cordasco, Kristina M; Young, Alexander S; Oishi, Sabine M; Rose, Danielle E; Canelo, Ismelda; Yano, Elizabeth M; Haskell, Sally G; Hamilton, Alison B

    Women veterans are a growing segment of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) users with distinct mental health needs and well-documented barriers to care. Telemental health holds much promise for reducing barriers to mental health care. We assessed VA stakeholders' perceptions of telemental health's appropriateness and potential to address the mental health needs of women veteran VA users. We conducted semistructured qualitative interviews with 40 key leadership and clinical stakeholders at VA medical centers and associated outpatient clinics. Transcripts were summarized in a template of key domains developed based on the interview guide, and coded for topics relevant to women's mental health needs and telehealth services. Telemental health was perceived to increase access to mental health care, including same-gender care and access to providers with specialized training, especially for rural women and those with other limiting circumstances. Respondents saw women veterans as being particularly poised to benefit from telemental health, owing to responsibilities associated with childcare, spousal care, and elder caregiving. Interviewees expressed enthusiasm for telemental health's potential and were eager to expand services, including women-only mental health groups. Implementation challenges were also noted. Overall, our stakeholders saw telemental health as a good fit for helping to address the perceived needs of women veterans, especially in addressing the geographical barriers experienced by rural women and those with a limited ability to travel. These findings can help to inform gender-tailored expansion of telemental health within and outside of the VA. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. 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...

  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. Physicians' Perspectives Regarding Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Use Within the Department of Veterans Affairs: a Multi-State Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radomski, Thomas R; Bixler, Felicia R; Zickmund, Susan L; Roman, KatieLynn M; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Hale, Jennifer A; Sileanu, Florentina E; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Thorpe, Joshua M; Suda, Katie J; Stroupe, Kevin T; Gordon, Adam J; Good, Chester B; Fine, Michael J; Gellad, Walid F

    2018-03-08

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented robust strategies to monitor prescription opioid dispensing, but these strategies have not accounted for opioids prescribed by non-VA providers. State-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are a potential tool to identify VA patients' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers, and recent legislation requires their use within VA. To evaluate VA physicians' perspectives and experiences regarding use of PDMPs to monitor Veterans' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers. Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Forty-two VA primary care physicians who prescribed opioids to 15 or more Veterans in 2015. We sampled physicians from two states with PDMPs (Massachusetts and Illinois) and one without prescriber access to a PDMP at the time of the interviews (Pennsylvania). From February to August 2016, we conducted semi-structured telephone interviews that addressed the following topics regarding PDMPs: overall experiences, barriers to optimal use, and facilitators to improve use. VA physicians broadly supported use of PDMPs or desired access to one, while exhibiting varying patterns of PDMP use dictated by state laws and their clinical judgment. Physicians noted administrative burdens and incomplete or unavailable prescribing data as key barriers to PDMP use. To facilitate use, physicians endorsed (1) linking PDMPs with the VA electronic health record, (2) using templated notes to document PDMP use, and (3) delegating routine PDMP queries to ancillary staff. Despite the time and administrative burdens associated with their use, VA physicians in our study broadly supported PDMPs. The application of our findings to ongoing PDMP implementation efforts may strengthen PDMP use both within and outside VA and improve the safe prescribing of opioids.

  16. VA Personal Health Record Sample Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — My HealtheVet (www.myhealth.va.gov) is a Personal Health Record portal designed to improve the delivery of health care services to Veterans, to promote health and...

  17. 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...

  18. Adoption of PACS by the Department of Veterans Affairs: the past, the present, and future plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Eliot L.; Reiner, Bruce I.; Kuzmak, Peter M.

    2000-05-01

    The diffusion of PACS technology within the Department of Veterans Affairs has followed the 'S' curve transition originally described by Ryan and Gross in 1943. They described a paradigm that describes the diffusion of a new technology into the community. However the rate of adoption of filmless radiology by the VA has been much higher than that of the general healthcare system. This is likely due to the fact that the VA and Department of Defense medical systems are somewhat isolated and independent from other health care systems and are subject to a different rate of diffusion of technology. The early introduction and success of PACS in the VA undoubtedly accelerated its acceptance throughout the system. An additional impetus to the growth of PACS in the VA has been the development of an image management system that has been incorporated into the electronic medical record. The universal use of the VISTA HIS and RIS system throughout the VA and the fact that it was developed 'in-house' as well as its extensive support for DICOM functionality have also played a major role in facilitating the acceptance of Picture Archival and Communication Systems throughout the VA.

  19. Lung and colorectal cancer treatment and outcomes in the Veterans Affairs health care system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zullig, Leah L; Williams, Christina D; Fortune-Britt, Alice G

    2015-01-01

    Lung cancer (LC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) are the second- and third-most commonly diagnosed cancers in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. While many studies have evaluated the treatment quality and outcomes of various aspects of VA LC and CRC care, there are no known reviews synthesizing this information across studies. The purpose of this literature review was to describe LC and CRC treatment (ie, surgical and nonsurgical) and outcomes (eg, mortality, psychosocial, and other) in the VA health care system as reported in the existing peer-reviewed scientific literature. We identified potential articles through a search of published literature using the PubMed electronic database. Our search strategy identified articles containing Medical Subject Headings terms and keywords addressing veterans or veterans’ health and LC and/or CRC. We limited articles to those published in the previous 11 years (January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2013). A total of 230 articles were retrieved through the search. After applying the selection criteria, we included 74 studies (34 LC, 47 CRC, and seven both LC and CRC). VA provides a full array of treatments, often with better outcomes than other health care systems. More work is needed to assess patient-reported outcomes

  20. Unique factors rural Veterans' Affairs hospitals face when implementing health care-associated infection prevention initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrod, Molly; Manojlovich, Milisa; Kowalski, Christine P; Saint, Sanjay; Krein, Sarah L

    2014-01-01

    Health care-associated infection (HAI) is costly to hospitals and potentially life-threatening to patients. Numerous infection prevention programs have been implemented in hospitals across the United States. Yet, little is known about infection prevention practices and implementation in rural hospitals. The purpose of this study was to understand the infection prevention practices used by rural Veterans' Affairs (VA) hospitals and the unique factors they face in implementing these practices. This study used a sequential, mixed methods approach. Survey data to identify the HAI prevention practices used by rural VA hospitals were collected, analyzed, and used to inform the development of a semistructured interview guide. Phone interviews were conducted followed by site visits to rural VA hospitals. We found that most rural VA hospitals were using key recommended infection prevention practices. Nonetheless, a number of challenges with practice implementation were identified. The 3 most prominent themes were: (1) lack of human capital including staff with HAI expertise; (2) having to cultivate needed resources; and (3) operating as a system within a system. Rural VA hospitals are providing key infection prevention services to ensure a safe environment for the veterans they serve. However, certain factors, such as staff expertise, limited resources, and local context impacted how and when these practices were used. The creative use of more accessible alternative resources as well as greater flexibility in implementing HAI-related initiatives may be important strategies to further improve delivery of these important services by rural VA hospitals. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  1. 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.

  2. Stigma Predicts Treatment Preferences and Care Engagement among Veterans Affairs Primary Care Patients with Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Duncan G.; Bonner, Laura M.; Bolkan, Cory R.; Lanto, Andrew B.; Zivin, Kara; Waltz, Thomas J.; Klap, Ruth; Rubenstein, Lisa V.; Chaney, Edmund F.

    2016-01-01

    Background Whereas stigma regarding mental health concerns exists, the evidence for stigma as a depression treatment barrier among patients in Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care (PC) is mixed. Purpose To test whether stigma, defined as depression label avoidance, predicted patients' preferences for depression treatment providers, patients' prospective engagement in depression care, and care quality. Methods We conducted cross-sectional and prospective analyses of existing data from 761 VA PC patients with probable major depression. Results Relative to low stigma patients, those with high stigma were less likely to prefer treatment from mental health specialists. In prospective controlled analyses, high stigma predicted lower likelihood of the following: taking medications for mood, treatment by mental health specialists, treatment for emotional concerns in PC, and appropriate depression care. Conclusions High stigma is associated with lower preferences for care from mental health specialists and confers risk for minimal depression treatment engagement. PMID:26935310

  3. Strategic alliances in healthcare: opportunities for the Veterans Affairs healthcare system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halverson, P K; Kaluzny, A D; Young, G J

    1997-01-01

    Strategic alliances are proving to be effective strategies for responding and adapting to changing environments, and as such they offer the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system valuable opportunities for accomplishing the goals of its major reorganization effort. This article begins with an examination of basic strategic-alliance structures that are employed across many different types of industries. Next, consideration is given to the ways in which these basic alliance structures may be adapted to the unique organizations and individuals that serve as providers, purchasers, and consumers of health services. Finally, this article explores how models of strategic alliance in healthcare can be tailored to the specific needs and constraints of the VA healthcare system through an examination of existing and potential alliance opportunities.

  4. Determinants of Contraceptive Availability at Medical Facilities in the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cope, Jacqueline R; Yano, Elizabeth M; Lee, Martin L; Washington, Donna L

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To describe the variation in provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception among Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. DESIGN Key informant, cross-sectional survey of 166 VA medical facilities. Data from public use data sets and VA administrative databases were linked to facility data to further characterize their contextual environments. PARTICIPANTS All VA hospital-based and affiliated community-based outpatient clinics delivering services to at least 400 unique women during fiscal year 2000. MEASUREMENTS Onsite availability of hormonal contraceptive prescription and intrauterine device (IUD) placement. RESULTS Ninety-seven percent of facilities offered onsite prescription and management of hormonal contraception whereas 63% offered placement of IUDs. After adjusting for facility caseload of reproductive-aged women, 3 organizational factors were independently associated with onsite IUD placement: (1) onsite gynecologist (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 20.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.02 to 58.74; Pwomen's health training to other clinicians (adjusted OR, 3.40; 95% CI 1.19 to 9.76; P=.02). CONCLUSIONS VA's provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception is in accordance with community standards, although onsite availability is not universal. Although contraception is a crucial component of a woman's health maintenance, her ability to obtain certain contraceptives from the facility where she obtains her primary care is largely influenced by the availability of a gynecologist. Further research is needed to determine how fragmentation of women's care into reproductive and nonreproductive services impacts access to contraception and the incidence of unintended pregnancy. PMID:16637943

  5. 76 FR 79067 - Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency Treatment Furnished by Non-VA Providers in Non-VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-21

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN49 Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency..., authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reimburse eligible veterans for costs related to non-VA.... Specifically, section 1725 authorizes reimbursement for emergency treatment for eligible veterans with...

  6. VA Is Here for the People Who Support Our Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... a Self-Check Quiz Resources Spread the Word Videos Homeless Resources Additional Information Make the Connection Get Help When To Call What To Expect Resource Locator Veterans Live Chat Veterans Text Homeless Veterans Live Chat Military Live ...

  7. 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.

  8. Veterans Affairs general surgery service: the last bastion of integrated specialty care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poteet, Stephen; Tarpley, Margaret; Tarpley, John L; Pearson, A Scott

    2011-11-01

    In a time of increasing specialization, academic training institutions provide a compartmentalized learning environment that often does not reflect the broad clinical experience of general surgery practice. This study aimed to evaluate the contribution of the Veterans Affairs (VA) general surgery surgical experience to both index Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements and as a unique integrated model in which residents provide concurrent care of multiple specialty patients. Institutional review board approval was obtained for retrospective analysis of electronic medical records involving all surgical cases performed by the general surgery service from 2005 to 2009 at the Nashville VA. Over a 5-year span general surgery residents spent an average of 5 months on the VA general surgery service, which includes a postgraduate year (PGY)-5, PGY-3, and 2 PGY-1 residents. Surgeries involved the following specialties: surgical oncology, endocrine, colorectal, hepatobiliary, transplant, gastrointestinal laparoscopy, and elective and emergency general surgery. The surgeries were categorized according to ACGME index requirements. A total of 2,956 surgeries were performed during the 5-year period from 2005 through 2009. Residents participated in an average of 246 surgeries during their experience at the VA; approximately 50 cases are completed during the chief year. On the VA surgery service alone, 100% of the ACGME requirement was met for the following categories: endocrine (8 cases); skin, soft tissue, and breast (33 cases); alimentary tract (78 cases); and abdominal (88 cases). Approximately 50% of the ACGME requirement was met for liver, pancreas, and basic laparoscopic categories. The VA hospital provides an authentic, broad-based, general surgery training experience that integrates complex surgical patients simultaneously. Opportunities for this level of comprehensive care are decreasing or absent in many general surgery training

  9. Interprofessional transformation of clinical education: The first six years of the Veterans Affairs Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Nancy D; Traylor, Laural; Rugen, Kathryn Wirtz; Bowen, Judith L; Smith, C Scott; Felker, Bradford; Ludke, Deborah; Tonnu-Mihara, Ivy; Ruberg, Joshua L; Adler, Jayson; Uhl, Kimberly; Gardner, Annette L; Gilman, Stuart C

    2018-02-20

    This paper describes the Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE), a seven-site collaborative project funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) within the Veterans Health Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The CoEPCE was established to fulfill OAA's vision of large-scale transformation of the clinical learning environment within VA primary care settings. This was accomplished by funding new Centers within VA facilities to develop models of interprofessional education (IPE) to teach health professions trainees to deliver high quality interprofessional team-based primary care to Veterans. Using reports and data collected and maintained by the National Coordinating Center over the first six years of the project, we describe program inputs, the multicomponent intervention, activities undertaken to develop the intervention, and short-term outcomes. The findings have implications for lessons learned that can be considered by others seeking large-scale transformation of education within the clinical workplace and the development of interprofessional clinical learning environments. Within the VA, the CoEPCE has laid the foundation for IPE and collaborative practice, but much work remains to disseminate this work throughout the national VA system.

  10. The Quality of Medication Treatment for Mental Disorders in the Department of Veterans Affairs and in Private-Sector Plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Katherine E; Smith, Brad; Akincigil, Ayse; Sorbero, Melony E; Paddock, Susan; Woodroffe, Abigail; Huang, Cecilia; Crystal, Stephen; Pincus, Harold Alan

    2016-04-01

    The quality of mental health care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was compared with care provided to a comparable population treated in the private sector. Two cohorts of individuals with mental disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, and substance use disorders) were created with VA administrative data (N=836,519) and MarketScan data (N=545,484). The authors computed VA and MarketScan national means for seven process-based quality measures related to medication evaluation and management and estimated national-level performance by age and gender. In every case, VA performance was superior to that of the private sector by more than 30%. Compared with individuals in private plans, veterans with schizophrenia or major depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate initial medication treatment, and veterans with depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate long-term treatment. Findings demonstrate the significant advantages that accrue from an organized, nationwide system of care. The much higher performance of the VA has important clinical and policy implications.

  11. VA National Bed Control System

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The VA National Bed Control System records the levels of operating, unavailable and authorized beds at each VAMC, and it tracks requests for changes in these levels....

  12. HIV rapid testing in a Veterans Affairs hospital ED setting: a 5-year sustainability evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Herschel; Hagedorn, Hildi; Anaya, Henry D

    2014-08-01

    Routine HIV testing in primary care settings is now recommended in the United States. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has increased the number of patients tested for HIV, but overall HIV testing rates in VA remain low. A proven strategy for increasing such testing involves nurse-initiated HIV rapid testing (HIV RT). The purpose of this work was to use a mixed methodology approach to evaluate the 5-year sustainability of an intervention that implemented HIV RT in a VA emergency department setting in a large, urban VA medical center to reduce missed diagnostic and treatment opportunities in this vulnerable patient population. In-person semistructured interviews were conducted with providers and stakeholders. Interview notes were qualitatively coded for emerging themes. Quarterly testing rates were evaluated for a 5-year time span starting from the launch in July 2008. Findings indicate that HIV RT was sustained by the enthusiasm of 2 clinical champions who oversaw the registered nurses responsible for conducting the testing. The departure of the clinical champions was correlated with a substantial drop-off in testing. Findings also indicate potential strategies for improving sustainability including engaging senior leadership in the project, engaging line staff in the implementation planning from the start to increase ownership over the innovation, incorporating information into initial training explaining the importance of the innovation to quality patient care, providing ongoing training to maintain skills, and providing routine progress reports to staff to demonstrate the ongoing impact of their efforts. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Translating standards into practice: experience and lessons learned at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouhaddou, Omar; Cromwell, Tim; Davis, Mike; Maulden, Sarah; Hsing, Nelson; Carlson, David; Cockle, Jennifer; Hoang, Catherine; Fischetti, Linda

    2012-08-01

    The increased need for interoperable electronic health records in health care organizations underscores the importance of standards. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a long history of developing and adopting various types of health care data standards. The authors present in detail their experience in this domain. A formal organization within VA is responsible for helping to develop and implement standards. This group has produced a Standards Life Cycle (SLC) process endorsed by VA key business and information technology (IT) stakeholders. It coordinates the identification, description, and implementation of standards aligned with VA business requirements. In this paper, we review the adoption of four standards in the categories of security and privacy, terminology, health information exchange, and modeling tools; emphasizing the implementation approach used in each. In our experience, adoption is facilitated by internal staff with expertise in standards development and adoption. Use of processes such as an SLC and tools such as an enterprise requirement repository help formally track and ensure that IT development and acquisition incorporate these standards. An organization should adopt standards that are aligned with its business priorities and favor those that are more readily implementable. To assist with this final point, we offer a standard "Likelihood of Adoption Scale," which changes as standards specifications evolve from PDF documents only, to PDF documents with construction and testing tools, to fully functional reference implementations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Epidemiology and burden of influenza in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucero-Obusan, Cynthia; Schirmer, Patricia L; Wendelboe, Aaron; Oda, Gina; Holodniy, Mark

    2018-03-01

    We describe influenza activity in the US Veterans Affairs (VA) population for the 2010-2011 through 2015-2016 seasons and compare with national CDC FluView data. VA confirmed influenza cases ranged from 1005 to 11 506 per season; triage calls from 6090 to 10 346; outpatient visits from 3849 to 13 406; antiviral prescriptions from 3650 to 32 826; hospitalizations from 546 to 4673; and deaths in hospitalized patients from 17 to 139. Peak activity was generally the same as observed nationally by the CDC. For the seasons analyzed, correlation between VA and CDC %ILI visits (r = .863), influenza hospitalizations (r = .953), positive tests (r = .948), and percent of tests positive (r = .938) was strong. Understanding influenza burden is important for evaluating prevention priorities and resource allocation within VA. © 2017 The Authors. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 32 CFR Appendix D to Part 45 - State Directors of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 55155. Mississippi President, State Veterans Affairs Board, 120 North State Street, War Memorial..., Trenton, NJ 08608. New Mexico Director, Veterans Service Commission, P.O. Box 2324, Santa Fe, NM 87503...

  16. 38 CFR 3.201 - Exchange of evidence; Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Compensation Evidence Requirements § 3.201 Exchange of evidence; Social Security and Department of Veterans... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Exchange of evidence; Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs. 3.201 Section 3.201 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans...

  17. 78 FR 56271 - FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-12

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan AGENCY: Department of Veterans... Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of the FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan... Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) (Pub. L. 111-352). The Strategic Plan provides the Department's long-term...

  18. 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

  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. Association between women veterans' experiences with VA outpatient health care and designation as a women's health provider in primary care clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastian, Lori A; Trentalange, Mark; Murphy, Terrence E; Brandt, Cynthia; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Maisel, Natalya C; Wright, Steven M; Gaetano, Vera S; Allore, Heather; Skanderson, Melissa; Reyes-Harvey, Evelyn; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rose, Danielle; Haskell, Sally

    2014-01-01

    Women veterans comprise a small percentage of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users. Prior research on women veterans' experiences with primary care has focused on VA site differences and not individual provider characteristics. In 2010, the VA established policy requiring the provision of comprehensive women's health care by designated women's health providers (DWHPs). Little is known about the quality of health care delivered by DWHPs and women veterans' experience with care from these providers. Secondary data were obtained from the VA Survey of Healthcare Experience of Patients (SHEP) using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) patient-centered medical home (PCMH) survey from March 2012 through February 2013, a survey designed to measure patient experience with care and the DWHPs Assessment of Workforce Capacity that discerns between DWHPs versus non-DWHPs. Of the 28,994 surveys mailed to women veterans, 24,789 were seen by primary care providers and 8,151 women responded to the survey (response rate, 32%). A total of 3,147 providers were evaluated by the SHEP-CAHPS-PCMH survey (40%; n = 1,267 were DWHPs). In a multivariable model, patients seen by DWHPs (relative risk, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04) reported higher overall experiences with care compared with patients seen by non-DWHPs. The main finding is that women veterans' overall experiences with outpatient health care are slightly better for those receiving care from DWHPs compared with those receiving care from non-DWHPs. Our findings have important policy implications for how to continue to improve women veterans' experiences. Our work provides support to increase access to DWHPs at VA primary care clinics. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 76 FR 24570 - Proposed Information Collection (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity; Comment Request

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-02

    ... (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA... Under the Montgomery GI Bill, VA Form 22-1990E. c. Application for VA Education Benefits Under the...

  3. 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

  4. 78 FR 58264 - Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-23

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO42 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations governing...

  5. 77 FR 60304 - Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance-Slayer's Rule Exclusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-03

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AN40 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance--Slayer's Rule Exclusion AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations...

  6. VA Dental Insurance Program--federalism. Direct final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-22

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking direct final action to amend its regulations related to the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a pilot program to offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans. Specifically, this rule will add language to clarify the limited preemptive effect of certain criteria in the VADIP regulations.

  7. Assessment of diabetic teleretinal imaging program at the Portland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsan, Grace L; Hoban, Keely L; Jun, Weon; Riedel, Kevin J; Pedersen, Amy L; Hayes, John

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a retrospective chart review of 200 diabetic patients who had teleretinal imaging performed between January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011, at Portland Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center outpatient clinics to assess the effectiveness of the diabetic teleretinal imaging program. Twenty patients (10%) had diabetic retinopathy. Ninety percent of the available teleretinal imaging studies were of adequate quality for interpretation. In accordance with local VA policy at that time, all teleretinal imaging patients should have been referred for a dilated retinal examination the following year. Image readers referred 97.5% of the patients to eye clinics for subsequent eye examinations, but the imagers scheduled appointments for only 80% of these patients. The redundancy rate, i.e., patients who had an eye examination within the past 6 mo, was 11%; the duplicate recall rate, i.e., patients who had a second teleretinal imaging performed within 1 yr of the eye examination, was 37%. Rates of timely diabetic eye examinations at clinics with teleretinal imaging programs, particularly when teleretinal imaging and eye clinics were colocated at the same community-based outpatient clinic, were higher than those without a teleretinal imaging program. We concluded that the Portland VA Medical Center's teleretinal imaging program was successful in increasing the screening rate for diabetic retinopathy.

  8. 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

  9. Effectiveness of Expanded Implementation of STAR-VA for Managing Dementia-Related Behaviors Among Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karel, Michele J; Teri, Linda; McConnell, Eleanor; Visnic, Stephanie; Karlin, Bradley E

    2016-02-01

    Nonpharmacological, psychosocial approaches are first-line treatments for managing behavioral symptoms in dementia, but they can be challenging to implement in long-term care settings. The Veterans Health Administration implemented STAR-VA, an interdisciplinary behavioral approach for managing challenging dementia-related behaviors in its Community Living Center (CLCs, nursing home care) settings. This study describes how the program was implemented and provides an evaluation of Veteran clinical outcomes and staff feedback on the intervention. One mental health professional and registered nurse team from 17 CLCs completed STAR-VA training, which entailed an experiential workshop followed by 6 months of expert consultation as they worked with their teams to implement STAR-VA with Veterans identified to have challenging dementia-related behaviors. The frequency and severity of target behaviors and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation were evaluated at baseline and at intervention completion. Staff provided feedback regarding STAR-VA feasibility and impact. Seventy-one Veterans completed the intervention. Behaviors clustered into 6 types: care refusal or resistance, agitation, aggression, vocalization, wandering, and other. Frequency and severity of target behaviors and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation all significantly decreased, with overall effect sizes of 1 or greater. Staff rated both benefits for Veterans and program feasibility favorably. This evaluation supports the feasibility and effectiveness of STAR-VA, an interdisciplinary, behavioral intervention for managing challenging behaviors among residents with dementia in CLCs. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Gerontological Society of America 2015.

  10. Association of Admission to Veterans Affairs Hospitals vs Non-Veterans Affairs Hospitals With Mortality and Readmission Rates Among Older Men Hospitalized With Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, or Pneumonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuti, Sudhakar V; Qin, Li; Rumsfeld, John S; Ross, Joseph S; Masoudi, Frederick A; Normand, Sharon-Lise T; Murugiah, Karthik; Bernheim, Susannah M; Suter, Lisa G; Krumholz, Harlan M

    2016-02-09

    Little contemporary information is available about comparative performance between Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals, particularly related to mortality and readmission rates, 2 important outcomes of care. To assess and compare mortality and readmission rates among men in VA and non-VA hospitals. Cross-sectional analysis involving male Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 years or older hospitalized between 2010 and 2013 in VA and non-VA acute care hospitals for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), or pneumonia using the Medicare Standard Analytic Files and Enrollment Database together with VA administrative claims data. To avoid confounding geographic effects with health care system effects, we studied VA and non-VA hospitals within the same metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Hospitalization in a VA or non-VA hospital in MSAs that contained at least 1 VA and non-VA hospital. For each condition, 30-day risk-standardized mortality rates and risk-standardized readmission rates for VA and non-VA hospitals. Mean aggregated within-MSA differences in mortality and readmission rates were also assessed. We studied 104 VA and 1513 non-VA hospitals, with each condition-outcome analysis cohort for VA and non-VA hospitals containing at least 7900 patients (men; ≥65 years), in 92 MSAs. Mortality rates were lower in VA hospitals than non-VA hospitals for AMI (13.5% vs 13.7%, P = .02; -0.2 percentage-point difference) and HF (11.4% vs 11.9%, P = .008; -0.5 percentage-point difference), but higher for pneumonia (12.6% vs 12.2%, P = .045; 0.4 percentage-point difference). In contrast, readmission rates were higher in VA hospitals for all 3 conditions (AMI, 17.8% vs 17.2%, 0.6 percentage-point difference; HF, 24.7% vs 23.5%, 1.2 percentage-point difference; pneumonia, 19.4% vs 18.7%, 0.7 percentage-point difference, all P percentage-point difference, -0.22; 95% CI, -0.40 to -0.04) and HF (-0.63; 95% CI, -0.95 to -0.31), and

  11. Impact of Dual Use of Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicare Part D Drug Benefits on Potentially Unsafe Opioid Use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gellad, Walid F; Thorpe, Joshua M; Zhao, Xinhua; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Sileanu, Florentina E; Cashy, John P; Hale, Jennifer A; Mor, Maria K; Radomski, Thomas R; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Donohue, Julie M; Gordon, Adam J; Suda, Katie J; Stroupe, Kevin T; Hanlon, Joseph T; Cunningham, Francesca E; Good, Chester B; Fine, Michael J

    2018-02-01

    To estimate the prevalence and consequences of receiving prescription opioids from both the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D. Among US veterans enrolled in both VA and Part D filling 1 or more opioid prescriptions in 2012 (n = 539 473), we calculated 3 opioid safety measures using morphine milligram equivalents (MME): (1) proportion receiving greater than 100 MME for 1 or more days, (2) mean days receiving greater than 100 MME, and (3) proportion receiving greater than 120 MME for 90 consecutive days. We compared these measures by opioid source. Overall, 135 643 (25.1%) veterans received opioids from VA only, 332 630 (61.7%) from Part D only, and 71 200 (13.2%) from both. The dual-use group was more likely than the VA-only group to receive greater than 100 MME for 1 or more days (34.3% vs 10.9%; adjusted risk ratio [ARR] = 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.9, 3.1), have more days with greater than 100 MME (42.5 vs 16.9 days; adjusted difference = 16.4 days; 95% CI = 15.7, 17.2), and to receive greater than 120 MME for 90 consecutive days (7.8% vs 3.1%; ARR = 2.2; 95% CI = 2.1, 2.3). Among veterans dually enrolled in VA and Medicare Part D, dual use of opioids was associated with more than 2 to 3 times the risk of high-dose opioid exposure.

  12. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Total Knee Arthroplasty in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System, 2001-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausmann, Leslie R M; Brandt, Cynthia A; Carroll, Constance M; Fenton, Brenda T; Ibrahim, Said A; Becker, William C; Burgess, Diana J; Wandner, Laura D; Bair, Matthew J; Goulet, Joseph L

    2017-08-01

    To examine black-white and Hispanic-white differences in total knee arthroplasty from 2001 to 2013 in a large cohort of patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Data were from the VA Musculoskeletal Disorders cohort, which includes data from electronic health records of more than 5.4 million veterans with musculoskeletal disorders diagnoses. We included white (non-Hispanic), black (non-Hispanic), and Hispanic (any race) veterans, age ≥50 years, with an OA diagnosis from 2001-2011 (n = 539,841). Veterans were followed from their first OA diagnosis until September 30, 2013. As a proxy for increased clinical severity, analyses were also conducted for a subsample restricted to those who saw an orthopedic or rheumatology specialist (n = 148,844). We used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine racial and ethnic differences in total knee arthroplasty by year of OA diagnosis, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, physical and mental diagnoses, and pain intensity scores. We identified 12,087 total knee arthroplasty procedures in a sample of 473,170 white, 50,172 black, and 16,499 Hispanic veterans. In adjusted models examining black-white and Hispanic-white differences by year of OA diagnosis, total knee arthroplasty rates were lower for black than for white veterans diagnosed in all but 2 years. There were no Hispanic-white differences regardless of when diagnosis occurred. These patterns held in the specialty clinic subsample. Black-white differences in total knee arthroplasty appear to be persistent in the VA, even after controlling for potential clinical confounders. © 2016, American College of Rheumatology.

  13. 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...

  14. Information Technology: DOD and VA Have Increased Their Sharing of Health Information, but Further Actions Are Needed

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Melvin, Valerie C

    2008-01-01

    ...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability...

  15. Mental disorder prevalence among U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outpatients with spinal cord injuries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Scott D; Mickens, Melody N; Goldberg-Looney, Lisa D; Mutchler, Brian J; Ellwood, Michael S; Castillo, Teodoro A

    2017-03-13

    Depression and other mental disorders are more prevalent among individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) than in the community at large, and have a strong association with quality of life. Yet little is known about the prevalence and predictors of mental disorders among U.S. military Veterans living with SCI. The primary aim of this study was to present an estimate of mental disorder point prevalence in this population. The secondary aim was to examine the relationship of mental disorders to demographics, injury characteristics, and other clinically relevant features such as impairment from mental health problems and life satisfaction. Cross-sectional. A SCI & Disorders Center at a U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Administrative and medical records of 280 Veterans who attended annual comprehensive SCI evaluations were evaluated. Demographics, injury characteristics, self-reported mental and emotional functioning (i.e. SF-8 Health Survey), and clinician-determined mental disorder diagnoses were attained. Overall, 40% of patients received at least one mental disorder diagnosis, most commonly depressive disorders (19%), posttraumatic stress disorder (12%), and substance or alcohol use disorders (11%). Several patient characteristics predicted mental disorders, including age, racial minority identity, non-traumatic SCI etiology, and incomplete (i.e. AIS D) vs. complete injury. Mental disorders were associated with greater impairment from health and mental health-related problems and less satisfaction with life. Mental disorders are common among outpatients receiving VA specialty care for SCI. These findings highlight the importance of having adequate and effective available mental health services available for Veterans with SCI.

  16. Diffusion of innovation in women's health care delivery: the Department of Veterans Affairs' adoption of women's health clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Elizabeth M; Goldzweig, Caroline; Canelo, Ismelda; Washington, Donna L

    2006-01-01

    In response to concerns about the availability and quality of women's health services in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers in the early 1990s, Congress approved landmark legislation earmarking funds to enhance women's health services. A portion of the appropriation was used to launch Comprehensive Women's Health Centers as exemplars for the development of VA women's health care throughout the system. We report on the diffusion and characteristics of VA women's health clinics (WHCs) 10 years later. In 2001, we surveyed the senior women's health clinician at each VA medical center serving > or =400 women veterans (83% response rate) regarding their internal organizational characteristics in relation to factors associated with organizational innovation (centralization, complexity, formalization, interconnectedness, organizational slack, size). We evaluated the comparability of WHCs (n = 66) with characteristics of the original comprehensive women's health centers (CWHCs; n = 8). Gender-specific service availability in WHCs was comparable to that of CWHCs with important exceptions in mental health, mammography and osteoporosis management. WHCs were less likely to have same-gender providers (p business case for managers faced with small female patient caseloads.

  17. 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

  18. Social work in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) System: rewards, challenges, roles and interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beder, Joan; Postiglione, Paul

    2013-01-01

    For the social worker in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) System, numerous challenges are faced and met while serving the nation's Veterans. As part of the multidisciplinary team, social workers perform a variety of tasks and function in diverse roles. The qualitative survey research reported in this article sought to detail what social workers identified about the impact and rewards of their work and what they saw as the challenges and frustrations. In addition the social workers were asked to clarify their role with the patient and the family. Intervention strategies used in the course of the social workers interaction with the Veterans was also ascertained.

  19. VA Health Care: VA Spends Millions on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research and Incorporates Research Outcomes into Guidelines and Policy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    post - traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) and...Veterans Affairs (VA) Intramural Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) Research Funding and VA’s Medical and Prosthetic Research Appropriation...Table 6: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Research Centers and Programs That Conduct or Support Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) Research

  20. Female Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan seeking care from VA specialized PTSD Programs: comparison with male veterans and female war zone veterans of previous eras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani

    2010-04-01

    Differences in the characteristics and mental health needs of female veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan war compared with those of veterans of other wars may have useful implications for VA program and treatment planning. Female veterans reporting service in the Iraq/Afghanistan war were compared with women reporting service in the Persian Gulf and Vietnam wars and to men reporting service in the Iraq/Afghanistan war. Subjects were drawn from VA administrative data on veterans who sought outpatient treatment from specialized posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment programs. A series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to control for program site and age. In general, Iraq/Afghanistan and Persian Gulf women had less severe psychopathology and more social supports than did Vietnam women. In turn, Iraq/Afghanistan women had less severe psychopathology than Persian Gulf women and were exposed to less sexual and noncombat nonsexual trauma than their Persian Gulf counterparts. Notable differences were also found between female and male veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan war. Women had fewer interpersonal and economic supports, had greater exposure to different types of trauma, and had different levels of diverse types of pathology than their male counterparts. There appear to be sufficient differences within women reporting service in different war eras and between women and men receiving treatment in VA specialized treatment programs for PTSD that consideration should be given to program planning and design efforts that address these differences in every program treating female veterans reporting war zone service.

  1. Binge-drinking and non-partner aggression are associated with gambling among Veterans with recent substance use in VA outpatient treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Alan K; Bonar, Erin E; Goldstick, Jason E; Walton, Maureen A; Winters, Jamie; Chermack, Stephen T

    2017-11-01

    Gambling is relatively under-assessed in Veterans Affairs (VA) substance use disorder (SUD) treatment settings, yet shared characteristics with substance addiction suggest the importance of understanding how gambling behaviors present in Veterans seeking SUD care. We evaluated substance use, mental health, and violence-related correlates of past 30-day gambling among 833 Veterans (93% male, M age 48years, 72% Caucasian) seeking treatment in VA outpatient mental health and SUD clinics who completed screening for a randomized clinical trial. A total of 288 (35%) Veterans reported past 30-day gambling. Among those who gambled, 79% had cravings/urges to gamble, whereas between 20%-27% of gamblers reported perceived relationship, legal, and daily life problems related to gambling, as well as difficulty controlling gambling. A logistic regression analysis revealed that age, recent binge-drinking, and non-partner physical aggression were associated with recent gambling. Gambling was associated with binge-drinking and non-partner physical aggression, supporting potential shared characteristics among these behaviors such as impulsivity and risk-taking, which may complicate SUD treatment engagement and effectiveness. Findings support the need to screen for gambling in the VA, and to adapt treatments to include gambling as a potential behavioral target or relapse trigger, particularly among heavy drinking patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. VA Health Care: Improved Monitoring Needed for Effective Oversight of Care for Women Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    Congressional Requesters December 2016 GAO-17-52 United States Government Accountability Office United States Government Accountability Office...VHA officials said not all facilities require onsite gynecologists and facilities may authorize gynecological services from non-VA providers. They...including previously closed combat positions, which could contribute to the increase in the women veteran population. See GAO, Military Personnel: DOD Is

  3. MMPI-2 Symptom Validity (FBS) Scale: psychometric characteristics and limitations in a Veterans Affairs neuropsychological setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gass, Carlton S; Odland, Anthony P

    2014-01-01

    The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) Symptom Validity (Fake Bad Scale [FBS]) Scale is widely used to assist in determining noncredible symptom reporting, despite a paucity of detailed research regarding its itemmetric characteristics. Originally designed for use in civil litigation, the FBS is often used in a variety of clinical settings. The present study explored its fundamental psychometric characteristics in a sample of 303 patients who were consecutively referred for a comprehensive examination in a Veterans Affairs (VA) neuropsychology clinic. FBS internal consistency (reliability) was .77. Its underlying factor structure consisted of three unitary dimensions (Tiredness/Distractibility, Stomach/Head Discomfort, and Claimed Virtue of Self/Others) accounting for 28.5% of the total variance. The FBS's internal structure showed factoral discordance, as Claimed Virtue was negatively related to most of the FBS and to its somatic complaint components. Scores on this 12-item FBS component reflected a denial of socially undesirable attitudes and behaviors (Antisocial Practices Scale) that is commonly expressed by the 1,138 males in the MMPI-2 normative sample. These 12 items significantly reduced FBS reliability, introducing systematic error variance. In this VA neuropsychological referral setting, scores on the FBS have ambiguous meaning because of its structural discordance.

  4. The Veterans Affairs Cardiac Risk Score: Recalibrating the Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Score for Applied Use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sussman, Jeremy B; Wiitala, Wyndy L; Zawistowski, Matthew; Hofer, Timothy P; Bentley, Douglas; Hayward, Rodney A

    2017-09-01

    Accurately estimating cardiovascular risk is fundamental to good decision-making in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, but risk scores developed in one population often perform poorly in dissimilar populations. We sought to examine whether a large integrated health system can use their electronic health data to better predict individual patients' risk of developing CVD. We created a cohort using all patients ages 45-80 who used Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ambulatory care services in 2006 with no history of CVD, heart failure, or loop diuretics. Our outcome variable was new-onset CVD in 2007-2011. We then developed a series of recalibrated scores, including a fully refit "VA Risk Score-CVD (VARS-CVD)." We tested the different scores using standard measures of prediction quality. For the 1,512,092 patients in the study, the Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk score had similar discrimination as the VARS-CVD (c-statistic of 0.66 in men and 0.73 in women), but the Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease model had poor calibration, predicting 63% more events than observed. Calibration was excellent in the fully recalibrated VARS-CVD tool, but simpler techniques tested proved less reliable. We found that local electronic health record data can be used to estimate CVD better than an established risk score based on research populations. Recalibration improved estimates dramatically, and the type of recalibration was important. Such tools can also easily be integrated into health system's electronic health record and can be more readily updated.

  5. Facilitators and Barriers to Preparedness Partnerships: A Veterans Affairs Medical Center Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Susan; Wyte-Lake, Tamar; Dobalian, Aram

    2017-09-13

    This study sought to understand facilitators and barriers faced by local US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) emergency managers (EMs) when collaborating with non-VA entities. Twelve EMs participated in semi-structured interviews lasting 60 to 90 minutes discussing their collaboration with non-VAMC organizations. Sections of the interview transcripts concerning facilitators and barriers to collaboration were coded and analyzed. Common themes were organized into 2 categories: (1) internal (ie, factors affecting collaboration from within VAMCs or by VA policy) and (2) external (ie, interagency or interpersonal factors). Respondents reported a range of facilitators and barriers to collaboration with community-based agencies. Internal factors facilitating collaboration included items such as leadership support. An internal barrier example included lack of clarity surrounding the VAMC's role in community disaster response. External factors noted as facilitators included a shared goal across organizations while a noted barrier was a perception that potential partners viewed a VAMC partnership with skepticism. Federal institutions are important partners for the success of community disaster preparedness and response. Understanding the barriers that VAMCs confront, as well as potential facilitators to collaboration, should enhance the development of VAMC-community partnerships and improve community health resilience. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017; page 1 of 6).

  6. 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.

  7. Variation in Postsepsis Readmission Patterns: A Cohort Study of Veterans Affairs Beneficiaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Rationale: Rehospitalization is common after sepsis, but little is known about the variation in readmission patterns across patient groups and care locations. Objectives: To examine the variation in postsepsis readmission rates and diagnoses by patient age, nursing facility use, admission year, and hospital among U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries. Methods: Observational cohort study of VA beneficiaries who survived a sepsis hospitalization (2009–2011) at 114 VA hospitals, stratified by age (readmission after sepsis hospitalization and proportion of readmissions resulting from specific diagnoses, including the proportion of “potentially preventable” readmissions. Readmission diagnoses were similar from 2009 to 2011, with little variation in readmission rates across hospitals. The top six readmission diagnoses (heart failure, pneumonia, sepsis, urinary tract infection, acute renal failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) accounted for 30% of all readmissions. Although about one in five readmissions had a principal diagnosis for infection, 58% of all readmissions received early systemic antibiotics. Infection accounted for a greater proportion of readmissions among patients discharged to nursing facilities compared with patients discharged to home (25.0–27.1% vs. 16.8%) and among older vs. younger patients (22.2% vs. 15.8%). Potentially preventable readmissions accounted for a quarter of readmissions overall and were more common among older patients and patients discharged to nursing facilities. Conclusions: Hospital readmission rates after sepsis were similar by site and admission year. Heart failure, pneumonia, sepsis, and urinary tract infection were common readmission diagnoses across all patient groups. Readmission for infection and potentially preventable diagnoses were more common in older patients and patients discharged to nursing facilities. PMID:27854510

  8. Comparing the quality of antidepressant pharmacotherapy in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the private sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Susan H; Leslie, Douglas L; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2004-12-01

    Comparing quality of care between large health care systems is important for health systems management. This study compared measures of the quality of pharmacotherapy for patients with major depression across a sample of patients from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the private sector. In this observational study, all patients who were given a new prescription for an antidepressant and a diagnosis of major depression in the VA during fiscal year 2000 were identified by using administrative data (N=27,713). In the private sector, a similar sample of patients were identified by using Medstat's MarketScan database (N=4,852). For both groups, measures of the quality of antidepressant pharmacotherapy were constructed. These measures were compared across the two groups by using logistic regression models. Controls for age, gender, comorbid disorders, and initial antidepressant drug prescribed were included in some models. Although the populations had different demographic and clinical characteristics, differences in the quality measures between the two systems were few, with the VA slightly outperforming the private sector in the prescription of antidepressants during the acute phase of treatment, the first 84 days (84.7 compared with 81 percent) and during the maintenance phase of treatment, the first 181 days (53.9 compared with 50.9 percent). Patient characteristics that were associated with quality measures included being older, being female, and having a comorbid diagnosis of substance use disorder, bipolar disorder, or anxiety or adjustment disorder. Both systems had relatively high rates of adherence to pharmacotherapy guidelines. Even though the populations in the two systems were different, adjusting the analyses for clinical characteristics did little to change the measured differences between the two systems.

  9. Telehealth at the US Department of Veterans Affairs after Hurricane Sandy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Griffin, Anne R; Chu, Karen; Dobalian, Aram

    2018-01-01

    Background Like other integrated health systems, the US Department of Veterans Affairs has widely implemented telehealth during the past decade to improve access to care for its patient population. During major crises, the US Department of Veterans Affairs has the potential to transition healthcare delivery from traditional care to telecare. This paper identifies the types of Veterans Affairs telehealth services used during Hurricane Sandy (2012), and examines the patient characteristics of those users. Methods This study conducted both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Veterans Affairs administrative and clinical data files were used to illustrate the use of telehealth services 12 months pre- and 12 months post- Hurricane Sandy. In-person interviews with 31 key informants at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center three-months post- Hurricane Sandy were used to identify major themes related to telecare. Results During the seven-month period of hospital closure at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center after Hurricane Sandy, in-person patient visits decreased dramatically while telehealth visits increased substantially, suggesting that telecare was used in lieu of in-person care for some vulnerable patients. The most commonly used types of Veterans Affairs telehealth services included primary care, triage, mental health, home health, and ancillary services. Using qualitative analyses, three themes emerged from the interviews regarding the use of Veterans Affairs telecare post- Hurricane Sandy: patient safety, provision of telecare, and patient outreach. Conclusion Telehealth offers the potential to improve post-disaster access to and coordination of care. More information is needed to better understand how telehealth can change the processes and outcomes during disasters. Future studies should also evaluate key elements, such as adequate resources, regulatory and technology issues, workflow integration, provider resistance, diagnostic fidelity and

  10. 38 CFR 2.8 - Delegation of authority to authorize allowances for Department of Veterans Affairs employees who...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... AUTHORITY § 2.8 Delegation of authority to authorize allowances for Department of Veterans Affairs employees... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Delegation of authority to authorize allowances for Department of Veterans Affairs employees who are notaries public. 2.8...

  11. PTSD Treatment Programs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Programs in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs PTSD: National Center for PTSD Menu Menu PTSD PTSD Home For the Public ... Enter ZIP code here Enter ZIP code here PTSD Treatment Programs in the U.S. Department of Veterans ...

  12. 38 CFR 74.26 - What types of business information will VA collect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.26 What types of business information will VA collect? VA will examine a variety of business records. See § 74.12, “What is... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What types of business...

  13. 76 FR 50540 - Pilot Program of Enhanced Contract Care Authority for Veterans in Highly Rural Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... contracts in order to arrange for the provision of care through the pilot program. See Public Law 110- 387... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Pilot Program of Enhanced Contract Care Authority for Veterans in... Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing Sec. 403 of Public Law (Pub. L.) 110-387, ``Veterans' Mental Health...

  14. 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.

  15. 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 statistic 0.72) and of post-traumatic stress disorder with pain interfering with work (OR 3.9, CI 1.1-13.6, p statistic 0.75). A health assessment survey identified priority areas to inform targeted health promotion for 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.

  16. Financial incentives and accountability for integrated medical care in Department of Veterans Affairs mental health programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbourne, Amy M; Greenwald, Devra E; Hermann, Richard C; Charns, Martin P; McCarthy, John F; Yano, Elizabeth M

    2010-01-01

    This study assessed the extent to which mental health leaders perceive their programs as being primarily accountable for monitoring general medical conditions among patients with serious mental illness, and it assessed associations with modifiable health system factors. As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2007 national Mental Health Program Survey, 108 mental health program directors were queried regarding program characteristics. Perceived accountability was defined as whether their providers, as opposed to external general medical providers, were primarily responsible for specific clinical tasks related to serious mental illness treatment or high-risk behaviors. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine whether financial incentives or other system factors were associated with accountability. Thirty-six percent of programs reported primary accountability for monitoring diabetes and cardiovascular risk after prescription of second-generation antipsychotics, 10% for hepatitis C screening, and 17% for obesity screening and weight management. In addition, 18% and 27% of program leaders, respectively, received financial bonuses for high performance for screening for risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and for alcohol misuse. Financial bonuses for diabetes and cardiovascular screening were associated with primary accountability for such screening (odds ratio=5.01, pFinancial incentives to improve quality performance may promote accountability in monitoring diabetes and cardiovascular risk assessment within mental health programs. Integrated care strategies (co-location) might be needed to promote management of high-risk behaviors among patients with serious mental illness.

  17. Military and Veteran Support: DOD and VA Programs That Address the Effects of Combat and Transition to Civilian Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    servicemembers to civilian life. For its part, VA’s agency priority goals are to (1) ensure access to VA benefits and services, (2) eliminate the disability...transfer their benefits to dependents. VAVeterans Benefit Administration ( VBA ) Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Centers Disability; Physical...who are temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member to help adapt the home to meet his or her special needs. VA - VBA Yellow Ribbon

  18. VA Enterprise Design Patterns - 5.1 (Mobility) Mobile

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — First of a set of guidance documents that establish the architectural foundation for mobile computing in the VA. This document outlines the enterprise capabilities...

  19. VA Enterprise Design Patters - 2.5 (Enterprise Architecture)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Enterprise architectural guidelines and constraints that provide references to the use of enterprise capabilities that will enable the VA to access and exchange data...

  20. 38 CFR 21.21 - Election of benefits under education programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... § 21.21 Election of benefits under education programs administered by the Department of Veterans... education programs administered by VA must make an election of benefits between chapter 31 and any other VA... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Election of benefits...

  1. 77 FR 18307 - Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report AGENCY: Department...) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA policies and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans' illnesses. The GWVI-TF...

  2. 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... DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION Definitions § 801.930 Debarring official (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement...

  3. 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... DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION Definitions § 801.1010 Suspending official (Department of Veterans Affairs...

  4. Accessing VA Healthcare During Large-Scale Natural Disasters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Pinnock, Laura; Dobalian, Aram

    2017-01-01

    Natural disasters can lead to the closure of medical facilities including the Veterans Affairs (VA), thus impacting access to healthcare for U.S. military veteran VA users. We examined the characteristics of VA patients who reported having difficulty accessing care if their usual source of VA care was closed because of natural disasters. A total of 2,264 veteran VA users living in the U.S. northeast region participated in a 2015 cross-sectional representative survey. The study used VA administrative data in a complex stratified survey design with a multimode approach. A total of 36% of veteran VA users reported having difficulty accessing care elsewhere, negatively impacting the functionally impaired and lower income VA patients.

  5. 75 FR 77956 - Agency Information Collection (Annual Certification of Veteran Status and Veteran-Relatives...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-14

    ... Administration (VBA), Department of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below... Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Abstract: VBA employees, non-VBA employees in VBA space and Veteran Service Organization employees who have access to VA's benefit records complete VA...

  6. Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain: Overview of the 2017 US Department of Veterans Affairs and US Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guideline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Jack M; Bilka, Brandon M; Wilson, Sara M; Spevak, Christopher

    2018-05-01

    The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and US Department of Defense (DoD) revised the 2010 clinical practice guideline (CPG) for the management of opioid therapy for chronic pain, considering the specific needs of the VA and DoD and new evidence regarding prescribing opioid medication for non-end-of-life-related chronic pain. This paper summarizes the major recommendations and compares them with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline for prescribing opioids. This Opioid Therapy CPG was developed for VA-DoD service members, veterans, and their families. The VA/DoD Evidence-Based Practice Work Group convened a VA/DoD guideline renewal development effort and conformed to the guidelines established by the VA/DoD Joint Executive Council (JEC) and VA/DoD Health Executive Council (HEC). The panel developed questions, searched and evaluated the literature, developed recommendations using GRADE methodology, and developed algorithms. Passage of the CARA Act by Congress compelled consideration and comparison with the CDC opioid therapy guideline mid-development. There were 18 recommendations made. This article focuses on guideline development and key recommendations with CDC comparisons taken from four major areas, including: initiation and continuation of opioids;type, dose, follow-up, and taper of opioids;risk mitigation;acute pain. Guideline development and recommendations are presented. There was substantial overlap with the CDC opioid guideline. Additionally, there were items particularly relevant to the VA-DoD, including risk mitigation, suicide prevention, and preventing opioid use disorder in young patients. Our guideline highlights avoiding opioid therapy longer than 90 days as a critical juncture.

  7. Homeland security and public health: role of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Department of Homeland Security, and implications for the public health community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Kristi L

    2003-01-01

    The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 led to the largest US Government transformation since the formation of the Department of Defense following World War II. More than 22 different agencies, in whole or in part, and >170,000 employees were reorganized to form a new Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with the primary mission to protect the American homeland. Legislation enacted in November 2002 transferred the entire Federal Emergency Management Agency and several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assets to DHS, including the Office of Emergency Response, and oversight for the National Disaster Medical System, Strategic National Stockpile, and Metropolitan Medical Response System. This created a potential separation of "health" and "medical" assets between the DHS and HHS. A subsequent presidential directive mandated the development of a National Incident Management System and an all-hazard National Response Plan. While no Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assets were targeted for transfer, the VA remains the largest integrated healthcare system in the nation with important support roles in homeland security that complement its primary mission to provide care to veterans. The Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group (EMSHG) within the VA's medical component, the Veteran Health Administration (VHA), is the executive agent for the VA's Fourth Mission, emergency management. In addition to providing comprehensive emergency management services to the VA, the EMSHG coordinates medical back-up to the Department of Defense, and assists the public via the National Disaster Medical System and the National Response Plan. This article describes the VA's role in homeland security and disasters, and provides an overview of the ongoing organizational and operational changes introduced by the formation of the new DHS. Challenges and opportunities for public health are highlighted.

  8. Homeless Veterans' Use of Peer Mentors and Effects on Costs and Utilization in VA Clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Jean; Lo, Jeanie; Gehlert, Elizabeth; Johnson, Erin E; O'Toole, Thomas P

    2017-06-01

    The study compared health care utilization and costs among homeless veterans randomly assigned to peer mentors or usual care and described contacts with peer mentors. Homeless patients at four Department of Veterans Affairs clinics were randomly assigned to a peer mentor (N=195) or to usual care (N=180). Administrative data on utilization and costs over a six-month follow-up were combined with peer mentors' reports of patient contacts. Most patients (87%) in the peer mentor group had at least one peer contact. Patients in this group spent the largest proportions of time discussing housing and health issues with peer mentors and had more outpatient encounters than those in usual care, although differences were not significant. No other between-group differences were found in utilization or costs. Although significant impacts of peer mentors on health care patterns or costs were not detected, some patients had frequent contact with peer mentors.

  9. 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...

  10. 76 FR 24087 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-29

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Harbor View Room at the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, Florida...

  11. 75 FR 4453 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Lafayette Park Room at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1001 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC. On February...

  12. 76 FR 37896 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-28

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The...

  13. 77 FR 54367 - Sharing Information Between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-05

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 1 RIN 2900-AN95 Sharing Information Between the...) regulatory restriction on the sharing of certain medical information with the Department of Defense (DoD... economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy...

  14. Patient Ethnicity Affects Triage Assessments and Patient Prioritization in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Emergency Departments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigil, Jacob M.; Coulombe, Patrick; Alcock, Joe; Kruger, Eric; Stith, Sarah S.; Strenth, Chance; Parshall, Mark; Cichowski, Sara B.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Ethnic minority patients receive lower priority triage assignments in Veteran's Affairs (VA) emergency departments (EDs) compared to White patients, but it is currently unknown whether this disparity arises from generalized biases across the triage assessment process or from differences in how objective and/or subjective institution-level or person-level information is incorporated into the triage assessment process, thus contributing to disparate treatment. The VA database of electronic medical records of patients who presented to the VA ED from 2008 to 2012 was used to measure patient ethnicity, self-reported pain intensity (PI) levels, heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), and nurse-provided triage assignment, the Emergency Severity Index (ESI) score. Multilevel, random effects linear modeling was used to control for demographic and clinical characteristics of patients as well as age, gender, and experience of triage nurses. A total of 359,642 patient/provider encounters between 129,991 VA patients and 774 nurses were included in the study. Patients were 61% non-Hispanic White [NHW], 28% African-American, 7% Hispanic, 2% Asian-American, ESI ratings with lower PI when compared against African-American patients. NHW patients with low to moderate HRs also received higher priority ESI scoring than African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, and Mixed-ethnicity patients; however, when HR was high NHWs received lower priority ESI ratings than each of the minority groups (except for African-Americans). This study provides evidence for systemic differences in how patients’ vital signs are applied for determining ESI scores for different ethnic groups. Additional prospective research will be needed to determine how this specific person-level mechanism affects healthcare quality and outcomes. PMID:27057847

  15. Benchmarking the quality of schizophrenia pharmacotherapy: a comparison of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the private sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Douglas L; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2003-09-01

    Comparing quality of care between large health care systems is important for health systems management. This study used measures of the quality of pharmacotherapy for patients with schizophrenia and compared these measures across a sample of patients from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the private sector. A random sample of all patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in the VA during fiscal year (FY) 2000 was identified using administrative data. In the private sector, a sample of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2000 was identified using MEDSTAT's MarketScan database. For both groups, use of antipsychotic medications was studied and measures of the quality of pharmacotherapy were constructed, including whether patients were prescribed any antipsychotic medication, one of the newer atypical antipsychotics, and whether dosing adhered to established treatment recommendations. These measures were compared across the two groups using logistic regression models, controlling for age, gender, and comorbid diagnoses. Most patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (82% in the VA and 73% in the private sector) received an antipsychotic medication, usually one of the newer atypical drugs. Patients in the VA were more likely to be dosed above treatment recommendations, and less likely to be dosed below treatment recommendations. Overall, differences in proportion schizophrenia patients dosed according to recommendations were not statistically different across the two systems (60% in the VA, 58% in the private sector). Differences between the two systems were mixed, with the VA outperforming the private sector with respect to some measures and doing worse on others. Although the VA and the private sector were comparable with respect to the quality measures used in this study, there is room for improvement in both systems. Treatment recommendations are based on the best available clinical evidence of effectiveness and safety. Quality of care might be improved

  16. Gender differences in service utilization among Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn Veterans Affairs patients with severe mental illness and substance use disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Painter, Janelle M; Brignone, Emily; Gilmore, Amanda K; Lehavot, Keren; Fargo, Jamison; Suo, Ying; Simpson, Tracy; Carter, Marjorie E; Blais, Rebecca K; Gundlapalli, Adi V

    2018-02-01

    Severe mental illness (SMI) and substance use disorders (SUD) are among the more chronic and costly mental health conditions treated in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Service use patterns of returning veterans with SMI and SUD have received little attention. We examined gender differences in the utilization of VA services among a national sample of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) VA patients with SMI, SUD, and their comorbidity (SMI/SUD) in their first year of established VA care (N = 24,166). Outpatient services and acute-residential stays were modeled using negative binomial and logistic regression, respectively. Among all diagnostic categories, men used outpatient services less often than did women, including primary care (adjusted rate ratio [ARR] = .71, 95% confidence interval CI [.68, .74]), mental health (ARR = .85, 95% CI [.80, .91]), and addiction (ARR = .91, 95% CI [.83, .99]) services. For emergency department (ED) and psychiatric inpatient services, gender interacted significantly with diagnosis. The combination of SMI/SUD compared to either SMI or SUD conferred greater risk of ED utilization among men than women (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.09, 95% CI [1.24, 3.51], and 1.95, 95% CI [1.17, 3.26], respectively). SMI versus SUD conferred greater risk of psychiatric inpatient utilization among men than women (AOR = 1.83, 95% CI [1.43, 2.34]). Our findings point to gender differences in outpatient and acute service utilization among OEF/OIF/OND VA patients with some of the more chronic and costly mental health conditions. Further investigation of health care utilization patterns is needed to understand factors driving these gender differences to ensure that veterans have appropriate access to the services they need. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Veterans Affairs: Presumptive Service Connection and Disability Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-28

    aggravation of disease) and third element (nexus between in-service occurrence/aggravation of disease and current disease) of the prima facie case for...occurring within two years of separation from active duty military service. In the following years, additions to the presumptive list were made by...the change of mission for U.S. forces in Iraq. 4 Veterans Benefits Disability Commission, Honoring the Call to Duty : Veterans’ Disability Benefits in

  18. Comparative Outcomes After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Among Black and White Patients Treated at US Veterans Affairs Hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Taisei; Glorioso, Thomas J; Armstrong, Ehrin J; Maddox, Thomas M; Plomondon, Mary E; Grunwald, Gary K; Bradley, Steven M; Tsai, Thomas T; Waldo, Stephen W; Rao, Sunil V; Banerjee, Subhash; Nallamothu, Brahmajee K; Bhatt, Deepak L; Rene, A Garvey; Wilensky, Robert L; Groeneveld, Peter W; Giri, Jay

    2017-09-01

    Current comparative outcomes among black and white patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are not known. To compare outcomes between black and white patients undergoing PCI in the VA health system. This study compared black and white patients who underwent PCI between October 1, 2007, and September 30, 2013, at 63 VA hospitals using data recorded in the VA Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System for Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories (CART-CL) program. A generalized linear mixed model with a random intercept for site assessed the relative difference in odds of outcomes between black and white patients. The setting was integrated institutionalized hospital care. Excluded were all patients of other races or those with multiple listed races and those with missing data regarding race or the diagnostic cardiac catheterization. The dates of analysis were January 7, 2016, to April 17, 2017. Percutaneous coronary intervention at a VA hospital. The primary outcome was 1-year mortality. Secondary outcomes were 30-day all-cause readmission rates, 30-day acute kidney injury, 30-day blood transfusion, and 1-year readmission rates for myocardial infarction. In addition, variations in procedural and postprocedural care were examined, including the use of intravascular ultrasound, optical coherence tomography, fractional flow reserve measurements, bare-metal stents, postprocedural medications, and radial access. A total of 42 391 patients (13.3% black and 98.4% male; mean [SD] age, 65.2 [9.1] years) satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. In unadjusted analyses, black patients had higher rates of 1-year mortality (7.1% vs 5.9%, P < .001) as well as secondary outcomes of 30-day acute kidney injury (20.8% vs 13.8%, P < .001), 30-day blood transfusion (3.4% vs 2.7%, P < .01), and 1-year readmission rates for myocardial infarction (3.3% vs 2.7%, P = .01) compared with white

  19. 75 FR 54028 - Technical Revisions To Conform With the Veterans' Mental Health Care Act of 2008 and Other Laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-03

    ...,'' authorizing VA to exercise discretion to provide certain mental health services, counseling, and training for... Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides health benefits for... the Veterans' Mental Health Care Act of 2008 and Other Laws AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs...

  20. Racial disparities in cancer care in the Veterans Affairs health care system and the role of site of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel, Cleo A; Landrum, Mary Beth; McNeil, Barbara J; Bozeman, Samuel R; Williams, Christina D; Keating, Nancy L

    2014-09-01

    We assessed cancer care disparities within the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system and whether between-hospital differences explained disparities. We linked VA cancer registry data with VA and Medicare administrative data and examined 20 cancer-related quality measures among Black and White veterans diagnosed with colorectal (n = 12,897), lung (n = 25,608), or prostate (n = 38,202) cancer from 2001 to 2004. We used logistic regression to assess racial disparities for each measure and hospital fixed-effects models to determine whether disparities were attributable to between- or within-hospital differences. Compared with Whites, Blacks had lower rates of early-stage colon cancer diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.72, 0.90), curative surgery for stage I, II, or III rectal cancer (AOR = 0.57; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.78), 3-year survival for colon cancer (AOR = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.62, 0.89) and rectal cancer (AOR = 0.61; 95% CI = 0.42, 0.87), curative surgery for early-stage lung cancer (AOR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.60), 3-dimensional conformal or intensity-modulated radiation (3-D CRT/IMRT; AOR = 0.53; 95% CI = 0.47, 0.59), and potent antiemetics for highly emetogenic chemotherapy (AOR = 0.87; 95% CI = 0.78, 0.98). Adjustment for hospital fixed-effects minimally influenced racial gaps except for 3-D CRT/IMRT (AOR = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.65, 0.87) and potent antiemetics (AOR = 0.95; 95% CI = 0.82, 1.10). Disparities in VA cancer care were observed for 7 of 20 measures and were primarily attributable to within-hospital differences.

  1. 38 CFR 51.41 - Per diem for certain veterans based on service-connected disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... facility, if the veteran: (1) Is in need of nursing home care for a VA adjudicated service-connected...' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) PER DIEM FOR NURSING HOME CARE OF VETERANS IN STATE HOMES Per Diem Payments § 51.41 Per diem for certain veterans based on service-connected disabilities...

  2. 77 FR 3843 - Agency Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Agency Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey) Under OMB Review AGENCY: Board of Veterans.... Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey, VA Form 0745. OMB Control...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Electronic Health Records: DOD's and VA's Sharing of Information Could Benefit from Improved Management

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2009-01-01

    ...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for interoperability...

  7. 38 CFR 74.25 - What types of personally identifiable information will VA collect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.25 What types of personally identifiable information will VA collect? In order to establish owner... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What types of personally...

  8. Disruptive Innovation: Implementation of Electronic Consultations in a Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupte, Gouri; Vimalananda, Varsha; Simon, Steven R; DeVito, Katerina; Clark, Justice; Orlander, Jay D

    2016-02-12

    Electronic consultations (e-consults) offer rapid access to specialist input without the need for a patient visit. E-consult implementation began in 2011 at VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS). By early 2013, e-consults were available for all clinical services. In this implementation, the requesting clinician selects the desired consultation within the electronic health record (EHR) ordering menu, which creates an electronic form that is pre-populated with patient demographic information and allows free-text entry of the reason for consult. This triggers a message to the requesting clinician and requested specialty, thereby enabling bidirectional clinician-clinician communication. The aim of this study is to examine the utilization of e-consults in a large Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Data from the electronic health record was used to measure frequency of e-consult use by provider type (physician or nurse practitioner (NP) and/or physician assistant), and by the requesting and responding specialty from January 2012 to December 2013. We conducted chart reviews for a purposive sample of e-consults and semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of clinicians and hospital leaders to better characterize the process, challenges, and usability of e-consults. A total of 7097 e-consults were identified, 1998 from 2012 and 5099 from 2013. More than one quarter (27.56%, 1956/7097) of the e-consult requests originated from VA facilities in New England other than VABHS and were excluded from subsequent analysis. Within the VABHS e-consults (72.44%, 5141/7097), variability in frequency and use of e-consults across provider types and specialties was found. A total of 64 NPs requested 2407 e-consults (median 12.5, range 1-415). In contrast, 448 physicians (including residents and fellows) requested 2349 e-consults (median 2, range 1-116). More than one third (37.35%, 1920/5141) of e-consults were sent from primary care to specialists. While most e

  9. Design and Implementation of a Perioperative Surgical Home at a Veterans Affairs Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walters, Tessa L; Howard, Steven K; Kou, Alex; Bertaccini, Edward J; Harrison, T Kyle; Kim, T Edward; Shafer, Audrey; Brun, Carlos; Funck, Natasha; Siegel, Lawrence C; Stary, Erica; Mariano, Edward R

    2016-06-01

    The innovative Perioperative Surgical Home model aims to optimize the outcomes of surgical patients by leveraging the expertise and leadership of physician anesthesiologists, but there is a paucity of practical examples to follow. Veterans Affairs health care, the largest integrated system in the United States, may be the ideal environment in which to explore this model. We present our experience implementing Perioperative Surgical Home at one tertiary care university-affiliated Veterans Affairs hospital. This process involved initiating consistent postoperative patient follow-up beyond the postanesthesia care unit, a focus on improving in-hospital acute pain management, creation of an accessible database to track outcomes, developing new clinical pathways, and recruiting additional staff. Today, our Perioperative Surgical Home facilitates communication between various services involved in the care of surgical patients, monitoring of patient outcomes, and continuous process improvement. © The Author(s) 2015.

  10. Does comorbid chronic pain affect posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis and treatment? Outcomes of posttraumatic stress disorder screening in Department of Veterans Affairs primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Outcalt, Samantha D; Hoen, Helena Maria; Yu, Zhangsheng; Franks, Tenesha Marie; Krebs, Erin E

    2016-01-01

    Because posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is both prevalent and underrecognized, routine primary care-based screening for PTSD has been implemented across the Veterans Health Administration. PTSD is frequently complicated by the presence of comorbid chronic pain, and patients with both conditions have increased symptom severity and poorer prognosis. Our objective was to determine whether the presence of pain affects diagnosis and treatment of PTSD among Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who have a positive PTSD screening test. This retrospective cohort study used clinical and administrative data from six Midwestern VA medical centers. We identified 4,244 VA primary care patients with a positive PTSD screen and compared outcomes for those with and without a coexisting pain diagnosis. Outcomes were three clinically appropriate responses to positive PTSD screening: (1) mental health visit, (2) PTSD diagnosis, and (3) new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescription. We found that patients with coexisting pain had a lower rate of mental health visits than those without pain (hazard ratio: 0.889, 95% confidence interval: 0.821-0.962). There were no significant differences in the rate of PTSD diagnosis or new SSRI prescription between patients with and without coexisting pain.

  11. Adherence to clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of candidemia at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

    OpenAIRE

    Ashong, Chester N.; Hunter, Andrew S.; Mansouri, M. David; Cadle, Richard M.; Hamill, Richard J.; Musher, Daniel M.

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to examine the appropriateness of candidemia management at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center as recommended by the 2009 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for treatment of Candida infections. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 94 adult patients with blood cultures positive for Candida spp. was performed. Patients were stratified by severity of disease into two groups: non-neutropenic, mild-moderate disease (Group 1, n...

  12. The Evolution of Veteran Affairs Healthcare - Is It High Time for Cannabis Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    Neuropathic Pain in HIV, was later published with the National Center for Biotechnology Information and concluded that pain relief was greater with...www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ magazine /issues/winter09/articles/winter09pg10-14.html, (accessed September 2015). 56 U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs...Medline Plus, PTSD: A Growing Epidemic, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ magazine /issues/winter09/articles/winter09pg10- 14.html, (accessed

  13. 78 FR 63143 - VA Dental Insurance Program-Federalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-23

    ...--Federalism AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans... that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO86-VA Dental Insurance Program-- Federalism... Order 13132, Federalism Section 6(c) of Executive Order 13132 (entitled ``Federalism'') requires an...

  14. 38 CFR 17.1000 - Payment or reimbursement for emergency services for nonservice-connected conditions in non-VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... for emergency services for nonservice-connected conditions in non-VA facilities. 17.1000 Section 17.1000 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Payment Or Reimbursement for Emergency Services for Nonservice-Connected Conditions in Non-Va Facilities § 17.1000 Payment...

  15. VA INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Computer Security Weaknesses Persist at the Veterans Health Administration

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2000-01-01

    .... To determine the status of computer security within VHA, we (1) evaluated information system general controls at the VA Maryland Health Cafe System, the New Mexico VA Health Care System, and the VA North Texas Health Care System and (2...

  16. Comparing the Quality of Ambulatory Surgical Care for Skin Cancer in a Veterans Affairs Clinic and a Fee-For-Service Practice Using Clinical and Patient-Reported Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dizon, Matthew P; Linos, Eleni; Arron, Sarah T; Hills, Nancy K; Chren, Mary-Margaret

    2017-01-01

    The Institute of Medicine has identified serious deficiencies in the measurement of cancer care quality, including the effects on quality of life and patient experience. Moreover, comparisons of quality in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VA) and other sites are timely now that many Veterans can choose where to seek care. To compare quality of ambulatory surgical care for keratinocyte carcinoma (KC) between a VA and fee-for-service (FFS) practice, we used unique clinical and patient-reported data from a comparative effectiveness study. Patients were enrolled in 1999-2000 and followed for a median of 7.2 years. The practices differed in a few process measures (e.g., median time between biopsy and treatment was 7.5 days longer at VA) but there were no substantial or consistent differences in clinical outcomes or a broad range of patient-reported outcomes. For example, 5-year tumor recurrence rates were equally low (3.6% [2.3-5.5] at VA and 3.4% [2.3-5.1] at FFS), and similar proportions of patients reported overall satisfaction at one year (78% at VA and 80% at FFS, P = 0.69). These results suggest that the quality of care for KC can be compared comprehensively in different health care systems, and suggest that quality of care for KC was similar at a VA and FFS setting.

  17. Identification of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus within the Nation’s Veterans Affairs Medical Centers using natural language processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jones Makoto

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accurate information is needed to direct healthcare systems’ efforts to control methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA. Assembling complete and correct microbiology data is vital to understanding and addressing the multiple drug-resistant organisms in our hospitals. Methods Herein, we describe a system that securely gathers microbiology data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA network of databases. Using natural language processing methods, we applied an information extraction process to extract organisms and susceptibilities from the free-text data. We then validated the extraction against independently derived electronic data and expert annotation. Results We estimate that the collected microbiology data are 98.5% complete and that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was extracted accurately 99.7% of the time. Conclusions Applying natural language processing methods to microbiology records appears to be a promising way to extract accurate and useful nosocomial pathogen surveillance data. Both scientific inquiry and the data’s reliability will be dependent on the surveillance system’s capability to compare from multiple sources and circumvent systematic error. The dataset constructed and methods used for this investigation could contribute to a comprehensive infectious disease surveillance system or other pressing needs.

  18. Role of HIS/RIS DICOM interfaces in the integration of imaging into the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare enterprise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmak, Peter M.; Dayhoff, Ruth E.

    1998-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is integrating imaging into the healthcare enterprise using the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) standard protocols. Image management is directly integrated into the VistA Hospital Information System (HIS) software and clinical database. Radiology images are acquired via DICOM, and are stored directly in the HIS database. Images can be displayed on low- cost clinician's workstations throughout the medical center. High-resolution diagnostic quality multi-monitor VistA workstations with specialized viewing software can be used for reading radiology images. DICOM has played critical roles in the ability to integrate imaging functionality into the Healthcare Enterprise. Because of its openness, it allows the integration of system components from commercial and non- commercial sources to work together to provide functional cost-effective solutions (see Figure 1). Two approaches are used to acquire and handle images within the radiology department. At some VA Medical Centers, DICOM is used to interface a commercial Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) to the VistA HIS. At other medical centers, DICOM is used to interface the image producing modalities directly to the image acquisition and display capabilities of VistA itself. Both of these approaches use a small set of DICOM services that has been implemented by VistA to allow patient and study text data to be transmitted to image producing modalities and the commercial PACS, and to enable images and study data to be transferred back.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Psychosomatics , vol. 51, no. 6 (Nov. - Dec. 2010): 505. 21 D. Baker, P. Heppner, N. Afari, S. Nunnink, M. Kilmer, A. Simmons, L. Harder, and B. Bosse, “Trauma...Psychiatric, and Alcohol-Related Disorders Among Veterans Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Psychosomatics , vol. 51, no. 6 (Nov. - Dec. 2010): 503...September 28, 2012. Defense Health: Coordinating Authority Needed for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Activities. GAO-12-154

  20. Electronic Health Records: DOD and VA Have Increased Their Sharing of Health Information, but More Work Remains

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Melvin, Valerie C; Oliver, Barbara S; Collier, Barbara; Shaw, Kelly; Williams, Jr, Robert

    2008-01-01

    ...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability...

  1. Outcomes after cataract surgery in eyes with pseudoexfoliation: Results from the Veterans Affairs Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Data Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turalba, Angela; Cakiner-Egilmez, Tulay; Payal, Abhishek R; Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Luis A; Chomsky, Amy S; Vollman, David E; Baze, Elizabeth F; Lawrence, Mary G; Daly, Mary K

    2017-02-01

    To compare clinical outcomes of cataract surgery in eyes with and without pseudoexfoliation (PXF). Retrospective deidentified data analysis. A total of 123 PXF and 4776 non-PXF eyes of patients who underwent cataract surgery. We compared data on visual acuity, Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ)-based quality of life, and complications in PXF and non-PXF eyes from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Data Project across 5 VA medical centres. Pupillary expansion devices were used in 31 (25.2%) PXF cases and 398 (8.4%) non-PXF cases (p < 0.0001). Capsular tension rings were used in 6 (4.9%) PXF cases and 55 (1.2%) non-PXF cases (p < 0.004). The following complications occurred more frequently in PXF cases: zonular dehiscence without vitrectomy (4 [3.3%] PXF cases vs 40 [0.8%] non-PXF cases p = 0.02), persistent inflammation (28 [24.1%] vs 668 [14.5%]; p = 0.007), and persistent intraocular pressure elevation (5 [4.3%] vs 68 [1.5%]; p = 0.03). Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) improved in both groups after 1 month, but 87 (83.7%) PXF cases achieved postoperative BCVA better than or equal to 20/40 compared to 3991 (93.8%) non-PXF cases (p = 0.0003). There was no significant difference in the postoperative composite VFQ scores between PXF (82.1 ± 16.9) and non-PXF cases (84.2 ± 16.8, p = 0.09). Several complications occurred more frequently in the PXF group compared to the non-PXF group, and fewer PXF cases achieved BCVA better than or equal to 20/40. Despite this, both groups experienced similar improvement in vision-related quality of life after cataract surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Success of HIS DICOM interfaces in the integration of the healthcare enterprise at the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmak, Peter M.; Dayhoff, Ruth E.

    1999-07-01

    The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is integrating imaging into the healthcare enterprise using the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) standard protocols. Image management is directly integrated into the VistA Hospital Information System (HIS) software and the clinical database. Radiology images are acquired via DICOM, and are stored directly in the HIS database. Images can be displayed on low-cost clinician's workstations throughout the medical center. High-resolution diagnostic quality multi-monitor VistA workstations with specialized viewing software can be used for reading radiology images. Two approaches are used to acquire and handle imags within the radiology department. Some sties have a commercial Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) interfaced to the VistA HIS, while other sites use the direct image acquisition and integrated diagnostic reading capabilities of VistA itself. A small set of DICOM services have been implemented by VistA to allow patient and study text data to be transmitted to image producing modalities and the commercial PACS, and to enable images and study data to be transferred back. The VistA DICOM capabilities are now used to interface seven different commercial PACS products and over twenty different radiology modalities. The communications capabilities of DICOM and the VA wide area network are begin used to support reading of radiology images form remote sites. DICOM has been the cornerstone in the ability to integrate imaging functionality into the Healthcare Enterprise. Because of its openness, it allows the integration of system component from commercial and non- commercial sources to work together to provide functional cost-effective solutions. As DICOM expands to non-radiology devices, integration must occur with the specialty information subsystems that handle orders and reports, their associated DICOM image capture systems, and the computer- based patient record. The mode and concepts of

  3. 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

  4. Evaluating user experiences of the secure messaging tool on the Veterans Affairs' patient portal system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haun, Jolie N; Lind, Jason D; Shimada, Stephanie L; Martin, Tracey L; Gosline, Robert M; Antinori, Nicole; Stewart, Max; Simon, Steven R

    2014-03-06

    The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented an electronic asynchronous "Secure Messaging" tool within a Web-based patient portal (ie, My HealtheVet) to support patient-provider communication. This electronic resource promotes continuous and coordinated patient-centered care, but to date little research has evaluated patients' experiences and preferences for using Secure Messaging. The objectives of this mixed-methods study were to (1) characterize veterans' experiences using Secure Messaging in the My HealtheVet portal over a 3-month period, including system usability, (2) identify barriers to and facilitators of use, and (3) describe strategies to support veterans' use of Secure Messaging. We recruited 33 veterans who had access to and had previously used the portal's Secure Messaging tool. We used a combination of in-depth interviews, face-to-face user-testing, review of transmitted secure messages between veterans and staff, and telephone interviews three months following initial contact. We assessed participants' computer and health literacy during initial and follow-up interviews. We used a content-analysis approach to identify dominant themes in the qualitative data. We compared inferences from each of the data sources (interviews, user-testing, and message review) to identify convergent and divergent data trends. The majority of veterans (27/33, 82%) reported being satisfied with Secure Messaging at initial interview; satisfaction ratings increased to 97% (31/32, 1 missing) during follow-up interviews. Veterans noted Secure Messaging to be useful for communicating with their primary care team to manage health care needs (eg, health-related questions, test requests and results, medication refills and questions, managing appointments). Four domains emerged from interviews: (1) perceived benefits of using Secure Messaging, (2) barriers to using Secure Messaging, (3) facilitators for using Secure Messaging, and (4) suggestions for improving

  5. 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.

  6. Zeroing in on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: US Department of Veterans Affairs' MRSA Prevention Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kralovic, Stephen M; Evans, Martin E; Simbartl, Loretta A; Ambrose, Meredith; Jain, Rajiv; Roselle, Gary A

    2013-05-01

    Implementation of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevention Initiative within US Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities was associated with a significant reduction in MRSA health care-associated infection (HAI) rates nationwide. The first 36 months of data from the Initiative were analyzed to determine how many facilities reported zero MRSA HAIs each month. From October 2007 through September 2010, there was a 37.6% increase nationwide in the number of facilities achieving zero MRSA HAIs each month. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  7. 76 FR 20823 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-13

    ... AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: In... to VA's OMB Desk Officer, OMB Human Resources and Housing Branch, New Executive Office Building, Room... benefit claim within 30 days prior to the fielding period. The sample will be stratified as follows: (1...

  8. Health Insurance and the Labor Supply Decisions of Older Workers: Evidence from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Melissa A; Lahey, Joanna N

    2010-08-01

    This paper exploits a major mid-1990s expansion in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care system to provide evidence on the labor market effects of expanding health insurance availability. Using data from the Current Population Survey, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy to compare the labor market behavior of older veterans and non-veterans before and after the VA health benefits expansion to test the impact of public health insurance on labor supply. We find that older workers are significantly more likely to decrease work both on the extensive and intensive margins after receiving access to non-employer based insurance. Workers with some college education or a college degree are more likely to transition into self-employment, a result consistent with "job-lock" effects. However, less-educated workers are more likely to leave self-employment, a result suggesting that the positive income effect from receiving public insurance dominates the "job-lock" effect for these workers. Some relatively disadvantaged sub-populations may also increase their labor supply after gaining greater access to public insurance, consistent with complementary positive health effects of health care access or decreased work disincentives for these groups. We conclude that this reform has affected employment and retirement decisions, and suggest that future moves toward universal coverage or expansions of Medicare are likely to have significant labor market effects.

  9. 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.

  10. Using a Cognitive Information Processing Approach to Group Career Counseling with Visually Impaired Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Lauren K.

    2014-01-01

    Unemployment continues to be a growing concern among both civilian and veteran populations. As 14% of the veteran population currently identify as disabled because of service, this population's need for specialized vocational rehabilitation is increasing. Specifically in Veterans Affairs (VA) Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) where holistic…

  11. 77 FR 31071 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...

  12. 75 FR 8789 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related to Gulf...

  13. 75 FR 28686 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-21

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...

  14. 76 FR 9407 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-17

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities...

  15. 78 FR 77205 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-20

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA...

  16. 75 FR 65405 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-22

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...

  17. 76 FR 70827 - Proposed Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Proposed Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey Card) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY... information technology. Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey Card, VA...

  18. Medical Student Psychiatry Examination Performance at VA and Non-VA Clerkship Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Phebe; von Schlageter, Margo Shultes; Park, EunMi; Rosenberg, Emily; Benjamin, Ashley B.; Nawar, Ola

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The authors examined the effects of medical student assignment to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center inpatient and outpatient psychiatry clerkship sites versus other university and community sites on the performance outcome measure of National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject examination scores. Methods:…

  19. VA Enterprise Data Inventory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Department of Veterans Affairs Enterprise Data Inventory accounts for all of the datasets used in the agency's information systems. This entry was approved for...

  20. 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

    ... MISCELLANEOUS CLAIMS Federal Tort Claims § 14.605 Suits against Department of Veterans Affairs employees arising... damage, personal injury, or death allegedly occurring as a result of malpractice or negligence committed... Health Administration. Accordingly, a malpractice or negligence suit for property damage, personal injury...

  1. 48 CFR 803.7000 - Display of the VA Hotline poster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... poster. 803.7000 Section 803.7000 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS... Improper Business Practices 803.7000 Display of the VA Hotline poster. (a) Under the circumstances described in paragraph (b) of this section, a contractor must display prominently a VA Hotline poster...

  2. VA Education Benefits: Actions Taken, but Outreach and Oversight Could Be Improved. Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives. GAO-11-256

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertoni, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provided $9 billion in education benefits to service-members and veterans in fiscal year 2010, mostly through the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. In providing education benefits, VA relies on State Approving Agencies (SAA) to approve schools; and on schools to report students' enrollment status. US Government…

  3. 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.

  4. 38 CFR 17.96 - Medication prescribed by non-VA physicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... AFFAIRS MEDICAL Outpatient Treatment § 17.96 Medication prescribed by non-VA physicians. Any prescription... and medicines ordered by a private or non-Department of Veterans Affairs doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the prescription is written, shall...

  5. Veterans Affairs facility performance on Washington Circle indicators and casemix-adjusted effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Alex H S; Humphreys, Keith; Finney, John W

    2007-12-01

    Self-administered Addiction Severity Index (ASI) data were collected on 5,723 patients who received substance abuse treatment in 1 of 110 programs located at 73 Veterans Affairs facilities. The associations between each of three Washington Circle (WC) performance indicator scores (identification, initiation, and engagement) and their casemix-adjusted facility-level improvement in ASI drug and alcohol composites 7 months after intake were estimated. Higher initiation rates were not associated with facility-level improvement in ASI alcohol composite scores but were modestly associated with greater improvements in ASI drug composite scores. Identification and engagement rates were unrelated to 7-month outcomes. WC indicators focused on the early stages of treatment may tap necessary but insufficient processes for patients with substance use disorder to achieve good posttreatment outcomes. Ideally, the WC indicators would be supplemented with other measures of treatment quality.

  6. Veterans’s Medical Care: FY2014 Appropriations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-14

    to veterans’ benefits, including claims for service connection, increased disability ratings, pension, insurance benefits, educational benefits...accompanying the budget request provides few details regarding the data and assumptions that were modified in the updated actuarial model projection...Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans who meet certain eligibility criteria. Benefits to veterans range from disability compensation and pensions

  7. Characteristics of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs at Veterans Affairs Hospitals: Results of a Nationwide Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Ann F; Graber, Christopher J; Jones, Makoto; Zhang, Yue; Goetz, Matthew Bidwell; Madaras-Kelly, Karl; Samore, Matthew; Kelly, Allison; Glassman, Peter A

    2016-06-01

    BACKGROUND Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are variably implemented. OBJECTIVE To characterize variations of antimicrobial stewardship structure and practices across all inpatient Veterans Affairs facilities in 2012 and correlate key characteristics with antimicrobial usage. DESIGN A web-based survey regarding stewardship activities was administered to each facility's designated contact. Bivariate associations between facility characteristics and inpatient antimicrobial use during 2012 were determined. SETTING Total of 130 Veterans Affairs facilities with inpatient services. RESULTS Of 130 responding facilities, 29 (22%) had a formal policy establishing an ASP, and 12 (9%) had an approved ASP business plan. Antimicrobial stewardship teams were present in 49 facilities (38%); 34 teams included a clinical pharmacist with formal infectious diseases (ID) training. Stewardship activities varied across facilities, including development of yearly antibiograms (122 [94%]), formulary restrictions (120 [92%]), stop orders for antimicrobial duration (98 [75%]), and written clinical pathways for specific conditions (96 [74%]). Decreased antimicrobial usage was associated with having at least 1 full-time ID physician (P=.03), an ID fellowship program (P=.003), and a clinical pharmacist with formal ID training (P=.006) as well as frequency of systematic patient-level reviews of antimicrobial use (P=.01) and having a policy to address antimicrobial use in the context of Clostridium difficile infection (P=.01). Stop orders for antimicrobial duration were associated with increased use (P=.03). CONCLUSIONS ASP-related activities varied considerably. Decreased antibiotic use appeared related to ID presence and certain select practices. Further statistical assessments may help optimize antimicrobial practices. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;37:647-654.

  8. Outcomes of cataract surgery with residents as primary surgeons in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payal, Abhishek R; Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Luis A; Chen, Xi; Cakiner-Egilmez, Tulay; Chomsky, Amy; Baze, Elizabeth; Vollman, David; Lawrence, Mary G; Daly, Mary K

    2016-03-01

    To explore visual outcomes, functional visual improvement, and events in resident-operated cataract surgery cases. Veterans Affairs Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Database Project across 5 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Retrospective data analysis of deidentified data. Cataract surgery cases with residents as primary surgeons were analyzed for logMAR corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) and vision-related quality of life (VRQL) measured by the modified National Eye Institute Vision Function Questionnaire and 30 intraoperative and postoperative events. In some analyses, cases without events (Group A) were compared with cases with events (Group B). The study included 4221 cataract surgery cases. Preoperative to postoperative CDVA improved significantly in both groups (P < .0001), although the level of improvement was less in Group B (P = .03). A CDVA of 20/40 or better was achieved in 96.64% in Group A and 88.25% in Group B (P < .0001); however, Group B had a higher prevalence of preoperative ocular comorbidities (P < .0001). Cases with 1 or more events were associated with a higher likelihood of a postoperative CDVA worse than 20/40 (odds ratio, 3.82; 95% confidence interval, 2.92-5.05; P < .0001) than those who did not experience an event. Both groups had a significant increase in VRQL from preoperative levels (both P < .0001); however, the level of preoperative to postoperative VRQL improvement was significantly less in Group B (P < .0001). Resident-operated cases with and without events had an overall significant improvement in visual acuity and visual function compared with preoperatively, although this improvement was less marked in those that had an event. None of the authors has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Copyright © 2016 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 38 CFR 58.17 - VA Form 10-0144A-Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false VA Form 10-0144A-Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws. 58.17 Section 58.17 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) FORMS § 58.17 VA Form 10-0144A—Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal...

  10. A qualitative, interprofessional analysis of barriers to and facilitators of implementation of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Clostridium difficile prevention bundle using a human factors engineering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanke, Eric; Moriarty, Helene; Carayon, Pascale; Safdar, Nasia

    2018-03-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is increasingly prevalent, severe, and costly. Adherence to infection prevention practices remains suboptimal. More effective strategies to implement guidelines and evidence are needed. Interprofessional focus groups consisting of physicians, resident physicians, nurses, and health technicians were conducted for a quality improvement project evaluating adherence to the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) nationally mandated C difficile prevention bundle. Qualitative analysis with a visual matrix display identified barrier and facilitator themes guided by the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety model, a human factors engineering approach. Several themes, encompassing both barriers and facilitators to bundle adherence, emerged. Rapid turnaround time of C difficile polymerase chain reaction testing was a facilitator of timely diagnosis. Too few, poorly located, and cluttered sinks were barriers to appropriate hand hygiene. Patient care workload and the time-consuming process of contact isolation precautions were also barriers to adherence. Multiple work system components serve as barriers to and facilitators of adherence to the VA CDI prevention bundle among an interprofessional group of health care workers. Organizational factors appear to significantly influence bundle adherence. Interprofessional perspectives are needed to identify barriers to and facilitators of bundle implementation, which is a necessary first step to address adherence to bundled infection prevention practices. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. 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

  12. Visionary leadership and the future of VA health system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezold, C; Mayer, E; Dighe, A

    1997-01-01

    As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) makes the change over to Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISNs) the need for new and better leadership is warranted if VA wants to not only survive, but thrive in the emerging twenty-first century healthcare system. VA can prepare for the future and meet the challenges facing them by adopting a system of visionary leadership. The use of scenarios and vision techniques are explained as they relate to VA's efforts to move toward their new system of VISNs. The four scenarios provide snapshots of possible futures for the U.S. healthcare system as well as the possible future role and mission of VA--from VA disappearing to its becoming a premier virtual organization.

  13. Poststroke Rehabilitation and Restorative Care Utilization: A Comparison Between VA Community Living Centers and VA-contracted Community Nursing Homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Huanguang; Pei, Qinglin; Sullivan, Charles T; Cowper Ripley, Diane C; Wu, Samuel S; Bates, Barbara E; Vogel, W Bruce; Bidelspach, Douglas E; Wang, Xinping; Hoffman, Nannette

    2016-03-01

    Effective poststroke rehabilitation care can speed patient recovery and minimize patient functional disabilities. Veterans affairs (VA) community living centers (CLCs) and VA-contracted community nursing homes (CNHs) are the 2 major sources of institutional long-term care for Veterans with stroke receiving care under VA auspices. This study compares rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care among Veterans residing in VA CLCs versus those Veterans in VA-contracted CNHs. Retrospective observational. All Veterans diagnosed with stroke, newly admitted to the CLCs or CNHs during the study period who completed at least 2 Minimum Data Set assessments postadmission. The outcomes were numbers of days for rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care received by the Veterans during their stays in CLCs or CNHs as documented in the Minimum Data Set databases. For rehabilitation therapy, the CLC Veterans had lower user rates (75.2% vs. 76.4%, P=0.078) and fewer observed therapy days (4.9 vs. 6.4, Pcare, CLC Veterans had higher user rates (33.5% vs. 30.6%, Pcare days (9.4 vs. 5.9, Pcare (coefficient=5.48±0.37, Pcare both before and after risk adjustment.

  14. Balancing Demand and Supply for Veterans' Health Care: A Summary of Three RAND Assessments Conducted Under the Veterans Choice Act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Carrie M; Hosek, Susan D; Adamson, David M

    2016-06-20

    In response to concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced about veterans' access to care and the quality of care delivered, Congress enacted the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("Veterans Choice Act") in August 2014. The law was passed to help address access issues by expanding the criteria through which veterans can seek care from civilian providers. In addition, the law called for a series of independent assessments of the VA health care system across a broad array of topics related to the delivery of health care services to veterans in VA-owned and -operated facilities, as well as those under contract to VA. RAND conducted three of these assessments: Veteran demographics and health care needs (A), VA health care capabilities (B), and VA authorities and mechanisms for purchasing care (C). This article summarizes the findings of our assessments and includes recommendations from the reports for improving the match between veterans' needs and VA's capabilities, including VA's ability to purchase necessary care from the private sector.

  15. posttraumatic stress and its relationship to physical health functioning in a sample of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans seeking postdeployment VA health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakupcak, Matthew; Luterek, Jane; Hunt, Stephen; Conybeare, Daniel; McFall, Miles

    2008-05-01

    The relationship between posttraumatic stress and physical health functioning was examined in a sample of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans seeking postdeployment VA care. Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans (N = 108) who presented for treatment to a specialty postdeployment care clinic completed self-report questionnaires that assessed symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chemical exposure, combat exposure, and physical health functioning. As predicted, PTSD symptom severity was significantly associated with poorer health functioning, even after accounting for demographic factors, combat and chemical exposure, and health risk behaviors. These results highlight the unique influence of PTSD on the physical health in treatment seeking Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.

  16. 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,...

  17. 78 FR 62441 - VA Dental Insurance Program-Federalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-22

    ...--Federalism AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Direct final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of... that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO85-VA Dental Insurance Program-- Federalism... add preemption language in accordance with the discussion above. Executive Order 13132, Federalism...

  18. Comparative Evaluation of Serotonin Toxicity among Veterans Affairs Patients Receiving Linezolid and Vancomycin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, N.; Rivera, A.; Tristani, L.; Lazariu, V.; Vandewall, H.; McNutt, L. A.

    2013-01-01

    Despite the theoretical risk of serotonin toxicity (ST) with linezolid, “real-world” clinical evaluations of the risk of ST in patients receiving linezolid have been limited to case reports and noncomparator studies. An observational, matched-cohort study was conducted to evaluate the risk of ST among hospitalized patients who received linezolid or vancomycin at the Upstate New York Veterans Affairs Healthcare Network (Veterans Integrated Service Network 2 [VISN-2]). Matching criteria included VISN-2 hospital, hospital ward, prior hospital length of stay, age, and baseline platelet counts. The patients' electronic medical records were evaluated for symptoms consistent with ST and the Hunter serotonin toxicity criteria (HSTC) using an intensive, natural word search algorithm. The study included 251 matched pairs. Demographics and comorbidities were similar between groups. Over half of the study population received at least one concurrent medication with serotonergic activity. Receipt of agents with serotonergic activity was more pronounced in the vancomycin group, and the higher frequency was due to concomitant antihistamine and antiemetic use. Antidepressant use, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), was similar between groups. No patients in either group were found to meet the criteria using the word search algorithm for ST. Fewer linezolid patients than vancomycin patients met the HSTC overall (3.2% versus 8.8%) and when stratified by receipt of a concurrent serotonergic agent (4.3% versus 12.4%). Of the patients meeting the HSTC, most had past or present comorbidities that may have contributed to or overlapped the HSTC. This study of hospitalized patients revealed comparably low frequencies of adverse events potentially related to ST among patients who received linezolid or vancomycin. PMID:24041888

  19. 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.

  20. VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Improve Newly Enrolled Veterans Access to Primary Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    that arise prior to making contact with veterans. Further, ongoing scheduling errors, such as incorrectly revising preferred dates when rescheduling ...primary care provider and support staff—a nurse care manager, clinical associate, and administrative clerk. Letter Page 2 GAO-16-328...appointments were canceled, and if so, whether and when they were rescheduled . We also obtained information on the dates

  1. Veterans Justice Outreach Program: VA Could Improve Management by Establishing Performance Measures and Fully Assessing Risks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    Assessing Risks Report to Congressional Requesters April 2016 GAO-16-393 United States Government Accountability Office United States...Government Accountability Office Highlights of GAO-16-393, a report to congressional requesters April 2016 VETERANS JUSTICE OUTREACH PROGRAM...quality, timeliness, efficiency, cost of service, and outcome. GAO, Tax Administration: IRS Needs to Further Refine Its Tax Filing Season

  2. Has the VA Become a White Elephant?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. As I write this Dennis Wagner is publishing a series of articles in the Arizona Republic describing his quest to find out if care at VA hospitals have improved over the last 2 years (1. To begin the article Wagner describes the fable of the King of Siam who presented albino pachyderms to his enemies knowing they would be bankrupted because the cost of food and care outweighed all usefulness. A modern expression derives from this parable: the white elephant. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA has prided itself on being a leader in healthcare. It is the largest healthcare system in the US, implemented the first electronic medical record, and more than 70 percent of all US doctors have received training in the VA healthcare system (2. This year the VA is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its partnership with US medical schools. Beginning in 1946, the VA partnered ...

  3. Adherence to clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of candidemia at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashong, Chester N.; Hunter, Andrew S.; Mansouri, M. David; Cadle, Richard M.; Hamill, Richard J.; Musher, Daniel M.

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to examine the appropriateness of candidemia management at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center as recommended by the 2009 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for treatment of Candida infections. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 94 adult patients with blood cultures positive for Candida spp. was performed. Patients were stratified by severity of disease into two groups: non-neutropenic, mild-moderate disease (Group 1, n = 54, 56%) and non-neutropenic, moderate-severe disease (Group 2, n = 40, 42%). Results: Adherence to the IDSA recommendations for recommended antifungal drug, dose, and duration of therapy was low in both groups (16.7% in Group 1 and 17.5% in Group 2). Although adherence was not associated with higher clinical resolution of infection (P = 0.111), it was associated with a significantly lower mortality rate (P = 0.001) when compared to variance from the guidelines at 6 weeks. Conclusion: Although adherence to published guidelines for treating patients with candidemia was suboptimal at our institution, patients that were managed based on the guidelines had a statistically lower mortality rate. PMID:28936146

  4. Reduction in Unnecessary Clinical Laboratory Testing Through Utilization Management at a US Government Veterans Affairs Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konger, Raymond L; Ndekwe, Paul; Jones, Genea; Schmidt, Ronald P; Trey, Marty; Baty, Eric J; Wilhite, Denise; Munshi, Imtiaz A; Sutter, Bradley M; Rao, Maddamsetti; Bashir, Chowdry M

    2016-03-01

    To implement an electronic laboratory utilization management system (laboratory expert system [LES]) to provide safe and effective reductions in unnecessary clinical laboratory testing. The LES is a set of frequency filter subroutines within the Veterans Affairs hospital and laboratory information system that was formulated by an interdisciplinary medical team. Since implementing the LES, total test volume has decreased by a mean of 11.18% per year compared with our pre-LES test volume. This change was not attributable to fluctuations in outpatient visits or inpatient days of care. Laboratory cost savings were estimated at $151,184 and $163,751 for 2012 and 2013, respectively. A significant portion of these cost savings was attributable to reductions in high-volume, large panel testing. No adverse effects on patient care were reported, and mean length of stay for patients remained unchanged. Electronic laboratory utilization systems can effectively reduce unnecessary laboratory testing without compromising patient care. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  5. Veteran Affairs Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education: transforming nurse practitioner education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugen, Kathryn Wirtz; Watts, Sharon A; Janson, Susan L; Angelo, Laura A; Nash, Melanie; Zapatka, Susan A; Brienza, Rebecca; Gilman, Stuart C; Bowen, Judith L; Saxe, JoAnne M

    2014-01-01

    To integrate health care professional learners into patient-centered primary care delivery models, the Department of Veterans Affairs has funded five Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCEs). The main goal of the CoEPCEs is to develop and test innovative structural and curricular models that foster transformation of health care training from profession-specific "silos" to interprofessional, team-based educational and care delivery models in patient-centered primary care settings. CoEPCE implementation emphasizes four core curricular domains: shared decision making, sustained relationships, interprofessional collaboration, and performance improvement. The structural models allow interprofessional learners to have longitudinal learning experiences and sustained and continuous relationships with patients, faculty mentors, and peer learners. This article presents an overview of the innovative curricular models developed at each site, focusing on nurse practitioner (NP) education. Insights on transforming NP education in the practice setting and its impact on traditional NP educational models are offered. Preliminary outcomes and sustainment examples are also provided. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  6. Homeless Veterans: Management Improvements Could Help VA Better Identify Supportive Housing Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    of the country. The Fair Market Rent is the cost of standard, non- luxury housing in the community. The payment standard is the maximum subsidy a...access that can be particularly beneficial for those located in high-rent markets . According to the VA’s Fiscal Year 2017 “EUL Consideration...during fiscal year 2017. The draft that VA shared with us requires an analysis of the local market , including current and anticipated supply and

  7. Factors associated with receipt of pension and compensation benefits for homeless veterans in the VBA/VHA Homeless Outreach Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Joyce H; Rosenheck, Robert A; Greenberg, Greg A; Seibyl, Catherine

    2007-03-01

    Public support payments may facilitate exit from homelessness for persons with mental illness. We examined data from 10,641 homeless veterans contacted from October 1, 1995 to September 30, 2002 in a collaborative outreach program designed to facilitate access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. Those who were awarded benefits (22% of contacted veterans) were more likely to report disability, poor to fair self-rated health, and were more likely to have used VA services in the past. Thus, this program achieved only modest success and was most successful with veterans who were already receiving VA services and who might have received benefits even without the outreach effort.

  8. The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs depleted uranium exposed cohort at 25 Years: Longitudinal surveillance results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McDiarmid, Melissa A.; Gaitens, Joanna M.; Hines, Stella; Condon, Marian; Roth, Tracy; Oliver, Marc; Gucer, Patricia; Brown, Lawrence; Centeno, Jose A.; Dux, Moira; Squibb, Katherine S.

    2017-01-01

    Background: A small group of Gulf War I veterans wounded in depleted uranium (DU) friendly-fire incidents have been monitored for health changes in a clinical surveillance program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore since 1994. Methods: During the spring of 2015, an in-patient clinical surveillance protocol was performed on 36 members of the cohort, including exposure monitoring for total and isotopic uranium concentrations in urine and a comprehensive assessment of health outcomes. Results: On-going mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated urine U concentrations. The DU isotopic signature is observed principally in participants possessing embedded fragments. Those with only an inhalation exposure have lower urine U concentration and a natural isotopic signature. Conclusions: At 25 years since first exposure to DU, an aging cohort of military veterans continues to show no U-related health effects in known target organs of U toxicity. As U body burden continues to accrue from in-situ mobilization from metal fragment depots, and increases with exposure duration, critical tissue-specific U concentration thresholds may be reached, thus recommending on-going surveillance of this veteran cohort. - Highlights: • Gulf War I veterans wounded with depleted uranium are monitored for health changes. • In 2015 in-patient clinical surveillance was performed on 36 members of the cohort. • Mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated U in urine. • This cohort of continues to show no U-related health effects.

  9. The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs depleted uranium exposed cohort at 25 Years: Longitudinal surveillance results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDiarmid, Melissa A.; Gaitens, Joanna M.; Hines, Stella [Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Baltimore, Maryland, 10 N. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 655 W Baltimore S, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Condon, Marian, E-mail: mcondon@medicine.umaryland.edu [Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Baltimore, Maryland, 10 N. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Roth, Tracy; Oliver, Marc; Gucer, Patricia [Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Baltimore, Maryland, 10 N. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 655 W Baltimore S, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Brown, Lawrence [Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Baltimore, Maryland, 10 N. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 655 W Baltimore S, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Centeno, Jose A. [US Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD 20993 (United States); Dux, Moira [Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Baltimore, Maryland, 10 N. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Squibb, Katherine S. [Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Baltimore, Maryland, 10 N. Greene St., Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States); Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 655 W Baltimore S, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States)

    2017-01-15

    Background: A small group of Gulf War I veterans wounded in depleted uranium (DU) friendly-fire incidents have been monitored for health changes in a clinical surveillance program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore since 1994. Methods: During the spring of 2015, an in-patient clinical surveillance protocol was performed on 36 members of the cohort, including exposure monitoring for total and isotopic uranium concentrations in urine and a comprehensive assessment of health outcomes. Results: On-going mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated urine U concentrations. The DU isotopic signature is observed principally in participants possessing embedded fragments. Those with only an inhalation exposure have lower urine U concentration and a natural isotopic signature. Conclusions: At 25 years since first exposure to DU, an aging cohort of military veterans continues to show no U-related health effects in known target organs of U toxicity. As U body burden continues to accrue from in-situ mobilization from metal fragment depots, and increases with exposure duration, critical tissue-specific U concentration thresholds may be reached, thus recommending on-going surveillance of this veteran cohort. - Highlights: • Gulf War I veterans wounded with depleted uranium are monitored for health changes. • In 2015 in-patient clinical surveillance was performed on 36 members of the cohort. • Mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated U in urine. • This cohort of continues to show no U-related health effects.

  10. Design of VA Cooperative Study #591: CERV-PTSD, comparative effectiveness research in veterans with PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnurr, Paula P; Chard, Kathleen M; Ruzek, Josef I; Chow, Bruce K; Shih, Mei-Chiung; Resick, Patricia A; Foa, Edna B; Marx, Brian P; Huang, Grant D; Lu, Ying

    2015-03-01

    CERV-PTSD is a randomized controlled trial of two of the most effective treatments for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Despite solid evidence that both treatments are effective, there is limited evidence about their effectiveness relative to one another. The primary objective is to compare the effectiveness of PE and CPT for reducing PTSD symptom severity in a healthcare system that offers both treatments. The secondary objective is to compare the effectiveness of PE and CPT for reducing the severity of comorbid mental health problems and service utilization as well as improving functioning and quality of life. The tertiary objective is to examine whether discrepancy between patient preferences and treatment assignment reduces the effectiveness of each treatment. Exploratory analyses will examine whether demographic and clinical characteristics predict differential response to PE and CPT. The study is designed to randomize 900 male and female veterans with PTSD due to any traumatic military event to receive PE or CPT. The standard dose of treatment is 12 weekly sessions but veterans who improve more rapidly may finish in fewer sessions and veterans who improve more slowly may have additional sessions. The primary outcome is improvement in PTSD symptoms, measured during and after treatment and then 3 and 6 months later. As a large multi-site trial with men and women, CERV-PTSD is designed to advance the delivery of care for PTSD by providing conclusive information about whether one treatment is better than the other, overall, and for different types of patients. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. 78 FR 50145 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-16

    ... will include overview briefings from the Atlanta VA Medical Center leadership and the VA Southeast... Clairmont Road, Decatur, Georgia, to receive briefings on RO business lines and services for women Veterans. A briefing from local Memorial Affairs leadership will also be presented. On August 23, the...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Time required for institutional review board review at one Veterans Affairs medical center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Daniel E; Hanusa, Barbara H; Stone, Roslyn A; Ling, Bruce S; Arnold, Robert M

    2015-02-01

    Despite growing concern that institutional review boards (IRBs) impose burdensome delays on research, little is known about the time required for IRB review across different types of research. To measure the overall and incremental process times for IRB review as a process of quality improvement. After developing a detailed process flowchart of the IRB review process, 2 analysts abstracted temporal data from the records pertaining to all 103 protocols newly submitted to the IRB at a large urban Veterans Affairs medical center from June 1, 2009, through May 31, 2011. Disagreements were reviewed with the principal investigator to reach consensus. We then compared the review times across review types using analysis of variance and post hoc Scheffé tests after achieving normally distributed data through logarithmic transformation. Calendar days from initial submission to final approval of research protocols. Initial IRB review took 2 to 4 months, with expedited and exempt reviews requiring less time (median [range], 85 [23-631] and 82 [16-437] days, respectively) than full board reviews (median [range], 131 [64-296] days; P = .008). The median time required for credentialing of investigators was 1 day (range, 0-74 days), and review by the research and development committee took a median of 15 days (range, 0-184 days). There were no significant differences in credentialing or research and development times across review types (exempt, expedited, or full board). Of the extreme delays in IRB review, 80.0% were due to investigators' slow responses to requested changes. There were no systematic delays attributable to the information security officer, privacy officer, or IRB chair. Measuring and analyzing review times is a critical first step in establishing a culture and process of continuous quality improvement among IRBs that govern research programs. The review times observed at this IRB are substantially longer than the 60-day target recommended by expert panels

  16. Cataract Surgery Outcomes in Glaucomatous Eyes: Results From the Veterans Affairs Ophthalmic Surgery Outcomes Data Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turalba, Angela; Payal, Abhishek R; Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Luis A; Cakiner-Egilmez, Tulay; Chomsky, Amy S; Vollman, David E; Baze, Elizabeth F; Lawrence, Mary; Daly, Mary K

    2015-10-01

    To compare visual acuity outcomes, vision-related quality of life, and complications related to cataract surgery in eyes with and without glaucoma. Retrospective cohort study. Cataract surgery outcomes in cases with and without glaucoma from the Veterans Affairs Ophthalmic Surgical Outcomes Data Project were compared. We identified 608 glaucoma cases and 4306 controls undergoing planned cataract surgery alone. After adjusting for age, pseudoexfoliation, small pupil, prior ocular surgery, and anterior chamber depth, we found that glaucoma cases were more likely to have posterior capsular tear with vitrectomy (odds ratio [OR] 1.8, P = .03) and sulcus intraocular lens placement (OR 1.65, P = .03) during cataract surgery. Glaucoma cases were more likely to have postoperative inflammation (OR 1.73, P < .0001), prolonged elevated intraocular pressure (OR 2.96, P = .0003), and additional surgery within 30 days (OR 1.92, P = .03). Mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ) scores significantly improved after cataract surgery in both groups (P < .0001), but there were larger improvements in BCVA (P = .01) and VFQ composite scores (P < .0001) in the nonglaucoma vs the glaucoma group. A total of 3621 nonglaucoma cases (94.1%) had postoperative BCVA 20/40 or better, compared to 466 glaucoma cases (89.6%) (P = .0003). Eyes with glaucoma are at increased risk for complications and have more modest visual outcomes after cataract surgery compared to eyes without glaucoma. Despite this, glaucoma patients still experience significant improvement in vision-related outcomes after cataract extraction. Further study is needed to explore potential factors that influence cataract surgery outcomes in glaucomatous eyes. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Factors influencing readiness to deploy in disaster response: findings from a cross-sectional survey of the Department of Veterans Affairs Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagelbaum, Nicole K; Heslin, Kevin C; Stein, Judith A; Ruzek, Josef; Smith, Robert E; Nyugen, Tam; Dobalian, Aram

    2014-07-19

    The Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) program provides a system of volunteers whereby active or retired Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) personnel can register to be deployed to support other VA facilities or the nation during national emergencies or disasters. Both early and ongoing volunteer training is required to participate. This study aims to identify factors that impact willingness to deploy in the event of an emergency. This analysis was based on responses from 2,385 survey respondents (response rate, 29%). Latent variable path models were developed and tested using the EQS structural equations modeling program. Background demographic variables of education, age, minority ethnicity, and female gender were used as predictors of intervening latent variables of DEMPS Volunteer Experience, Positive Attitude about Training, and Stress. The model had acceptable fit statistics, and all three intermediate latent variables significantly predicted the outcome latent variable Readiness to Deploy. DEMPS Volunteer Experience and a Positive Attitude about Training were associated with Readiness to Deploy. Stress was associated with decreased Readiness to Deploy. Female gender was negatively correlated with Readiness to Deploy; however, there was an indirect relationship between female gender and Readiness to Deploy through Positive Attitude about Training. These findings suggest that volunteer emergency management response programs such as DEMPS should consider how best to address the factors that may make women less ready to deploy than men in order to ensure adequate gender representation among emergency responders. The findings underscore the importance of training opportunities to ensure that gender-sensitive support is a strong component of emergency response, and may apply to other emergency response programs such as the Medical Reserve Corps and the American Red Cross.

  18. 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...

  19. Overall quality of life and difficulty paying for ostomy supplies in the Veterans Affairs ostomy health-related quality of life study: an exploratory analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coons, Stephen Joel; Chongpison, Yuda; Wendel, Christopher S; Grant, Marcia; Krouse, Robert S

    2007-09-01

    To explore whether there was a significant relationship between difficulty paying for ostomy supplies and overall quality of life among a sample of ostomates receiving care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The data were collected as part of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Ostomy Health-Related Quality of Life Study, in which 511 respondents (239 cases, 272 controls) completed a survey instrument that included the modified City of Hope Quality of Life (mCOH-QOL) Ostomy questionnaire, SF-36V, and sociodemographic items. Responses from the 239 cases (ie, patients with intestinal stomas) were used in this analysis. The modified City of Hope Quality of Life Ostomy questionnaire item, "How good is your overall quality of life?," was the dependent variable for this analysis. The primary independent variable was the response (yes/no) to the item, "If you pay for any of the (ostomy) costs, is it difficult for you?" A hierarchical regression model was used to examine whether difficulty paying was significantly related to overall quality of life after adjusting for age, income, race/ethnicity, and physical health. After accounting for the proportion of variance explained by age, income, race/ethnicity, and physical health, the additional proportion of variance explained by difficulty paying was statistically significant. Individuals reporting difficulty paying had a roughly 1 point lower (ie, beta-coefficient = -1.052; SE = 0.481) overall quality of life score on the 11-point scale. We found a significant association between difficulty paying for ostomy supplies and overall quality of life. Although the cross-sectional study design does not allow causal inference, the results suggest a relationship that merits further examination.

  20. 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...

  1. Dysthymia and depression increase risk of dementia and mortality among older veterans

    OpenAIRE

    Byers, AL; Covinsky, KE; Barnes, DE; Yaffe, K

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether less severe depression spectrum diagnoses such as dysthymia, as well as depression, are associated with risk of developing dementia and mortality in a "real-world" setting. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study conducted using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Patient Care Database (1997-2007). SETTING: VA medical centers in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 281,540 veterans aged 55 years and older without dementia at study baseline (1997-...

  2. Effectiveness of an Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Approach to Cultural Competence Training: The Veterans Affairs' "Caring for Women Veterans" Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Annie B; Hamilton, Alison B; Frayne, Susan M; Wiltsey-Stirman, Shannon; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Carney, Diane; Di Leone, Brooke A L; Gierisch, Jennifer M; Goldstein, Karen M; Romodan, Yasmin; Sadler, Anne G; Yano, Elizabeth M; Yee, Ellen F; Vogt, Dawne

    2016-01-01

    Although providing culturally sensitive health care is vitally important, there is little consensus regarding the most effective strategy for implementing cultural competence trainings in the health care setting. Evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI), which involves adapting evidence-based practices to meet local needs, may improve uptake and effectiveness of a variety of health care innovations. Yet, to our knowledge, EBQI has not yet been applied to cultural competence training. To evaluate whether EBQI could enhance the impact of an evidence-based training intended to improve veterans affairs health care staff gender sensitivity and knowledge (Caring for Women Veterans; CWV), we compared the reach and effectiveness of EBQI delivery versus standard web-based implementation strategies of CWV and assessed barriers and facilitators to EBQI implementation. Workgroups at four diverse veterans affairs health care sites were randomized to either an EBQI or standard web-based implementation condition (SI). All EBQI sites selected a group-based implementation strategy. Employees (N = 84) completed pretraining and posttraining assessments of gender sensitivity and knowledge, and focus groups/interviews were conducted with leadership and staff before and after implementation. Reach of CWV was greater in the EBQI condition versus the SI condition. Whereas both gender sensitivity and knowledge improved in the EBQI condition, only gender sensitivity improved in the SI condition. Qualitative analyses revealed that the EBQI approach was well received, although a number of barriers were identified. Findings suggest that EBQI can enhance the uptake and effectiveness of employee trainings. However, the decision to pursue EBQI must be informed by a consideration of available resources.

  3. Determining Clinically Relevant Changes in Community Walking Metrics to Be Tracked by the VA as Part of Routine Care in Lower Limb Amputee Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    Relevant Changes in Community Walking Metrics to Be Tracked by the VA as Part of Routine Care in Lower Limb Amputee Veterans 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT ... poster presentation at the Association of Academic Physiatrists annual conference in Las Vegas. They are receiving value research and technical...writing experience. How were the results disseminated to communities of interest? A poster presentation was presented at the Association of Academic

  4. Zolpidem prescribing and adverse drug reactions in hospitalized general medicine patients at a Veterans Affairs hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, Jane E; Webb, Melissa J; Gray, Shelly L

    2004-03-01

    Zolpidem is prescribed for sleep disruption in hospitalized patients, but data on the incidence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are based largely on outpatient studies. Thus, the incidence of ADRs in hospitalized patients may be much higher. The goal of this study was to describe prescribing patterns of zolpidem for hospitalized medical patients aged 50 years, the incidence of ADRs possibly and probably associated with its use, and the factors associated with central nervous system (CNS) ADRs. This case series was conducted in 4 general medicine wards at a Veterans Affairs hospital and was a consecutive sample of patients aged 50 years who were hospitalized between 1993 and 1997 and received zolpidem as a hypnotic during hospitalization, but had not received it in the previous 3 months. Chart review was conducted by 2 evaluators. Data extracted from the medical records included admission demographic characteristics, medications, comorbidities, and levels of function in performing basic and instrumental activities of daily living. The main outcome measure was ADRs possibly or probably related to zolpidem use. The association between zolpidem and the occurrence of CNS ADRs (eg, confusion, dizziness, daytime somnolence) was analyzed separately. The review included 119 medical patients aged > or =50 years who had newly received zolpidem for sleep disruption during hospitalization. The median age of the population was 70 years; 86 (72.3%) patients were aged 65 years. The initial zolpidem dose was 5 mg in 42 patients (35.3%) and 10 mg in 77 patients (64.7%). Twenty-three patients had a respective 16 and 10 ADRs possibly and probably related to zolpidem use (19.3% incidence). Of a total of 26 ADRs, 21 (80.8%) were CNS ADRs, occurring with both zolpidem 5 mg (10.8% of users) and 10 mg (18.3% of users). On univariate analyses, the only factor significantly associated with a CNS ADR was functional impairment at baseline (P = 0.003). Zolpidem was discontinued in 38.8% of

  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. Veterans Affairs methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus prevention initiative associated with a sustained reduction in transmissions and health care-associated infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Martin E; Kralovic, Stephen M; Simbartl, Loretta A; Freyberg, Ron W; Obrosky, D Scott; Roselle, Gary A; Jain, Rajiv

    2013-11-01

    Implementation of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevention Initiative was associated with significant declines in MRSA transmission and MRSA health care-associated infection rates in Veterans Affairs acute care facilities nationwide in the 33-month period from October 2007 through June 2010. Here, we show continuing declines in MRSA transmissions (P = .004 for trend, Poisson regression) and MRSA health care-associated infections (P < .001) from July 2010 through June 2012. The Veterans Affairs Initiative was associated with these effects, sustained over 57 months, in a large national health care system. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  7. 75 FR 60171 - Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-29

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act...

  8. 78 FR 60379 - Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act...

  9. 75 FR 76082 - Agency Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-07

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Agency Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY... information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The PRA...

  10. 77 FR 19975 - VA Acquisition Regulation: Simplified Acquisition Procedures for Health-Care Resources (Section...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-03

    ... to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the... comments on factors described in the Supplementary Information. DATES: Comments must be received by VA on... (003A2A), Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-22

    territories and the Philippines. The department’s three major components—the Veterans Benefits Administration ( VBA ), the Veterans Health Administration...VHA), and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA)—are primarily responsible for carrying out its mission. More specifically, VBA provides a...used for the determination of benefits, benefits claims processing, patient admission to hospitals and clinics, and access to health records, among

  12. Visual Dysfunction and Associated Co-morbidities as Predictors of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Seen Among Veterans in Non-VA Facilities: Implications for Clinical Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urosevich, Thomas G; Boscarino, Joseph J; Hoffman, Stuart N; Kirchner, H Lester; Figley, Charles R; Adams, Richard E; Withey, Carrie A; Boscarino, Joseph A

    2018-05-24

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder are considered the signature injuries of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. With the extensive use of improvised explosive devices by the enemy, the concussive effects from blast have a greater potential to cause mild TBI (mTBI) in military Service Members. These mTBI can be associated with other physical and psychological health problems, including mTBI-induced visual processing and eye movement dysfunctions. Our study assessed if any visual dysfunctions existed in those surveyed in non-Veterans Administration (VA) facilities who had suffered mTBI (concussive effect), in addition to the presence of concussion-related co-morbidities. As part of a larger study involving veterans from different service eras, we surveyed 235 Veterans who had served during the Iraq and/or Afghanistan conflict era. Data for the study were collected using diagnostic telephone interviews of these veterans who were outpatients of the Geisinger Health System. We assess visual dysfunction in this sample and compare visual dysfunctions of those who had suffered a mTBI (concussive effect), as well as co-morbidities, with those in the cohort who had not suffered concussion effects. Of those veterans who experienced visual dysfunctions, our results reflected that the visual symptoms were significant for concussion with the subjects surveyed, even though all had experienced a mTBI event greater than five years ago. Although we did find an association with concussion and visual symptoms, the association for concussion was strongest with the finding of greater than or equal to three current TBI symptoms, therefore we found this to be the best predictor of previous concussion among the veterans. Veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan era who had suffered concussive blast effects (mTBI) can present with covert visual dysfunction as well as additional physical and psychological health problems. The primary eye care providers, especially

  13. Assessing the quality of VA Human Research Protection Programs: VA vs. affiliated University Institutional Review Board.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsan, Min-Fu; Nguyen, Yen; Brooks, Robert

    2013-04-01

    We compared the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) quality indicator data of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities using their own VA institutional review boards (IRBs) with those using affiliated university IRBs. From a total of 25 performance metrics, 13 did not demonstrate statistically significant differences, while 12 reached statistically significance differences. Among the 12 with statistically significant differences, facilities using their own VA IRBs performed better on four of the metrics, while facilities using affiliate IRBs performed better on eight. However, the absolute difference was small (0.2-2.7%) in all instances, suggesting that they were of no practical significance. We conclude that it is acceptable for facilities to use their own VA IRBs or affiliated university IRBs as their IRBs of record.

  14. 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

    ... may grant an exception to allow an excluded person to participate in a covered transaction? 801.137 Section 801.137 Grants and Agreements Federal Agency Regulations for Grants and Agreements DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NONPROCUREMENT DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION General § 801.137 Who in the Department of...

  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. US hospital care for patients with HIV infection and pneumonia: the role of public, private, and Veterans Affairs hospitals in the early highly active antiretroviral therapy era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uphold, Constance R; Deloria-Knoll, Maria; Palella, Frank J; Parada, Jorge P; Chmiel, Joan S; Phan, Laura; Bennett, Charles L

    2004-02-01

    We evaluated differences in processes and outcomes of HIV-related pneumonia care among patients in Veterans Affairs (VA), public, and for-profit and not-for-profit private hospitals in the United States. We compared the results of our current study (1995 to 1997) with those of our previous study that included a sample of patients receiving care during the years 1987 to 1990 to determine how HIV-related pneumonia care had evolved over the last decade. The sample consisted of 1,231 patients with HIV infection who received care for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and 750 patients with HIV infection who received care for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) during the years 1995 to 1997. We conducted a retrospective medical record review and evaluated patient and hospital characteristics, HIV-related processes of care (timely use of anti-PCP medications, adjunctive corticosteroids), non-HIV-related processes of care (timely use of CAP treatment medications, diagnostic testing, ICU utilization, rates of endotracheal ventilation, placement on respiratory isolation), length of inpatient hospital stay, and inpatient mortality. Rates of timely use of antibiotics and adjunctive corticosteroids for treating PCP were high and improved dramatically from the prior decade. However, compliance with consensus guidelines that recommend public, private not-for-profit hospitals, and for-profit hospitals. This study provides the first overview of HIV-related pneumonia care in the early highly active antiretroviral therapy era, and contrasts current findings with those of a similarly conducted study from a decade earlier. Quality of care for patients with PCP improved, but further efforts are needed to facilitate the appropriate management of CAP. In the third decade of the epidemic, it will be important to monitor whether variations in processes of care for various HIV-related clinical diagnoses among different types of hospitals persist.

  17. Whistle-blower accuses VA inspector general of a "whitewash"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. Yesterday, Dr. Sam Foote, the initial whistle-blower at the Phoenix VA, criticized the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general's (VAOIG report on delays in healthcare at the Phoenix VA at a hearing before the House Committee of Veterans Affairs (1,2. Foote accused the VAOIG of minimizing bad patient outcomes and deliberately confusing readers, downplaying the impact of delayed health care at Phoenix VA facilities. "At its best, this report is a whitewash. At its worst, it is a feeble attempt at a cover-up," said Foote. Foote earlier this year revealed that as many as 40 Phoenix patients died while awaiting care and that the Phoenix VA maintained secret waiting lists while under-reporting patient wait times for appointments. His disclosures triggered the national VA scandal. Richard Griffin, the acting VAOIG, said that nearly 300 patients died while on backlogged wait lists in the Phoenix VA Health Care System, a much higher ...

  18. 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

  19. Effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutt, Benjamin T; Oehlert, Mary E; Krieshok, Thomas S; Lichtenberg, James W

    2018-04-01

    Objective This study evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure in conditions reflective of current clinical practice within the Veterans Health Administration. Method This study involved a retrospective review of 2030 charts. A total of 750 veterans from 10 U.S. states who received cognitive processing therapy or prolonged exposure in individual psychotherapy were included in the study (participants in cognitive processing therapy, N = 376; participants in prolonged exposure, N = 374). The main dependent variable was self-reported posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms as measured by total scores on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist. The study used multilevel modeling to evaluate the absolute and relative effectiveness of both treatments and determine the relationship between patient-level variables and total Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist scores during treatment. Results Cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure were equally effective at reducing total Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist scores. Veterans who completed therapy reported significantly larger reductions in the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist than patients who did not complete therapy. There were no significant differences in the improvement of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms with respect to age and three racial/ethnic groups (Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic). Conclusions Cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure were shown to be effective in conditions highly reflective of clinical practice and with a highly diverse sample of veterans. Challenges related to dropout from trauma focused therapy should continue to be researched.

  20. 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...

  1. Patient perceptions of environmental control units: experiences of Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders receiving inpatient VA healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etingen, Bella; Martinez, Rachael N; Vallette, Marissa A; Dendinger, Ryan; Bidassie, Balmatee; Miskevics, Scott; Khan, Hira T; Cozart, Huberta T; Locatelli, Sara M; Weaver, Frances M

    2018-05-01

    To assess patients' perceptions of environmental control units (ECUs) at Veterans Affairs Spinal Cord Injury Centers. A brief questionnaire was conducted with patients in real-time while they were hospitalised ("on-the-spot questionnaire"); a survey was mailed to patients who had recently been discharged from a hospital stay ("discharge survey"). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Seventy on-the-spot questionnaires and 80 discharge surveys were collected. ECU features used most frequently were comparable in responses from both surveys: watching TV/movies (81%, 85%), calling the nurse (68%, 61%), turning lights on/off (63%, 52%), adjusting the bed (53%, 33%), and playing games (39%, 24%). Many on-the-spot questionnaire respondents felt the ECU met their need for independence a great deal (42%). Most respondents to both surveys were satisfied with the ECU (71%, 57%). Areas for improvement included user training, improved functionality of the device and its features, and device design. ECUs were well-accepted by persons with spinal cord injuries/disorders (SCI/D) in the inpatient setting, and increased patients' perceptions of independence. To maximise usability and satisfaction, facilities should ensure that comprehensive training on ECU use and features available is offered to all patients, and resources are available for timely troubleshooting and maintenance. Implications for rehabilitation An environmental control unit (ECU) is a form of assistive technology that allows individuals with disabilities (such as spinal cord injuries and disorders [SCI/D]) to control functional and entertainment-related aspects of their environment. ECU use can increase functioning, independence and psychosocial well-being among individuals with SCI/D, by allowing users to reclaim control over day-to-day activities that are otherwise limited by their disability. Our study results indicate that, among persons with SCI/D, ECUs are well-accepted and increase perceptions of

  2. Chronic disease management perspectives of colorectal cancer survivors using the Veterans Affairs healthcare system: a qualitative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zullig, Leah L; Goldstein, Karen M; Bosworth, Hayden B; Andrews, Sara M; Danus, Susanne; Jackson, George L; Provenzale, Dawn; Weinberger, Morris; Kelley, Michael J; Voils, Corrine I

    2018-03-09

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. CRC survivors may have complex healthcare needs requiring care from both specialists and primary care. Our objective was to understand how CRC survivors perceive their survivorship care, especially management of their cardiovascular-related chronic diseases. We identified patients diagnosed with non-metastatic CRC between 10/1/2007 and 12/31/2015 at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in North Carolina or Virginia. In 2016, we conducted telephone-based, semi-structured interviews to assess survivors' experiences with cancer survivorship and changes in health priorities. Interviews were conducted until thematic saturation was reached. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded. The 25 participants were, on average, 64 years old and approximately 4 years post-CRC diagnosis at the time of interview; most were white (60%), male (92%), and diagnosed with colon cancer (64%) as opposed to rectal cancer. CRC survivors reported: (1) a shift in focus from surviving cancer to reducing cardiovascular disease risk (e.g., by managing weight); (2) challenges with taking medications for CVD-related conditions; (3) new recognition of the importance of engaging with primary care providers. Experiences with cancer shapes how survivors view their health. Management of cardiovascular-related chronic disease is important to veteran CRC survivors. There is a need to deliver cardiovascular disease risk reduction programs tailored for CRC survivors.

  3. Smoking cessation among African American and white smokers in the Veterans Affairs health care system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Diana J; van Ryn, Michelle; Noorbaloochi, Siamak; Clothier, Barbara; Taylor, Brent C; Sherman, Scott; Joseph, Anne M; Fu, Steven S

    2014-09-01

    We examined whether a proactive care smoking cessation intervention designed to overcome barriers to treatment would be especially effective at increasing cessation among African Americans receiving care in the Veterans Health Administration. We analyzed data from a randomized controlled trial, the Veterans Victory over Tobacco study, involving a population-based electronic registry of current smokers (702 African Americans, 1569 whites) and assessed 6-month prolonged smoking abstinence at 1 year via a follow-up survey of all current smokers. We also examined candidate risk adjustors for the race effect on smoking abstinence. The interaction between patient race and intervention condition (proactive care vs. usual care) was not significant. Overall, African Americans had higher quit rates than Whites (13% vs. 9%; P Whites. These findings may be a result of the large number of veterans receiving smoking cessation services and the lack of racial differences in receipt of these services as well as racial differences in smoking history, self-efficacy, and motivation to quit that favor African Americans.

  4. Perceptions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and hand hygiene provider training and patient education: results of a mixed method study of health care providers in Department of Veterans Affairs spinal cord injury and disorder units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jennifer N; Hogan, Timothy P; Cameron, Kenzie A; Guihan, Marylou; Goldstein, Barry; Evans, Martin E; Evans, Charlesnika T

    2014-08-01

    The goal of this study was to assess current practices for training of spinal cord injury and disorder (SCI/D) health care workers and education of veterans with SCI/D in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spinal cord injury (SCI) centers on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention. Mixed methods. A Web-based survey was distributed to 673 VA SCI/D providers across 24 SCI centers; 21 acute care and 1 long-term care facility participated. There were 295 that responded, 228 had complete data and were included in this analysis. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 30 SCI/D providers across 9 SCI centers. Nurses, physicians, and therapists represent most respondents (92.1%, n = 210); over half (56.6%, n = 129) were nurses. Of providers, 75.9% (n = 173) reported receiving excellent or good training on how to educate patients about MRSA. However, nurses were more likely to report having excellent or good training for how to educate patients about MRSA (P = .005). Despite this, only 63.6% (n = 82) of nurses perceived the education they provide patients on how MRSA is transmitted as excellent or good. Despite health care workers reporting receiving excellent or good training on MRSA-related topics, this did not translate to excellent or good education for patients, suggesting that health care workers need additional training for educating patients. Population-specific MRSA prevention educational materials may also assist providers in educating patients about MRSA prevention for individuals with SCI/D. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  5. 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.

  6. 78 FR 68364 - Payment for Home Health Services and Hospice Care to Non-VA Providers; Delay of Effective Date

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-14

    ... providers of home health services and hospice care. The preamble of that final rule stated the effective... 17.56, applicable to non-VA home health services and hospice care. Section 17.56 provides, among... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN98 Payment for Home Health Services and...

  7. 76 FR 30598 - Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency Services for Nonservice-Connected Conditions in Non-VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-26

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN86 Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency...) ``Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency Services for Nonservice-Connected Conditions in Non-VA Facilities... Reimbursement Act. Some of the revisions in this proposed rule are purely technical, matching the language of...

  8. Erectile Dysfunction Medication Use in Veterans Eligible for Medicare Part D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Samantha H; Suda, Katie J; Smith, Bridget M; Huo, Zhiping; Bailey, Lauren; Stroupe, Kevin T

    2016-07-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) medications are therapeutically effective and associated with satisfaction. Medicare Part D included ED medications on the formulary during 2006 and inadvertently in 2007-2008. To characterize phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE-5) medication use among veterans who were dually eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D benefits. Veterans aged > 66 years who received PDE-5 inhibitors between 2005 and 2009 were included. Veterans were categorized by PDE-5 inhibitor claims: VA-only, Part D-only, or dual users of VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies. T-tests and chi-square tests were applied as appropriate. From 2005 to 2009, the majority (85.2%) of veterans used VA benefits exclusively for their PDE-5 inhibitors; 11.4% used Medicare Part D exclusively; and 3.4% were dual users. The Part D-only group was older, more frequently not black, had a VA copay, and had a higher income (P filling prescriptions for PDE-5 inhibitors (-68%) and total number of PDE-5 inhibitor 30-day equivalents dispensed (-86.7%) from the VA decreased. Part D prescriptions increased through 2006 (full coverage period) and 2007 (accidental partial coverage) and decreased in 2008. While Part D accounted for only 10% of PDE-5 inhibitor 30-day equivalents, it equaled 29.2% of dispensed tablets. In October 2007, VA PDE-5 inhibitor use returned to 2005 levels. Implementation of Medicare Part D reduced VA PDE-5 inhibitor acquisition. However, after removal of PDE-5 inhibitors from the Part D formulary, use of VA pharmacies for PDE-5 inhibitors resumed. Medication policies outside the VA can affect medication use. Veterans with access to non-VA health care may obtain medications from the private sector because of VA restrictions. This may be especially true for nonformulary and lifestyle medications. The authors received funding support for this research project from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and

  9. 76 FR 36955 - West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998; Master Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-23

    ... potentially homeless individuals sleep in cars and other vehicles overnight in the lot. As that parking lot is... outdoor sports facilities for veterans, such as a fitness center and tennis courts, etc. The DMP addressed...

  10. 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).

  11. VA Dental Insurance Program--federalism. Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-20

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a direct final rule in the Federal Register on October 22, 2013, amending its regulations related to the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a pilot program to offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans. Specifically, this rule adds language to clarify the limited preemptive effect of certain criteria in the VADIP regulations. VA received no comments concerning this rule or its companion substantially identical proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2013. This document confirms that the direct final rule became effective on December 23, 2013. In a companion document in this issue of the Federal Register, we are withdrawing as unnecessary the proposed rule.

  12. What does Shulkin's firing mean for the VA?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. David Shulkin MD, Secretary for Veterans Affairs (VA was finally fired by President Donald Trump ending long speculation (1. Trump nominated his personal physician, Ronny Jackson MD, to fill Shulkin’s post. The day after his firing, Shulkin criticized his firing in a NY Times op-ed claiming pro-privatization factions within the Trump administration led to his ouster (2. “They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed,” Dr. Shulkin wrote. “That is because I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans.” Former Secretary Shulkin’s tenure at the VA has had several controversies. First, as undersecretary of Veterans Healthcare and later as secretary money appropriated to the VA to obtain private care under the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Acts of 2014 and the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of …

  13. Temporal Trends of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease-related Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the Veteran Affairs Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittal, Sahil; Sada, Yvonne H.; El-Serag, Hashem B.; Kanwal, Fasiha; Duan, Zhigang; Temple, Sarah; May, Sarah B.; Kramer, Jennifer R.; Richardson, Peter A.; Davila, Jessica A.

    2014-01-01

    Background & Aims Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, no systemic studies from the United States have examined temporal trends, HCC surveillance practices, and outcomes of NAFLD-related HCC. Methods We identified a national cohort of 1500 patients who developed HCC from 2005 through 2010 from Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. We reviewed patients’ full VA medical records; NAFLD was diagnosed based on histologic evidence for, or the presence of, metabolic syndrome in the absence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, hepatitis B, or alcoholic liver disease. We compared annual prevalence values for the main risk factors (NAFLD, alcohol abuse, HCV), as well HCC surveillance and outcomes, among HCC patients. Results NAFLD was the underlying risk factor for HCC in 120 patients (8.0%); the annual proportion of NAFLD-related HCC remained relatively stable (7.5%–12.0%). In contrast, the proportion of HCC cases associated with HCV increased from 61.0% in 2005 (95% confidence interval, 53.1%–68.9%) to 74.9% in 2010 (95% confidence interval, 69.0%–80.7%). The proportion of HCC cases associated with only alcohol abuse decreased from 21.9% in 2005 to 15.7% in 2010, and the annual proportion of HCC cases associated with hepatitis B remained relatively stable (1.4%–3.5%). A significantly lower proportion of patients with NAFLD-related HCC had cirrhosis (58.3%) compared to patients with alcohol- or HCV-related HCC (72.4% and 85.6%, respectively; P<.05). A significantly higher percentage of patients with NAFLD-related HCC did not receive HCC surveillance in the 3 years before their HCC diagnosis, compared to patients with alcohol- or HCV-associated HCC. A lower proportion of patients with NAFLD-related HCC received HCC-specific treatment (61.5%) than of patients with HCV-related HCC (77.5%; P<.01). However, 1-year survival did not differ among patients with HCC related to different risk factors

  14. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Housing in Walla Walla, WA AGENCY: Department of... housing development. The lessee will also be required to provide preference and priority placement for... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...

  15. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional and Permanent Housing Facility in Bath, NY AGENCY..., design, develop, construct, renovate, manage, operate and maintain the EUL development. As consideration... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 10, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...

  16. 76 FR 67021 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

    ...) Real Property for the Development of an Assisted Living Facility in Newington, CT AGENCY: Department of..., design, develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the... the property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: October 21, 2011. Eric K...

  17. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Senior Living Retirement and Affordable Housing Community in... will finance, design, renovate, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: September 26, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...

  18. 76 FR 71440 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Spokane, WA AGENCY: Department of..., manage, maintain and operate the EUL development as a permanent housing facility; provide preference and... area within which the property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 10...

  19. 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

    ...) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Supportive Housing Facility in St. Cloud, MN AGENCY... St. Cloud Health Care System in Minnesota. The selected lessee will finance, design, develop... implementation of a business plan proposed by the Under Secretary for Health for applying the consideration under...

  20. 75 FR 30915 - Computer Matching Program Between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-02

    ... FR 29275 (June 19, 2009), and last amended at 75 FR (April 27, 2010). e. Inclusive dates of the...:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment...

  1. Patient deaths blamed on long waits at the Phoenix VA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. This morning the lead article in the Arizona Republic was a report blaming as many as 40 deaths at the Phoenix VA on long waits (1. Yesterday, Rep. Jeff Miller, the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, held a hearing titled “A Continued Assessment of Delays in VA Medical Care and Preventable Veteran Deaths.” “It appears as though there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care,” Miller announced to a stunned audience. The committee has spent months investigating patient-care scandals and allegations at VA facilities in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Miami and other cities. said that dozens of VA hospital patients in Phoenix may have died while awaiting medical care. He went on to say that staff investigators have evidence that the Phoenix VA Health Care System keeps two sets of records to conceal prolonged waits that patients must endure for ...

  2. VA PTSD Statistics

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — National-level, VISN-level, and/or VAMC-level statistics on the numbers and percentages of users of VHA care form the Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC)....

  3. VA Caregiver Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  4. Effect of post-discharge follow-up care on re-admissions among US veterans with congestive heart failure: a rural-urban comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muus, Kyle J; Knudson, Alana; Klug, Marilyn G; Gokun, Jane; Sarrazin, Mary; Kaboli, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Hospital re-admissions for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are relatively common and costly occurrences within the US health infrastructure, including the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. Little is known about CHF re-admissions among rural veteran patients, including the effects of socio-demographics and follow-up outpatient visits on these re-admissions. To examine socio-demographics of US veterans with CHF who had 30 day potentially preventable re-admissions and compare the effect of 30 day VA post-discharge service use on these re-admissions for rural- and urban-dwelling veterans. The 2005-2007 VA data were analyzed to examine patient characteristics and hospital admissions for 36 566 veterans with CHF. The CHF patients who were and were not re-admitted to a VA hospital within 30 days of discharge were identified. Logistic regression was used to examine and compare the effect of VA post-acute service use on re-admissions between rural- and urban-dwelling veterans. Re-admitted veterans tended to be older (p=.002), had disability status (p=.024) and had longer hospital stays (precovery and good health among hospitalized veterans with CHF, regardless of their rural or urban residence. Older, rural veterans with CHF are in need of special attention for VA discharge planning and follow up with primary care providers.

  5. Readiness for Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening. A National Survey of Veterans Affairs Pulmonologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tukey, Melissa H; Clark, Jack A; Bolton, Rendelle; Kelley, Michael J; Slatore, Christopher G; Au, David H; Wiener, Renda Soylemez

    2016-10-01

    To mitigate the potential harms of screening, professional societies recommend that lung cancer screening be conducted in multidisciplinary programs with the capacity to provide comprehensive care, from screening through pulmonary nodule evaluation to treatment of screen-detected cancers. The degree to which this standard can be met at the national level is unknown. To assess the readiness of clinical facilities in a national healthcare system for implementation of comprehensive lung cancer screening programs, as compared with the ideal described in policy recommendations. This was a cross-sectional, self-administered survey of staff pulmonologists in pulmonary outpatient clinics in Veterans Health Administration facilities. The facility-level response rate was 84.1% (106 of 126 facilities with pulmonary clinics); 88.7% of facilities showed favorable provider perceptions of the evidence for lung cancer screening, and 73.6% of facilities had a favorable provider-perceived local context for screening implementation. All elements of the policy-recommended infrastructure for comprehensive screening programs were present in 36 of 106 facilities (34.0%); the most common deficiencies were the lack of on-site positron emission tomography scanners or radiation oncology services. Overall, 26.5% of Veterans Health Administration facilities were ideally prepared for lung cancer screening implementation (44.1% if the policy recommendations for on-site positron emission tomography scanners and radiation oncology services were waived). Many facilities may be less than ideally positioned for the implementation of comprehensive lung cancer screening programs. To ensure safe, effective screening, hospitals may need to invest resources or coordinate care with facilities that can offer comprehensive care for screening through downstream evaluation and treatment of screen-detected cancers.

  6. VA Vascular Injury Study (VAVIS): VA-DoD extremity injury outcomes collaboration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shireman, Paula K; Rasmussen, Todd E; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Pugh, Mary Jo

    2015-02-03

    Limb injuries comprise 50-60% of U.S. Service member's casualties of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Combat-related vascular injuries are present in 12% of this cohort, a rate 5 times higher than in prior wars. Improvements in medical and surgical trauma care, including initial in-theatre limb salvage approaches (IILS) have resulted in improved survival and fewer amputations, however, the long-term outcomes such as morbidity, functional decline, and risk for late amputation of salvaged limbs using current process of care have not been studied. The long-term care of these injured warfighters poses a significant challenge to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA Vascular Injury Study (VAVIS): VA-DoD Extremity Injury Outcomes Collaborative, funded by the VA, Health Services Research and Development Service, is a longitudinal cohort study of Veterans with vascular extremity injuries. Enrollment will begin April, 2015 and continue for 3 years. Individuals with a validated extremity vascular injury in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry will be contacted and will complete a set of validated demographic, social, behavioral, and functional status measures during interview and online/ mailed survey. Primary outcome measures will: 1) Compare injury, demographic and geospatial characteristics of patients with IILS and identify late vascular surgery related limb complications and health care utilization in Veterans receiving VA vs. non-VA care, 2) Characterize the preventive services received by individuals with vascular repair and related outcomes, and 3) Describe patient-reported functional outcomes in Veterans with traumatic vascular limb injuries. This study will provide key information about the current process of care for Active Duty Service members and Veterans with polytrauma/vascular injuries at risk for persistent morbidity and late amputation. The results of this study will be the first step for clinicians in VA and

  7. 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.

  8. VA Pipeline for Future Nurse Leaders: an Exploration of Current Nurse Leadership Development in the Veteran’s Health Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-10

    Democratic Society White House Leadership Development Program (WHLD) Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)–Senior Executive Fellows Program George......Nurse Leaders: An Exploration of Current Nurse Leadership Development in the Veterans Health Administration 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER

  9. Race-ethnicity and gender differences in VA health care service utilization among U.S. veterans of recent conflicts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, Kelly H; Madden, Erin; Maguen, Shira

    2015-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare health care utilization patterns by race-ethnicity and gender among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A retrospective analysis was conducted with records from U.S. service members and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who enrolled in health care through the Veterans Health Administration, who received a psychiatric diagnosis, and who had used primary or mental health outpatient care between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2012 (N=309,050). Racial-ethnic minority groups were first collapsed together and compared with whites and then separated by racial-ethnic group. Gender was also tested as a moderator of utilization. Although rates of mental health outpatient care, primary care, and emergency service utilization were relatively similar for racial-ethnic minority groups and whites, minority groups were admitted to psychiatric inpatient care at lower rates than whites. When veterans were separately categorized by specific racial-ethnic groups, some differences in utilization rates emerged; most notably, only black and Hispanic men were admitted less frequently to psychiatric inpatient care, and male and female Asian/Pacific Islander veterans used emergency services less, than their white counterparts. Gender moderated the association between race-ethnicity and mental health outpatient use, such that American Indian and Hispanic women used mental health outpatient services less than white women, but American Indian and Hispanic men showed the opposite pattern. Furthermore, black men were more likely than white men to use mental health outpatient services, but there was no difference between these women. Although service utilization rates between minority groups and whites were similar when minority groups were combined, examination of utilization by racial-ethnic groups and by men and women separately yielded more robust findings.

  10. Veterans Health Administration: Management Attention Is Needed to Address Systemic, Long standing Human Capital Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    assess VHA’s employee performance management processes, we reviewed VA directives and handbooks , and procedures related to the performance...primary pay and classification system.30 VHA’s HR staff are classified as either an HR specialist, who manage , supervise, and deliver HR products ...Board. 815 C.F.R. § 430; Department of Veterans Affairs, Performance Management Systems, VA Handbook 5013, Part I. VHA Needs to Strengthen

  11. Research on PTSD prevalence in OEF/OIF Veterans: expanding investigation of demographic variables

    OpenAIRE

    Averill, Lynnette A.; Fleming, CJ Eubanks; Holens, Pamela L.; Larsen, Sadie E.

    2015-01-01

    Background: A series of recent articles has reported on well-designed studies examining base rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screenings within the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan conflict)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq conflict) (OEF/OIF) military population. Although these studies have a number of strengths, this line of research points out several key areas in need of further examination.Objective: Many OEF/OIF Veterans do not use available Veterans Affairs (VA) servic...

  12. Complementary and alternative medicine use among veterans with chronic noncancer pain

    OpenAIRE

    Lauren M. Denneson, PhD; Kathryn Corson, PhD; Steven K. Dobscha, MD

    2011-01-01

    We describe prior use and willingness to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among 401 veterans experiencing chronic noncancer pain and explore differences between CAM users and nonusers. Participants in a randomized controlled trial of a collaborative intervention for chronic pain from five Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics self-reported prior use and willingness to try chiropractic care, massage therapy, herbal medicines, and acupuncture. Prior CAM users ...

  13. Assessments of the Veteran Medication Allergy Knowledge Gap and Potential Safety Improvements with the Veteran Health Information Exchange (VHIE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Eric; Botts, Nathan; Jordan, Harmon; Olinger, Lois; Donahue, Margaret; Hsing, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran Health Information Exchange (VHIE, formerly Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record, or VLER) had been deployed at all VA sites and used to exchange clinical information with private sector healthcare partners nationally. This paper examined VHIE's effect on allergy documentation. Review of all inbound VHIE transactions in FY14 showed that VHIE use was associated with a nearly eight-fold increase in allergy documentation rate. Preliminary manual document review further showed that VA and partners had shared knowledge of only 38% ofpatient allergies, while VA had exclusive knowledge of another 58% ofpatient allergies, and partners had exclusive knowledge of the last 5% of patient allergies. To our knowledge, this is the first study that examined the effect of HIE on allergy documentation.

  14. Substance use comorbidity among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrakis, Ismene L; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani

    2011-01-01

    There is considerable concern about the emergence of significant substance abuse among younger veterans of war in the Middle East, especially among those with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but little information exists on the magnitude of this problem. Using national administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (n = 1,001,996), we examined rates of diagnosed substance use disorders in Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with PTSD compared to other psychiatric disorders; and compared rates among veterans of other service eras. Of VA patients with a selected mental disorder, 21.0% had a comorbid substance diagnosis. Veterans who served in the post-Vietnam era (VET) (1973-1991) had the highest rates of comorbidity. Logistic regression models indicated that veterans with each selected psychiatric diagnosis were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed in comparison to veterans with PTSD; post-Vietnam veterans were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed than veterans from other eras. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are most strongly associated with dual diagnosis in OEF/OIF (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom) veterans. There are high rates of substance use disorders among veterans with mental illness. The highest rates of comorbidity occur among those with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia; and in post-VET veterans.  © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

  15. INR targets and site-level anticoagulation control: results from the Veterans AffaiRs Study to Improve Anticoagulation (VARIA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, A J; Berlowitz, D R; Miller, D R; Hylek, E M; Ozonoff, A; Zhao, S; Reisman, J I; Ash, A S

    2012-04-01

    Not all clinicians target the same International Normalized Ratio (INR) for patients with a guideline-recommended target range of 2-3. A patient's mean INR value suggests the INR that was actually targeted. We hypothesized that sites would vary by mean INR, and that sites of care with mean values nearest to 2.5 would achieve better anticoagulation control, as measured by per cent time in therapeutic range (TTR). To examine variations among sites in mean INR and the relationship with anticoagulation control in an integrated system of care. We studied 103,897 patients receiving oral anticoagulation with an expected INR target between 2 and 3 at 100 Veterans Health Administration (VA) sites from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2008. Key site-level variables were: proportion near 2.5 (that is, percentage of patients with mean INR between 2.3 and 2.7) and mean risk-adjusted TTR. Site mean INR ranged from 2.22 to 2.89; proportion near 2.5, from 30 to 64%. Sites' proportions of patients near 2.5, below 2.3 and above 2.7 were consistent from year to year. A 10 percentage point increase in the proportion near 2.5 predicted a 3.8 percentage point increase in risk-adjusted TTR (P < 0.001). Proportion of patients with mean INR near 2.5 is a site-level 'signature' of care and an implicit measure of targeted INR. This proportion varies by site and is strongly associated with site-level TTR. Our study suggests that sites wishing to improve TTR, and thereby improve patient outcomes, should avoid the explicit or implicit pursuit of non-standard INR targets. © 2012 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

  16. 38 CFR 74.27 - How will VA store information?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.27 How will VA store information? VA... examination visits will be scanned onto portable media and fully secured in the Center for Veterans Enterprise...

  17. 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...

  18. Comparing Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infection Prevention Programs Between VA and Non-VA Nursing Homes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mody, Lona; Greene, M. Todd; Saint, Sanjay; Meddings, Jennifer; Trautner, Barbara W.; Wald, Heidi L.; Crnich, Christopher; Banaszak-Holl, Jane; McNamara, Sara E.; King, Beth J.; Hogikyan, Robert; Edson, Barbara; Krein, Sarah L.

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The impact of healthcare system integration on infection prevention programs is unknown. Using catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention as an example, we hypothesize that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes have a more robust infection prevention infrastructure due to integration and centralization compared with non-VA nursing homes. SETTING VA and non-VA nursing homes participating in the “AHRQ Safety Program for Long-term Care” collaborative. METHODS Nursing homes provided baseline information about their infection prevention programs to assess strengths and gaps related to CAUTI prevention. RESULTS A total of 353 (71%; 47 VA, 306 non-VA) of 494 nursing homes from 41 states responded. VA nursing homes reported more hours/week devoted to infection prevention-related activities (31 vs. 12 hours, P<.001), and were more likely to have committees that reviewed healthcare-associated infections. Compared with non-VA facilities, a higher percentage of VA nursing homes reported tracking CAUTI rates (94% vs. 66%, P<.001), sharing CAUTI data with leadership (94% vs. 70%, P=.014) and nursing personnel (85% vs. 56%, P=.003). However, fewer VA nursing homes reported having policies for appropriate catheter use (64% vs. 81%, P=.004) and catheter insertion (83% vs. 94%, P=.004). CONCLUSIONS Among nursing homes participating in an AHRQ-funded collaborative, VA and non-VA nursing homes differed in their approach to CAUTI prevention. Best practices from both settings should be applied universally to create an optimal infection prevention program within emerging integrated healthcare systems. PMID:27917728

  19. 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.

  20. Reliability of tonosafe disposable tonometer prisms: clinical implications from the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System Quality Assurance Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, V; Daly, M K; Cakiner-Egilmez, T; Baker, E

    2011-05-01

    Given the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System's recent introduction of single-use Tonosafe disposable tonometer prisms as an alternative to Goldmann applanation tonometers (GATs), this study had two aims: to conduct a large-scale quality assurance trial to assess the reliability of intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements of the Tonosafe disposable tonometer compared with GAT, particularly at extremes of pressure; to evaluate the suitability of Tonosafe disposable tonometer prisms as an acceptable substitute for GATs and for clinic-wide implementation in an academic tertiary referral setting. Ophthalmology resident physicians measured the IOPs of patients in general and specialty eye clinics with the Tonosafe disposable tonometer and GAT. Tonosafe test-retest reliability data were also collected. A retrospective review of patient charts and data analysis were performed to determine the reliability of measurements. The IOPs of 652 eyes (326 patients) were measured with both GAT and Tonosafe, with a range of 3-34 mm Hg. Linear regression analysis showed R=0.93, slope=0.91, both of which supported the proposed hypothesis, and the y-intercept=-1.05 was significantly different from the hypothesized value. The Tonosafe test-retest repeatability (40 eyes of 40 patients), r=0.977, was very high, which was further supported by linear regression slope=0.993, y-intercept=0.118, and a Tonosafe repeatability coefficient of 2.06, similar to GAT repeatability. The IOP measurements by Tonosafe disposable prisms correlated closely with Goldmann measurements, with similar repeated measurement variability to GAT. This suggests that the Tonosafe is an acceptable substitute for GAT to measure IOP in ophthalmology clinic settings.

  1. Lessons for successful study enrollment from the Veterans Affairs/National Institutes of Health Acute Renal Failure Trial Network Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Susan T; Chertow, Glenn M; Vitale, Joseph; O'Connor, Theresa; Zhang, Jane; Schein, Roland M H; Choudhury, Devasmita; Finkel, Kevin; Vijayan, Anitha; Paganini, Emil; Palevsky, Paul M

    2008-07-01

    Design elements of clinical trials can introduce recruitment bias and reduce study efficiency. Trials involving the critically ill may be particularly prone to design-related inefficiencies. Enrollment into the Veterans Affairs/National Institutes of Health Acute Renal Failure Trial Network Study was systematically monitored. Reasons for nonenrollment into this study comparing strategies of renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury were categorized as modifiable or nonmodifiable. 4339 patients were screened; 2744 fulfilled inclusion criteria. Of these, 1034 were ineligible by exclusion criteria. Of the remaining 1710 patients, 1124 (65.7%) enrolled. Impediments to informed consent excluded 21.4% of potentially eligible patients. Delayed identification of potential patients, physician refusal, and involvement in competing trials accounted for 4.4, 2.7, and 2.3% of exclusions. Comfort measures only status, chronic illness, chronic kidney disease, and obesity excluded 11.8, 7.8, 7.6, and 5.9% of potential patients. Modification of an enrollment window reduced the loss of patients from 6.6 to 2.3%. The Acute Renal Failure Trial Network Study's enrollment efficiency compared favorably with previous intensive care unit intervention trials and supports the representativeness of its enrolled population. Impediments to informed consent highlight the need for nontraditional acquisition methods. Restrictive enrollment windows may hamper recruitment but can be effectively modified. The low rate of physician refusal acknowledges clinical equipoise in the study design. Underlying comorbidities are important design considerations for future trials that involve the critically ill with acute kidney injury.

  2. For Homeless Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...

  3. Center for Women Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...

  4. Veterans Administration Databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Veterans Administration Information Resource Center provides database and informatics experts, customer service, expert advice, information products, and web technology to VA researchers and others.

  5. Factors associated with having a medical marijuana card among Veterans with recent substance use in VA outpatient treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Alan K; Bonar, Erin E; Ilgen, Mark A; Walton, Maureen A; Perron, Brian E; Chermack, Stephen T

    2016-12-01

    Psychiatric symptoms, somatic problems, and co-occurring substance use have been associated with medical marijuana consumption among civilian patients with substance use disorders. It is possible that these factors may impact Veterans' ability to engage in or adhere to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Therefore, we examined whether psychiatric functioning, substance use, and somatic problems were associated with medical marijuana use among Veterans receiving substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment. Participants (n=841) completed screening measures for a randomized controlled trial and 67 (8%) reported that they had a current medical marijuana card. Most of these participants (78%) reported using marijuana to treat severe/chronic pain. Significant bivariate differences revealed that, compared to participants without a medical marijuana card, those with a card were more likely to be in a middle income bracket, unemployed, and they had a significantly higher number of recent days of marijuana use, synthetic marijuana use, and using sedatives prescribed to them. Additionally, a significantly higher proportion of participants with a medical marijuana card scored above the clinical cutoff for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, had significantly higher severity of sleep-related problems, and reported a higher level of pain. These findings highlight the co-occurrence of substance use, PTSD symptoms, sleep-related problems, and chronic pain among Veterans who use medical marijuana. Future research should investigate the inter-relationships among medical marijuana use and other clinical issues (e.g., PTSD symptoms, sleep, pain) over time, and potential implications of medical marijuana use on treatment engagement and response. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Interagency partnership to deliver Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services: Interviews with Aging and Disability Network agency personnel regarding their experience with partner Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Kali S; Allen, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS) is a consumer-directed program that began in 2009 and is jointly administered in a partnership between the Veterans Health Administration and the Administration for Community Living. The objective of this article is to describe the Aging and Disability Network agency (ADNA) personnel's perceptions of the implementation of the VD-HCBS program with partner Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Qualitative interviews with 26 ADNA VD-HCBS personnel across the country were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. Results suggest that the majority of ADNA personnel interviewed perceive the collaboration experience to be positive. Interviewees reported several key mechanisms for facilitating a successful partnership, including frequent communication, training in VAMC billing procedures, having a designated VAMC staff person for the program, and active involvement of the VAMC from the onset of VD-HCBS program development. Findings have implications for other interagency partnerships formed to deliver services to vulnerable Veterans.

  9. 76 FR 17752 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the San Francisco Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-30

    ... Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 4331 et seq.), the Council on Environmental... the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SFVAMC) Institutional Master Plan AGENCY...: Comments should be addressed to John Pechman, Facility Planner, San Francisco VA Medical Center (001), 4150...

  10. Veterans Affairs Information Technology: Management Attention Needed to Improve Critical System Modernizations, Consolidate Data Centers, and Retire Legacy Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-02-07

    department’s three major components—the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Veterans Benefits Administration ( VBA ), and the National Cemetery...care and specialized care, and it performs research and development to improve veterans’ needs. VBA provides a variety of benefits to veterans and...the determination of benefits, benefits claims processing, patient admission to hospitals and clinics, and access to health records, among other

  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. VA announces aggressive new approach to produce rapid improvements in VA medical centers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA announced steps that it is taking as part of an aggressive new approach to produce rapid improvements at VA’s low-performing medical facilities nationwide (1. VA defines its low-performing facilities as those medical centers that receive the lowest score in its Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL star rating system, or a one-star rating out of five. The SAIL star rating was initiated in 2016 and uses a variety of measures including mortality, length of hospital stay, readmission rates, hospital complications, physician productivity and efficiency. A complete listing of the VA facilities, their star ratings and the metrics used to determine the ratings is available through the end of fiscal year 2017 (2. Based on the latest ratings, the VA currently has 15 one-star facilities including Denver, Loma Linda, and Phoenix in the Southwest (Table 1. Table 1. VA facilities with one-star ratings …

  13. Systematic review of women veterans' mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runnals, Jennifer J; Garovoy, Natara; McCutcheon, Susan J; Robbins, Allison T; Mann-Wrobel, Monica C; Elliott, Alyssa

    2014-01-01

    Given recent, rapid growth in the field of women veterans' mental health, the goal of this review was to update the status of women veterans' mental health research and to identify current themes in this literature. The scope of this review included women veterans' unique mental health needs, as well as gender differences in veterans' mental health needs. Database searches were conducted for relevant articles published between January 2008 and July 2011. Searches were supplemented with bibliographic reviews and consultation with subject matter experts. The database search yielded 375 titles; 32 met inclusion/exclusion criteria. The women veterans' mental health literature crosses over several domains, including prevalence, risk factors, health care utilization, treatment preferences, and access barriers. Studies were generally cross-sectional, descriptive, mixed-gender, and examined Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users from all service eras. Results indicate higher rates of specific disorders (e.g., depression) and comorbidities, with differing risk factors and associated medical and functional impairment for female compared with male veterans. Although satisfaction with VA health care is generally high, unique barriers to care and indices of treatment satisfaction exist for women. There is a breadth of descriptive knowledge in many content areas of women veterans' mental health; however, the research base examining interventional and longitudinal designs is less developed. Understudied content areas and targets for future research and development include certain psychiatric disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), the effects of deployment on woman veterans' families, and strategies to address treatment access, attrition, and provision of gender-sensitive care. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. 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

    2018-06-01

    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.

  15. VA National Mental Health Statistics - 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — VAMC-level statistics on the prevalence, mental health utilization, non-mental health utilization, mental health workload, and psychological testing of Veterans with...

  16. Pharmacy benefits management in the Veterans Health Administration: 1995 to 2003.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Mariscelle M; Cunningham, Francesca E; Glassman, Peter A; Valentino, Michael A; Good, Chester B

    2005-02-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Strategic Healthcare Group (VA PBM) oversees the formulary for the entire VA system, which serves more than 4 million veterans and provides more than 108 million prescriptions per year. Since its establishment in 1995, the VA PBM has managed pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical-related policies, including drug safety and efficacy evaluations, pharmacologic management algorithms, and criteria for drug use. These evidence-based practices promote, optimize, and assist VA providers with the safe and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals while allowing for formulary decisions that can result in substantial cost savings. The VA PBM also has utilized various contracting techniques to standardize generic agents as well as specific drugs and drug classes (eg, antihistamines, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, alpha-blockers, and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors [statins]). These methods have enabled the VA to save approximately dollar 1.5 billion since 1996 even as drug expenditures continued to rise from roughly dollar 1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to more than dollar 3 billion in FY 2003. Furthermore, the VA PBM has established an outcomes research section to undertake quality-improvement and safety initiatives that ultimately monitor and determine the clinical impact of formulary decisions on the VA system nationwide. The experiences of this pharmacy benefits program, including clinical and contracting processes/procedures and their impact on the VA healthcare system, are described.

  17. The association between in-service sexual harassment and post-traumatic stress disorder among Department of Veterans Affairs disability applicants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, Maureen; Polusny, Melissa A; Hodges, James; Cowper, Diane

    2006-02-01

    The goal was to describe the association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in-service sexual harassment in a nationally representative sample of Department of Veterans Affairs PTSD disability applicants. The study was a cross-sectional survey. Of 4,918 eligible veterans, 3,337 (68%) returned surveys. Nonresponse bias appeared to be minimal. After adjustment for other reported traumas, women's reported in-service sexual harassment severity was significantly associated with PTSD symptom severity (p men and for in-service sexual assault among the women. Men showed no association between in-service sexual harassment and PTSD (p = 0.33), although power was low for this test. Sexual harassment significantly contributed to female veterans' PTSD symptoms; its contribution to men's symptoms was unclear. We discuss mechanisms through which sexual harassment might affect PTSD symptom severity, including the possibility that sexual harassment sometimes meets the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, definition of a criterion A stressor.

  18. 75 FR 9277 - Proposed Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    ... Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924--233 hours. b. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Application, VA.... National Veterans TEE Tournament Application, VA Form 0927--133 hours. e. National Veterans Summer Sports... Form 0929--67 hours. OMB Control Number: 2900-New (VA Form 0924). Type of Review: Existing collection...

  19. 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…

  20. 41 CFR 102-73.225 - What types of special purpose space may the Department of Veterans Affairs lease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ...: (a) Guidance and training centers located at schools and colleges. (b) Space used for veterans hospitals, including outpatient and medical-related clinics, such as drug, mental health, and alcohol. Limitations on the Use of Delegated Authority ...

  1. Serving Our Homeless Veterans: Patient Perpetrated Violence as a Barrier to Health Care Access

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz M. Semeah

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA set a goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Since then there has been a 36% reduction in homelessness due, in part, to the VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH program. These services include the receipt of home-based services to the veterans’ home. However, safety concerns and the threat of violence toward health care workers remain problematic in non-institutional care settings. This article discusses the concept of access to care and how safety concerns act as a barrier to services and optimal patient outcomes. Our study provides information on the prevalence of patient violence toward health care workers in the HUD-VASH program in a large veterans’ health system. Results suggest 70% of home-based service providers were exposed to violence and aggression. Providing services to veterans outside of institutional care settings, and the goal of eradicating homelessness among veterans, warrants further examination of access barriers.

  2. 38 CFR 1.203 - Information to be reported to VA Police.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... reported to VA Police. 1.203 Section 1.203 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... be reported to VA Police. Information about actual or possible violations of criminal laws related to... occurs on VA premises, will be reported by VA management officials to the VA police component with...

  3. Prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis C Virus, and Hepatitis B Virus Among Homeless and Nonhomeless United States Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noska, Amanda J; Belperio, Pamela S; Loomis, Timothy P; O'Toole, Thomas P; Backus, Lisa I

    2017-07-15

    Veterans are disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Homeless veterans are at particularly high risk for HIV, HCV, and HBV due to a variety of overlapping risk factors, including high rates of mental health disorders and substance use disorders. The prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans nationally is currently unknown. This study describes national testing rates and prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans. Using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Corporate Warehouse Data from 2015, we evaluated HIV, HCV, and HBV laboratory testing and infection confirmation rates and diagnoses on the Problem List for nonhomeless veterans and for veterans utilizing homeless services in 2015. Among 242740 homeless veterans in VA care in 2015, HIV, HCV, and HBV testing occurred in 63.8% (n = 154812), 78.1% (n = 189508), and 52.8% (n = 128262), respectively. The HIV population prevalence was 1.52% (3684/242740) among homeless veterans, compared with 0.44% (23797/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans. The HCV population prevalence among homeless veterans was 12.1% (29311/242740), compared with 2.7% (148079/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans, while the HBV population prevalence was 0.99% (2395/242740) for homeless veterans and 0.40% (21611/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans. To our knowledge this work represents the most comprehensive tested prevalence and population prevalence estimates of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans nationally. The data demonstrate high prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans, and reinforce the need for integrated healthcare services along with homeless programming. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  4. One-year incidence and predictors of homelessness among 300,000 U.S. Veterans seen in specialty mental health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Hoff, Rani A; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan

    2017-05-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to preventing and ending homelessness among U.S. veterans, but there have been few estimates of the incidence of veteran homelessness and prospective studies to identify predictors of homelessness. This study examines the 1-year incidence of homelessness among veterans seen in VA specialty mental health clinics and identified sociodemographic and clinical predictors of homelessness. Using a retrospective cohort study design, data were extracted from the VA medical records of 306,351 veterans referred to anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder clinics across 130 VA facilities from 2008-2012 and followed for 1 year after referral. Homeless incidence was defined as new use of any VA homeless services or a documented International Classification of Diseases (9th rev.) V60.0 (lack of housing) code during the year. Of the total sample, 5.6% (7.8% for women and 5.4% for men) experienced homelessness within 1 year after referral to VA specialty mental health care. Veterans who were unmarried or diagnosed with a drug use disorder were more than twice as likely to become homeless; those who were Black or had annual incomes less than $25,000 were more than one and a half times as likely to become homeless. Together, these findings suggest a notable and important percentage of veterans seen in VA specialty mental health clinics newly experience homelessness annually. Monitoring early signs of housing vulnerability and preventing homelessness in this vulnerable but treatment-engaged population may be important in the VA's efforts to end veteran homelessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. 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...

  6. Demographic characteristics associated with homelessness and risk among female and male veterans accessing VHA outpatient care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Dichter, Melissa E; Thomasson, Arwin M; Fu, Xiaoying; Roberts, Christopher B

    2015-01-01

    This study explored demographic influences on veterans' reports of homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness with a particular focus on gender. We analyzed data for a cohort of veterans who responded to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) universal screener for homelessness and risk during a 3-month period. Multinomial mixed effects models-stratified by gender-predicted veterans' reports of homelessness or risk based on age, race, marital status, and receipt of VA compensation. The proportion of positive screens-homelessness or risk-was 2.7% for females and 1.7% for males. Women more likely to report being at risk of homelessness were aged 35 to 54 years, Black, and unmarried; those more likely to experience homelessness were Black and unmarried. Among male veterans, the greatest predictors of both homelessness and risk were Black race and unmarried status. Among both genders, receiving VA disability compensation was associated with lesser odds of being homeless or at risk. The findings describe the current population of veterans using VHA health care services who may benefit from homelessness prevention or intervention services, identify racial differences in housing stability, and distinguish subpopulations who may be in particular need of intervention. Interventions to address these needs are described. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. HIGH PREVALENCE OF AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE AMONG THYROID CANCER PATIENTS IN THE NATIONAL VA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Karen T; Sawicki, Mark P; Wang, Marilene B; Hershman, Jerome M; Leung, Angela M

    2016-06-01

    Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy and the most rapidly increasing cancer in the U.S. Little is known regarding the epidemiology and characteristics of patients with thyroid cancer within the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) integrated healthcare system. The aim of this study was to further understand the characteristics of thyroid cancer patients in the VHA population, particularly in relation to Agent Orange exposure. This is a descriptive analysis of the VA (Veterans Affairs) Corporate Data Warehouse database from all U.S. VHA healthcare sites from October1, 1999, to December 31, 2013. Information was extracted for all thyroid cancer patients based on International Classification of Diseases-ninth revision diagnosis codes; histologic subtypes of thyroid cancer were not available. There were 19,592 patients (86% men, 76% white, 58% married, 42% Vietnam-era Veteran) in the VHA system with a diagnosis of thyroid cancer within this 14-year study period. The gender-stratified prevalence rates of thyroid cancer among the Veteran population during the study period were 1:1,114 (women) and 1:1,023 (men), which were lower for women but similar for men, when compared to the U.S. general population in 2011 (1:350 for women and 1:1,219 for men). There was a significantly higher proportion of self-reported Agent Orange exposure among thyroid cancer patients (10.0%), compared to the general VHA population (6.2%) (PAgent Orange exposure compared to the overall national VA patient population. T4 = thyroxine TCDD = 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin TSH = thyroid-stimulating hormone VA = Veterans Affairs VHA = Veterans Health Administration.

  8. Race and incarceration in an aging cohort of Vietnam veterans in treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Kendell L; Rosenheck, Robert

    2014-03-01

    Cross sectional studies have addressed the incarceration of Vietnam veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but no studies have examined changes in incarceration as they age. This study examines patterns of incarceration among Vietnam veterans treated in specialized veterans affairs (VA) intensive PTSD programs over time. Data was drawn from admission data from the initial episode of treatment of Caucasian and African American Vietnam veterans entering VA specialized intensive PTSD programs between 1993 and 2011 (N = 31,707). Bivariate correlations and logistic regression were used to examine associations among race and incarceration over time and the potentially confounding influence of demographic and clinical covariates on this relationship. Rates of reported incarceration declined from 63 to 43%. Over time, African American veterans were 34% more likely than Caucasian veterans to have a lifetime history of incarceration while interaction analysis showed steeper declines for Caucasians than African Americans. Rates of incarceration among these Vietnam veterans declined as they aged. Furthermore, African American veterans were substantially more likely than Caucasian veterans to have been incarcerated and showed less decline as the cohort aged. While reduced, needs for clinical PTSD services remain among aging combat veterans.

  9. 75 FR 61860 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

    ... on mental health, prosthetic services for women Veterans, readjustment counseling, women Veterans' legislative issues, special health initiatives, women Veterans' research, rural health, and homeless... Veterans Affairs regarding the needs of women Veterans with respect to health care, rehabilitation...

  10. Optometry within hospitals at the Veterans Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soroka, Mort; Crump, Trafford; Bennett, Amy

    2005-11-01

    This study was designed to determine the use of optometrists with the Veterans Health Administration hospital system and to develop accurate statistics regarding the number and type of services these doctors provide. The findings help describe their responsibilities in the treatment and management of ocular diseases and their use of diagnostic and therapeutic drugs. The study also investigated what, if any, role optometrists play beyond care in the education and research practices of the hospital. A descriptive analysis was conducted through the use of surveys and interviews of department chiefs or medical directors. A survey was sent out to 149 Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals, located using the VA facility locator Web site. Data were tabulated, aggregated, and analyzed. A response rate of 81% was achieved (122 surveys returned), 98% of which (120 facilities) provide eye services to their patients in either an outpatient or inpatient capacity. One hundred seventeen (98%) of these had optometrists affiliated with their facility. These optometrists were responsible for providing a range of services, prescribing the use of diagnostic or therapeutic drugs, and participating in educational training of other health personnel. Optometry has developed a strong partnership with the Veterans Health Administration, and act as an integral part of its hospital services. The VA has developed a workforce mix that should serve as a model for managed care organizations.

  11. Comparing VA and private sector healthcare costs for end-stage renal disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hynes, Denise M; Stroupe, Kevin T; Fischer, Michael J; Reda, Domenic J; Manning, Willard; Browning, Margaret M; Huo, Zhiping; Saban, Karen; Kaufman, James S

    2012-02-01

    Healthcare for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is intensive, expensive, and provided in both the public and private sector. Using a societal perspective, we examined healthcare costs and health outcomes for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ESRD patients comparing those who received hemodialysis care at VA versus private sector facilities. Dialysis patients were recruited from 8 VA medical centers from 2001 through 2003 and followed for 12 months in a prospective cohort study. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, quality of life, healthcare use, and cost data were collected. Healthcare data included utilization (VA), claims (Medicare), and patient self-report. Costs included VA calculated costs, Medicare dialysis facility reports and reimbursement rates, and patient self-report. Multivariable regression was used to compare costs between patients receiving dialysis at VA versus private sector facilities. The cohort comprised 334 patients: 170 patients in the VA dialysis group and 164 patients in the private sector group. The VA dialysis group had more comorbidities at baseline, outpatient and emergency visits, prescriptions, and longer hospital stays; they also had more conservative anemia management and lower baseline urea reduction ratio (67% vs. 72%; Pprivate sector dialysis group (Pprivate sector settings is critical in informing health policy options for patients with complex chronic illnesses such as ESRD.

  12. 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

    ... Affairs determines it appropriate, the Agency shall seek the view of the Department of Justice. The... with or receive the cooperation of the Department of Justice and, where indicated, advise the Regional... Justice may afford counsel and representation to Government employees who are sued individually as a...

  13. Do Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Receive First-Line Pharmacotherapy? Results From the Longitudinal Veterans Health Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenbaum, Mark A.; Rosen, Craig S.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Guidelines addressing the treatment of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) strongly recommend a therapeutic trial of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This study examined veteran characteristics associated with receiving such first-line pharmacotherapy, as well as how being a veteran of the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq impact receipt of pharmacotherapy for PTSD. Method: This was a national study of 482 Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatients between the ages of 18 and 69 years who had been newly diagnosed with PTSD (DSM-IV criteria: 309.81) during a VA outpatient visit between May 31, 2006, and December 7, 2007. Participants completed a mailed survey between August 11, 2006, and April 6, 2008. Veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and female veterans were intentionally oversampled. Logistic regression models were developed to predict 2 dependent variables: odds of initiating an SSRI/SNRI and, among veterans who initiated an SSRI/SNRI, odds of receiving an adequate therapeutic trial. Each dependent variable was regressed on a variety of sociodemographic and survey characteristics. Results: Of the 377 veterans prescribed a psychotropic medication, 73% (n = 276) received an SSRI/SNRI, of whom 61% (n = 168) received a therapeutic trial. Afghanistan and Iraq veterans were less likely to receive a therapeutic trial (odds ratio [OR] = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.27–0.75; P < .01), with presence of a comorbid depression diagnosis in the year after the index episode moderating this relationship, which further decreased the odds of completing a therapeutic trial (OR = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.09–0.95; P < .05). Conclusions: Reduced levels of receipt of first-line pharmacotherapy among recent veteran returnees parallel previous findings of less mental health treatment utilization in this population and warrant investigation. PMID:22943028

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Health Status of Gulf War and Era Veterans Serving in the US Military in 2000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Ben; Long, Kyna; Rull, Rudolph P; Dursa, Erin K

    2018-05-01

    This research describes Gulf War and era veterans enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study, who were sampled from US military personnel serving in 2000, and compares health characteristics of this sample to a Department of Veterans Affairs study sampled from the complete population. Demographics characteristics of this sample were described. Self-reported health characteristics were compared between the two studies. Gulf War and era veterans in the Millennium Cohort were generally healthier than in the VA study; they had fewer medical conditions and mental health disorders and better self-reported health. In both studies, Gulf War veterans had poorer health outcomes than era veterans. The Millennium Cohort Study is a unique resource for examining the long-term health effects of Gulf War deployment, particularly comparing deployed and nondeployed personnel and examining illnesses with long latencies.

  19. Lower-Limb Amputation and Effect of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Cost Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

    Product implicit price deflator [25]. Data Analysis Analyses were run in STATA version 10.0 (STATA Corporation; College Station, Texas) and SAS version...symptoms, health care visits, and absenteeism among Iraq war veterans. Am J Psychiatry. 2007;164(1): 150–53. [PMID:17202557] http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/ajp...income and product accounts tables. Table 1.1.9. Implicit Price Deflators for Gross Domestic Product [Internet]. Washington (DC): U.S. Depart- ment

  20. 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.

  1. The Veteran-Initiated Electronic Care Coordination: A Multisite Initiative to Promote and Evaluate Consumer-Mediated Health Information Exchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Dawn M; Pham, Kassi; Samy, Leila; Bluth, Adam; Nazi, Kim M; Witry, Matthew; Klutts, J Stacey; Grant, Kathleen M; Gundlapalli, Adi V; Kochersberger, Gary; Pfeiffer, Laurie; Romero, Sergio; Vetter, Brian; Turvey, Carolyn L

    2017-04-01

    Information continuity is critical to person-centered care when patients receive care from multiple healthcare systems. Patients can access their electronic health record data through patient portals to facilitate information exchange. This pilot was developed to improve care continuity for rural Veterans by (1) promoting the use of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patient portal to share health information with non-VA providers, and (2) evaluating the impact of health information sharing at a community appointment. Veterans from nine VA healthcare systems were trained to access and share their VA Continuity of Care Document (CCD) with their non-VA providers. Patients and non-VA providers completed surveys on their experiences. Participants (n = 620) were primarily older, white, and Vietnam era Veterans. After training, 78% reported the CCD would help them be more involved in their healthcare and 86% planned to share it regularly with non-VA providers. Veterans (n = 256) then attended 277 community appointments. Provider responses from these appointments (n = 133) indicated they were confident in the accuracy of the information (97%) and wanted to continue to receive the CCD (96%). Ninety percent of providers reported the CCD improved their ability to have an accurate medication list and helped them make medication treatment decisions. Fifty percent reported they did not order a laboratory test or another procedure because of information available in the CCD. This pilot demonstrates feasibility and value of patient access to a CCD to facilitate information sharing between VA and non-VA providers. Outreach and targeted education are needed to promote consumer-mediated health information exchange.

  2. Adaptation of intensive mental health intensive case management to rural communities in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Somaia

    2013-03-01

    There has been increasing concern in recent years about the availability of mental health services for people with serious mental illness in rural areas. To meet these needs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Rural Access Networks for Growth Enhancement (RANGE) program, in 2007, modeled on the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model. This study uses VA administrative data from the RANGE program (N = 343) to compare client characteristics at program entry, patterns of service delivery, and outcomes with those of Veterans who received services from the general VA ACT-like program (Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) (N = 3,077). Veterans in the rural program entered treatment with similar symptom severity, less likelihood of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and having had long-term hospitalization, but significantly higher suicidality index scores and greater likelihood of being dually diagnosed compared with those in the general program. RANGE Veterans live further away from their treatment teams but did not differ significantly in measures of face-to-face treatment intensity. Similar proportions of RANGE and MHICM Veterans were reported to have received rehabilitation services, crisis intervention and substance abuse treatment. The rural programs had higher scores on overall satisfaction with VA mental health care than general programs, slightly poorer outcomes on quality of life and on the suicidality index but no significant difference on other outcomes. These data demonstrate the clinical need, practical feasibility and potential effectiveness of providing intensive case management through small specialized case management teams in rural areas.

  3. Visual symptomatology and referral patterns for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans with traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulson, Ryan; Jun, Weon; Hayes, John

    2012-01-01

    Advances in protective armor technology and changes in the "patterns of war" have created a population of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) that provide a unique challenge to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare practitioners. The purpose of the study was to determine the frequency of symptomatic ocular and visual sequelae of TBI in OIF/OEF veterans at the Portland VA Medical Center, a Polytrauma Support Clinic Team site. A retrospective analysis of 100 OIF/OEF veterans with TBI was conducted to determine the prevalence of ocular and visual complaints. Referral patterns were also investigated. Visual symptoms were reported in approximately 50% of veterans with TBI. Loss of consciousness, but not number of deployments or number of blast exposures, was found to have a statistically significant association with severity of reported visual symptoms. The most commonly reported symptoms included blurred vision (67%), photosensitivity (50%), and accommodative problems (40%). Visual symptoms of OIF/OEF veterans at the Portland VA Medical Center are reported at slightly lower rates than similar studies conducted at the Palo Alto and Edward Hines Jr VA facilities.

  4. Alcohol-related and mental health care for patients with unhealthy alcohol use and posttraumatic stress disorder in a National Veterans Affairs cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jessica A; Owens, Mandy D; Browne, Kendall C; Williams, Emily C

    2018-02-01

    Unhealthy alcohol use and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently co-occur. Patients with both conditions have poorer functioning and worse treatment adherence compared to those with either condition alone. Therefore, it is possible that PTSD, when co-occurring with unhealthy alcohol use, may influence receipt of evidence-based alcohol-related care and mental health care. We evaluated receipt of interventions for unhealthy alcohol use and receipt of mental health follow-up care among patients screening positive for unhealthy alcohol use with and without PTSD in a national sample from the Veterans Health Administration (VA). National clinical and administrative data from VA's electronic medical record were used to identify all patients who screened positive for unhealthy alcohol use (AUDIT-C score≥5) between 10/1/09-5/30/13. Unadjusted and adjusted Poisson regression models were fit to estimate the relative rate and prevalence of receipt of: brief interventions (advice to reduce or abstain from drinking≤14days after positive screening), specialty addictions treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD; documented visit≤365days after positive screening), pharmacotherapy for AUD (filled prescription≤365days after positive screening), and mental health care ≤14days after positive screening for patients with and without PTSD (documented with ICD-9 CM codes). In secondary analyses, we tested effect modification by both severity of unhealthy alcohol use and age. Among 830,825 patients who screened positive for unhealthy alcohol use, 140,388 (16.9%) had documented PTSD. Of the full sample, 71.6% received brief interventions, 10.3% received specialty AUD treatment, 3.1% received pharmacotherapy for AUD, and 24.0% received mental health care. PTSD was associated with increased likelihood of receiving all types of care. Adjusted relative rates were 1.04 (95% CI 1.03-1.05) for brief interventions, 1.06 (1.05-1.08) for specialty AUD treatment, 1.35 (1.31-1.39) for

  5. Impact of the Northridge earthquake on the mental health of veterans: results from a panel study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobalian, Aram; Stein, Judith A; Heslin, Kevin C; Riopelle, Deborah; Venkatesh, Brinda; Lanto, Andrew B; Simon, Barbara; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2011-09-01

    limitations, and a greater number of health conditions. Because many veterans use non-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care providers for at least some of their health needs, future disaster planning for both VA and non-VA providers should incorporate interventions targeted at these groups.

  6. Financial and Temporal Advantages of Virtual Consultation in Veterans Requiring Specialty Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Daniel E; Macke, Ryan A; Kurtz, Jodi; Safdar, Nasia; Greenberg, Caprice C; Weber, Sharon M; Voils, Corrine I; Fisher, Deborah A; Maloney, James D

    2018-01-01

    Access to specialty health care in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system continues to be problematic. Given the potential temporal and fiscal benefits of telehealth, the Madison VA developed a virtual consultation (VC) mechanism to expedite diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for Veterans with incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules. Materials and. VC, a remote encounter between referring provider and thoracic surgeon for incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules, was implemented at the Madison VA between 2009 and 2011. Time from request to completion of consultation, hospital cost, and travel costs were determined for 157 veterans. These endpoints were then compared with in-person consultations over a concurrent 6-mo period. For the entire study cohort, the mean time to completion of VC was 3.2 d (SD ± 4.4 d). For the 6-mo period of first VC availability, the mean time to VC completion versus in-person consultation was 2.8 d (SD ± 2.8 d) and 20.5 d (SD ± 15.6 d), respectively (p < 0.05). Following initial VC, 84 (53%) veterans were scheduled for virtual follow-up alone; no veteran required an additional office visit before further diagnostic or therapeutic intervention. VA hospital cost was $228 per in-person consultation versus $120 per episode for VC - a 47.4% decrease. The average distance form veteran home to center was 86 miles, with an average travel reimbursement of $112 per in-person consultation, versus no travel cost associated with VC. VC for incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules significantly decreases time to consultation completion, hospital cost, and veteran travel cost. These data suggest that a significant opportunity exists for expansion of telehealth into additional practice settings within the VA system. © Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  7. A non-pharmacologic approach to address challenging behaviors of Veterans with dementia: description of the tailored activity program-VA randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitlin, Laura N; Mann, William C; Vogel, W Bruce; Arthur, Paul B

    2013-09-23

    Behavioral symptoms accompanying dementia are associated with increased health care costs, reduced quality of life and daily functioning, heightened family caregiver burden, and nursing home placement. Standard care typically involves pharmacologic agents, but these are, at best, modestly effective, carry serious risks, including mortality, and do not address behavioral symptoms families consider most distressful and which may prompt nursing home placement. Given dementia's devastating effects and the absence of an imminent cure, the Veterans Administration has supported the development and testing of new approaches to manage challenging behaviors at home. The Tailored Activity Program - Veterans Administration is a Phase III efficacy trial designed to reduce behavioral symptoms in Veterans with dementia living with their caregivers in the community. The study uses a randomized two-group parallel design with 160 diverse Veterans and caregivers. The experimental group receives a transformative patient-centric intervention designed to reduce the burden of behavioral symptoms in Veterans with dementia. An occupational therapist conducts an assessment to identify a Veteran's preserved capabilities, deficit areas, previous roles, habits, and interests to develop activities tailored to the Veteran. Family caregivers are then trained to incorporate activities into daily care. The attention-control group receives bi-monthly telephone contact where education on topics relevant to dementia is provided to caregivers. Key outcomes include reduced frequency and severity of behavioral symptoms using the 12-item Neuropsychiatric Inventory (primary endpoint), reduced caregiver burden, enhanced skill acquisition, efficacy using activities, and time spent providing care at 4 months; and long-term effects (8 months) on the Veteran's quality of life and frequency and severity of behavioral symptoms, and caregiver use of activities. The programs' impact of Veterans Administration cost

  8. 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.

  9. In aftermath of financial investigation Phoenix VA employee demoted after her testimony

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. A previous Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care Journal editorial commented on fiscal mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA Medical Center in Phoenix (1. Now Paula Pedene, the former Phoenix VA public affairs officer, claims she was demoted for testimony she gave to the VA Inspector General’s Office (OIG regarding that investigation (2. In 2011, the OIG investigated the Phoenix VA for excess spending on private care of patients (3. The report blamed systemic failures for controls so weak that $56 million in medical fees were paid during 2010 without adequate review. The report particularly focused on one clinician assigned by the Chief of Staff to review hundreds of requests per week and the intensive care unit physicians for transferring patients to chronic ventilator units (1,3. After the investigation, the director and one of the associate directors left the VA and the chief of staff was promoted …

  10. An Analysis of Adverse Events in the Rehabilitation Department: Using the Veterans Affairs Root Cause Analysis System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagley, Gregory W; Mills, Peter D; Shiner, Brian; Hemphill, Robin R

    2018-04-01

    Root cause analyses (RCA) are often completed in health care settings to determine causes of adverse events (AEs). RCAs result in action plans designed to mitigate future patient harm. National reviews of RCA reports have assessed the safety of numerous health care settings and suggested opportunities for improvement. However, few studies have assessed the safety of receiving care from physical therapists, occupational therapists, or speech and language pathology pathologists. The objective of this study was to determine the types of AEs, root causes, and action plans for risk mitigation that exist within the disciplines of rehabilitation medicine. This study is a retrospective, cross-sectional review. A national search of the Veterans Health Administration RCA database was conducted to identify reports describing AEs associated with physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech and language pathology services between 2009 and May 2016. Twenty-five reports met the inclusion requirements. The reports were classified by the event type, root cause, action plans, and strength of action plans. Delays in care (32.0%) and falls (28.0%) were the most common type of AE. Three AEs resulted in death. RCA teams identified deficits regarding policy and procedures as the most common root cause. Eighty-eight percent of RCA reports included strong or intermediate action plans to mitigate risk. Strong action plans included standardizing emergency terminology and implementing a dedicated line to call for an emergency response. These data are self-reported and only AEs that are scored as a safety assessment code 3 in the system receive a full RCA, so there are likely AEs that were not captured in this study. In addition, the RCA reports are deidentified and so do not include all patient characteristics. As the Veterans Health Administration system services mostly men, the data might not generalize to non-Veterans Health Administration systems with a different patient mix. Care

  11. 76 FR 40453 - Agency Information Collection (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-08

    ... (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration... Education Benefits, VA Form 22-1990. b. Application for Family Member to Use Transferred Benefits, VA Form 22-1990E. [[Page 40454

  12. 77 FR 12647 - Fund Availability Under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-01

    ... women veterans with or without the care of dependent children. 2. Funding Priority 2--VA is offering the... homeless veterans (i.e., veterans who are not incarcerated but are involved in the criminal justice system...

  13. Evaluating the Use of Medicare Part D in the Veteran Population With Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatch, Maya N; Raad, Jason; Suda, Katie; Stroupe, Kevin T; Hon, Alice J; Smith, Bridget M

    2018-02-06

    To examine the different sources of medications, the most common drug classes filled, and the characteristics associated with Medicare Part D pharmacy use in veterans with spinal cord injury/disorder (SCI/D). Retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study. Outpatient clinics and pharmacies. Veterans (N=13,442) with SCI/D using Medicare or Veteran Affairs pharmacy benefits. Not applicable. Characteristics and top 10 most common drug classes were examined in veterans who (1) used VA pharmacies only; (2) used both VA and Medicare Part D pharmacies; or (3) used Part D pharmacies only. Chi-square tests and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to determine associations between various patient variables and source of medications. Patient level frequencies were used to determine the most common drug classes. A total of 13,442 veterans with SCI/D were analyzed in this study: 11,788 (87.7%) used VA pharmacies only, 1281 (9.5%) used both VA and Part D pharmacies, and 373 (2.8%) used Part D pharmacies only. Veterans older than 50 years were more likely to use Part D pharmacies, whereas those with traumatic injury, or secondary conditions, were less associated with the use of Part D pharmacies. Opioids were the most frequently filled drug class across all groups. Other frequently used drug classes included skeletal muscle relaxants, gastric medications, antidepressants (other category), anticonvulsants, and antilipemics. Approximately 12% of veterans with SCI/D are receiving medication outside the VA system. Polypharmacy in this population of veterans is relatively high, emphasizing the importance of health information exchange between systems for improved care for this medically complex population. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Eight years of decreased methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus health care-associated infections associated with a Veterans Affairs prevention initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Martin E; Kralovic, Stephen M; Simbartl, Loretta A; Jain, Rajiv; Roselle, Gary A

    2017-01-01

    Declines in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) health care associated infections (HAIs) were previously reported in Veterans Affairs acute care (2012), spinal cord injury (SCIU) (2011), and long-term-care facilities (LTCFs) (2012). Here we report continuing declines in infection rates in these settings through September 2015. Monthly data entered into a national database from 127 acute care facilities, 22 SCIUs, and 133 LTCFs were evaluated for trends using negative binomial regression. There were 23,153,240 intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU, and 1,794,234 SCIU patient-days from October 2007-September 2015, and 22,262,605 LTCF resident-days from July 2009-September 2015. Admission nasal swabbing remained >92% in all 3 venues. Admission prevalence changed from 13.2%-13.5% in acute care, from 35.1%-32.0% in SCIUs, and from 23.1%-25.0% in LTCFs during the analysis periods. Monthly HAI rates fell 87.0% in ICUs, 80.1% in non-ICUs, 80.9% in SCIUs, and 49.4% in LTCFs (all P values Prevention Initiative. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Veterans Health Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  16. Health Programs for Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  17. 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...

  18. Correlates of improvement in substance abuse among dually diagnosed veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in specialized intensive VA treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, Kendell L; Stefanovics, Elina; Rosenheck, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Substantial rates of substance use comorbidity have been observed among veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), highlighting the need to identify patient and program characteristics associated with improved outcomes for substance abuse. Data were drawn from 12,270 dually diagnosed veterans who sought treatment from specialized intensive Veterans Health Administration PTSD programs between 1993 and 2011. The magnitude of the improvement in Addiction Severity Index (ASI) alcohol and drug use composite scores from baseline was moderate, with effect sizes (ES) of -.269 and -.287, respectively. Multivariate analyses revealed that treatment in longer-term programs, being prescribed psychiatric medication, and planned participation in reunions were all associated with slightly improved outcomes. Reductions in substance use measures were associated with robust improvements in PTSD symptoms and violent behavior. These findings suggest not only synergistic treatment effects linking improvement in PTSD symptoms with substance use disorders among dually diagnosed veterans with PTSD, but also to reductions in violent behavior. Furthermore, the findings indicate that proper discharge planning in addition to intensity and duration of treatment for dually diagnosed veterans with severe PTSD may result in better outcomes. Further dissemination of evidence-based substance abuse treatment may benefit this population. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Implementing and evaluating a regional strategy to improve testing rates in VA patients at risk for HIV, utilizing the QUERI process as a guiding framework: QUERI Series

    OpenAIRE

    Goetz, MB; Bowman, C; Hoang, T; Anaya, H; Osborn, T; Gifford, AL; Asch, SM

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background We describe how we used the framework of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) to develop a program to improve rates of diagnostic testing for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This venture was prompted by the observation by the CDC that 25% of HIV-infected patients do not know their diagnosis – a point of substantial importance to the VA, which is the largest provider of HIV care in the United States. Methods Fo...

  20. 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

  1. Utilizing the ECHO Model in the Veterans Health Affairs System: Guidelines for Setup, Operations and Preliminary Findings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herschel Knapp

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: In 2011, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA consulted with the Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes team at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, to reproduce their successful model within the VHA. Methods: The VHA launched SCAN-ECHO (Specialty Care Access Network-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, a multisite videoconferencing system to conduct live clinical consultations between specialists at a VHA Medical Center (hospital and primary care providers stationed at satellite VHA CBOCs (Community-Based Outpatient Clinic. Results: Analysis of the first three years rendered a mean attendee satisfaction of 89.53% and a consultation satisfaction score of 88.10%. About half of the SCAN-ECHO consultations resulted in patients receiving their treatment from their local primary care providers; the remaining half were referred to the VHA Medical Center when the treatment involved equipment or services not available at the CBOCs (e.g., MRI, surgery. Conclusion: This paper details the setup, operation logistics and preliminary findings, suggesting that SCAN-ECHO is a viable model for providing quality specialty clinical consultation service, prompter access to care, reduced commutes and continuing education. Additionally, the use of a secured Internet-based videoconferencing system that supports connectivity to multiple (mobile devices could expand the utilization of this service.

  2. 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.

  3. Meditation programs for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Aggregate findings from a multi-site evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heffner, Kathi L; Crean, Hugh F; Kemp, Jan E

    2016-05-01

    Interest in meditation to manage posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms is increasing. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of meditation programs offered to Veterans within Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health services. The current study addresses this gap using data from a multisite VA demonstration project. Evaluation data collected at 6 VA sites (N = 391 Veterans) before and after a meditation program, and a treatment-as-usual (TAU) program, were examined here using random effects meta-analyses. Site-specific and aggregate between group effect sizes comparing meditation programs to TAU were determined for PTSD severity measured by clinical interview and self-report. Additional outcomes included experiential avoidance and mindfulness. In aggregate, analyses showed medium effect sizes for meditation programs compared to TAU for PTSD severity (clinical interview: effect size (ES) = -0.32; self-report: ES = -0.39). Similarly sized effects of meditation programs were found for overall mindfulness (ES = 0.41) and 1 specific aspect of mindfulness, nonreactivity to inner experience (ES = .37). Additional findings suggested meditation type and program completion differences each moderated program effects. VA-sponsored meditation programs show promise for reducing PTSD severity in Veterans receiving mental health services. Where meditation training fits within mental health services, and for whom programs will be of interest and effective, require further clarification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. 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.

  5. 38 CFR 10.37 - Claim of widow not living with veteran at time of veteran's death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Claim of widow not living with veteran at time of veteran's death. 10.37 Section 10.37 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUSTED COMPENSATION Adjusted Compensation; General § 10.37 Claim of widow not living with veteran at time of...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    ...-connected disability incurred incident to the veteran's employment and covered under a worker's compensation... code. These charges apply in the situations set forth in paragraph (e)(1) of this section and are... Guidelines fee survey); see paragraph (a)(3) of this section for Data Sources. The 80th percentile charge for...

  9. VA Telemedicine: An Analysis of Cost and Time Savings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Jack E; McCool, Ryan R; Davies, Louise

    2016-03-01

    The Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system provides beneficiary travel reimbursement ("travel pay") to qualifying patients for traveling to appointments. Travel pay is a large expense for the VA and hence the U.S. Government, projected to cost nearly $1 billion in 2015. Telemedicine in the VA system has the potential to save money by reducing patient travel and thus the amount of travel pay disbursed. In this study, we quantify this savings and also report trends in VA telemedicine volumes over time. All telemedicine visits based at the VA Hospital in White River Junction, VT between 2005 and 2013 were reviewed (5,695 visits). Travel distance and time saved as a result of telemedicine were calculated. Clinical volume in the mental health department, which has had the longest participation in telemedicine, was analyzed. Telemedicine resulted in an average travel savings of 145 miles and 142 min per visit. This led to an average travel payment savings of $18,555 per year. Telemedicine volume grew significantly over the study period such that by the final year the travel pay savings had increased to $63,804, or about 3.5% of the total travel pay disbursement for that year. The number of mental health telemedicine visits rose over the study period but remained small relative to the number of face-to-face visits. A higher proportion of telemedicine visits involved new patients. Telemedicine at the VA saves travel distance and time, although the reduction in travel payments remains modest at current telemedicine volumes.

  10. Associations Between Perceived Race-based Discrimination and Contraceptive Use Among Women Veterans in the ECUUN Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Serena; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Sileanu, Florentina E; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K; Borrero, Sonya

    2017-09-01

    To describe perceived race-based discrimination in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care settings and assess its associations with contraceptive use among a sample of women Veterans. This study used data from a national telephone survey of women Veterans aged 18-44 receiving health care in VA who were at risk of unintended pregnancy. Participants were asked about their perceptions of race-based discrimination while seeking VA health care and about their contraceptive use at last heterosexual intercourse. Logistic and multinomial regression analyses were used to examine associations between perceived race-based discrimination with use of prescription contraception. In our sample of 1341 women Veterans, 7.9% report perceived race-based discrimination when receiving VA care, with blacks and Hispanics reporting higher levels of perceived discrimination than white women (11.3% and 11.2% vs. 4.4%; Pwomen who perceived race-based discrimination were less likely to use any prescription birth control than women who did not (odds ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.42-1.00), with the largest difference seen in rates of intrauterine device or implant use (odds ratio, 0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.20-0.79). In this national sample of women Veterans, over 10% of racial/ethnic minority women perceived race-based discrimination when receiving care in VA settings, and perceived racial/ethnic discrimination was associated with lower likelihood of prescription contraception use, especially intrauterine devices and implants. VA efforts to enhance respectful interactions may not only improve patient health care experiences, but also represent an opportunity to improve reproductive health outcomes for women Veterans.

  11. Stigma, help-seeking attitudes, and use of psychotherapy in veterans with diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Craig S; Greenbaum, Mark A; Fitt, Julie E; Laffaye, Charlene; Norris, Virginia A; Kimerling, Rachel

    2011-11-01

    Survey and medical record data from 482 Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who recently received diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were examined to determine need and predisposing factors associated with utilization of psychotherapy and counseling. More than half (58%) of participants initiated VA psychotherapy for PTSD within a year of diagnosis. Of those, one third completed eight or more sessions. Roughly two thirds of participants initiated counseling at a Vet Center. Initiating PTSD psychotherapy was associated with greater impairment but not with stigma, concerns about fitting in, or satisfaction with care. The use of Vet Center counseling was associated with desire for help, concerns about fitting in, and satisfaction with care. Unexpectedly, veterans with greater stigma concerns completed more psychotherapy visits and Vet Center counseling. Negative attitudes about mental health treatment did not seem to be substantial barriers to engaging in psychotherapy among these VA patients. Future research should consider enabling treatment system factors in addition to predisposing patient characteristics.

  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. Patterns of care and survival after a cancer of unknown primary (CUP) diagnosis: A population-based nested cohort study in Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Andrea L; Pearson, Sallie-Anne; Dobbins, Timothy A; Er, Chuang C; Ward, Robyn L; Vajdic, Claire M

    2015-08-01

    Little is known about patterns of care after a cancer of unknown primary (CUP) diagnosis. We performed a retrospective cohort study to describe and compare the treatment, health service use and survival of patients with CUP and metastatic cancer of known primary among 143,956 Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients, 2004-2007. We randomly matched clients with CUP (C809; n=252) with clients with a first diagnosis of metastatic solid cancer of known primary (n=980). We ascertained health services from the month of diagnosis up to 2 months post-diagnosis for consultations, hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and up to 1 year for treatment. We compared cancer treatments using conditional logistic regression; consultation rates using negative binomial regression; and survival using stratified Cox regression. 30% of CUP patients and 70% of patients with known primary received cancer treatment and the median survival was 37 days and 310 days respectively. CUP patients received fewer cancer medicines (odds ratio (OR)=0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33-0.89) and less cancer-related surgery (OR=0.25, 95% CI 0.15-0.41); males with CUP received more radiation therapy (OR=2.88, 95% CI 1.69-4.91). CUP patients had more primary care consultations (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=1.25, 95% CI 1.11-1.41), emergency department visits (IRR=1.86, 95% CI 1.50-2.31) and hospitalizations (IRR=1.18, 95% CI 1.03-1.35), and a higher risk of death within 30 days (hazard ratio=3.30, 95% CI 1.69-6.44). Patients with CUP receive less treatment but use more health services, which may reflect underlying patient and disease characteristics. Copyright © 2015 Commonwealth of Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. The Veterans Affairs Saint Louis University mental status exam (SLUMS exam) and the Mini-mental status exam as predictors of mortality and institutionalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Oliver, D M; Malmstrom, T K; Allen, C M; Tumosa, N; Morley, J E

    2012-07-01

    To evaluate predictive validity of cognitive dysfunction of the Saint Louis University mental status (SLUMS) exam or mini-mental state exam (MMSE) for institutionalization and mortality after 7.5-years. Longitudinal study. Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center Veterans Affairs Hospital St. Louis, MO. Patients (N=705) were screened for cognitive dysfunction in 2003 using the SLUMS exam and MMSE, and mortality and institutionalization up to 7.5-years later were evaluated as outcome measures. The associations between outcome measures and MMSE and SLUMS exam total scores, and cognitive status were examined using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional-hazards regression. Five hundred thirty-three charts were reviewed, 176/533(33%) patients had died and 31/526 (6%) were institutionalized during 7.5-year follow-up period. All subjects were male with a mean age of 75 years and most had high school education or greater (71%). MMSE dementia, SLUMS dementia (ps<.001) and MCI (p<.05) groups had significantly lower survival rates than normal cognition group in the Kaplan-Meier curves. Scores classified as dementia on SLUMS (HR=2.4, 95% CI 1.6-3.7; p <.001) or MMSE (HR=2.3, 95% CI 1.5-3.6; p <.001) both predicted mortality and, also, institutionalization (SLUMS: HR=3.5, 95% CI 1.3-9.1; p <.01; MMSE: HR=3.8, 95% CI 1.6-9.0; p <.001) after adjustment for covariates. Unadjusted SLUMS exam MCI predicted morality (HR=1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.2; p <.019) but not institutionalization. The SLUMS exam and MMSE both predict mortality and institutionalization for male patients screened as positive for dementia.

  15. Complementary and alternative medicine use among veterans with chronic noncancer pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denneson, Lauren M; Corson, Kathryn; Dobscha, Steven K

    2011-01-01

    We describe prior use and willingness to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among 401 veterans experiencing chronic noncancer pain and explore differences between CAM users and nonusers. Participants in a randomized controlled trial of a collaborative intervention for chronic pain from five Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics self-reported prior use and willingness to try chiropractic care, massage therapy, herbal medicines, and acupuncture. Prior CAM users were compared with nonusers on demographic characteristics, pain-related clinical characteristics, disease burden, and treatment satisfaction. A majority of veterans ( n = 327, 82%) reported prior use of at least one CAM modality, and nearly all (n = 399, 99%) were willing to try CAM treatment for pain. Chiropractic care was the least preferred option, whereas massage therapy was the most preferred (75% and 96%, respectively). CAM users were less likely to have service-connection disabilities (54% vs 68%; chi square = 4.64, p = 0.03) and reported having spent a larger percentage of their lives in pain (26% vs 20%; Z = 1.40, p = 0.04) than nonusers. We detected few differences between veterans who had tried CAM and those who had not, suggesting that CAM may have broad appeal among veterans with chronic pain. Implications for VA policy and practice and for clinicians treating veterans with chronic pain are discussed.

  16. 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.

  17. Prevalence of Central Nervous System Polypharmacy and Associations with Overdose and Suicide-Related Behaviors in Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans in VA Care 2010-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collett, Garen A; Song, Kangwon; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Potter, Jennifer S; Finley, Erin P; Pugh, Mary Jo

    2016-03-01

    The increase in the quantities of central nervous system (CNS)-acting medications prescribed has coincided with increases in overdose mortality, suicide-related behaviors, and unintentional deaths in military personnel deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Data on the extent and impact of prescribing multiple CNS drugs among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAVs) are sparse. We sought to identify the characteristics of IAVs with CNS polypharmacy and examine the association of CNS polypharmacy with drug overdose and suicide-related behaviors controlling for known risk factors. This cross-sectional cohort study examined national data of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (N = 311,400) who used the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) during the fiscal year 2011. CNS polypharmacy was defined as five or more CNS-acting medications; drug/alcohol overdose and suicide-related behaviors were identified using ICD-9-CM codes. Demographic and clinical characteristics associated with CNS polypharmacy were identified using a multivariable logistic regression model. We found that 25,546 (8.4 %) of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans had CNS polypharmacy. Those with only post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.50, 99 % confidence interval (CI) 5.96-7.10), only depression (AOR 6.42, 99 % CI 5.86-7.04), co-morbid PTSD and depression (AOR 12.98, 99 % CI 11.97-14.07), and co-morbid traumatic brain injury (TBI), PTSD, and depression (AOR 15.30, 99 % CI 14.00-16.73) had the highest odds of CNS polypharmacy. After controlling for these co-morbid conditions, CNS polypharmacy was significantly associated with drug/alcohol overdose and suicide-related behavior. CNS polypharmacy was most strongly associated with PTSD, depression, and TBI, and independently associated with overdose and suicide-related behavior after controlling for known risk factors. These findings suggest that CNS polypharmacy may be used as an indicator of risk for adverse outcomes

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Validity testing and neuropsychology practice in the VA healthcare system: results from recent practitioner survey (.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J Christopher; Roper, Brad L; Arentsen, Timothy J

    2016-05-01

    A survey of neuropsychologists in the Veterans Health Administration examined symptom/performance validity test (SPVT) practices and estimated base rates for patient response bias. Invitations were emailed to 387 psychologists employed within the Veterans Affairs (VA), identified as likely practicing neuropsychologists, resulting in 172 respondents (44.4% response rate). Practice areas varied, with 72% at least partially practicing in general neuropsychology clinics and 43% conducting VA disability exams. Mean estimated failure rates were 23.0% for clinical outpatient, 12.9% for inpatient, and 39.4% for disability exams. Failure rates were the highest for mTBI and PTSD referrals. Failure rates were positively correlated with the number of cases seen and frequency and number of SPVT use. Respondents disagreed regarding whether one (45%) or two (47%) failures are required to establish patient response bias, with those administering more measures employing the more stringent criterion. Frequency of the use of specific SPVTs is reported. Base rate estimates for SPVT failure in VA disability exams are comparable to those in other medicolegal settings. However, failure in routine clinical exams is much higher in the VA than in other settings, possibly reflecting the hybrid nature of the VA's role in both healthcare and disability determination. Generally speaking, VA neuropsychologists use SPVTs frequently and eschew pejorative terms to describe their failure. Practitioners who require only one SPVT failure to establish response bias may overclassify patients. Those who use few or no SPVTs may fail to identify response bias. Additional clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.

  1. 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

  2. 78 FR 76412 - Agency Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-17

    ... INFORMATION: Titles: a. National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924a, c, d and..., c, e. j. Voluntary Service Application, VA Form 0927f. k. National Veterans Summer sports Clinic... Festival Event Application, VA0929a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h. Type of Review: Revision of an already approved...

  3. 75 FR 25321 - Agency Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-07

    ... Winter Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924a series. b. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Application.... National Veterans TEE Tournament Application, VA Form 0927a series. e. National Veterans Summer Sports... Form 0929a series. Type of Review: Existing collection in use without an OMB control number. Abstract...

  4. Comparison of the Effectiveness and Safety of Linezolid and Daptomycin in Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcal Bloodstream Infection: A National Cohort Study of Veterans Affairs Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britt, Nicholas S; Potter, Emily M; Patel, Nimish; Steed, Molly E

    2015-09-15

    Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus bloodstream infections (VRE-BSIs) are becoming increasingly common. Linezolid and daptomycin are the primary treatment options for VRE-BSI, but optimal treatment is unclear. This was a national retrospective cohort study comparing linezolid and daptomycin for the treatment of VRE-BSI among Veterans Affairs Medical Center patients admitted during 2004-2013. The primary outcome was treatment failure, defined as a composite of (1) 30-day all-cause mortality; (2) microbiologic failure; and (3) 60-day VRE-BSI recurrence. Poisson regression was conducted to determine if antimicrobial treatment was independently associated with clinical outcomes. A total of 644 patients were included (linezolid, n = 319; daptomycin, n = 325). Overall, treatment failure was 60.9% (n = 392/644), and 30-day all-cause mortality was 38.2% (n = 246/644). Linezolid was associated with a significantly higher risk of treatment failure compared with daptomycin (risk ratio [RR], 1.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-1.67; P = .001). After adjusting for confounding factors in Poisson regression, the relationship between linezolid use and treatment failure persisted (adjusted RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.30; P = .026). Linezolid was also associated with higher 30-day mortality (42.9% vs 33.5%; RR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.04-1.32; P = .014) and microbiologic failure rates (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02-1.18; P = .011). No difference in 60-day VRE-BSI recurrence was observed between treatment groups. Treatment with linezolid for VRE-BSI resulted in significantly higher treatment failure in comparison to daptomycin. Linezolid treatment was also associated with greater 30-day all-cause mortality and microbiologic failure in this cohort. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  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. 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...

  7. 77 FR 70210 - Agency Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-23

    ...'s Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... Application for Compensation and/or Pension, VA Form 21-526. b. Veteran's Supplemental Claim Application, VA.../or pension benefits. b. Veterans who previously filed a claim using VA Form 21-526, and who wish to...

  8. Correspondence of the Boston Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury-Lifetime (BAT-L) clinical interview and the VA TBI screen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortier, Catherine Brawn; Amick, Melissa M; Kenna, Alexandra; Milberg, William P; McGlinchey, Regina E

    2015-01-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury is the signature injury of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND), yet its identification and diagnosis is controversial and fraught with challenges. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented a policy requiring traumatic brain injury (TBI) screening on all individuals returning from deployment in the OEF/OIF/OND theaters of operation that lead to the rapid and widespread use of the VA TBI screen. The Boston Assessment of TBI-Lifetime (BAT-L) is the first validated, postcombat semistructured clinical interview to characterize head injuries and diagnose TBIs throughout the life span, including prior to, during, and post-military service. Community-dwelling convenience sample of 179 OEF/OIF/OND veterans. BAT-L, VA TBI screen. Based on BAT-L diagnosis of military TBI, the VA TBI screen demonstrated similar sensitivity (0.85) and specificity (0.82) when administered by research staff. When BAT-L diagnosis was compared with historical clinician-administered VA TBI screen in a subset of participants, sensitivity was reduced. The specificity of the research-administered VA TBI screen was more than adequate. The sensitivity of the VA TBI screen, although relatively high, suggests that it does not oversample or "catch all" possible military TBIs. Traumatic brain injuries identified by the BAT-L, but not identified by the VA TBI screen, were predominantly noncombat military injuries. There is potential concern regarding the validity and reliability of the clinician administered VA TBI screen, as we found poor correspondence between it and the BAT-L, as well as low interrater reliability between the clinician-administered and research-administered screen.

  9. John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards. System innovation: Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heget, Jeffrey R; Bagian, James P; Lee, Caryl Z; Gosbee, John W

    2002-12-01

    In 1998 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) created the National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) to lead the effort to reduce adverse events and close calls systemwide. NCPS's aim is to foster a culture of safety in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by developing and providing patient safety programs and delivering standardized tools, methods, and initiatives to the 163 VA facilities. To create a system-oriented approach to patient safety, NCPS looked for models in fields such as aviation, nuclear power, human factors, and safety engineering. Core concepts included a non-punitive approach to patient safety activities that emphasizes systems-based learning, the active seeking out of close calls, which are viewed as opportunities for learning and investigation, and the use of interdisciplinary teams to investigate close calls and adverse events through a root cause analysis (RCA) process. Participation by VA facilities and networks was voluntary. NCPS has always aimed to develop a program that would be applicable both within the VA and beyond. NCPS's full patient safety program was tested and implemented throughout the VA system from November 1999 to August 2000. Program components included an RCA system for use by caregivers at the front line, a system for the aggregate review of RCA results, information systems software, alerts and advisories, and cognitive acids. Following program implementation, NCPS saw a 900-fold increase in reporting of close calls of high-priority events, reflecting the level of commitment to the program by VHA leaders and staff.

  10. Endocrinology Telehealth Consultation Improved Glycemic Control Similar to Face-to-Face Visits in Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Winnie; Saxon, David R; McNair, Bryan; Sanagorski, Rebecca; Rasouli, Neda

    2016-09-01

    Rates of diabetes for veterans who receive health care through the Veterans Health Administration are higher than rates in the general population. Furthermore, many veterans live in rural locations, far from Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, thus limiting their ability to readily seek face-to-face endocrinology care for diabetes. Telehealth (TH) technologies present an opportunity to improve access to specialty diabetes care for such patients; however, there is a lack of evidence regarding the ability of TH to improve glycemic control in comparison to traditional face-to-face consultations. This was a retrospective cohort study of all new endocrinology diabetes consultations at the Denver VA Medical Center over a 1-year period. A total of 189 patients were included in the analysis. In all, 85 patients had received face-to-face (FTF) endocrinology consultation for diabetes and 104 patients had received TH consultation. Subjects were mostly males (94.7%) and the mean age was 62.8 ± 10.1 years old. HbA1c improved from 9.76% (9.40% to 10.11%) to 8.55% (8.20% to 8.91%) (P Endocrinology TH consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional FTF visits in a veteran population with diabetes. © 2016 Diabetes Technology Society.

  11. 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.

  12. Barriers to patient portal access among veterans receiving home-based primary care: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishuris, Rebecca G; Stewart, Max; Fix, Gemmae M; Marcello, Thomas; McInnes, D Keith; Hogan, Timothy P; Boardman, Judith B; Simon, Steven R

    2015-12-01

    Electronic, or web-based, patient portals can improve patient satisfaction, engagement and health outcomes and are becoming more prevalent with the advent of meaningful use incentives. However, adoption rates are low, particularly among vulnerable patient populations, such as those patients who are home-bound with multiple comorbidities. Little is known about how these patients view patient portals or their barriers to using them. To identify barriers to and facilitators of using My HealtheVet (MHV), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patient portal, among Veterans using home-based primary care services. Qualitative study using in-depth semi-structured interviews. We conducted a content analysis informed by grounded theory. Fourteen Veterans receiving home-based primary care, surrogates of two of these Veterans, and three home-based primary care (HBPC) staff members. We identified five themes related to the use of MHV: limited knowledge; satisfaction with current HBPC care; limited computer and Internet access; desire to learn more about MHV and its potential use; and value of surrogates acting as intermediaries between Veterans and MHV. Despite their limited knowledge of MHV and computer access, home-bound Veterans are interested in accessing MHV and using it as an additional point of care. Surrogates are also potential users of MHV on behalf of these Veterans and may have different barriers to and benefits from use. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Positive correlation of employment and psychological well-being for veterans with major abdominal surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, David J; Wendel, Christopher S; Skeps, Raymond; Rawl, Susan M; Grant, Marcia; Schmidt, C Max; Ko, Clifford Y; Krouse, Robert S

    2010-11-01

    Intestinal stomas (ostomies) have been associated negatively with multiple aspects of health-related quality of life. This article examines the relationship between employment status and psychological well-being (PWB) in veterans who underwent major bowel procedures with or without ostomy. Veterans from 3 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers were surveyed using the City of Hope ostomy-specific questionnaire and the Short Form 36 item Veteran's version (SF-36V). Response rate was 48% (511 of 1,063). Employment and PWB relationship was assessed using multiple regression with age, income, SF-36V physical component summary (PCS), and employment status as independent variables. Employed veterans reported higher PWB compared with unemployed veterans (P = .003). Full-time workers also reported higher PWB than part-time or unemployed workers (P = .001). Ostomy was not an independent predictor of PWB. Employment among veterans after major abdominal surgery may have intrinsic value for PWB. Patients should be encouraged to return to work, or do volunteer work after recovery. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Making housing first happen: organizational leadership in VA's expansion of permanent supportive housing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kertesz, Stefan G; Austin, Erika Laine; Holmes, Sally K; Pollio, David E; Schumacher, Joseph E; White, Bert; Lukas, Carol VanDeusen

    2014-12-01

    While most organizational literature has focused on initiatives that transpire inside the hospital walls, the redesign of American health care increasingly asks that health care institutions address matters outside their walls, targeting the health of populations. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)'s national effort to end Veteran homelessness represents an externally focused organizational endeavor. Our aim was to evaluate the role of organizational practices in the implementation of Housing First (HF), an evidence-based homeless intervention for chronically homeless individuals. This was an interview-based comparative case study conducted across eight VA Medical Centers (VAMCs). Front line staff, mid-level managers, and senior leaders at VA Medical Centers were interviewed between February and December 2012. Using a structured narrative and numeric scoring, we assessed the correlation between successful HF implementation and organizational practices devised according to the organizational transformation model (OTM). Scoring results suggested a strong association between HF implementation and OTM practice. Strong impetus to house Veterans came from national leadership, reinforced by Medical Center directors closely tracking results. More effective Medical Center leaders differentiated themselves by joining front-line staff in the work (at public events and in process improvement exercises), by elevating homeless-knowledgeable persons into senior leadership, and by exerting themselves to resolve logistic challenges. Vertical alignment and horizontal integration advanced at sites that fostered work groups cutting across service lines and hierarchical levels. By contrast, weak alignment from top to bottom typically also hindered cooperation across departments. Staff commitment to ending homelessness was high, though sustainability planning was limited in this baseline year of observation. Key organizational practices correlated with more successful

  15. 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...

  16. Research on PTSD prevalence in OEF/OIF Veterans: expanding investigation of demographic variables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynnette A. Averill

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: A series of recent articles has reported on well-designed studies examining base rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD screenings within the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan conflict/Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq conflict (OEF/OIF military population. Although these studies have a number of strengths, this line of research points out several key areas in need of further examination. Objective: Many OEF/OIF Veterans do not use available Veterans Affairs (VA services, especially mental health care. This highlights the need to understand the differences between those who use and do not use the VA, especially as research with pre-OEF/OIF Veterans suggests that these two groups differ in significant ways. The high rates of PTSD-related concerns in non-VA users also points to a need to understand whether—and where—Veterans are seeking care outside the VA and the accessibility of evidence-based, trauma-focused treatments in the community and private sectors. Careful examination of relationship status is also paramount as little research has examined relationship status or other relationship context issues. Social support, especially from a spouse, can buffer the development of PTSD; however, relationship discord has the potential to greatly exacerbate PTSD symptomatology. Furthermore, given the additional risk factors for sexual minority Veterans to be exposed to trauma, the 2011 repeal of the US Military “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, and the emergence of the VA as likely the largest health care provider for sexual minority Veterans, it will be critically important to study the trauma and mental health experiences of this group. Conclusions: Studies that examine prevalence rates of PTSD in the returning cohort contribute significantly to our understanding of the US OEF/OIF military population. Further study of PTSD in relation to demographic variables such as VA and non-VA use, relationship status, and sexual

  17. Research on PTSD prevalence in OEF/OIF Veterans: expanding investigation of demographic variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averill, Lynnette A; Eubanks Fleming, C J; Holens, Pamela L; Larsen, Sadie E

    2015-01-01

    A series of recent articles has reported on well-designed studies examining base rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screenings within the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan conflict)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq conflict) (OEF/OIF) military population. Although these studies have a number of strengths, this line of research points out several key areas in need of further examination. Many OEF/OIF Veterans do not use available Veterans Affairs (VA) services, especially mental health care. This highlights the need to understand the differences between those who use and do not use the VA, especially as research with pre-OEF/OIF Veterans suggests that these two groups differ in significant ways. The high rates of PTSD-related concerns in non-VA users also points to a need to understand whether-and where-Veterans are seeking care outside the VA and the accessibility of evidence-based, trauma-focused treatments in the community and private sectors. Careful examination of relationship status is also paramount as little research has examined relationship status or other relationship context issues. Social support, especially from a spouse, can buffer the development of PTSD; however, relationship discord has the potential to greatly exacerbate PTSD symptomatology. Furthermore, given the additional risk factors for sexual minority Veterans to be exposed to trauma, the 2011 repeal of the US Military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and the emergence of the VA as likely the largest health care provider for sexual minority Veterans, it will be critically important to study the trauma and mental health experiences of this group. Studies that examine prevalence rates of PTSD in the returning cohort contribute significantly to our understanding of the US OEF/OIF military population. Further study of PTSD in relation to demographic variables such as VA and non-VA use, relationship status, and sexual orientation will provide rich data that will enhance our ability

  18. Strategic plan for geriatrics and extended care in the veterans health administration: background, plan, and progress to date.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shay, Kenneth; Hyduke, Barbara; Burris, James F

    2013-04-01

    The leaders of Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) undertook a strategic planning process that led to approval in 2009 of a multidisciplinary, evidence-guided strategic plan. This article reviews the four goals contained in that plan and describes VHA's progress in addressing them. The goals included transforming the healthcare system to a veteran-centric approach, achieving universal access to a panel of services, ensuring that the Veterans Affair's (VA) healthcare workforce was adequately prepared to manage the needs of the growing elderly veteran population, and integrating continuous improvement into all care enhancements. There has been substantial progress in addressing all four goals. All VHA health care has undergone an extensive transformation to patient-centered care, has enriched the services it can offer caregivers of dependent veterans, and has instituted models to better integrate VA and non-VA cares and services. A range of successful models of geriatric care described in the professional literature has been adapted to VA environments to gauge suitability for broader implementation. An executive-level task force developed a three-pronged approach for enhancing the VA's geriatric workforce. The VHA's performance measurement approaches increasingly include incentives to enhance the quality of management of vulnerable elderly adults in primary care. The GEC strategic plan was intended to serve as a road map for keeping VHA aligned with an ambitious but important long-term vision for GEC services. Although no discrete set of resources was appropriated for fulfillment of the plan's recommendations, this initial report reflects substantial progress in addressing most of its goals. © 2013, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2013, The American Geriatrics Society.

  19. Veteran participation in the integrative health and wellness program: Impact on self-reported mental and physical health outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, Amanda; Brooks Holliday, Stephanie; Eickhoff, Christine; Sullivan, Patrick; Courtney, Rena; Sossin, Kayla; Adams, Alyssa; Reinhard, Matthew

    2018-04-05

    Complementary and integrative health (CIH) services are being used more widely across the nation, including in both military and veteran hospital settings. Literature suggests that a variety of CIH services show promise in treating a wide range of physical and mental health disorders. Notably, the Department of Veterans Affairs is implementing CIH services within the context of a health care transformation, changing from disease based health care to a personalized, proactive, patient-centered approach where the veteran, not the disease, is at the center of care. This study examines self-reported physical and mental health outcomes associated with participation in the Integrative Health and Wellness Program, a comprehensive CIH program at the Washington DC VA Medical Center and one of the first wellbeing programs of its kind within the VA system. Using a prospective cohort design, veterans enrolled in the Integrative Health and Wellness Program filled out self-report measures of physical and mental health throughout program participation, including at enrollment, 12 weeks, and 6 months. Analyses revealed that veterans reported significant improvements in their most salient symptoms of concern (primarily pain or mental health symptoms), physical quality of life, wellbeing, and ability to participate in valued activities at follow-up assessments. These results illustrate the potential of CIH services, provided within a comprehensive clinic focused on wellbeing not disease, to improve self-reported health, wellbeing, and quality of life in a veteran population. Additionally, data support recent VA initiatives to increase the range of CIH services available and the continued growth of wellbeing programs within VA settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Where Do Soldiers Really Come From? A Faculty Development Workshop on Veteran-Centered Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lypson, Monica L; Ross, Paula T; Zimmerman, Natalie; Goldrath, Kathryn E; Ravindranath, Divy

    2016-10-01

    Addressing the medical concerns of veterans in both civilian health care systems and the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, where staff are familiar with issues of military reintegration, remains difficult but is increasingly important. In 2013, the authors developed and implemented a faculty development workshop for practicing clinicians using the documentary Where Soldiers Come From. The workshop included topics on unconscious bias, the service member trajectory, health care disparities, and strategies for overcoming barriers to treating veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The workshop engaged faculty in the following active-learning techniques: images in education; trigger video; critical thinking and reflective writing; think-pair-share; and large-group discussion. The workshop has been conducted at three locations with 46 health care professionals. Thirty-one of 37 (84%) participants who completed the workshop evaluation were VA employees. The evaluation results show 25/32 (78.1%) participants indicated the workshop activities changed their knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills; 22/34 (64.7%) stated they had a better understanding of how to develop a care plan for veterans; and 27/34 (79.4%) stated they gained a better understanding of how to prepare for issues around returning veterans. To address the issue of veteran-centered care education more broadly, the authors have developed a massive open online course for health professionals, using most of the content from this workshop, which will be offered in spring 2016. Another important next step will be to deliver this workshop to and collect evaluation data from non-VA providers.

  1. Community Clinicians and the Veterans Choice Program for PTSD Care: Understanding Provider Interest During Early Implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, Erin P; Noël, Polly H; Mader, Michael; Haro, Elizabeth; Bernardy, Nancy; Rosen, Craig S; Bollinger, Mary; Garcia, Hector; Sherrieb, Kathleen; Pugh, Mary Jo V

    2017-07-01

    In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) to provide reimbursement for community-based care to eligible veterans. Inadequate networks of participating providers may impact the utility of VCP for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a complex condition occurring at lower frequency among civilians. To compare characteristics and attitudes of community-based primary care and mental health providers reporting interest or no interest in VCP participation during early implementation; and to examine perceptions and experiences of VCP among "early adopters." Cross-sectional surveys with 2 samples: a stratified random sample of mental health and primary care prescribers and psychotherapists drawn from state licensing boards (Community Sample); and a stratified random sample of prescribers and psychotherapists identified as VCP-authorized providers (VCP-Authorized). Five hundred fifty-three respondents in the Community Sample and 115 in the VCP-Authorized (total, n=668; 21.1% response). Surveys assessed provider and practice characteristics, attitudes to VA and VCP, and experiences and satisfaction with the VCP; an open-ended survey item assessed providers' reasons for interest or lack of interest in VCP participation. Few providers reported VCP participation during this period. Interest in VCP participation was associated across provider groups with factors including being a veteran and receiving VA reimbursement; currently providing treatment for PTSD was associated with interest in VCP participation among psychotherapists, but not prescribers. Developing networks of VCP providers to serve Veterans with PTSD is likely to require targeting more receptive provider groups, reducing barriers to participation, and more effectively communicating the value of VCP participation to providers.

  2. 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

  3. 78 FR 26698 - Report: Strategies for Serving Our Women Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-07

    ... expressed that the organizational chart should indicate that the Director of the Center for Women Veterans..., about 30 percent of women Veterans surveyed did not think they were eligible for VA benefits.'' The...

  4. 77 FR 7243 - Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-10

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0728] Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment) Activities Under OMB....'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs...

  5. 78 FR 36309 - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-17

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice... Act, 5 U.S.C. App., that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... operations during the Gulf War. [[Page 36310

  6. 77 FR 65056 - Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-24

    ..., Office of Health Equity, and a special panel discussion with Center for Women Veterans, Center for Faith... (VBA), Center for Minority Veterans, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Veterans Health...

  7. Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors: 2017 Online Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...

  8. 77 FR 37839 - Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO24 Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY... Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) to extend to 240 days the current 120-day ``no-health'' period during...

  9. DefenseLink Special: Veterans Day 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    our country, and for making a proud history. God bless you all. And God bless our wonderful country a special Veterans Day observance. Story * Command Sgt. Major Praises Women's Service Woman Vet Veterans Affairs * Center of Military History * White House: Honoring Our Veterans * Library of Congress

  10. Night and day in the VA: associations between night shift staffing, nurse workforce characteristics, and length of stay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Cordova, Pamela B; Phibbs, Ciaran S; Schmitt, Susan K; Stone, Patricia W

    2014-04-01

    In hospitals, nurses provide patient care around the clock, but the impact of night staff characteristics on patient outcomes is not well understood. The aim of this study was to examine the association between night nurse staffing and workforce characteristics and the length of stay (LOS) in 138 veterans affairs (VA) hospitals using panel data from 2002 through 2006. Staffing in hours per patient day was higher during the day than at night. The day nurse workforce had more educational preparation than the night workforce. Nurses' years of experience at the unit, facility, and VA level were greater at night. In multivariable analyses controlling for confounding variables, higher night staffing and a higher skill mix were associated with reduced LOS. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Transfer of information from personal health records: a survey of veterans using My HealtheVet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turvey, Carolyn L; Zulman, Donna M; Nazi, Kim M; Wakefield, Bonnie J; Woods, Susan S; Hogan, Timothy P; Weaver, Frances M; McInnes, Keith

    2012-03-01

    Personal health records provide patients with ownership of their health information and allow them to share information with multiple healthcare providers. However, the usefulness of these records relies on patients understanding and using their records appropriately. My HealtheVet is a Web-based patient portal containing a personal health record administered by the Veterans Health Administration. The goal of this study was to explore veterans' interest and use of My HealtheVet to transfer and share information as well as to identify opportunities to increase veteran use of the My HealtheVet functions. Two waves of data were collected in 2010 through an American Customer Satisfaction Index Web-based survey. A random sample of veterans using My HealtheVet was invited to participate in the survey conducted on the My HealtheVet portal through a Web-based pop-up browser window. Wave One results (n=25,898) found that 41% of veterans reported printing information, 21% reported saving information electronically, and only 4% ever sent information from My HealtheVet to another person. In Wave Two (n=18,471), 30% reported self-entering medication information, with 18% sharing this information with their Veterans Affairs (VA) provider and 9.6% sharing with their non-VA provider. Although veterans are transferring important medical information from their personal health records, increased education and awareness are needed to increase use. Personal health records have the potential to improve continuity of care. However, more research is needed on both the barriers to adoption as well as the actual impact on patient health outcomes and well-being.

  12. 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

    technology and preventative care. Veterans are hindered from receiving help with their dementia concerns due to most veteran's dependence on the Veterans Affairs (VA) for health services, a lack of education about possible treatments and programs, and a lack of services in rural areas. This review will prove useful to providers when evaluating the expansion of VA services and caregiver interventions. Reprint & Copyright © 2017 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  13. Brand-Name Prescription Drug Use Among Diabetes Patients in the VA and Medicare Part D: A National Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gellad, Walid F.; Donohue, Julie M.; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K.; Thorpe, Carolyn T.; Smith, Jeremy; Good, Chester B.; Fine, Michael J.; Morden, Nancy E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Medicare Part D and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) use different approaches to manage prescription drug benefits, with implications for spending. Medicare relies on private plans with distinct formularies, whereas VA administers its own benefit using a national formulary. Objective To compare overall and regional rates of brand-name drug use among older adults with diabetes in Medicare and VA. Design Retrospective cohort Setting Medicare and VA Patients National sample in 2008 of 1,061,095 Part D beneficiaries and 510,485 Veterans age 65+ with diabetes. Measurements Percent of patients on oral hypoglycemics, statins, and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor-blockers who filled brand-name drugs and percent of patients on long-acting insulin who filled analogues. We compared sociodemographic and health-status adjusted hospital referral region (HRR) brand-name use to examine local practice patterns, and calculated changes in spending if each system’s brand-name use mirrored the other. Results Brand-name use in Medicare was 2–3 times that of VA: 35.3% vs. 12.7% for oral hypoglycemics, 50.7% vs. 18.2% for statins, 42.5% vs. 20.8% for angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor-blockers, and 75.1% vs. 27.0% for insulin analogues. Adjusted HRR brand-name statin use ranged (5th to 95th percentile) from 41.0%–58.3% in Medicare and 6.2%–38.2% in VA. For each drug group, the HRR at the 95th percentile in VA had lower brand-name use than the 5th percentile HRR in Medicare. Medicare spending in this population would have been $1.4 billion less if brand-name use matched the VA for these medications. Limitation This analysis cannot fully describe the factors underlying differences in brand-name use. Conclusions Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes use 2–3 times more brand-name drugs than a comparable group within VA, at substantial excess cost. Primary Funding Sources VA; NIH; RWJF PMID:23752663

  14. Traumatic Brain Injury Severity, Comorbidity, Social Support, Family Functioning, and Community Reintegration Among Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugh, Mary Jo; Swan, Alicia A; Carlson, Kathleen F; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Eapen, Blessen C; Dillahunt-Aspillaga, Christina; Amuan, Megan E; Delgado, Roxana E; McConnell, Kimberly; Finley, Erin P; Grafman, Jordan H

    2018-02-01

    To examine the association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) severity; social, family, and community reintegration outcomes; and return to work status among post-9/11 veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care. Retrospective observational cohort study. Mail/online survey fielded to a national sample of veterans. Sample of post-9/11 veterans with at least 3 years of VA care stratified according to TBI severity and comorbidities who completed and returned surveys (N=2023). Not applicable. Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory-2 family functioning and social support subscales; Military to Civilian Questionnaire; and employment status. Bivariate analyses revealed that veterans with every classification of TBI severity reported significantly more difficulty on social, family, and community reintegration outcomes than those with no TBI. In the fully adjusted model, veterans with unclassified and moderate/severe TBI reported significantly more difficulty with community reintegration and were less likely to be employed relative to those with no TBI; those with unclassified TBI also reported significantly more difficulty with family functioning. Veterans with mild TBI also reported significantly more difficulty with community reintegration. This study provides insight into long-term outcomes associated with TBI in post-9/11 veterans and suggests that exposure to TBI has a negative effect on social and family functioning, community reintegration, and return to work even after controlling for comorbidity, deployment experiences, and sociodemographic characteristics. Additional research is required to explicate what appears to be complex interactions among TBI severity, psychosocial well-being, combat exposures, and socioeconomic resources in this population. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. The Feasibility of Using Large-Scale Text Mining to Detect Adverse Childhood Experiences in a VA-Treated Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Kenric W; Ben-Ari, Alon Y; Laundry, Ryan J; Boyko, Edward J; Samore, Matthew H

    2015-12-01

    Free text in electronic health records resists large-scale analysis. Text records facts of interest not found in encoded data, and text mining enables their retrieval and quantification. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinical data repository affords an opportunity to apply text-mining methodology to study clinical questions in large populations. To assess the feasibility of text mining, investigation of the relationship between exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and recorded diagnoses was conducted among all VA-treated Gulf war veterans, utilizing all progress notes recorded from 2000-2011. Text processing extracted ACE exposures recorded among 44.7 million clinical notes belonging to 243,973 veterans. The relationship of ACE exposure to adult illnesses was analyzed using logistic regression. Bias considerations were assessed. ACE score was strongly associated with suicide attempts and serious mental disorders (ORs = 1.84 to 1.97), and less so with behaviorally mediated and somatic conditions (ORs = 1.02 to 1.36) per unit. Bias adjustments did not remove persistent associations between ACE score and most illnesses. Text mining to detect ACE exposure in a large population was feasible. Analysis of the relationship between ACE score and adult health conditions yielded patterns of association consistent with prior research. Copyright © 2015 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

  16. VA Enterprise Design Patters - 6.1 (Cloud Computing)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Establishes guidelines for using an Enterprise Cloud Services Broker (ECSB) solution. An ECSB supports all Lines of Business (LOBs) and the Office of Information and...

  17. VA Outpatient Visits by Administrative Parent, FY2010-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Outpatient visits by Administrative Parent. A visit is counted as a visit to one or more clinics or units within 1 calendar day at the site of care level. A patient...

  18. An academic-VA partnership: Student interprofessional teams integrated with VA PACT teams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenty, Constance L; Schaar, Gina L; Butler, Ryan M

    2016-12-01

    Veterans are challenged with multiple unique healthcare issues related to their military service environment. Likewise, health care providers must understand the special concerns associated with military conflict and recognize how the veteran's care can be optimized by interprofessional care delivery. Little is taught didactically or clinically that supports nursing students in addressing the unique issues of the veteran or the student's need to work collaboratively with allied health team members to enhance the veteran's care. Because of limited exposure to the veteran's special conditions, nursing students who may seek a career with the veteran population often face challenges in rendering appropriate care. The VA offers an invaluable opportunity for health profession students to collaborate with VA interprofessional Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) ultimately optimizing veteran health outcomes. This academic partnership, that implements an interprofessional model, will prepare students to better embrace the veteran population. This article describes the immersion of health profession students in interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) using PACT team principles which ultimately promotes the students' ability to link theory content to patient care delivery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The association of PTSD with physical and mental health functioning and disability (VA Cooperative Study #569: the course and consequences of posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam-era Veteran twins)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magruder, Kathryn M.; Forsberg, Christopher W.; Kazis, Lewis E.; Üstün, T. Bedirhan; Friedman, Matthew J.; Litz, Brett T.; Vaccarino, Viola; Heagerty, Patrick J.; Gleason, Theresa C.; Huang, Grant D.; Smith, Nicholas L.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose To assess the relationship of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with health functioning and disability in Vietnamera Veterans. Methods A cross-sectional study of functioning and disability in male Vietnam-era Veteran twins. PTSD was measured by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview; health functioning and disability were assessed using the Veterans RAND 36-Item Health Survey (VR-36) and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0). All data collection took place between 2010 and 2012. Results Average age of the 5,574 participating Veterans (2,102 Vietnam theater and 3,472 non-theater) was 61.0 years. Veterans with PTSD had poorer health functioning across all domains of VR-36 and increased disability for all subscales of WHODAS 2.0 (all p < .001) compared with Veterans without PTSD. Veterans with PTSD were in poorer overall health on the VR-36 physical composite summary (PCS) (effect size = 0.31 in theater and 0.47 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both) and mental composite summary (MCS) (effect size = 0.99 in theater and 0.78 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both) and had increased disability on the WHODAS 2.0 summary score (effect size = 1.02 in theater and 0.96 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both). Combat exposure, independent of PTSD status, was associated with lower PCS and MCS scores and increased disability (all p < .05, for trend). Within-pair analyses in twins discordant for PTSD produced consistent findings. Conclusions Vietnam-era Veterans with PTSD have diminished functioning and increased disability. The poor functional status of aging combat-exposed Veterans is of particular concern. PMID:24318083

  20. 77 FR 69551 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-19

    ... Administration; and briefings on health care for women Veterans, mental health, women Veterans' legislative... regarding the needs of women Veterans with respect to health care, rehabilitation, compensation, outreach... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The...

  1. Sofosbuvir and Simeprevir Combination Therapy for HCV Genotype 1 Infection: Results of a Single-Center VA Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Maria Del Pilar; Vance, Evan; Gilinski, Dani; Youtseff, Helen; Toro, Maribel; Antoine, Marie; Jeffers, Lennox J.; Peyton, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection remains a priority in the veterans affairs (VA) health care system nationwide, as there is a high burden of liver disease due to HCV infection among US veterans. The combination of sofosbuvir and simeprevir was the first all-oral antiviral regimen used in clinical practice to treat veterans with HCV infection. In this study, we report a single-center experience showing both the feasibility and effectiveness of this all-oral combination to treat HCV genotype 1 infection. One hundred patients with HCV genotype 1 infection were treated between December 2013 and June 2014. Eighty-six patients were treated with sofosbuvir and simeprevir, with or without ribavirin, for 12 weeks; 12 patients were treated with sofosbuvir, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin for 12 weeks; and 2 patients were treated with sofosbuvir and ribavirin for 24 weeks. Overall, treatment was well tolerated and feasible, with compliance rates over 95% in patients treated with all-oral therapy. The sustained virologic response (SVR) rate for sofosbuvir and simeprevir (88.4%) was superior to the rate for sofosbuvir, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin (50.0%). Subgroup analysis showed diminished SVR rates in cirrhotic patients vs noncirrhotic patients. There were no significant differences in SVR when comparing treatment with or without ribavirin or among genotype subtypes. In conclusion, this study demonstrated excellent completion rates for all-oral treatment of veterans with chronic HCV infection. Additionally, treatment was highly effective, nearing a 90% cure rate. Thus, we recommend that the VA health care system continue to incorporate new HCV medications into its formulary so as to expand HCV treatment for US veterans. PMID:27917084

  2. Comparison of rates of potentially inappropriate medication use according to the Zhan criteria for VA versus private sector medicare HMOs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Mitchell J; Perry, Paul J; Langstaff, Jodi D; Kaboli, Peter J

    2006-06-01

    Inappropriate prescribing in the elderly is common, but rates across different health care systems and the impact of formulary restrictions are not well described. To determine if rates of inappropriate medication use in the elderly differ between the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system and the private sector Medicare health maintenance organization (HMO) patients. A cross-sectional study design compared administrative pharmacy claims from 10 distinct geographic regions in the United States in the VA health care system and 10 analogous regions for patients enrolled in Medicare HMOs. The cohorts included 123,633 VA and 157,517 Medicare HMO patients aged 65 years and older. Inappropriate medication use was identified using the Zhan modification of the Beers criteria, which categorizes 33 potentially inappropriate drugs into 3 major classifications: "always avoid," "rarely appropriate," and "some indications." Comparisons between the VA health care system and the private sector Medicare HMO were performed for overall differences and stratified by gender and age. The drug formulary status of the Zhan-criteria drugs was known for the VA health system but not for the Medicare HMO patients. Compared with private sector patients, VA patients were less likely to receive any inappropriate medication (21% vs. 29%, P private sector for males (21% vs. 24%, P private sector Medicare HMOs, elderly VA patients were less likely to receive medications defined by the Zhan criteria as potentially inappropriate. A restrictive formulary that excludes 12 of the 33 Zhan criteria drugs may be a factor in the reduction of undesired prescribing patterns in elderly populations.

  3. Hazardous drinking and its association with homelessness among veterans in care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghose, T; Fiellin, D A; Gordon, A J; Metraux, S; Goetz, M B; Blackstock, O; McInnes, K; Rodriguez-Barradas, M C; Justice, A C

    2013-09-01

    While scholarship on alcohol use and homelessness has focused on the impact of alcohol abuse and dependence, little is known about the effects of lower levels of misuse such as hazardous use. Veterans receiving care in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System (VA) constitute a population that is vulnerable to alcohol misuse and homelessness. This research examines the effects of hazardous drinking on homelessness in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, a sample of 2898 older veterans (mean age=50.2), receiving care in 8 VAs across the country. Logistic regression models examined the associations between (1) hazardous drinking at baseline and homelessness at 1-year follow-up, (2) transitions into and out of hazardous drinking from baseline to follow-up and homelessness at follow-up, and (3) transitioning to hazardous drinking and transitioning to homelessness from baseline to follow-up during that same time-period. After controlling for other correlates including alcohol dependence, hazardous drinking at baseline increased the risk of homelessness at follow-up (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.02, 1.88). Transitioning to hazardous drinking more than doubled the risk of homelessness at follow-up (AOR=2.42, 95% CI=1.41, 4.15), while more than doubling the risk of transitioning from being housed at baseline to being homeless at follow-up (AOR=2.49, 95% CI=1.30, 4.79). Early intervention that seeks to prevent transitioning into hazardous drinking could increase housing stability among veterans. Brief interventions which have been shown to be effective at lower levels of alcohol use should be implemented with veterans in VA care. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  4. Use of Veterans Health Administration Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment After Exiting Prison: The Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, Andrea K; Stimmel, Matthew; Blue-Howells, Jessica; Rosenthal, Joel; McGuire, Jim; Binswanger, Ingrid; Smelson, David; Harris, Alex H S; Frayne, Susan M; Bowe, Tom; Timko, Christine

    2017-03-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) program links veterans exiting prison with treatment. Among veterans served by HCRV, national VA clinical data were used to describe contact with VA health care, and mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses and treatment use. Of veterans seen for an HCRV outreach visit, 56 % had contact with VA health care. Prevalence of mental health disorders was 57 %; of whom 77 % entered mental health treatment within a month of diagnosis. Prevalence of substance use disorders was 49 %; of whom 37 % entered substance use disorder treatment within a month of diagnosis. For veterans exiting prison, increasing access to VA health care, especially for rural veterans, and for substance use disorder treatment, are important quality improvement targets.

  5. Changing Patterns of Glucose-Lowering Medication Use in VA Nursing Home Residents With Diabetes, 2005 to 2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sei J; Stijacic-Cenzer, Irena; Barnhart, Caroline; McClymont, Keelan; Steinman, Michael A

    2015-10-01

    Although nursing home (NH) residents make up a large and growing proportion of Americans with diabetes mellitus, little is known about how glucose-lowering medications are used in this population. We sought to examine glucose-lowering medication use in Veterans Affairs (VA) NH residents with diabetes between 2005 and 2011. Retrospective cohort study, using linked laboratory, pharmacy, administrative, and NH Minimum Dataset (MDS) 2.0 databases in 123 VA NHs. A total of 9431 long-stay (>90 days) VA NH residents older than 65 followed for 52,313 person-quarters. We identified receipt of glucose-lowering medications, including insulin, metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and others (alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, meglitinides, glucagonlike peptide-1 analogs, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and amylin analogs) per quarter. The rates of sulfonylurea use in long-stay NH residents dropped dramatically from 24% in 2005 to 12% in 2011 (P use (10% to 2%, P use in 2007 (4% to Metformin use was stable, ranging between 7% and 9% (P = .24). Insulin use increased slightly from 30% to 32% (P Use of other classes of glucose-lowering medications was stable (P = .22) and low, remaining below 1.3%. Between 2005 and 2011, there were dramatic declines in use of sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones in VA NH residents, suggesting that prescribing practices can be quickly changed in this setting. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. 78 FR 51067 - VA Health Professional Scholarship and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-20

    ..., Healthcare Talent Management Office, Department of Veterans Affairs, 1250 Poydras Street, Suite 1000, New... unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. See also 5 CFR..., Director, Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs...

  7. Effectiveness of off-the-shelf footwear in reducing foot pain in Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs recipients not eligible for medical grade footwear: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menz, Hylton B; Frescos, Nicoletta; Munteanu, Shannon E

    2013-04-23

    Foot pain is highly prevalent in older people, and in many cases is associated with wearing inadequate footwear. In Australia, the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) covers the costs of medical grade footwear for veterans who have severe foot deformity. However, there is a high demand for footwear by veterans with foot pain who do not meet this eligibility criterion. Therefore, this article describes the design of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of low cost, off-the-shelf footwear in reducing foot pain in DVA recipients who are currently not eligible for medical grade footwear. One hundred and twenty DVA clients with disabling foot pain residing in Melbourne, Australia, who are not eligible for medical grade footwear will be recruited from the DVA database, and will be randomly allocated to an intervention group or a 'usual care' control group. The intervention group will continue to receive their usual DVA-subsidized podiatry care in addition to being provided with low-cost, supportive footwear (Dr Comfort®, Vasyli Medical, Labrador, Queensland, Australia). The control group will also continue to receive DVA-subsidized podiatry care, but will not be provided with the footwear until the completion of the study. The primary outcome measure will be pain subscale on the Foot Health Status Questionnaire (FHSQ), measured at baseline and 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks. Secondary outcome measures measured at baseline and 16 weeks will include the function subscale of the FHSQ, the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index, the number of DVA podiatry treatments required during the study period, general health-related quality of life (using the Short Form 12® Version 2.0), the number of falls experienced during the follow-up period, the Timed Up and Go test, the presence of hyperkeratotic lesions (corns and calluses), the number of participants using co-interventions to relieve foot pain, and participants' perception of overall treatment effect. Data

  8. 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

  9. Evaluation of a Shared Decision-Making Intervention on the Utilization of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy in a VA Outpatient PTSD Clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessinger, Jonathan D; London, Melissa J; Baer, Sheila M

    2017-03-13

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has continued to emphasize the availability, access, and utilization of high quality mental health care particularly in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While dissemination and availability of evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) have only increased, treatment engagement and utilization have continued to be oft-noted challenges. Administrators, researchers, and individual clinicians have continued to develop and explore novel systemic and individualized interventions to address these issues. Pilot studies utilizing shared decision-making models to aid in veteran treatment selection have demonstrated the impact this approach may have on selection of and engagement in EBPs for PTSD. Based on these promising studies, a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient PTSD clinic began to implement a shared-decision making intervention as part of a clinic redesign. In seeking to evaluate the impact of this intervention, archival clinical data from 1,056 veterans were reviewed by the authors for rates of treatment selection, EBP initiation, session attendance, and EBP completion. Time elapsed from consult until EBP initiation was also computed by the authors. These variables were then compared on the basis of whether the veteran received the shared-decision making intervention. Veterans who received the intervention were more likely to select and thus initiate an EBP for PTSD sooner than veterans who did not receive this intervention. Veterans, whether receiving the intervention or not, did not differ in therapy session attendance and completion. Implications of these findings and directions for future study are further discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Women Veterans Health Care: Frequently Asked Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  11. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Gulf War Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  12. Sexual Trauma: Women Veterans Health Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  13. Aging Veterans and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...

  14. Dysthymia and depression increase risk of dementia and mortality among older veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Amy L; Covinsky, Kenneth E; Barnes, Deborah E; Yaffe, Kristine

    2012-08-01

    To determine whether less severe depression spectrum diagnoses such as dysthymia, as well as depression, are associated with risk of developing dementia and mortality in a "real-world" setting. Retrospective cohort study conducted using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Patient Care Database (1997-2007). VA medical centers in the United States. A total of 281,540 veterans aged 55 years and older without dementia at study baseline (1997-2000). Depression status and incident dementia were ascertained from International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes during study baseline (1997-2000) and follow-up (2001-2007), respectively. Mortality was ascertained by time of death dates in the VA Vital Status File. Ten percent of veterans had baseline diagnosis of depression and nearly 1% had dysthymia. The unadjusted incidence of dementia was 11.2% in veterans with depression, 10.2% with dysthymia and 6.4% with neither. After adjusting for demographics and comorbidities, patients diagnosed with dysthymia or depression were twice as likely to develop incident dementia compared with those with no dysthymia/depression (adjusted dysthymia hazard ratio [HR]: 1.96, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.71-2.25; and depression HR: 2.18, 95% CI: 2.08-2.28). Dysthymia and depression also were associated with increased risk of death (31.6% dysthymia and 32.9% depression versus 28.5% neither; adjusted dysthymia HR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.31-1.53; and depression HR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.43-1.51). Findings suggest that older adults with dysthymia or depression need to be monitored closely for adverse outcomes. Future studies should determine whether treatment of depression spectrum disorders may reduce risk of these outcomes.

  15. NIOSH testimony on Kuwait before the subcommittee on hospitals and health care, committee on veterans' affairs by J. S. Andrews, September 16, 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-09-16

    The testimony summarizes potential adverse health effects related to service in the Persian Gulf as presented by the Department of Health and Human Services. An estimated 9,000 workers from 43 different countries battled the burning oil wells in Kuwait from February 1991 through early November 1991 when the last was capped. Exposures and health effects in US military personnel, Kuwaiti citizens, and fire fighters were described. The hazards to the soldiers were largely dependent on the concentration of the pollutants in the air near the camps. Fortunately, the plume from the fires rose up to 10,000 and 12,000 feet, mixed with the air and then dispersed for several thousand miles downwind over a period of several weeks. The particles and gases contained in the plume were diluted as the plume travelled. Even so, some minor respiratory problems were present among the soldiers. Some of the hydrocarbons measured at low concentrations have been shown to produce cancer in laboratory animals only when present at higher levels of exposure. Based on the exposure information gathered, the author concludes that there will not likely be a detectable increase in lung cancer in Gulf War Veterans as a result of the oil well fires.

  16. Statin Utilization and Recommendations Among HIV- and HCV-infected Veterans: A Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Meredith E; Park, Lawrence P; Navar, Ann Marie; Okeke, Nwora Lance; Pencina, Michael J; Douglas, Pamela S; Naggie, Susanna

    2016-08-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The potential impact of recently updated cholesterol guidelines on treatment of HIV- and HCV-infected veterans is unknown. We performed a retrospective cohort study to assess statin use and recommendations among 13 579 HIV-infected, 169 767 HCV-infected, and 6628 HIV/HCV-coinfected male veterans aged 40-75 years. Prior 2004 Adult Treatment Panel (ATP-III) guidelines were compared with current 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) cholesterol guidelines and 2014 US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)/US Department of Defense (DoD) joint clinical practice guidelines using laboratory, medication, and comorbidity data from the VA Clinical Case Registry from 2008 through 2010. Using risk criteria delineated by the ATP-III guidelines, 50.6% of HIV-infected, 45.9% of HCV-infected, and 33.8% of HIV/HCV-coinfected veterans had an indication for statin therapy. However, among those eligible, 22.7%, 30.5%, and 31.5%, respectively, were not receiving ATP-III recommended statin therapy. When current cholesterol guidelines were applied by VA/DoD and ACC/AHA criteria, increases in recommendations for statins were found in all groups (57.3% and 66.1% of HIV-infected, 64.4% and 73.7% of HCV-infected, 49.1% and 58.5% of HIV/HCV-coinfected veterans recommended). Statins were underutilized among veterans infected with HIV, HCV, and HIV/HCV according to previous ATP-III guidelines. Current VA/DoD and ACC/AHA guidelines substantially expand statin recommendations and widen the gap of statin underutilization in all groups. These gaps in care present an opportunity to improve CVD prevention efforts in these at-risk populations. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. The Relationship Between Traumatic Brain Injury and Rates of Chronic Symptomatic Illness in 202 Gulf War Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Linda L

    2018-05-18

    Although not a "signature injury" of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (i.e., Gulf War, GW), some GW veterans have a history traumatic brain injury (TBI). For example, a previous study found that 12.2% of the GW veterans from the Fort Devens Cohort Study had self-reported TBIs. The present study sought to build upon this finding by examining the relationship between TBI and chronic symptomatic illness in a different sample of GW veterans. Participants were 202 GW veterans recruited from 2014 to 2018 at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center as part of a VA-funded study on the effects of predicted exposure to low levels of sarin and cyclosarin on brain structure and function. The Ohio State University TBI identification method was used to determine lifetime history of TBI. The Kansas Gulf War Military History and Health Questionnaire was used to assess symptoms and to determine cases of Kansas Gulf War Illness (GWI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chronic Multisymptom Illness (CMI). Nearly half (47%) the sample had a history of TBI, but only 7% of the TBIs were sustained in injuries that occurred during the GW. Most of the TBIs were sustained in injuries that occurred prior to (73%) or after (34%) the GW. History of TBI was not associated with higher rates of symptomatic illness when it was narrowly defined (i.e., Kansas GWI cases or cases of severe CMI). History of TBI was only associated with higher rates of symptomatic illness when it is broadly defined (i.e., CDC CMI or mild-moderate CMI). There was suggestive evidence that veterans who sustained TBIs during the GW (only seven in the present sample) have poorer functional outcomes compared with GW veterans with non-GW related TBIs. While TBIs were uncommon during the GW, many GW veterans sustained TBIs prior or after the GW. Because TBI and GWI/CMI share some overlapping symptoms, history of TBI may appear to be associated with increased rates of chronic symptomatic illness in

  18. Naloxone Distribution and Training for Patients with High-Risk Opioid Use in a Veterans Affairs Community-Based Primary Care Clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffel, Katie E; Beach, Leila Y; Lin, John; Berchuck, Jacob E; Abram, Shelly; Markle, Elizabeth; Patel, Shalini

    2018-03-30

    Naloxone distribution has historically been implemented in a community-based, expanded public health model; however, there is now a need to further explore primary care clinic-based naloxone delivery to effectively address the nationwide opioid epidemic. To create a general medicine infrastructure to identify patients with high-risk opioid use and provide 25% of this population with naloxone autoinjector prescription and training within a 6-month period. The quality improvement study was conducted at an outpatient clinic serving 1238 marginally housed veterans with high rates of comorbid substance use and mental health disorders. Patients at high risk of opioid-related adverse events were identified using the Stratification Tool for Opioid Risk Management and were contacted to participate in a one-on-one, 15-minute, hands-on naloxone training led by nursing staff. The number of patients identified at high risk and rates of naloxone training/distribution. There were 67 patients identified as having high-risk opioid use. None of these patients had been prescribed naloxone at baseline. At the end of the intervention, 61 patients (91%) had been trained in the use of naloxone. Naloxone was primarily distributed by licensed vocational nurses (42/61, 69%). This study demonstrates the feasibility of high-risk patient identification and of a primary care-based and nursing-championed naloxone distribution model. This delivery model has the potential to provide access to naloxone to a population of patients with opioid use who may not be engaged in mental health or specialty care.

  19. Risk Factors for Serious Prescription Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression or Overdose: Comparison of Commercially Insured and Veterans Health Affairs Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadpara, Pramit A; Joyce, Andrew R; Murrelle, E Lenn; Carroll, Nathan W; Carroll, Norman V; Barnard, Marie; Zedler, Barbara K

    2018-01-01

    To characterize the risk factors associated with overdose or serious opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD) among medical users of prescription opioids in a commercially insured population (CIP) and to compare risk factor profiles between the CIP and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) population. Analysis of data from 18,365,497 patients in the IMS PharMetrics Plus health plan claims database (CIP) who were dispensed a prescription opioid in 2009 to 2013. Baseline factors associated with an event of serious OIRD among 7,234 cases and 28,932 controls were identified using multivariable logistic regression. The CIP risk factor profile was compared with that from a corresponding logistic regression among 817 VHA cases and 8,170 controls in 2010 to 2012. The strongest associations with serious OIRD in CIP were diagnosed substance use disorder (odds ratio [OR] = 10.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 9.06-11.40) and depression (OR = 3.12, 95% CI = 2.84-3.42). Other strongly associated factors included other mental health disorders; impaired liver, renal, vascular, and pulmonary function; prescribed fentanyl, methadone, and morphine; higher daily opioid doses; and concurrent psychoactive medications. These risk factors, except depression, vascular disease, and specific opioids, largely aligned with VHA despite CIP being substantially younger, including more females and less chronic disease, and having greater prescribing prevalence of higher daily opioid doses, specific opioids, and most selected nonopioids. Risk factor profiles for serious OIRD among US medical users of prescription opioids with private or public health insurance were largely concordant despite substantial differences between the populations in demographics, clinical conditions, health care delivery systems, and clinical practices. © 2017 American Academy of Pain Medicine.

  20. 76 FR 73019 - Proposed Information Collection (Agreement To Train on the Job Disabled Veterans) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-28

    ... (Agreement To Train on the Job Disabled Veterans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... to assure that on the job training establishments are providing veterans with the appropriate... information technology. Title: Agreement to Train on the Job Disabled Veterans, VA Form 28- 1904. OMB Control...

  1. Use of Psychotherapy by Rural and Urban Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, Jeffrey A.; Jameson, John P.; Phillips, Laura L.; Kunik, Mark E.; Fortney, John C.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To examine whether differences exist between rural and urban veterans in terms of initiation of psychotherapy, delay in time from diagnosis to treatment, and dose of psychotherapy sessions. Methods: Using a longitudinal cohort of veterans obtained from national Veterans Affairs databases (October 2003 through September 2004), we extracted…

  2. Changes in Patient-Reported Alcohol-Related Advice Following Veterans Health Administration Implementation of Brief Alcohol Interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavez, Laura J; Williams, Emily C; Lapham, Gwen T; Rubinsky, Anna D; Kivlahan, Daniel R; Bradley, Katharine A

    2016-05-01

    Brief alcohol interventions are recommended for primary care patients who screen positive for alcohol misuse, but implementation is challenging. The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (Veterans Affairs [VA]) implemented brief interventions for patients with alcohol misuse in 2008, and rates of brief interventions documented in the electronic medical record increased from 24% to 78% (2008-2011). This study examined whether an independent measure of brief interventions-patient-reported alcohol-related advice-also increased among VA outpatients who screened positive for alcohol misuse on a mailed survey. This retrospective cross-sectional study included VA outpatient respondents to the VA's Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP; 2007-2011) who reported past-year alcohol use and answered a question about alcohol-related advice. Alcohol-related advice was defined as a report of past-year advice from a VA clinician to abstain from or reduce drinking. The adjusted prevalence of alcoholrelated advice among patients who screened positive for alcohol misuse (SHEP AUDIT-C ≥ 5) was estimated for each year. Among patients with alcohol misuse (n = 61,843), the adjusted prevalence of alcohol-related advice increased from 40.4% (95% CI [39.3%, 41.5%]) in 2007 to 55.5% (95% CI [53.3%, 57.8%]) in 2011. Rates of alcoholrelated advice increased significantly each year except the last. The VA's efforts to implement brief interventions were associated with increased patient-reported alcohol-related advice over time, with a majority of patients with alcohol misuse reporting its receipt. Other systems considering similar approaches to implementation may benefit from collecting patient-reported measures of brief interventions for an additional perspective on implementation.

  3. Perspectives of veterans with mild traumatic brain injury on community reintegration: Making sense of unplanned separation from service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libin, Alexander V; Schladen, Manon Maitland; Danford, Ellen; Cichon, Samantha; Bruner, Dwan; Scholten, Joel; Llorente, Maria; Zapata, Slavomir; Dromerick, Alexander W; Blackman, Marc R; Magruder, Kathryn M

    2017-01-01

    For veterans separated from the military as a result of acquired mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), the transition from a military identity to a civilian one is complicated by health, cognitive, and psychosocial factors. We conducted in-depth interviews with 8 veterans with mTBI to understand how they perceived the experience of departure from the military, rehabilitation services provided at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma Network Site, and reentry into civilian life. Two distinct patterns of thinking about community reintegration emerged. The first pattern was characterized by the perception of a need to fade one's military identity. The second pattern, conversely, advanced the perception of a need to maintain the integrity of one's military identity though living in a civilian world. These perceptions may be linked to individuals' roles while in the military and whether violent acts were committed in carrying out the mission of service, acts not consonant with positive self-appraisal in the civilian world. The crisis of unplanned, involuntary separation from the military was universally perceived as a crisis equal to that of the precipitating injury itself. The perception that civilians lacked understanding of veterans' military past and their current transition set up expectations for interactions with health care providers, as well as greatly impacting relationships with friend and family. Our veterans' shared perceptions support existing mandates for greater dissemination of military culture training to health care providers serving veterans both at VA and military facilities as well as in the civilian community at large. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. A cluster randomized Hybrid Type III trial testing an implementation support strategy to facilitate the use of an evidence-based practice in VA homeless programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smelson, David A; Chinman, Matthew; McCarthy, Sharon; Hannah, Gordon; Sawh, Leon; Glickman, Mark

    2015-05-28

    The Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program is one of the largest initiatives to end Veteran homelessness. However, mental health and substance use disorders continue to reduce client stability and impede program success. HUD-VASH programs do not consistently employ evidence-based practices that address co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. This paper presents a study protocol to evaluate the implementation of an evidence-based, co-occurring disorder treatment called Maintaining Independence and Sobriety Through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking-Veterans Edition (MISSION-Vet) in HUD-VASH using an implementation strategy called Getting To Outcomes (GTO). In three large VA Medical Centers, this Hybrid Type III trial will randomize case managers and their clients by HUD-VASH sub-teams to receive either MISSION-Vet Implementation as Usual (IU-standard training and access to the MISSION-Vet treatment manuals) or MISSION-Vet implementation augmented by GTO. In addition to testing GTO, effectiveness of the treatment (MISSION-Vet) will be assessed using existing Veteran-level data from the HUD-VASH data monitoring system. This project will compare GTO and IU case managers and their clients on the following variables: (1) fidelity to the MISSION-Vet intervention; (2) proportion of time the Veteran is housed; (3) mental health, substance use, and functional outcomes among Veterans; and (4) factors key to the successful deployment of a new treatment as specified by the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) model. This project is an important step for developing an implementation strategy to increase adoption of evidence-based practice use in VA homeless programs, and to further examine efficacy of MISSION-Vet in HUD-VASH. This project has important implications for program managers, policy makers, and researchers within the homelessness field. VA Central IRB approval

  5. Absence of race- or gender-specific income disparities among full-time white and Asian general internists working for the Veterans Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, William B; Wallace, Amy E

    2010-02-01

    Gender-based, but not race-based, income disparities exist among general internists who practice medicine in the private sector. The aim of this study was to assess whether race- or gender-based income disparities existed among full-time white and Asian general internists who worked for the Veterans Health Administration of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) between fiscal years 2004 and 2007, and whether any disparities changed after the VA enacted physician pay reform in early 2006. A retrospective study was conducted of all nonsupervisory, board-certified, full-time white or Asian VA general internists who did not change their location of practice between fiscal years 2004 and 2007. A longitudinal cohort design and linear regression modeling, adjusted for physician characteristics, were used to compare race- and gender-specific incomes in fiscal years 2004-2007. A total of 176 physicians were included in the study: 82 white males, 33 Asian males, 30 white females, and 31 Asian females. In all fiscal years examined, white males had the highest mean annual incomes, though not statistically significantly so. Regression analyses for fiscal years 2004 through 2006 revealed that physician age and years of service were predictive of total income. After physician pay reform was enacted, Asian male VA primary care physicians had higher annual incomes than did physicians in all other race or gender categories, after adjustment for age and years of VA service, though these differences were not statistically significant. No significant gender-based income disparities were noted among these white and Asian VA physicians. Our findings for white and Asian general internists suggest that the VA' s goal of maintaining a racially diverse workforce may have been effected, in part, through use of market pay among primary care general internists. Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Use of the Decision Support System for VA cost-effectiveness research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, P G; Rodgers, J H

    1999-04-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is adopting the Decision Support System (DSS), computer software and databases which include a cost-accounting system which determines the cost of health care products and patient encounters. A system for providing cost data for cost-effectiveness analysis should be provide valid, detailed, and comprehensive data that can be aggregated. The design of DSS is described and compared with those criteria. Utilization data from DSS was compared with other VA utilization data. Aggregate DSS cost data from 35 medical centers was compared with relative resource weights developed for the Medicare program. Data on hospital stays at 3 facilities found that 3.7% of the stays in DSS were not in the VA discharge database, whereas 7.6% of the stays in the discharge data were not in DSS. DSS reported between 68.8% and 97.1% of the outpatient encounters reported by six facilities in the ambulatory care data base. Relative weights for each Diagnosis Related Group based on DSS data from 35 VA facilities correlated with Medicare weights (correlation coefficient of .853). DSS will be useful for research if certain problems are overcome. It is difficult to distinguish long-term from acute hospital care. VA does not have a complete database of all inpatient procedures, so DSS has not assigned them a specific cost. The authority to access encounter-level DSS data needs to be centralized. Researchers can provide the feedback needed to improve DSS cost estimates. A comprehensive encounter-level extract would facilitate use of DSS for research.

  7. A two-state comparative implementation of peer-support intervention to link veterans to health-related services after incarceration: a study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Molly M; Fincke, Benjamin G; Drainoni, Mari-Lynn; Kim, Bo; Byrne, Tom; Smelson, David; Casey, Kevin; Ellison, Marsha L; Visher, Christy; Blue-Howells, Jessica; McInnes, D Keith

    2017-09-12

    Approximately 600,000 persons are released from prison annually in the United States. Relatively few receive sufficient re-entry services and are at risk for unemployment, homelessness, poverty, substance abuse relapse and recidivism. Persons leaving prison who have a mental illness and/or a substance use disorder are particularly challenged. This project aims to create a peer mentor program to extend the reach and effectiveness of reentry services provided by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA). We will implement a peer support for reentry veterans sequentially in two states. Our outcome measures are 1) fidelity of the intervention, 2) linkage to VA health care and, 3) continued engagement in health care. The aims for this project are as follows: (1) Conduct contextual analysis to identify VA and community reentry resources, and describe how reentry veterans use them. (2) Implement peer-support, in one state, to link reentry veterans to Veterans' Health Administration (VHA) primary care, mental health, and SUD services. (3) Port the peer-support intervention to another, geographically, and contextually different state. This intervention involves a 2-state sequential implementation study (Massachusetts, followed by Pennsylvania) using a Facilitation Implementation strategy. We will conduct formative and summative analyses, including assessment of fidelity, and a matched comparison group to evaluate the intervention's outcomes of veteran linkage and engagement in VHA health care (using health care utilization measures). The study proceeds in 3 phases. We anticipate that a peer support program will be effective at improving the reentry process for veterans, particularly in linking them to health, mental health, and SUD services and helping them to stay engaged in those services. It will fill a gap by providing veterans with access to a trusted individual, who understands their experience as a veteran and who has experienced justice involvement. The outputs from

  8. Health service utilisation and investigations before diagnosis of cancer of unknown primary (CUP): A population-based nested case-control study in Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vajdic, Claire M; Schaffer, Andrea L; Dobbins, Timothy A; Ward, Robyn L; Er, Chuang C; Pearson, Sallie-Anne

    2015-08-01

    Population-based data on the use of health services and diagnostic investigations for patients with cancer of unknown primary (CUP) is scarce. It is uncertain whether the pathways to diagnosis are different for CUP compared to other cancers. We performed a population-based nested matched case-control study using linked routinely collected records for Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs clients, 2004-2007. We compared health care consultations, hospitalisations, emergency department visits, and diagnostic procedures in the three months prior and the month of diagnosis for 281 clients registered with a diagnosis of CUP (C809) and 1102 controls randomly selected from clients registered with a first diagnosis of metastatic cancer of known primary. Overall, the median age at cancer diagnosis was 83 years. CUP patients were slightly older and had significantly more comorbidities prior to diagnosis than those with known primary. Compared to known primary, a diagnosis of CUP was significantly more likely after an emergency department visit, less specialist input, fewer invasive diagnostic procedures such as resection or endoscopy, and more non-invasive procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging. There were no differences in primary care or allied health consultations and hospitalisations. This health care pathway suggests delayed recognition of cancer and scope for improvement in the medical management of high-risk individuals presenting to primary care. The pattern of diagnostic investigations reveals under-investigation in some CUP patients but this is likely to reflect recognition of limited treatment options and poor prognosis and is consistent with clinical guidelines. Copyright © 2015 Commonwealth of Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Monitoring of Urate-Lowering Therapy Among US Veterans Following the 2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for Management of Gout.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Jonathan C; Wallace, Jessica L; Bryant, Candace L; Salvig, Brent E; Fourakre, T Neal; Stone, William J

    2017-04-01

    With the prevalence of and hospitalizations for gout increasing, optimizing care for patients with gout is imperative. The 2012 American College of Rheumatology gout guidelines emphasize that timely monitoring is key to achieving serum urate (SUA) goals. Few studies have examined this metric following the 2012 update, and to our knowledge, none have examined a veteran population. To evaluate adherence to urate-lowering therapy (ULT) monitoring guidelines in a veteran population. This is a single-center, multisite, retrospective chart review of US veterans receiving ULT for gout within the VA (Veterans Affairs) Tennessee Valley Healthcare System from January 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015. The primary end point was percentage of patients with a SUA within 6 months of initial xanthine oxidase inhibitor prescription. Secondary end points included percentage of patients with SUA <6 mg/dL and percentage of patients with uptitration following SUA above goal. A total of 601 patients met inclusion criteria for the study; after application of exclusion criteria, 505 were analyzed. Of these, 295 patients (58%) did not have a SUA drawn within 6 months, and 162 patients (32%) reached the end of the study period without SUA measured. Of 226 patients with SUA above goal on initial check, 64 (28%) had timely dose adjustment, whereas 143 patients (63%) had no adjustment. A total of 161 patients (32%) had a SUA at goal within the study period. Rates of ULT monitoring at a major VA medical center were suboptimal, and improved adherence to guideline recommendations is needed.

  10. 75 FR 39618 - Proposed Information Collection (Request for Identifying Information Re: Veteran's Loan Records...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-09

    ..., benefits will not be paid or furnished by reason of an incomplete application. Affected Public: Individuals... Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Veterans Benefits....Regulations.gov or to Nancy J. Kessinger, Veterans Benefits Administration (20M35), Department of Veterans...

  11. 78 FR 48789 - Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-09

    ... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education, Notice of Meeting The..., that the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education will meet on August 13-14, 2013, in the First Floor... on the administration of education and training programs for Veterans, Servicepersons, Reservists...

  12. 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...

  13. 77 FR 7244 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-10

    ..., and the Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group; and briefings on mental health, women... regarding the needs of women Veterans with respect to health care, rehabilitation, compensation, outreach... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Notice of Meeting The...

  14. The VA mission act: Funding to fail?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. Yesterday on D-Day, the 74th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, President Trump signed the VA Mission Act. The law directs the VA to combine a number of existing private-care programs, including the so-called Choice program, which was created in 2014 after veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA (1. During the signing Trump touted the new law saying “there has never been anything like this in the history of the VA” and saying that veterans “can go right outside [the VA] to a private doctor”-but can they? Although the bill authorizes private care, it appropriates no money to pay for it. Although a bipartisan plan to fund the expansion is proposed in the House, the White House has been lobbying Republicans to vote the plan down (2. Instead Trump has been asking Congress to pay for veteran’s programs by cutting spending elsewhere (2. We in Arizona are …

  15. The Untreated Addiction: Going Tobacco-Free in a VA Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Megan; Bolte, Teri; Gaines, Leigh; Avery, Zackery; Bodie, Linda

    2018-05-02

    Despite negative effects of tobacco on the human body and the high prevalence of smoking among those who enter treatment for substance use, few residential programs endorse a tobacco-free policy. Conventional wisdom suggests that it is overwhelming to quit more than one substance at a time, and as a result, many clinicians believe that a shift to a tobacco-free treatment environment is unfeasible. However, the most recent scientific literature suggests the opposite: targeting tobacco use during substance use treatment can increase abstinence rates from both smoking and substances of choice. Therefore, the purpose of the current project is to outline the process by which a residential substance use treatment program within a Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center implemented a tobacco-free policy. In addition, preliminary program evaluation data dispels the myth that eliminating tobacco use in a residential treatment program leads to a decline in patient interest and program utilization.

  16. Technology Reference Model (TRM) Reports: Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Mapping Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...

  17. Technology Reference Model (TRM): Technology/Standard List

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...

  18. Technology Reference Model (TRM) Reports: Vendor

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...

  19. Technology Reference Model (TRM) Reports: Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Category Count Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...

  20. Technology Reference Model (TRM) Reports: Technology/Operating System Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...