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  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-13

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

  4. 76 FR 72047 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

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

  5. 76 FR 71441 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  6. 76 FR 61150 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property at the VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byrne John M

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-25

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

  9. 76 FR 71439 - Amendment to an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  10. 76 FR 72045 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

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

  11. 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.

  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/m2 (maximum 71). Mean age was 53 years, with 33% aged>60 years; 79% were male. Medical co-morbidity included diabetes (70%), hypertension (85%), and lower back or extremity joint pain (84%). A psychiatric diagnosis was present in 58%. At 12 months, follow-up was 81% and percent excess body mass index loss was 50.5%. Among 54 sequential clinic patients completing anonymous surveys, overall satisfaction with the interdisciplinary team approach and improved quality of life were high (98% and 94%, respectively). The integrated, interdisciplinary team approach using a hub-and-spokes model is well suited to the VA bariatric surgery population, with its heavy burden of medical and mental health co-morbidity and its system of geographically dispersed patients receiving treatment at specialty centers. As the VA seeks to expand the use of bariatric surgery as an option for obese veterans, interdisciplinary models crafted to address case complexity, care coordination, and long-term outcomes should be part of policy planning efforts. Published by

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 75 FR 78807 - Agency Information Collection (Notice to Department of Veterans Affairs of Veteran or Beneficiary...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-16

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

  15. 76 FR 61151 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

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

  16. Multiclonal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak and its control after use of the Veterans Affairs (VA) MRSA bundle in a VA long-term care facility, 2004-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Risa M; Denton, Carmelita; Spruill, Emily; Henson, Gay; Bruce, Lisa; Woods, Gail L; Swiatlo, Andrea; Walker, Erica D; Peel, Chere; Sullivan, Donna

    2016-06-01

    A multiclonal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak with 91 infections occurred in our Veterans Affairs (VA) community living center over 46 months. Both similar and unique strains were shown by repetitive polymerase chain reaction to contribute to the outbreak, including 1 strain causing infections over a 33-month period. Most infections were soft tissue infections (67%). For 21 months after the initiation of the VA MRSA bundle, no infections were identified, and low rates of infection have been sustained an additional 4 years. The average annual rate of MRSA infection decreased by 62% (P < .001) from 0.6 per 1,000 resident days for 4 years prior to the bundle implementation to 0.09 per 1,000 resident days for 4 years after the bundle implementation. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. 76 FR 5432 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property at the Charlie...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-31

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

  18. 76 FR 60965 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

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

  19. 78 FR 48543 - Veterans Health Administration Fund Availability Under the VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-08

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans Health Administration Fund Availability Under the VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per... continue to deliver services to the homeless Special Need veteran population as outlined in their FY 2009.... Quarles, Director, VA's Homeless Providers GPD Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, 10770 N. 46th...

  20. 76 FR 71442 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  1. 76 FR 67023 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

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

  2. 75 FR 72871 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-26

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-12

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

  7. 76 FR 72046 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

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

  8. 76 FR 61150 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

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

  9. 76 FR 71443 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  10. 76 FR 71439 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  11. 78 FR 77204 - Proposed Information Collection (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-20

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys... solicits comments on the information needed to evaluate the National Veterans Sports Programs and Special... ``OMB Control No. 2900-NEW (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys)'' in any...

  12. 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,...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  14. 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,...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. 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,...

  19. 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,...

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

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

  2. 77 FR 70210 - Agency Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-23

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small....'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business and... from subcontractors to compare information obtained from subcontracting plans submitted by prime...

  3. 75 FR 7648 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Veterans Affairs...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-22

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

  4. Characteristics and VA Health Care Utilization of U.S. Veterans Who Completed Suicide in Oregon between 2000 and 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basham, Chandra; Denneson, Lauren M.; Millet, Lisa; Shen, Xun; Duckart, Jonathan; Dobscha, Steven K.

    2011-01-01

    Oregon Violent Death Reporting System data were linked with Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data to identify and describe veterans who completed suicide in Oregon from 2000 to 2005 (n = 968), and to describe their VA health care utilization in the year prior to death. Twenty-two percent had received health care in the VA system. Of these, 57%…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  9. The use of VA Disability Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance among working-aged veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmoth, Janet M; London, Andrew S; Heflin, Colleen M

    2015-07-01

    Although there is substantial disability among veterans, relatively little is known about working-aged veterans' uptake of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (DI). This study identifies levels of veteran participation in VA disability and/or DI benefit programs, examines transitions into and out of VA and DI programs among veterans, and estimates the size and composition of the veteran population receiving VA and/or DI benefits over time. Data from the 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2004, and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) are used to describe VA and DI program participation among veterans under the age of 65. The majority of working-aged veterans do not receive VA or DI benefits and joint participation is low, but use of these programs has increased over time. A higher percentage of veterans receive VA compensation, which ranges from 4.9% in 1992 to 13.2% in 2008, than DI compensation, which ranges from 2.9% in 1992 to 6.7% in 2008. The rate of joint participation ranges from less than 1% in 1992 to 3.6% in 2008. Veterans experience few transitions between VA and DI programs during the 36-48 months they are observed. The number of veterans receiving benefits from VA and/or DI nearly doubled between 1992 and 2008. There have been substantial shifts in the composition of veterans using these programs, as cohorts who served prior to 1964 are replaced by those who served after 1964. The findings suggest potential gaps in veterans' access to disability programs that might be addressed through improved coordination of VA and DI benefits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-09

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

  11. 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...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 76 FR 67022 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for a Mixed-Use...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

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

  14. Use of VA and Medicare services by dually eligible veterans with psychiatric problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Kathleen; Montez-Rath, Maria E; Rosen, Amy K; Christiansen, Cindy L; Loveland, Susan; Ettner, Susan L

    2008-08-01

    To examine how service accessibility measured by geographic distance affects service sector choices for veterans who are dually eligible for veterans affairs (VA) and Medicare services and who are diagnosed with mental health and/or substance abuse (MH/SA) disorders. Primary VA data sources were the Patient Treatment (acute care), Extended Care (long-term care), and Outpatient Clinic files. VA cost data were obtained from (1) inpatient and outpatient cost files developed by the VA Health Economics and Resource Center and (2) outpatient VA Decision Support System files. Medicare data sources were the denominator, Medicare Provider Analysis Review (MEDPAR), Provider-of-Service, Outpatient Standard Analytic and Physician/Supplier Standard Analytic files. Additional sources included the Area Resource File and Census Bureau data. We identified dually eligible veterans who had either an inpatient or outpatient MH/SA diagnosis in the VA system during fiscal year (FY)'99. We then estimated one- and two-part regression models to explain the effects of geographic distance on both VA and Medicare total and MH/SA costs. Results provide evidence for substitution between the VA and Medicare, demonstrating that poorer geographic access to VA inpatient and outpatient clinics decreased VA expenditures but increased Medicare expenditures, while poorer access to Medicare-certified general and psychiatric hospitals decreased Medicare expenditures but increased VA expenditures. As geographic distance to VA medical facility increases, Medicare plays an increasingly important role in providing mental health services to veterans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Service Utilization of Veterans Dually Eligible for VA...

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Service Utilization of Veterans Dually Eligible for VA and Medicare Fee-For-Service, 1999-2004 According to findings in Service Utilization of Veterans Dually...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Partnership to improve quality care for veterans: the VA Nursing Academy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Doreen C; Selleck, Cynthia S; Eagerton, Gregory; Froelich, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    More than 22 million living veterans reside in the United States. In fact, understanding military culture and the experiences of these veterans is important to their ongoing health care and the unique challenges faced by many. The Veterans Affairs (VA) Nursing Academy began in 2007 to fund pilot partnerships between schools of nursing and local VA health care facilities to better serve our veteran population. Fifteen academic/service partnerships were selected for funding between 2007 and 2009 with the goals of expanding faculty and professional development, increasing nursing student enrollment, providing opportunities for educational and practice innovations, and increasing the recruitment and retention of VA nurses. This article details critical components of the partnership developed between the Birmingham VA Medical Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, a VA Nursing Academy partnership funded in the 2009 cohort. Site-specific goals of the partnership are described along with a discussion of the framework used to develop the Birmingham VA Nursing Academy, which includes relationship building, engagement, governance, evaluation of outcomes, and sustainability. The logic model developed for the partnership is included, and the interim outputs and outcomes of this practice-academic partnership are detailed, a number of which can be replicated by VAs and schools of nursing across the country. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Charles; Boyko, Edward J

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Rural women veterans demographic report: defining VA users' health and health care access in rural areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Elizabeth; Dailey, Nancy; Bair, Byron; Shore, Jay

    2014-01-01

    While many women choose to live in rural areas after retiring from active military duty, a paucity of studies examine rural women veterans' health care needs. This report is the first of its kind to describe the population demographics and health care utilization of rural female veteran patients enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Using the National Patient Care Datasets (n = 327,785), we ran adjusted regression analyses to examine service utilization between (1) urban and rural and (2) urban and highly rural women veterans. Rural and highly rural women veterans were older and more likely to be married than their urban counterparts. Diagnostic rates were generally similar between groups for several mental health disorders, hypertension, and diabetes, with the exception of nonposttraumatic stress anxiety that was significantly lower for highly rural women veterans. Rural and highly rural women veterans were less likely to present to the VA for women's specific care than urban women veterans; highly rural women veterans were less likely to present for mental health care compared to urban women veterans. Among the users of primary care, mental health, women's specific, and all outpatient services, patients' annual utilization rates were similar. Improved service options for women's specific care and mental health visits may help rural women veterans access care. Telehealth technologies and increased outreach, perhaps peer-based, should be considered. Other recommendations for VA policy and planning include increasing caregiver support options, providing consistency for mental health services, and revising medical encounter coding procedures. © 2013 National Rural Health Association.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. VA Facilities by Congressional District (FY2011): Overview

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Maps are organized by state and depict the Veteran population using VetPop2011 data as of 9/30/2013 and VA facilities using Veteran Affairs Site Tracking (VAST) data...

  19. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures Report FY2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures Report (GDX) located on the Expenditures page in the Expenditure Tables category. This report details VA expenditures at...

  20. 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...

  1. 2001 National Survey of Veterans (NSV)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edes, Thomas; Shreve, Scott; Casarett, David

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    HOMELESS VETERANS Management Improvements Could Help VA Better Identify Supportive-Housing Projects Report to...VETERANS Management Improvements Could Help VA Better Identify Supportive-Housing Projects What GAO Found As of September 2016, for veterans who...disabled veterans. These supportive-housing EULs receive project -based HUD-VASH vouchers, which provide housing subsidies, on-site case management

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Increased Mortality Among Older Veterans Admitted to VA Homelessness Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schinka, John A; Bossarte, Robert M; Curtiss, Glenn; Lapcevic, William A; Casey, Roger J

    2016-04-01

    National Death Index data were examined to describe mortality patterns among older veterans who are homeless. Homelessness and health care records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were used to identify old (ages 55-59) and older (ages ≥60) veterans who were (N=4,475) or were not (N=20,071) homeless. Survival functions and causes of death of the two samples over an 11-year follow-up period were compared. Substantially more veterans who were homeless (34.9%) died compared with the control sample (18.2%). Veterans who were homeless were approximately 2.5 years younger at time of death compared with the control sample. Older veterans who were homeless had the lowest survival rate (58%). No disease category appeared to be critical in reducing survival time. Suicide was twice as frequent in the homeless (.4%) versus the control (.2%) sample. Older veterans who were homeless experienced excess mortality and increased suicide risk.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 78 FR 70088 - Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-22

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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,...

  18. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2007

    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,...

  19. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY1999

    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,...

  20. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2008

    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,...

  1. 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,...

  2. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2000

    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,...

  3. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2005

    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,...

  4. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2003

    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,...

  5. 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,...

  6. 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,...

  7. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2006

    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 FY2011

    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 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,...

  10. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY1997

    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 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,...

  12. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY1996

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Expect Resource Locator Veterans Live Chat Veterans Text Homeless Veterans Live Chat Military Live Chat Deaf - Hard of ... word about the Veterans Crisis Line. Access confidential Homeless Veterans Chat and see resources for homeless Veterans . Network ...

  17. 77 FR 18307 - Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-27

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  2. 32 CFR Appendix D to Part 45 - State Directors of Veterans Affairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 38 CFR 3.201 - Exchange of evidence; Social Security and Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 77 FR 56709 - Proposed Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-Owned...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-13

    ... Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and Veteran... needed to collect information from subcontractors to compare information obtained from subcontracting... collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: VA Subcontracting Report...

  7. 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...

  8. 76 FR 21107 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-14

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

  9. 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...

  10. Rehospitalization in the First Year Following Veteran and Service Member TBI: A VA TBI Model Systems Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Johanna; Hammond, Flora; Dams-OʼConnor, Kristen; Tang, Xinyu; Eapen, Blessen; McCarthy, Marissa; Nakase-Richardson, Risa

    To determine the incidence and causes of rehospitalization following military or Veteran traumatic brain injury (TBI). Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers (VHA PRCs). Consecutive sample of VHA TBI Model System participants (N = 401). Prospective observational cohort study. Number and type of rehospitalizations in first year post-TBI. Forty-one percent of 401 participants were rehospitalized. Rehospitalization status was associated with greater injury severity and receipt of TBI while active duty. Of those rehospitalized, 30% had 2 or more readmissions. Participants experiencing multiple rehospitalizations (2+) were more likely to have sustained their TBI during deployment than those with none or single rehospitalization. This group also sustained more severe injuries and spent more time in VA PRC inpatient rehabilitation. Common reasons for rehospitalization included inpatient rehabilitation (33%), unspecified (26%), orthopedic (10%), seizures (8%), infection (8%), and psychiatric (7%). This is the first study examining military and Veteran rehospitalization following TBI requiring inpatient rehabilitation at a VA PRC. Findings indicate frequent rehospitalizations in the first year postinjury, suggesting the need for preventive models of health maintenance following inpatient rehabilitation discharge. Greater surveillance of those with deployment-related TBI or active duty at the time of injury and greater TBI severity may be warranted.

  11. 78 FR 18425 - Proposed Information Collection VA Police Officer Pre-Employment Screening Checklist); Comment...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-26

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection VA Police Officer Pre-Employment Screening Checklist); Comment Request AGENCY: Office of Operations, Security, and Preparedness, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION...

  12. 78 FR 38452 - Agency Information Collection (VA Police Officer Pre-Employment Screening Checklist) Activities...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-26

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (VA Police Officer Pre-Employment Screening Checklist) Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY: Office of Policy, Planning and Preparedness, Department of Veterans Affairs...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-09

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

  15. 76 FR 27384 - Agency Information Collection Activity (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-11

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection Activity (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys.... Veterans Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513. b. Veterans Family Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513a. c. Veterans Primary Care Provider Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513b. OMB Control Number: 2900-New (VA Form 10-0513...

  16. 76 FR 9637 - Proposed Information Collection (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-18

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Activity.... Veterans Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513: b. Veterans Family Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513a. c. Veterans Primary Care Provider Online Survey, VA Form 10-0513b. OMB Control Number: 2900-New (VA Form 10-0513...

  17. 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.

  18. Reproductive and other health outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan women veterans using VA health care: association with mental health diagnoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Beth E; Maguen, Shira; Bertenthal, Daniel; Shi, Ying; Jacoby, Vanessa; Seal, Karen H

    2012-09-01

    An increasing number of women serve in the military and are exposed to trauma during service that can lead to mental health problems. Understanding how these mental health problems affect reproductive and physical health outcomes will inform interventions to improve care for women veterans. We analyzed national Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data from women Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were new users of VA healthcare from October 7, 2001, through December 31, 2010 (n = 71,504). We used ICD-9 codes to categorize veterans into five groups by mental health diagnoses (MH Dx): Those with no MH Dx, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, comorbid PTSD and depression, and a MH Dx other than PTSD and depression. We determined the association between mental health category and reproductive and other physical health outcomes defined by ICD-9 codes. Categories included sexually transmitted infections, other infections (e.g., urinary tract infections), pain-related conditions (e.g., dysmenorrhea and dsypareunia), and other conditions (e.g., polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility, sexual dysfunction). Models were adjusted for sociodemographic and military service factors. There were 31,481 patients (44%) who received at least one mental health diagnosis. Women veterans with any mental health diagnosis had significantly higher prevalences of nearly all categories of reproductive and physical disease diagnoses (p mental health diagnoses had significantly greater prevalences of several important reproductive and physical health diagnoses. These results provide support for VA initiatives to address mental and physical health concerns and improve comprehensive care for women veterans. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob M Vigil

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

  1. 75 FR 41577 - VBA/VHA Musculoskeletal Forum: Improving VA's Disability Evaluation Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-16

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS VBA/VHA Musculoskeletal Forum: Improving VA's Disability Evaluation Criteria AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)/Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Musculoskeletal Forum...

  2. 38 CFR 3.108 - State Department as agent of Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  3. 38 CFR 3.1611 - Official Department of Veterans Affairs representation at funeral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Perceptions of homelessness in older homeless veterans, VA homeless program staff liaisons, and housing intervention providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinari, Victor A; Brown, Lisa M; Frahm, Kathryn A; Schinka, John A; Casey, Roger

    2013-05-01

    To understand the needs and challenges encountered by older homeless veterans. We conducted six focus groups of older veterans, two focus groups, and one semi-structured interview of VA staff liaisons, and two focus groups and one semi-structured interview of housing intervention providers. Major themes for older veterans: 1) negative homelessness experience; 2) benefits of the structured transitional housing program; 3) importance of peer outreach; and 4) need for age-tailored job placement programs. Major themes for VA staff liaison/housing intervention providers: 1) belief that the transitional housing program has made a positive change; 2) need for individualized criteria to address the unique needs of veterans; 3) distinct differences between older and younger homeless veterans; 4) outreach services; 5) permanent housing issues; and 6) coordination of services. Compared with younger veterans, older veterans have less social support, greater employment and health challenges, and, perhaps greater motivation to change.

  6. 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

    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...member and Veteran X X Allowance for Aid and Attendance for Housebound Veterans VA/ VBA Veteran X X X Appendix III

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 75 FR 61574 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-05

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... policies that impact the provision of VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas, and... Committee will hear from its Chairman, ] the Director of the VA Office of Rural Health and the VA Under...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 38 CFR 14.514 - Suits by or against United States or Department of Veterans Affairs officials; indemnification of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  16. 78 FR 55777 - Proposed Information Collection (VA, National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events, Event...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-11

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... correspondence. During the comment period, comments may be viewed online through FDMS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION... Wheelchair Games Event Application, VA Form 0925b. f. Voluntary Service Application, VA Form 0925d. g...

  17. VA Health Service Utilization for Homeless and Low-income Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielian, Sonya; Yuan, Anita H.; Andersen, Ronald M.; Rubenstein, Lisa V.; Gelberg, Lillian

    2016-01-01

    Background The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program—the VA’s Housing First effort—is central to efforts to end Veteran homelessness. Yet, little is known about health care utilization patterns associated with achieving HUD-VASH housing. Objectives We compare health service utilization at the VA Greater Los Angeles among: (1) formerly homeless Veterans housed through HUD-VASH (HUD-VASH Veterans); (2) currently homeless Veterans; (3) housed, low-income Veterans not in HUD-VASH; and (4) housed, not low-income Veterans. Research Design We performed a secondary database analysis of Veterans (n = 62,459) who received VA Greater Los Angeles care between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. We described medical/surgical and mental health utilization [inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department (ED)]. We controlled for demographics, need, and primary care use in regression analyses of utilization data by housing and income status. Results HUD-VASH Veterans had more inpatient, outpatient, and ED use than currently homeless Veterans. Adjusting for demographics and need, HUD-VASH Veterans and the low-income housed Veterans had similar likelihoods of medical/surgical inpatient and outpatient utilization, compared with the housed, not low-income group. Adjusting first for demographics and need (model 1), then also for primary care use (model 2), HUD-VASH Veterans had the greatest decrease in incident rates of specialty medical/surgical, mental health, and ED care from models 1 to 2, becoming similar to the currently homeless, compared with the housed, not low-income group. Conclusions Our findings suggest that currently homeless Veterans underuse health care relative to housed Veterans. HUD-VASH may address this disparity by providing housing and linkages to primary care. PMID:24714583

  18. 75 FR 3541 - Agency Information Collection (Verification of VA Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-21

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Verification of VA Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY... INFORMATION: Title: Verification of VA Benefits, VA Form 26-8937. OMB Control Number: 2900-0406. Type of... Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs will submit the collection of information...

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, Esme; Shreve, Scott; Casarett, David

    2008-08-10

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

  2. 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

  3. 77 FR 70210 - Agency Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-23

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity... Pension, VA Form 21-526. b. Veteran's Supplemental Claim Application, VA Form 21-526b. c. Authorization.... Veterans complete VA Form 21-526 to initially apply for compensation and/or pension benefits. b. Veterans...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 77 FR 13390 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-06

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. 78 FR 59861 - VA Acquisition Regulation: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Status...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    ... VOSBs to increase their Federal contracting and subcontracting. VA solicited comments on an interim... bears the risk that the delivery method chosen will not result in timely receipt by the Executive... and disruption of services for the benefit of veterans or a construction project may be so extensive...

  11. 76 FR 72243 - Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nonzee Narissa J

    2012-09-01

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

  14. 77 FR 52135 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-29

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

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-10-01

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

  18. Health care for homeless veterans. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-23

    This final rule establishes regulations for contracting with community-based treatment facilities in the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The HCHV program assists certain homeless veterans in obtaining treatment from non-VA community-based providers. The final rule formalizes VA's policies and procedures in connection with this program and clarifies that veterans with substance use disorders may qualify for the program.

  19. Veterans Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-18

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

  20. VA health service utilization for homeless and low-income Veterans: a spotlight on the VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program in greater Los Angeles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielian, Sonya; Yuan, Anita H; Andersen, Ronald M; Rubenstein, Lisa V; Gelberg, Lillian

    2014-05-01

    The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program-the VA's Housing First effort-is central to efforts to end Veteran homelessness. Yet, little is known about health care utilization patterns associated with achieving HUD-VASH housing. We compare health service utilization at the VA Greater Los Angeles among: (1) formerly homeless Veterans housed through HUD-VASH (HUD-VASH Veterans); (2) currently homeless Veterans; (3) housed, low-income Veterans not in HUD-VASH; and (4) housed, not low-income Veterans. We performed a secondary database analysis of Veterans (n=62,459) who received VA Greater Los Angeles care between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. We described medical/surgical and mental health utilization [inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department (ED)]. We controlled for demographics, need, and primary care use in regression analyses of utilization data by housing and income status. HUD-VASH Veterans had more inpatient, outpatient, and ED use than currently homeless Veterans. Adjusting for demographics and need, HUD-VASH Veterans and the low-income housed Veterans had similar likelihoods of medical/surgical inpatient and outpatient utilization, compared with the housed, not low-income group. Adjusting first for demographics and need (model 1), then also for primary care use (model 2), HUD-VASH Veterans had the greatest decrease in incident rates of specialty medical/surgical, mental health, and ED care from models 1 to 2, becoming similar to the currently homeless, compared with the housed, not low-income group. Our findings suggest that currently homeless Veterans underuse health care relative to housed Veterans. HUD-VASH may address this disparity by providing housing and linkages to primary care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  6. Behavioral Treatment for Veterans with Obesity: 24-Month Weight Outcomes from the ASPIRE-VA Small Changes Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutes, Lesley D; Damschroder, Laura J; Masheb, Robin; Kim, Hyungjin Myra; Gillon, Leah; Holleman, Robert G; Goodrich, David E; Lowery, Julie C; Janney, Carol; Kirsh, Susan; Richardson, Caroline R

    2017-04-01

    Small Changes (SC) is a weight management approach that demonstrated superior 12-month outcomes compared to the existing MOVE! ® Weight Management Program at two Veterans Affairs (VA) sites. However, approaches are needed to help graduates of treatment continue to lose or maintain their weight over the longer term. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of a second year of low-intensity SC support compared to support offered by the usual care MOVE! programs. Following participation in the year-long Aspiring to Lifelong Health in VA (ASPIRE-VA) randomized controlled trial, participants were invited to extend their participation in their assigned program for another year. Three programs were extended to include six SC sessions delivered via telephone (ASPIRE-Phone) or an in-person group (ASPIRE-Group), or 12 sessions offered by the MOVE! programs. Three hundred thirty-two overweight/obese veterans who consented to extend their participation in the ASPIRE-VA trial by an additional year. Twenty-four-month weight change (kg). Twenty-four months after baseline, participants in all three groups had modest weight loss (-1.40 kg [-2.61 to -0.18] in the ASPIRE-Group, -2.13 kg [-3.43 to -0.83] in ASPIRE-Phone, and -1.78 kg [-3.07 to -0.49] in MOVE!), with no significant differences among the three groups. Exploratory post hoc analyses revealed that participants diagnosed with diabetes initially benefited from the ASPIRE-Group program (-2.6 kg [-4.37 to 0.83]), but experienced significant weight regain during the second year (+2.8 kg [0.92-4.69]) compared to those without diabetes. Participants in all three programs lost weight and maintained a statistically significant, though clinically modest, amount of weight loss over a 24-month period. Although participants in the ASPIRE-Group initially had greater weight loss, treatment was not sufficient to sustain weight loss through the second year, particularly in veterans with diabetes. Consistent

  7. 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.

  8. 78 FR 27882 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-13

    ... be included in the rule, and if so, what should be on the list? 3. Are there changes to VA's... Center for Veterans Enterprise use to distinguish legitimate VOSBs/ SDVOSBs from businesses that... VOSBs/ SDVOSBs help the Government ensure that contracts are awarded to legitimate VOSBs/SDVOSBs...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. 38 CFR 17.509 - Authorized disclosure: Non-Department of Veterans Affairs requests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  14. 38 CFR 1.553a - Time limits for Department of Veterans Affairs response to requests for records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  15. Comparing the health status of VA and non-VA ambulatory patients: the veterans' health and medical outcomes studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, William H; Kazis, Lewis E; Miller, Donald R; Skinner, Katherine M; Clark, Jack A; Spiro, Avron; Fincke, R Graeme

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare health status and disease profiles of ambulatory patients in specific Veterans Administration (VA) and civilian healthcare settings. A random sample of 2425 male veterans seeking care at 4 Boston-area VA outpatient clinics, who took part in the Veterans Health Study (VHS) in 1993-1995, were compared to 1318 male patients seeking civilian outpatient care in 3 major metropolitan areas covered in the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) in 1986. The MOS sampled patients who had 1 of 5 conditions--hypertension, noninsulin-dependent diabetes, recent myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, or depression. These 2 samples were age adjusted and compared in terms of the SF-36 Health Status/Quality of Life measures, and a list of 100 clinical variables (diagnostic, symptom, and medical event reports) collected with comparable instruments by a trained clinical observer. Individual odds ratios (VHS to MOS) were calculated for each measure and clinical variables. SF-36 measures of patient health in the VHS were lower than those in the MOS by more than one half of a standard deviation (SD) on 4 of 8 scales, by more than one quarter of a SD on the other 4, by 58% of a SD on the physical health summary scale, and by 37% of a SD on the mental health summary scale (P illness burden than did patients in the MOS. Current economic condition and service-connected disability explain most, if not all, of the differences. The differences were clinically and socially meaningful and would be consistent with substantially higher expected healthcare use.

  16. VA administrators breahe a sigh of relief

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. On May 30, Eric Shinseki, the Secretary for Veterans Affairs (VA, resigned under pressure amidst a growing scandal regarding falsification of patient wait times at nearly 40 VA medical centers. Before leaving office Shinseki fired Sharon Helman, the former hospital director at the Phoenix VA, where the story first broke, along with her deputy and another unnamed administrator. In addition, Susan Bowers, director of VA Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 18 and Helman’s boss, resigned. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA, head of the VA hospitals and clinics, had resigned earlier. You could hear the sigh of relief from the VA administrators. With their bosses resigning left and right, the VA leadership in shambles and the reputation of the VA soiled for many years to come, why are the VA administrators relieved? The simple answer is that nothing has really changed. There for a moment it looked ...

  17. 38 CFR 58.16 - VA Form 10-0144-Certification Regarding Lobbying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false VA Form 10-0144-Certification Regarding Lobbying. 58.16 Section 58.16 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) FORMS § 58.16 VA Form 10-0144—Certification Regarding Lobbying. ER06JA00.013 ...

  18. 78 FR 6405 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-30

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

  19. 76 FR 56881 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-14

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

  20. 78 FR 53820 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-30

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

  1. 75 FR 4453 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-27

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

  2. 76 FR 24087 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-29

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

  3. 76 FR 30244 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-24

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... provision of VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas, and discusses ways to improve and... Healthcare Coordinator, Montana and surrounding region rural health project managers, the Veterans Rural...

  4. 75 FR 39333 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-08

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

  5. 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.

  6. 78 FR 56271 - FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-12

    ... AFFAIRS FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of... availability of the FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan) for public review and comment, as..., and leadership to meet our clients' needs and expectations. DATES: Comments must be received by VA on...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    that VA medical centers complied with requirements related to the environment of care for women veterans and VHA’s oversight of that compliance; (2...VHA’s oversight of medical facilities’ compliance with these requirements; 2. what is known about the availability of VHA medical providers who can...site visits cannot be generalized to other VAMCs. To examine VHA’s oversight of medical facilities’ compliance with requirements related to the

  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

    .... One commenter stated that the ``inclusion of the State Veterans Home as Federal VA land in all maps... of the NHV (i.e., the Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers) in the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. Serving homeless veterans in the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network: a needs assessment to inform quality improvement endeavors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielian, Sonya; Yuan, Anita; Rubenstein, Lisa; Andersen, Ronald M; Gelberg, Lillian

    2013-08-01

    This report describes a needs assessment of VA programs for homeless Veterans in Southern California and Nevada, the geographic region with the most homeless Veterans in the nation. The assessment was formulated through key informant interviews. Current service provisions are discussed, along with salient unmet needs for this vulnerable population.

  12. Serving homeless Veterans in the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network: A needs assessment to inform quality improvement endeavors

    OpenAIRE

    Gabrielian, Sonya; Yuan, Anita; Rubenstein, Lisa; Andersen, Ronald M.; Gelberg, Lillian

    2013-01-01

    This report describes a needs assessment of VA programs for homeless Veterans in Southern California and Nevada, the geographic region with the most homeless Veterans in the nation. The assessment was formulated through key informant interviews. Current service provisions are discussed, along with salient unmet needs for this vulnerable population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  14. Issues in defining and measuring veteran community reintegration: proceedings of the Working Group on Community Reintegration, VA Rehabilitation Outcomes Conference, Miami, Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resnik, Linda; Bradford, Daniel W; Glynn, Shirley M; Jette, Alan M; Johnson Hernandez, Caitlin; Wills, Sharon

    2012-01-01

    In January 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Service convened a State of the Art (SOTA) conference to advance the field of outcome measurement for rehabilitation-related studies. This article reports on the proceedings of the SOTA Working Group on Community Reintegration. We explored the use of the International Classification of Health, Disability, and Functioning as a theoretical framework for measuring community reintegration; identified key dimensions of community reintegration that could and/or should be measured; discussed challenges in measuring community reintegration; suggested steps to enhance community reintegration measurement; proposed future research that focuses on outcomes measures for community reintegration and the study of community reintegration outcomes; and made policy recommendations that would facilitate community reintegration research within the VA.

  15. Service Utilization of Veterans Dually Eligible for VA and Medicare Fee-For-Service: 1999–2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humensky, Jennifer; Carretta, Henry; de Groot, Kristin; Brown, Melissa M.; Tarlov, Elizabeth; Hynes, Denise M.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To examine care system choices for Veterans dually-eligible for VA and Medicare FFS following changes in VA eligibility policy, which expanded availability of VA health care services. Data Sources VA and Medicare FFS enrollment and outpatient utilization databases in 1999 and 2004. Study Design: Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine odds of VA-only and Medicare-only utilization, relative to dual utilization, in 1999 and 2004. Observational cohort comprising a 5% random sample of dually-eligible Veterans: 73,721 in 1999 and 125,042 in 2004. Principal Findings From 1999 to 2004, persons with the highest HCC risk scores had decreasing odds of exclusive VA reliance (OR=0.26 in 1999 and 0.17 in 2004, p<0.05), but had increasing odds of exclusive Medicare reliance (OR=0.43 in 1999 and 0.56 in 2004, p<0.05).Persons in high VA priority groups had decreasing odds of exclusive VA reliance, as well as decreasing odds of exclusive Medicare reliance, indicating increasing odds of dual use. Newly eligible Veterans with the highest HCC risk scores had higher odds of dual system use, while newly eligible Black Veterans had lower odds of dual system use. Conclusions Veterans newly eligible for VA healthcare services, particularly those with the highest risk scores, had higher odds of dual system use compared to earlier eligibles. Providers should ensure coordination of care for Veterans who may be receiving care from multiple sources. Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may help to ensure care coordination for persons receiving care from multiple systems. PMID:24800148

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Implementing goals of care conversations with veterans in VA long-term care setting: a mixed methods protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Anne E; Ersek, Mary; Intrator, Orna K; Levy, Cari; Carpenter, Joan G; Hogikyan, Robert; Kales, Helen C; Landis-Lewis, Zach; Olsan, Tobie; Miller, Susan C; Montagnini, Marcos; Periyakoil, Vyjeyanthi S; Reder, Sheri

    2016-09-29

    The program "Implementing Goals of Care Conversations with Veterans in VA LTC Settings" is proposed in partnership with the US Veterans Health Administration (VA) National Center for Ethics in Health Care and the Geriatrics and Extended Care Program Offices, together with the VA Office of Nursing Services. The three projects in this program are designed to support a new system-wide mandate requiring providers to conduct and systematically record conversations with veterans about their preferences for care, particularly life-sustaining treatments. These treatments include cardiac resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, and other forms of life support. However, veteran preferences for care go beyond whether or not they receive life-sustaining treatments to include issues such as whether or not they want to be hospitalized if they are acutely ill, and what kinds of comfort care they would like to receive. Three projects, all focused on improving the provision of veteran-centered care, are proposed. The projects will be conducted in Community Living Centers (VA-owned nursing homes) and VA Home-Based Primary Care programs in five regional networks in the Veterans Health Administration. In all the projects, we will use data from context and barrier and facilitator assessments to design feedback reports for staff to help them understand how well they are meeting the requirement to have conversations with veterans about their preferences and to document them appropriately. We will also use learning collaboratives-meetings in which staff teams come together and problem-solve issues they encounter in how to get veterans' preferences expressed and documented, and acted on-to support action planning to improve performance. We will use data over time to track implementation success, measured as the proportions of veterans in Community Living Centers (CLCs) and Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) who have a documented goals of care conversation soon after admission. We will work with

  19. 75 FR 61621 - Charges Billed to Third Parties for Prescription Drugs Furnished by VA to a Veteran for a...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  1. 2 CFR 801.995 - Principal (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2 CFR 180...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 2 CFR 801.930 - Debarring official (Department of Veterans Affairs supplement to government-wide definition at 2...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  5. 75 FR 8789 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... rural areas. The Committee examines programs and policies that impact the provision of VA health care to... hear from its chairman, the acting director of the VA Office of Rural Health, and the directors of the...

  6. Military and Veterans’ Benefits: Analysis of VA Compensation Levels for Survivors of Veterans and Servicemembers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    Supplemental Security Income TSGLI Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program TSP Thrift Savings Plan VA Department...assistance is provided by the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program ( TSGLI ). All servicemembers paying SGLI...premiums are automatically enrolled in TSGLI , and pay an additional $1 per month premium. 195 U.S.C. §§ 8331-8351. 205 U.S.C. §§ 8401-8480. In addition

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-03

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    . Compared with pharmacy chiefs and staff pharmacists, physicians were less likely to agree that providers at their VAMC prescribed too many nonformulary medications (47% and 44% vs. 12%, P < 0.001), more likely to agree that providers must jump through too many hoops to prescribe nonformulary medication (5% and 3% vs. 25%, P < 0.001), and more likely to agree that providers make an effort to convert new patients from nonformulary to formulary lipid-lowering (65% and 73% vs. 94%, P <0.02) and diabetic medications (49% and 50% vs. 88%, P < 0.001). Although the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates under a single national formulary, we found significant differences among VAMCs regarding their management of nonformulary medication requests. We also found differences among formulary leaders regarding their perception of the environment in which their VAMC's formulary is managed. These findings have important implications not just for VA, but for any organization that develops, implements, and manages drug formularies across multiple facilities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  13. 76 FR 40455 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-08

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry) Activity Under OMB Review... INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry, VA Form 29-0543. OMB Control Number: 2900-0501... insured under Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) completes VA Form 29-0543 to report any recent...

  14. 77 FR 37839 - Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-25

    ... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO24 Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension... Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations governing eligibility for Veterans' Group Life Insurance... indicate that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO24--Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No...

  15. 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...

  16. 77 FR 58913 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-24

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

  17. 76 FR 60965 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    ... AFFAIRS Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs... VA health care to enrolled Veterans residing in rural areas, and discusses ways to improve and...HealthyVet; and Office of Rural Health. In the afternoon, the Committee ] will receive a briefing on the...

  18. Mentoring health information professionals in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Susan S; Fenton, Susan H

    2008-04-07

    As a major employer of health information professionals, the VA faces significant recruitment and retention challenges. The authors evaluated mentoring as a retention tool through a review of existing literature and the retrospective review of a VA health information management mentoring program. The literature review showed a link between employer mentorship and employee retention, regardless of the nature and structure of the mentoring relationship. Most organizations support employees who are willing to serve as mentors through increased compensation, recognition, and other types of support. No literature was found that studied retention rates for more than three years after a mentoring experience. The review of the VA mentoring program showed increased retention in the three years following enrollment in the program, but the increase was not statistically significant. The review did not demonstrate improvement in retention over a seven-year period. The combined evaluation gives mixed findings for mentorship as a retention tool and demonstrates the need for more research on the topic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Does Evidence-Based PTS Treatment Reduce PTS Symptoms and Suicide in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Seeking VA Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0038 TITLE: Does Evidence-Based PTS Treatment Reduce PTS Symptoms and Suicide in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans... Suicide in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Seeking VA Care? 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-15-1-0038 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6...cohort with two or more suicide screenings during the post-deployment period. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Key words or phrases identifying major concepts in

  1. 78 FR 6849 - Agency Information Collection (Verification of VA Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-31

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Verification of VA Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY....gov . Please refer to ``OMB Control No. 2900-0406.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Verification of... Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs will submit the collection of information...

  2. 78 FR 28949 - Fund Availability Under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program (Rehabilitation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-16

    ... Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, 10770 North 46th Street... AFFAIRS Fund Availability Under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program (Rehabilitation) AGENCY... grantee facilities originally funded under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program (see funding...

  3. 77 FR 75918 - VA Health Professional Scholarship and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

    ... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AO34 VA Health Professional Scholarship and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professional Scholarship Programs AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION... Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) regulations. VA also proposes to establish regulations for a new...

  4. 78 FR 51067 - VA Health Professional Scholarship and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-20

    ... AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AO34 VA Health Professional Scholarship and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professional Scholarship Programs AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION... Scholarship Program (HPSP) regulations. VA is also establishing regulations for a new program, the Visual...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. 38 CFR 14.518 - Litigation involving beneficiaries in custody of Department of Veterans Affairs employees acting...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  7. Toward a VA Women's Health Research Agenda: Setting Evidence-based Priorities to Improve the Health and Health Care of Women Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Elizabeth M; Bastian, Lori A; Frayne, Susan M; Howell, Alexandra L; Lipson, Linda R; McGlynn, Geraldine; Schnurr, Paula P; Seaver, Margaret R; Spungen, Ann M; Fihn, Stephan D

    2006-01-01

    The expansion of women in the military is reshaping the veteran population, with women now constituting the fastest growing segment of eligible VA health care users. In recognition of the changing demographics and special health care needs of women, the VA Office of Research & Development recently sponsored the first national VA Women's Health Research Agenda-setting conference to map research priorities to the needs of women veterans and position VA as a national leader in Women's Health Research. This paper summarizes the process and outcomes of this effort, outlining VA's research priorities for biomedical, clinical, rehabilitation, and health services research. PMID:16637953

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-18

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

  9. 78 FR 58611 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-24

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB... ``OMB Control No. 2900-0212.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance... collection. Abstract: Veterans complete VA Form 29-8636 to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) or...

  10. 38 CFR 17.101 - Collection or recovery by VA for medical care or services provided or furnished to a veteran for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... VA for medical care or services provided or furnished to a veteran for a nonservice-connected... MEDICAL Charges, Waivers, and Collections § 17.101 Collection or recovery by VA for medical care or... section covers collection or recovery by VA, under 38 U.S.C. 1729, for medical care or services provided...

  11. 38 CFR 59.5 - Submissions of information and documents to VA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Submissions of information and documents to VA. 59.5 Section 59.5 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) GRANTS TO STATES FOR CONSTRUCTION OR ACQUISITION OF STATE HOMES § 59.5...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-22

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

  17. The Impact of VA's Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Centers on Academic Affiliates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragg, Elizabeth J.; Meganathan, Karthikeyan; Shay, Kenneth; Gilman, Stuart C.; Zeiss, Robert A.; Hettler, Debbie L.

    2011-01-01

    The education mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to train health professionals to benefit VA and the United States. One approach for achieving that mission, along with VA's research and clinical missions, was the establishment of Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Centers (GRECCs) in 1975. These were developed at VA…

  18. 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    and data analysis to the VBA and stakeholders. PA&I developed the VBA Enterprise Data Warehouse to enable the generation of recurring and ad hoc...reports in response to VBA decision-making and business needs. PA&I will be a primary source of information on Veteran education, vocational...Servicemembers UI Unemployment Insurance URL Uniform Resource Locator USB Under Secretary for Benefits VA Department of Veterans Affairs VBA Veterans

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 77 FR 64386 - Agency Information Collection Activities (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-19

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection Activities (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State Homes) Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Health... day health services care to Veterans. VA requires facilities providing nursing home and adult day...

  2. 78 FR 46421 - Proposed Information Collection (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-31

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State Homes): Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Health... home and adult day health services care to Veterans. VA requires facilities providing nursing home and...

  3. Federal Policy and the Rise in Disability Enrollment: Evidence for the VA's Disability Compensation Program

    OpenAIRE

    Mark Duggan; Robert Rosenheck; Perry Singleton

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) currently provides disability benefits to 2.72 million veterans of U.S. military service through the Disability Compensation (DC) program. Until recently, the medical eligibility criteria for this program were the same across service eras, with the key condition being that the disability was caused or aggravated by military service. But in July of 2001, the VA relaxed the eligibility criteria for Vietnam veterans by including diabetes in the list ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-22

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dietert, Michelle; Dentice, Dianne; Keig, Zander

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. 78 FR 73926 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-09

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

  13. 2 CFR 801.137 - Who in the Department of Veterans Affairs may grant an exception to allow an excluded person to...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Lessons from Initiating the First Veterans Health Administration (VA) Women's Health Practice-based Research Network (WH-PBRN) Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomernacki, Alyssa; Carney, Diane V; Kimerling, Rachel; Nazarian, Deborah; Blakeney, Jill; Martin, Brittany D; Strehlow, Holly; Yosef, Julia; Goldstein, Karen M; Sadler, Anne G; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne A; Bastian, Lori A; Bucossi, Meggan M; McLean, Caitlin; Sonnicksen, Shannan; Klap, Ruth; Yano, Elizabeth M; Frayne, Susan M

    2015-01-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Women's Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) was created to foster innovations for the health care of women veterans. The inaugural study by the WH-PBRN was designed to identify women veterans' own priorities and preferences for mental health services and to inform refinements to WH-PBRN operational procedures. Addressing the latter, this article reports lessons learned from the inaugural study. WH-PBRN site coordinators at the 4 participating sites convened weekly with the study coordinator and the WH-PBRN program manager to address logistical issues and identify lessons learned. Findings were categorized into a matrix of challenges and facilitators related to key study elements. Challenges to the conduct of PBRN-based research included tracking of regulatory documents; cross-site variability in some regulatory processes; and troubleshooting logistics of clinic-based recruitment. Facilitators included a central institutional review board, strong relationships between WH-PBRN research teams and women's health clinic teams, and the perception that women want to help other women veterans. Our experience with the inaugural WH-PBRN study demonstrated the feasibility of establishing productive relationships between local clinicians and researchers, and of recruiting a special population (women veterans) in diverse sites within an integrated health care system. This identified strengths of a PBRN approach. © Copyright 2015 by the American Board of Family Medicine.

  15. Veterans Health Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 78 FR 26250 - Payment for Home Health Services and Hospice Care to Non-VA Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-06

    ...The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its regulations concerning the billing methodology for non-VA providers of home health services and hospice care. Because the newly applicable methodology cannot supersede rates for which VA has specifically contracted, this rulemaking will only affect home health and hospice care providers who do not have existing negotiated contracts with VA. This rule also rescinds internal guidance documents that could be interpreted as conflicting with this final rule.

  19. 38 CFR 17.56 - Payment for non-VA physician and other health care professional services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Payment for non-VA physician and other health care professional services. 17.56 Section 17.56 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Use of Public Or Private Hospitals § 17.56 Payment for non-VA physician and other health care...

  20. 75 FR 52065 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-24

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment... solicits comments for information needed to decline Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance. DATES: Written...: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement, VA Form 29-8636. OMB Control Number: 2900-0212. Type of Review...

  1. 76 FR 82212 - Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-30

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

  2. Five-year trends in women veterans' use of VA maternity benefits, 2008-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattocks, Kristin M; Frayne, Susan; Phibbs, Ciaran S; Yano, Elizabeth M; Zephyrin, Laurie; Shryock, Holly; Haskell, Sally; Katon, Jodie; Sullivan, J Cherry; Weinreb, Linda; Ulbricht, Christine; Bastian, Lori A

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of young women veterans are returning from war and military service and are seeking reproductive health care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Many of these women seek maternity benefits from the VHA, and yet little is known regarding the number of women veterans utilizing VHA maternity benefits nor the characteristics of pregnant veterans using these benefits. In May 2010, VHA maternity benefits were expanded to include 7 days of infant care, which may serve to entice more women to use VHA maternity benefits. Understanding the changing trends in women veterans seeking maternity benefits will help the VHA to improve the quality of reproductive care over time. The goal of this study was to examine the trends in delivery claims among women veterans receiving VHA maternity benefits over a 5-year period and the characteristics of pregnant veterans utilizing VHA benefits. We undertook a retrospective, national cohort study of pregnant veterans enrolled in VHA care with inpatient deliveries between fiscal years (FY) 2008 and 2012. We included pregnant veterans using VHA maternity benefits for delivery. Measures included annualized numbers and rates of inpatient deliveries and delivery-related costs, as well as cesarean section rates as a quality indicator. During the 5-year study period, there was a significant increase in the number of deliveries to women veterans using VHA maternity benefits. The overall delivery rate increased by 44% over the study period from 12.4 to 17.8 deliveries per 1,000 women veterans. A majority of women using VHA maternity benefits were age 30 or older and had a service-connected disability. From FY 2008 to 2012, the VHA paid more than $46 million in delivery claims to community providers for deliveries to women veterans ($4,993/veteran). Over a 5-year period, the volume of women veterans using VHA maternity benefits increased by 44%. Given this sizeable increase, the VHA must increase its capacity to care

  3. 77 FR 14600 - Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-12

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

  4. Examining aggression in male Vietnam veterans who receive VA services: the role of traumatic events and combat exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenhardt, Jenna M; Howard, Jamie M; Taft, Casey T; Kaloupek, Danny G; Keane, Terence M

    2012-08-01

    We examined the relationship between trauma exposure and the perpetration of aggression by male Vietnam veterans (N = 1,328) using archival data from a multisite study conducted by the Cooperative Studies Program of the Department of Veteran Affairs (CSP-334) in the early 1990s. Both traumatic events in civilian life and combat exposure were examined as correlates of aggression. Results indicated that pre- and postmilitary traumatic events and combat exposure were all related to perpetration of aggression at the bivariate level; r = .07, r = .20, and r = .13, respectively. When these variables were examined simultaneously, only combat exposure (β = .14, p traumatic events (β = .20, p effects were found for civilian traumatic events and combat in relation to aggression. Results highlight the importance of attending to the psychological aftermath of exposure to traumatic events experienced during and following deployment before aggressive patterns develop. Copyright © 2012 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

  5. 75 FR 6098 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

    ... verification are brand new and have not yet applied for any Federal or VA contracts. Also VA finds that... of his/her time to managing the concern.'' This commenter further recommended ``permitting the..., environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive...

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  8. Nicotine Dependence and Its Risk Factors Among Users of Veterans Health Services, 2008-2009

    OpenAIRE

    Tsai, Jack; Edens, Ellen L.; Rosenheck, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and is disproportionately higher among veterans than nonveterans. We examined the prevalence of nicotine dependence and its associated risk factors among veterans who used health services in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Methods Using a case-control design, we compared all VA health service users in fiscal year 2008-2009 (N = 5,031,381) who received a nicotine dependence diagnosis with...

  9. Attitudes about the VA health-care setting, mental illness, and mental health treatment and their relationship with VA mental health service use among female and male OEF/OIF veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Annie B; Meyer, Eric C; Vogt, Dawne

    2015-02-01

    In the present study, the authors explored gender differences in attitudinal barriers to and facilitators of care for Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans and examined the relationship of those factors with VA mental health service use among female and male veterans with probable mental health conditions. Data were collected as part of a national cross-sectional survey of OEF/OIF veterans; the current sample was limited to participants with a probable diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, or alcohol abuse (N = 278). Although negligible gender differences were observed in attitudes about VA care and perceived fit in the VA setting, men reported slightly more negative beliefs about mental illness and mental health treatment than women. In addition, logistic regressions revealed different associations with VA mental health service use for women and men. For women only, positive perceptions of VA care were associated with increased likelihood of seeking mental health treatment. For men only, perceived similarity to other VA care users and negative beliefs about mental health treatment were associated with increased likelihood of service use, whereas negative beliefs about mental illness were associated with lower likelihood of service use. For both women and men, perceived entitlement to VA care was associated with increased likelihood of service use and negative beliefs about treatment-seeking were associated with a reduced likelihood of seeking mental health care in the past 6 months. Results support the need for tailored outreach to address unique barriers to mental health treatment for female and male OEF/OIF veterans.

  10. Supporting School Success for Homeless Children of Veterans and Active Duty Military Members. Best Practices in Interagency Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE, 2011

    2011-01-01

    This brief is designed for local staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), state McKinney-Vento coordinators and school district McKinney-Vento liaisons, educators, and other providers of services to active members of the military and veterans, and their children. It provides basic information to assist homeless children of veterans or…

  11. Special home adaptation grants for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain vision impairment. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-12

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing a final rule to amend its adjudication regulations regarding special home adaptation grants for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain vision impairment. This regulatory amendment is necessary to conform the regulations to changes mandated in the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  14. 76 FR 71920 - Payment for Home Health Services and Hospice Care by Non-VA Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

    ...The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulation and internal policy documents concerning the billing methodology for non-VA providers of home health services and hospice care. The proposed rulemaking would include home health services and hospice care under the VA regulation governing payment for other non-VA health care providers. Because the newly applicable methodology cannot supersede rates for which VA has specifically contracted, this rulemaking will only affect providers who do not have existing negotiated contracts with VA. The proposed rule would also rescind internal guidance documents that could be interpreted as conflicting with the proposed rule.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-15

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Capo-Ramos

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

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

  1. Characteristics and Health Needs of Veterans in Jails and Prisons: What We Know and Do Not Know about Incarcerated Women Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Janice D; Tsai, Jack

    2017-12-04

    The majority of U.S. veterans in prisons and local jails are men, but incarcerated women veterans remain an important and understudied group. This study reported differences in sociodemographic, health, and criminal justice characteristics using Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data on a national sample of 30,964 incarcerated veterans (30,440 men and 524 women) who received outreach from the VA Health Care for Reentry Veterans program between 2007 and 2011. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regressions determined gender and racial differences in this population. Compared with incarcerated veterans who were men, incarcerated women veterans were younger (d = 0.68), had significantly lower lifetime arrests (AOR, 0.65; p problems, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and seizure disorder, and were more likely to receive a preliminary diagnosis of mood disorder than men. Women were more likely to have received VA benefits, used VA health care before, and be willing to use VA services after release. A few important differences emerged when stratified by race. These findings suggest that incarcerated women veterans are interested in VA health care services, but there is lack of information about women's health needs through the Health Care for Reentry Veterans program. The inclusion of Health Care for Reentry Veterans screening questions about women's health issues may support the VA's interests to better engage women veterans in care. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  4. 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

    ...The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2013 (78 FR 26250) a final rule to change the billing methodology for non-VA providers of home health services and hospice care. The preamble of that final rule stated the effective date was November 15, 2013. This document delays that effective date to April 1, 2014.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    30According to VA, public order offenses include weapons offenses, prostitution , public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and driving while...Nevada 275 Arkansas 318 New Hampshire 75 California 1,202 New Jersey 53 Colorado 402 New Mexico 92 Connecticut 201 New York 886 Delaware 73

  6. 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.

  7. Veterans' Education Benefits: Enhanced Guidance and Collaboration Could Improve Administration of the Post-9/11 GI Bill Program. GAO-11-356R

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, George A.

    2011-01-01

    With the passage of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Post- 9/11 GI Bill), Congress created a comprehensive education benefit program for veterans, service members, and their dependents pursuing postsecondary education. Since implementation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has provided just over $5.7 billion for…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    specialty care—such as cardiology or gastroenterology—they are typically referred to a specialist by their primary care provider, and each veteran’s...2015, added it to GAO’s High Risk List.5 To help improve timely access to health care, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability...The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress , exists to support Congress in meeting its

  12. 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.

  13. The department of veterans affairs nutritional status classification scheme allows for rapid assessment of nutritional status prior to autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation and identifies patients at high risk of transplant-related complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

    The nutritional assessment of patients prior to autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (APBSCT) is labor intensive. A simple method of nutritional assessment prior to APSCT would be extremely helpful, especially if this method could identify patients at high risk of transplant-related complications. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) developed a Nutritional Status Classification Scheme (NSCS) to identify nutritionally compromised inpatients rapidly and reliably. The objective of this study was to determine if the use of the VA-NSCS could be utilized as a tool for the evaluation of patients prior to APBSCT and to determine if this tool could be used to identify patients at high risk of transplant-related complications. The nutritional status of 128 patients who underwent APBSCT was assessed by a registered dietician, utilizing the VA-NSCS, upon admission to the hospital and prior to conditioning regimen. Patients with moderately compromised nutritional status pretransplantation experienced a higher incidence of infections, longer duration of diarrhea, and longer length of hospital stay when compared to patients with normal or mildly compromised nutritional status. Our study demonstrates that the VA-NSCS, a simple and inexpensive tool to assess nutritional status, was useful in determining the pretransplant nutritional status of patients with lymphogenous malignancies who underwent APBSCT. In addition, this method was able to identify patients at a higher risk of posttransplant complications. Future studies should be undertaken to determine the optimal method for the nutritional assessment of autologous stem cell transplant candidates.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2014-01-01

    .... 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...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahn, Gideon D.

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 76 FR 70827 - Proposed Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-15

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey Card, VA Form 0745. OMB Control Number: 2900-0548. Type of Review: Extension...

  1. 77 FR 3843 - Agency Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-25

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey, VA Form 0745. OMB Control Number: 2900-0548. Type of Review: Extension of a...

  2. 76 FR 24570 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance-Change of Address Statement...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-02

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance--Change of Address Statement... Mortgage Life Insurance. DATES: Written comments and recommendations on the proposed collection of... information technology. Title: Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance--Change of Address Statement, VA Form 29-0563...

  3. 77 FR 7243 - Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-10

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans... ``OMB Control No. 2900-0728.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment, VA Form 10-21091. OMB Control Number: 2900-0728. Type of...

  4. Effects of VA Facility Dog on Hospitalized Veterans Seen by a Palliative Care Psychologist: An Innovative Approach to Impacting Stress Indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause-Parello, Cheryl A; Levy, Cari; Holman, Elizabeth; Kolassa, John E

    2018-01-01

    The United States is home to 23 million veterans. In many instances, veterans with serious illness who seek healthcare at the VA receive care from a palliative care service. Animal-assisted intervention (AAI) is gaining attention as a therapeutic stress reducing modality; however, its effects have not been well studied in veterans receiving palliative care in an acute care setting. A crossover repeated-measures study was conducted to examine the effects of an animal-assisted intervention (AAI) in the form of a therapy dog on stress indicators in 25 veterans on the palliative care service at the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System in Denver, CO. Veterans had a visit from a therapy dog and the dog's handler, a clinical psychologist (experimental condition) and an unstructured visit with the clinical psychologist alone (control condition). Blood pressure, heart rate, and the salivary biomarkers cortisol, alpha-amylase, and immunoglobulin A were collected before, after, and 30-minutes after both the experimental and control conditions. Significant decreases in cortisol were found when the before time period was compared to the 30-minutes after time period for both the experimental ( p = 0.007) and control condition ( p = 0.036). A significant decrease in HR was also found when the before time period was compared to the 30-minutes after time period for both the experimental ( p = 0.0046) and control ( p = 0.0119) condition. Results of this study supported that a VA facility dog paired with a palliative care psychologist had a measurable impact on salivary cortisol levels and HR in veterans.

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 38 CFR 12.21 - Action upon death of veteran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Foot care education and self management behaviors in diverse veterans with diabetes

    OpenAIRE

    Olson, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    Jonathan M Olson1, Molly T Hogan2, Leonard M Pogach3, Mangala Rajan3, Gregory J Raugi4, Gayle E Reiber51University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Healthcare System, Center for Healthcare Knowledge Management, East Orange, NJ, USA; 4Division of Dermatology, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. For Homeless Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with ... Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness. As of Sept. 30, 2015, HUD had allocated ...

  18. IN-HOME EXPOSURE THERAPY FOR VETERANS WITH POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    PE that is office -based telehealth (OBT; Veterans come to the clinic to meet with the therapist over telehealth), (2) PE delivered via home -based...randomized to receive In- Home , In-Person (IHIP); 51 (33.1%) were randomized to receive Office -Based Telehealth (OBT); and 52 (33.8%) were randomized to...Statement of Work Project Title: “In- Home Exposure Therapy for Veterans with PTSD” Primary Institution: Department of Veteran Affairs VA San Diego

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-22

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

  20. 48 CFR 803.7000 - Display of the VA Hotline poster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Display of the VA Hotline poster. 803.7000 Section 803.7000 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS GENERAL IMPROPER BUSINESS PRACTICES AND PERSONAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST Contractor Responsibility to Avoid...

  1. Services utilization among recently homeless veterans: a gender-based comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Byrne, Thomas H

    2014-03-01

    As women emerge as a significant segment of the Veteran population, there is a need to understand how they enter the homeless system, the impact of homelessness on healthcare, and how this varies by gender. This study provides a gender-based comparison of Veterans' utilization of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health and behavioral health services following the onset of a homeless episode and assesses the relationship between services utilization and Veterans' entry into the homeless system. Male and female veterans were equally as likely to use mainstream and VA homeless services. There were few differences between genders in inpatient services use following a homeless episode. Men used more substance abuse outpatient treatment and emergency services whereas women used outpatient medical treatment. Veterans who sought non-VA homeless services were less likely to use outpatient services but more likely to access emergency services. Veterans experiencing homelessness who do not use VA homeless assistance services are less engaged with preventative VA health and behavioral healthcare. Veterans who are homeless but not identified as such by VA, particularly women, need additional engagement. Ongoing study of gender-based differences in services utilization among homeless and at-risk Veterans is needed. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  2. The prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder and its clinical correlates in a VA primary care behavioral health clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Megan M; Zhang, Jinxin; Phillips, Katharine A

    2015-07-30

    We examined the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) in a Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care behavioral health clinic. Of 100 Veterans, 11% (95% CI = 6.3-18.6%) had current BDD and 12% (95% CI = 7.0-19.8%) had lifetime BDD. However, only 8.3% of these Veterans had been diagnosed with BDD. BDD was significantly associated with a substantially elevated rate of suicide attempts, major depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. This severe disorder appears to be underdiagnosed in VA settings. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Health Programs for Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  9. 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 ...

  10. Health Care for Homeless Veterans program. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its medical regulations concerning eligibility for the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program. The HCHV program provides per diem payments to non-VA community-based facilities that provide housing, outreach services, case management services, and rehabilitative services, and may provide care and/or treatment to homeless veterans who are enrolled in or eligible for VA health care. The rule modifies VA's HCHV regulations to conform to changes enacted in the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. Specifically, the rule removes the requirement that homeless veterans be diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder to qualify for the HCHV program. This change makes the program available to all homeless veterans who are enrolled in or eligible for VA health care. The rule also updates the definition of homeless to match in part the one used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The rule further clarifies that the services provided by the HCHV program through non-VA community-based providers must include case management services, including non-clinical case management, as appropriate.

  11. 38 CFR 3.159 - Department of Veterans Affairs assistance in developing claims.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  13. VA Health Professional Scholarship and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professional Scholarship Programs. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-20

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its VA Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) regulations. VA is also establishing regulations for a new program, the Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professional Scholarship Program (VIOMPSP). These regulations comply with and implement sections 302 and 603 of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 (the 2010 Act). Section 302 of the 2010 Act established the VIOMPSP, which authorizes VA to provide financial assistance to certain students seeking a degree in visual impairment or orientation or mobility, in order to increase the supply of qualified blind rehabilitation specialists for VA and the United States. Section 603 of the 2010 Act reauthorized and modified HPSP, a program that provides scholarships for education or training in certain health care occupations.

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenheck, R; Leda, C

    1991-02-01

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

  17. Improving PTSD/substance abuse treatment in the VA: a survey of providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najavits, Lisa M; Norman, Sonya B; Kivlahan, Daniel; Kosten, Thomas R

    2010-01-01

    We surveyed 205 Veterans Affairs (VA) staff on treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder (SUD), and the combination (PTSD/SUD). The survey was anonymous and VA-wide. PTSD/SUD was perceived as more difficult to treat than either disorder alone; gratification in the work was stronger than difficulty (for PTSD, SUD, and PTSD/SUD); and difficulty and gratification appeared separate constructs. Respondents endorsed views that represent expert treatment for the comorbidity; however, there was also endorsement of "myths." Thus, there is a need for more training, policy clarifications, service integration, and adaptations for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Limitations are described.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  19. Validation of self-reported veteran status among two sheltered homeless populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metraux, Stephen; Stino, Magdi; Culhane, Dennis P

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the accuracy of self-reported veteran status among sheltered homeless adults to assess the reliability of using self-report to determine the number of veterans in homeless populations and examine whether there are demographic correlates to inaccurate reporting of veteran status. Records on 5,860 sheltered adults from Columbus, Ohio, and 16,346 sheltered adults from New York City (NYC) were matched with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) records. We analyzed the agreement between veteran self-reporting and official records using descriptive measures, diagnostic tests, and logistic regression. The degree of concordance was moderate. Using VA records rather than self-report data to determine veteran status increased homeless veteran prevalence rates by 27% in Columbus and 39% in NYC. Veterans with discordant veteran status (i.e., false positive or false negative) showed lower levels of services use in the VA (both cities) and in the municipal shelter system (NYC only). Younger veterans and women were at higher risk of not being identified as veterans. Administrative records can help to more accurately identify homeless veterans and to connect them to available services and benefits.

  20. Street outreach and other forms of engagement with literally homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Kasprow, Wesley J; Kane, Vincent; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2014-05-01

    Street outreach is one of the most direct methods of engaging homeless individuals, but the characteristics of those most likely to be engaged this way is not well-understood. Data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System showed that of the 70,778 literally homeless veterans engaged in VA homeless services in 2011-2012, 12% were through street outreach while the majority was through provider referrals (41%) and self-referrals (28%). Veterans engaged through street outreach had more extensive histories of recent homelessness, were more likely to be chronically homeless, and were more likely to be referred and admitted to the VA's supported housing program than other veterans. These findings suggest street outreach is an especially important approach to engaging chronic street homeless veterans in services and linking them to permanent supported housing.

  1. 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.

  2. Time for the VA to clean up its act

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. One year after a Veterans Affairs (VA scandal was ignited here in Phoenix, the number of veterans on wait lists is 50 percent higher than at the same time last year, according to VA data (1. The VA is also facing a nearly $3 billion budget shortfall. VA Secretary Bob McDonald has asked for “flexibility” to reallocate billions of dollars in clinical funds to cover the shortfall. Since the scandal broke last year, VA providers have increased their workloads, adding 2.7 million more appointments than the previous year. However, the VA has played "games" with patient eligibility for years. When money was plentiful VA administrators would open the doors to patients since the following years' budgets were based on the number of patients seen. However, when money was tight, the doors would be slammed shut leaving many patients in the lurch scrambling to obtain health care elsewhere. Now it appears ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. A tale of two veterans: homeless vs domiciled veterans presenting to a psychiatric urgent care clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Haoyu; Iglewicz, Alana; Golshan, Shah; Zisook, Sidney

    2013-11-01

    The relationship between homelessness among veterans and mental illness and suicidality has not been clearly defined. To further examine this relationship, we compared rates of mental illness and suicidality among homeless and domiciled veterans seeking urgent psychiatric care at a US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. Information was collected by survey from 482 consecutive veterans seeking care at the Psychiatric Emergency Clinic (PEC) at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. A total of 73 homeless veterans were designated the homeless group and 73 domiciled veterans were randomly selected as the domiciled group. Suicidality and mental illnesses were assessed by self-assessment questionnaires and chart review of diagnoses. The homeless group had significantly higher rates of past suicide attempts (47% vs 27%) and recent reckless or self-harming behavior (33% vs 18%) compared with the domiciled group but significantly lower rates of depressive disorder (25% vs 44%), as diagnosed by a PEC physician. There were no differences between groups on the questionnaires for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or alcohol abuse. Nor were there differences in diagnoses of bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, or alcohol abuse. Veterans seeking help from a VA-based urgent psychiatric care clinic often are burdened by substantial depression, alcohol use disorders, PTSD, and both past and present suicide risk.

  5. 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).

  6. Homelessness among a nationally representative sample of US veterans: prevalence, service utilization, and correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Link, Bruce; Rosenheck, Robert A; Pietrzak, Robert H

    2016-06-01

    To examine the prevalence of lifetime homelessness among veterans and use of Veterans Affairs (VA) homeless services, as well as their association with sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. A nationally representative sample of 1533 US veterans was surveyed July-August 2015. Among all veterans, 8.5 % reported any lifetime homelessness in their adult life, but only 17.2 % of those reported using VA homeless services. Prevalence of homelessness and VA homeless service use did not significantly differ by gender. Being low income, aged 35-44, and having poor mental and physical health were each independently associated with lifetime homelessness. Veterans who were White or lived in rural areas were significantly less likely to have used VA homeless services. Homelessness remains a substantial problem across different generations of veterans. The low reported uptake of VA homeless services suggests there are barriers to care in this population, especially for veterans who live in rural areas. Governmental resources dedicated to veteran homelessness should be supported, and obtaining accurate prevalence estimates are important to tracking progress over time.

  7. A participatory approach to designing and enhancing integrated health information technology systems for veterans: protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haun, Jolie N; Nazi, Kim M; Chavez, Margeaux; Lind, Jason D; Antinori, Nicole; Gosline, Robert M; Martin, Tracey L

    2015-02-27

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed health information technologies (HIT) and resources to improve veteran access to health care programs and services, and to support a patient-centered approach to health care delivery. To improve VA HIT access and meaningful use by veterans, it is necessary to understand their preferences for interacting with various HIT resources to accomplish health management related tasks and to exchange information. The objective of this paper was to describe a novel protocol for: (1) developing a HIT Digital Health Matrix Model; (2) conducting an Analytic Hierarchy Process called pairwise comparison to understand how and why veterans want to use electronic health resources to complete tasks related to health management; and (3) developing visual modeling simulations that depict veterans' preferences for using VA HIT to manage their health conditions and exchange health information. The study uses participatory research methods to understand how veterans prefer to use VA HIT to accomplish health management tasks within a given context, and how they would like to interact with HIT interfaces (eg, look, feel, and function) in the future. This study includes two rounds of veteran focus groups with self-administered surveys and visual modeling simulation techniques. This study will also convene an expert panel to assist in the development of a VA HIT Digital Health Matrix Model, so that both expert panel members and veteran participants can complete an Analytic Hierarchy Process, pairwise comparisons to evaluate and rank the applicability of electronic health resources for a series of health management tasks. This protocol describes the iterative, participatory, and patient-centered process for: (1) developing a VA HIT Digital Health Matrix Model that outlines current VA patient-facing platforms available to veterans, describing their features and relevant contexts for use; and (2) developing visual model simulations based on

  8. Coordinating Care Across Health Care Systems for Veterans With Gynecologic Malignancies: A Qualitative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuchowski, Jessica L; Chrystal, Joya G; Hamilton, Alison B; Patton, Elizabeth W; Zephyrin, Laurie C; Yano, Elizabeth M; Cordasco, Kristina M

    2017-07-01

    Veterans concurrently using both Veterans Affairs (VA) and community providers and facilities have increased coordination needs related to bridging their care across health care settings. Women Veterans commonly require a combination of VA and community care if they have women-specific specialty care needs, such as gynecologic malignancies. We assessed VA women's health providers' and administrators' perceptions of coordination challenges for Veterans' gynecologic cancer care, and potential approaches for addressing these challenges. We carried out semistructured qualitative interviews with field-based key informants (VA gynecologists, women's health medical directors, and other staff directly involved in women's health care coordination) at 15 VA facilities. Transcripts were summarized in a template to capture key points. Themes were identified and iteratively revised (inductively/deductively) via a collaborative decision-making process utilizing matrices to compare content across interviews. Key informants (n=23) noted that services for patients with gynecologic cancers are provided through a combination of VA and community care with wide variation in care arrangements by facility. Care coordination challenges included care fragmentation, lack of role clarity and care tracking, and difficulties associated with VA and community provider communication, patient communication, patient records exchange, and authorizations. Care coordination roles suggested for addressing challenges included: care tracker, provider point-of-contact, patient liaison, and records administrator. Experiences in coordinating care for women Veterans with gynecologic malignancies receiving concurrent VA and community cancer care reveal challenges inherent in delivering care across health care systems, as well as potential approaches for addressing them.

  9. 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 ...

  10. Latent homeless risk profiles of a national sample of homeless veterans and their relation to program referral and admission patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    We identified risk and need profiles of homeless veterans and examined the relation between profiles and referrals and admissions to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) homeless service programs. We examined data from the VA's new Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System on 120,852 veterans from 142 sites nationally in 2011 and 2012 using latent class analyses based on 9 homeless risk factors. The final 4-class solution compared both referral and admission to VA homeless services. We identified 4 latent classes: relatively few problems, dual diagnosis, poverty-substance abuse-incarceration, and disabling medical problems. Homeless veterans in the first group were more likely to be admitted to the VA's permanent supportive housing program, whereas those in the second group were more likely to be admitted to more restrictive VA residential treatment. Homeless veterans in the third group were more likely to be admitted to the VA's prisoner re-entry program, and those in the fourth group were more likely to be directed to VA medical services. The heterogeneous risk and need profiles of homeless veterans supported the diversity of VA homeless services and encouraged the development of specialized services to meet their diverse needs.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-02-01

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

  13. Characteristics and Use of Services Among Literally Homeless and Unstably Housed U.S. Veterans With Custody of Minor Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A; Kasprow, Wesley J; Kane, Vincent

    2015-10-01

    The study examined the number of homeless veterans with minor children in their custody ("children in custody"), compared sociodemographic and clinical characteristics among homeless veterans with and without children in custody, and observed differences in referral and admission patterns among veterans with and without children in custody for a variety of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs for homeless veterans. Data were obtained from the VA Homeless Operations Management and Evaluation System for 89,142 literally homeless and unstably housed veterans. Sociodemographic, housing, health, and psychosocial characteristics of veterans were analyzed. Among literally homeless veterans, 9% of men and 30% of women had children in custody; among unstably housed veterans, 18% of men and 45% of women had children in custody. Both male and female veterans with children in custody were younger and less likely to have chronic general medical conditions and psychiatric disorders compared with other veterans, but, notably, 11% of homeless veterans with children in custody had psychotic disorders. Veterans with children in custody were more likely than other veterans to be referred and admitted to the VA's permanent supported housing program, and women were more likely than men to be admitted to the program. A substantial proportion of homeless veterans served by the VA have severe mental illness and children in custody, which raises concerns about the parenting environment for their children. Particular focus should be directed at VA's supported-housing program, and the practical and ethical implications of serving homeless parents and their children need to be considered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  15. Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) no-health period extension. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this final rule that amends the regulations governing eligibility for Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) to extend to 240 days the current 120-day "no-health" period during which veterans can apply for VGLI without proving that they are in good health for insurance purposes. The purpose of this rule is to increase the opportunities for disabled veterans to enroll in VGLI, some of whom would not qualify for VGLI coverage under existing provisions. This document adopts as a final rule, without change, the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on June 25, 2012.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trovato, James A; Tuttle, Laura A

    2014-04-01

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

  17. Grants for adaptive sports programs for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-04

    This final rule amends Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations to establish a new program to provide grants to eligible entities to provide adaptive sports activities to disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. This rulemaking is necessary to implement a change in the law that authorizes VA to make grants to entities other than the United States Olympic Committee for adaptive sports programs. It establishes procedures for evaluating grant applications under this grant program, and otherwise administering the grant program. This rule implements section 5 of the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act of 2013.

  18. Grants for adaptive sports programs for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Interim final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-07-01

    This interim final rule amends Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations to establish a new program to provide grants to eligible entities to provide adaptive sports activities to disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. This rulemaking is necessary to implement a change in the law that authorizes VA to make grants to entities other than the United States Olympic Committee for adaptive sports programs. It establishes procedures for evaluating grant applications under this grant program, and otherwise administering the grant program. This rule implements section 5 of the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act of 2013.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piñeros Sandy

    2009-08-01

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

  20. Grants for the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot (RVCP). Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-25

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adopts as a final rule, without change, the proposal to establish a pilot program known as the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot (RVCP). The RVCP will provide grants to eligible community-based organizations and local and State government entities to be used by these organizations and entities to assist veterans and their families who are transitioning from military service to civilian life in rural or underserved communities. VA will use information obtained through the pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of using community-based organizations and local and State government entities to improve the provision of services to transitioning veterans and their families. Five RVCP grants will be awarded for a 2-year period in discrete locations pursuant to a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) to be published in the Federal Register.

  1. Impact of emotional approach coping and hope on PTSD and depression symptoms in a trauma exposed sample of Veterans receiving outpatient VA mental health care services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassija, Christina M; Luterek, Jane A; Naragon-Gainey, Kristin; Moore, Sally A; Simpson, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    The present investigation evaluates the relationship between coping style, dispositional hope, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptom severity in a trauma-exposed Veteran sample. Specifically, we evaluated the adaptive value of emotional avoidant and approach coping strategies and perceptions of hope in a sample of 209 trauma-exposed Veterans receiving outpatient mental health care at a VA facility. Participants completed a life events questionnaire and inventories assessing coping, dispositional hope, and PTSD and depression symptom severity. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted controlling for relevant demographic variables. Greater levels of emotional avoidance and lower levels of emotional expression were significantly associated with increased PTSD and depression symptom severity. Dispositional hope was positively associated with depression symptoms only and perceptions of hope moderated the association between emotional avoidance coping and depression symptoms. Findings highlight the value of emotional coping strategies and perceptions of hope in posttraumatic adjustment. Specifically, employing coping techniques that encourage emotional expression may promote improved adjustment among trauma-exposed individuals, while reduced perceptions of hope and the use of avoidant coping strategies may place individuals at greater risk for depression following exposure to traumatic events.

  2. Do cherished children age successfully? Longitudinal findings from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Lewina O; Aldwin, Carolyn M; Kubzansky, Laura D; Chen, Edith; Mroczek, Daniel K; Wang, Joyce M; Spiro, Avron

    2015-12-01

    Although early adversity has been linked to worse mental and physical health in adulthood, few studies have investigated the pathways through which positive and negative dimensions of early experiences can jointly influence psychological well-being in later life. This study examined: (a) profiles of early experiences across multiple domains, (b) the relations of these profiles to hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in later life, and (c) whether midlife social support mediated these relations. We first conducted latent class analysis of early experiences using data from 1,076 men in the VA Normative Aging Study who completed the Childhood Experiences Scale (age: M = 69, SD = 7). Analyses yielded 3 profiles of early experiences, labeled as cherished (strong support and some losses), harshly disciplined (harsh parental discipline, low positive reinforcement, and nonnormative stressors), and ordinary (few stressors and low parental attention). Next, we applied structural equation modeling to data on a subset of this sample assessed 7 years later on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being (n = 496; age: M = 76, SD = 7). In general, the cherished group reported stronger qualitative social support in midlife than the harshly disciplined and ordinary groups, which in turn was related to greater hedonic (life satisfaction, positive affect) and eudaimonic (competence, positive relations with others) well-being in later life. The cherished group also reported higher autonomy than the ordinary group, but this association was independent of midlife social support. Our findings suggest that experiencing adversity in the context of a nurturing early environment can promote successful aging through the maintenance of supportive relationships in midlife. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Correlates of VA mental health treatment utilization among OEF/OIF/OND veterans: Resilience, stigma, social support, personality, and beliefs about treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeViva, Jason C; Sheerin, Christina M; Southwick, Steven M; Roy, Alicia M; Pietrzak, Robert H; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan

    2016-05-01

    Veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom/New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) tend not to engage in mental health care. Identifying modifiable factors related to mental health service utilization could facilitate development of interventions to increase utilization. The current study examined the relationship between mental health care utilization and measures of PTSD symptoms, resilience, stigma, beliefs about mental health care, perceived barriers to mental health care, posttraumatic growth and meaning, social support, and personality factors in a sample of 100 OEF/OIF/OND veterans with PTSD symptoms referred to VA mental health care. Participants who received psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy (PP) scored higher on measures of PTSD symptoms, stigma, and adaptive beliefs about mental health treatment, and lower on measures of resilience, postdeployment social support, emotional stability, and conscientiousness, than participants who received no treatment (NT). Participants who received psychotherapy only (PT) scored higher on a measure of PTSD symptoms than NT participants. PT participants scored higher on an emotional stability measure and lower on measures of PTSD symptoms and stigma than PP participants. Multinomial logistic regression including all variables significantly related to treatment utilization indicated that PTSD symptoms and adaptive beliefs about psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy were higher in the PT and PP groups than in the NT group, and concerns about discrimination were higher in the PP group than the NT group. Interventions targeting beliefs about mental health care could increase mental health treatment utilization among OEF/OIF/OND veterans. Concerns about stigma may affect the utilization process differently at different decision points. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. 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

    Administration Mentor, and David Austin, VA Learning University. This thesis is dedicated to my wonderful daughters , Sheila Marie and Sarah Jane, whose love has...and best friend, Stephanie, thank you all for your support with all the challenges along the way. Thanks to you for being there for my daughters ...as life happened, when I couldn’t be while I attended CGSC at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Thank you to my earthly fathers , Douglas and Rudy, for their

  5. Surgery and Adjuvant Chemotherapy Use Among Veterans With Colon Cancer: Insights From a California Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hynes, Denise M.; Tarlov, Elizabeth; Durazo-Arvizu, Ramon; Perrin, Ruth; Zhang, Qiuying; Weichle, Thomas; Ferreira, M. Rosario; Lee, Todd; Benson, Al B.; Bhoopalam, Nirmala; Bennett, Charles L.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose US veterans have been shown to be a vulnerable population with high cancer rates, and cancer care quality in Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals is the focus of a congressionally mandated review. We examined rates of surgery and chemotherapy use among veterans with colon cancer at VA and non-VA facilities in California to gain insight into factors associated with quality of cancer care. Methods A retrospective cohort of incident colon cancer patients from the California Cancer Registry, who were ≥ 66 years old and eligible to use VA and Medicare between 1999 and 2001, were observed for 6 months after diagnosis. Results Among 601 veterans with colon cancer, 72% were initially diagnosed and treated in non-VA facilities. Among veterans with stage I to III cancer, those diagnosed and initially treated in VA facilities experienced similar colectomy rates as those at non-VA facilities. Stage III patients diagnosed and initially treated in VA versus non-VA facilities had similar odds of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. In both settings, older patients had lower odds of receiving chemotherapy than their younger counterparts even when race and comorbidity were considered (age 76 to 85 years: odds ratio [OR] = 0.18; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.46; age ≥ 86 years: OR = 0.17; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.73). Conclusion In California, older veterans with colon cancer used both VA and non-VA facilities for cancer treatment, and odds of receiving cancer-directed surgery and chemotherapy were similar in both systems. Among stage III patients, older age lowered odds of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy in both systems. Further studies should continue to explore potential health system effects on quality of colon cancer care across the United States. PMID:20406940

  6. Addressing the Challenges of Palliative Care for Homeless Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutt, Evelyn; Albright, Karen; Dischinger, Hannah; Weber, Mary; Jones, Jacqueline; O'Toole, Thomas P

    2017-01-01

    Veterans who nearing the end of life (EOL) in unstable housing are not adequately served by current palliative care or homeless programs. Multidisciplinary focus groups, interviews with community and Veterans Affairs (VA) leaders and with 29 homeless veterans were conducted in five cities. A forum of national palliative and homelessness care leaders (n=5) and representatives from each focus group (n=10), then convened. The forum used Nominal Group Process to suggest improvements in EOL care for veterans without homes. Modified Delphi Process was used to consolidate and prioritize recommendations during two subsequent tele-video conferences. Qualitative content analysis drew on meeting transcripts and field notes. The Forum developed 12 recommendations to address the following barriers: (1) Declining health often makes independent living or plans to abstain impossible, but housing programs usually require functional independence and sobriety. (2) Managing symptoms within the homelessness context is challenging. (3) Discontinuities within and between systems restrict care. (4) VA regulations challenge collaboration with community providers. (5) Veterans with unstable housing who are at EOL and those who care for them must compete nationally for prioritization of their care. Care of veterans at EOL without homes may be substantially improved through policy changes to facilitate access to appropriate housing and care; better dissemination of existing policy; cross-discipline and cross-system education; facilitated communication among VA, community, homeless and EOL providers; and pilot testing of VA group homes or palliative care facilities that employ harm reduction strategies.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  9. 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...

  10. Variation in Utilization of Health Care Services for Rural VA Enrollees With Mental Health-Related Diagnoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher E; Bush, Ruth L; Harman, Jeffrey; Bolin, Jane; Evans Hudnall, Gina; Nguyen, Ann M

    2015-01-01

    Rural-dwelling Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enrollees are at high risk for a wide variety of mental health-related disorders. The objective of this study is to examine the variation in the types of mental and nonmental health services received by rural VA enrollees who have a mental health-related diagnosis. The Andersen and Aday behavioral model of health services use and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data were used to examine how VA enrollees with mental health-related diagnoses accessed places of care from 1999 to 2009. Population survey weights were applied to the MEPS data, and logit regression was conducted to model how predisposing, enabling, and need factors influence rural veteran health services use (measured by visits to different places of care). Analyses were performed on the subpopulations: rural VA, rural non-VA, urban VA, and urban non-VA enrollees. For all types of care, both rural and urban VA enrollees received care from inpatient, outpatient, office-based, and emergency room settings at higher odds than urban non-VA enrollees. Rural VA enrollees also received all types of care from inpatient, office-based, and emergency room settings at higher odds than urban VA enrollees. Rural VA enrollees had higher odds of a mental health visit of any kind compared to urban VA and non-VA enrollees. Based on these variations, the VA may want to develop strategies to increase screening efforts in inpatient settings and emergency rooms to further capture rural VA enrollees who have undiagnosed mental health conditions. © 2015 National Rural Health Association.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Nicotine dependence and its risk factors among users of veterans health services, 2008-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Edens, Ellen L; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2011-11-01

    Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and is disproportionately higher among veterans than nonveterans. We examined the prevalence of nicotine dependence and its associated risk factors among veterans who used health services in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Using a case-control design, we compared all VA health service users in fiscal year 2008-2009 (N = 5,031,381) who received a nicotine dependence diagnosis with those who did not. Independent risk and protective factors associated with receiving a nicotine dependence diagnosis were identified using logistic regression analysis. We conducted subgroup analyses on 2 groups of particular policy concern: homeless veterans and veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among all recent VA health service users, 15% (n = 749,353) received a diagnosis of nicotine dependence. Substance abuse, other mental health diagnoses, and homelessness were identified as major risk factors. Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were not found to be at increased risk compared to veterans from other war eras. Major risk and protective factors within the subgroups of homeless veterans and veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were broadly similar to those in the general VA population. Given that other studies have found higher rates of nicotine dependence among veterans, this risk behavior may be underdiagnosed in VA medical records. Veterans who are homeless or have mental health or substance abuse problems are at highest risk and should be targeted for smoking prevention and cessation interventions. These results support, in principle, efforts to integrate smoking cessation programs with mental health and homeless services.

  15. Staff Perceptions of Key Factors Guiding Nursing Home Search and Selection Within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Edward Alan; Gidmark, Stefanie; Gadbois, Emily; Rudolph, James L; Intrator, Orna

    2017-06-21

    Veterans enter nursing homes (NHs) for short-term postacute, rehabilitation, respite, or end-of-life care. They also enter NHs on a long-term basis due to frailty, disability, functional deficits, and cognitive impairment. Little is known about how a particular NH is chosen once the decision to enter a NH has been made. This study identified VA staff perceptions of the key factors influencing the search and selection of NHs within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Data derived from 35 semistructured interviews with discharge planning and contracting staff from 12 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). VA staff placed a premium on Veteran and family preferences in the NH selection process, though VA staff knowledge and familiarity with placement options established the general parameters within which NH placement decisions were made. Geographic proximity to Veterans' homes and families was a major factor in NH choice. Other key considerations included Veterans' specialty care needs (psychiatric, postacute, ventilator) and Veteran/facility demographics (age, race/ethnicity, Veteran status). VA staff tried to remain neutral in NH selection, thus instructing families to visit facilities and review publicly available quality data. VA staff report that amenities (private rooms, activities, smoking) and aesthetics (cleanliness, smell, layout, décor) often outweighed objective quality indicators in Veteran and family decision making. Findings suggest that VAMCs facilitate Veteran and family decision making around NH selection. They also suggest that VAMCs endeavor to identify and recruit a broader array of higher quality NHs to better match the specific needs of Veterans and families to the choice set available.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speiser, Bernadette; Dutra-Brice, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. 76 FR 75509 - Autopsies at VA Expense

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-02

    ... Facilities; 64.007, Blind Rehabilitation Centers; 64.008, Veterans Domiciliary Care; 64.009, Veterans Medical Care Benefits; 64.010, Veterans Nursing Home Care; 64.014, Veterans State Domiciliary Care; 64.015...-reference to VA regulations that authorize certain outpatient and ambulatory care. The proposed rule would...

  20. Characteristics and service use of homeless veterans and nonveterans residing in a low-demand emergency shelter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovich, James C; Pollio, David E; North, Carol S

    2014-06-01

    This study examined use of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA services and predictors of service use among veterans and nonveterans who resided in a low-demand emergency shelter. Equal numbers (N=110) of veterans and nonveterans recruited between January and June 2008 at a low-demand emergency shelter were interviewed about demographic characteristics, histories of military service and homelessness, general medical and mental functioning, current alcohol and drug problems and substance use, and use of medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse services. The Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations was used to identify need-based, enabling, and predisposing variables for analysis. Both groups reported high rates of arrest and incarceration, very low incomes, extensive histories of homelessness, and a similar need for services. However, significantly more veterans than nonveterans used psychiatric services, nonemergency medical services, and inpatient substance use services. Similar proportions of veterans and nonveterans used public non-VA health care services. Need-based variables appropriately predicted service use, but veterans and individuals with insurance were also more likely to access services. The veterans and nonveterans residing in a low-demand shelter faced several barriers to escaping homelessness. Both groups made similar use of non-VA services, but veterans used more services overall because of their access to VA services. The predictive power of insurance indicated that veterans may experience barriers to care despite the availability of VA services. The presence of veterans in this low-demand shelter may represent evidence of barriers to veteran and other public housing services.

  1. Which Homeless Veterans Benefit From a Peer Mentor and How?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resnik, Linda; Ekerholm, Sarah; Johnson, Erin E; Ellison, Marsha L; O'Toole, Thomas P

    2017-09-01

    Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding peer support. Research is limited on Veterans' perspective on benefits from peer services. We describe homeless Veteran perceptions of value and examine characteristics associated with benefit. From a sample of Veterans in a multisite randomized control trial, we studied addition of peers in VA Primary Care and homeless-oriented primary care clinics. We used qualitative methods to study the perceptions of peer services among a subsample of homeless Veterans. Quantitative methods were used to validate findings in both samples. Sixty-five percent of the subsample and 83% of the full sample benefited from a peer mentor. Participants who benefited had more peer visits and minutes of intervention (p<.05), were more likely to be minority, and were less likely to have posttraumatic stress disorder. The majority of Veteran participants in this study benefited from receiving peer mentor intervention. African American Veterans were more likely to benefit and Veterans with PTSD were less likely to benefit. Client endorsement of the peer's role influenced outcomes. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. 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...

  3. A Comparison of Collaborative Care Outcomes in Two Health Care Systems: VA Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubbs, Kathleen M; Fortney, John C; Pyne, Jeffrey; Mittal, Dinesh; Ray, John; Hudson, Teresa J

    2018-01-16

    Collaborative care for depression results in symptom reduction when compared with usual care. No studies have systematically compared collaborative care outcomes between veterans treated at Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics and civilians treated at publicly funded federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) after controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics. Data from two randomized controlled trials that used a similar collaborative care intervention for depression were combined to conduct post hoc analyses (N=759). The Telemedicine-Enhanced Antidepressant Management intervention was delivered in VA community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), and the Outreach Using Telemedicine for Rural Enhanced Access in Community Health intervention was delivered in FQHCs. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine whether veteran status moderated the effect of the intervention on treatment response (>50% reduction in symptoms). There was a significant main effect for intervention (odds ratio [OR]=5.23, p<.001) and a moderating effect for veteran status, with lower response rates among veterans compared with civilians (OR=.21, p=.01). The addition of variables representing medication dosage and number of mental health and general health appointments did not influence the moderating effect. A sensitivity analysis stratified by gender found a significant moderating effect of veteran status for men but not women. Veteran status was a significant moderator of collaborative care effectiveness for depression, indicating that veterans receiving collaborative care at a CBOC are at risk of nonresponse. Unmeasured patient- or system-level characteristics may contribute to poorer response among veterans.

  4. The impact of Agent Orange exposure on prognosis and management in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a National Veteran Affairs Tumor Registry Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Craig; Gilbertson, David; Randall, Nicole M; Tarchand, Gobind; Tomaska, Julie; Baumann Kreuziger, Lisa; Morrison, Vicki A

    2017-09-14

    Exposure to Agent Orange (AO) has been associated with the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We performed a retrospective study of 2052 Vietnam veterans identified in the National VA Tumor Registry to assess the impact of AO exposure on CLL prognosis, treatment and survival. Prognostic factors did not differ based on exposure. Veterans exposed to AO were diagnosed younger (63.2 vs. 70.5 years, p < .0001) and had longer overall survival (median not reached vs. 91 months, p < .001). This prolonged survival was in the subgroups of patients aged 60-69 years (p< .0001) and those with 11q deletion (p < .0001). Those exposed to AO were more likely to be treated with fludarabine, chlorambucil and rituximab (38 vs. 21%, p < .001) and bendamustine plus rituximab (25 vs. 18%, p = 0.039) as first line therapy. Exposure to AO was not associated with either poor prognostic factors or shortened overall survival in our large veteran population with CLL.

  5. Male Veteran Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Program Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Bradley J

    2016-01-01

    The prominence and incidence of intimate partner violence (IPV) with male military veterans vary, but generally there is consensus that screening and intervention does help reduce IPV. Intervention is generally provided in the community via Batterer Intervention Programs. However, at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) intervention is provided via the Domestic Relations Clinic. Nationally the VA has limited treatment for male IPV. An aggregate sample (n = 178) of participants was assessed using the Domestic Violence/Abuse Screen to measure covariate pre-test and post-test outcomes, program failure, and recidivism. The treatment approach is psycho-educationally based to meet the challenging and unique needs of the military veteran population. The results contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of IPV and highlight the need for more intervention and prevention approaches.

  6. Veterans Employment Pay for Success Grant Program. Interim final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-10

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is establishing a grant program (Veterans Employment Pay for Success (VEPFS)) under the authority of the U.S.C. to award grants to eligible entities to fund projects that are successful in accomplishing employment rehabilitation for Veterans with service-connected disabilities. VA will award grants on the basis of an eligible entity's proposed use of a Pay for Success (PFS) strategy to achieve goals. This interim final rule establishes regulations for awarding a VEPFS grant, including the general process for awarding the grant, criteria and parameters for evaluating grant applications, priorities related to the award of a grant, and general requirements and guidance for administering a VEPFS grant program.

  7. Risk factors for ED use among homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2013-05-01

    Despite national concern about homeless veterans, there has been little examination of their use of emergency department (ED) services. This study examines factors related to the use of ED services in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, where insurance is not a barrier to ambulatory healthcare. National VA administrative data from fiscal year 2010 are used to describe the proportions of ED users among homeless and domiciled VA patients. A case-control design is then used to compare homeless ED and non-ED users on sociodemographic and clinical correlates, as well as use of ambulatory care and psychotropic medications. Sixteen percent of domiciled VA patients used EDs at least once during the year and 1% were frequent ED users (>4 ED visits) compared to 45% of homeless VA patients, 10% who were frequent ED users. Among homeless VA patients, those who used EDs were more likely to have a range of psychiatric and medical conditions, and had more service visits and psychotropic medication prescriptions than non-ED users. Multivariate analyses suggest their risk for psychiatric and medical conditions increase their likelihood of using ED services. The high rate of ED use among homeless veterans is associated with significant morbidity, but also greater use of ambulatory care and psychotropics suggesting their ED use may reflect unmet psychosocial needs. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Acknowledging the Risk for Traumatic Brain Injury in Women Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoroso, Timothy; Iverson, Katherine M

    2017-04-01

    Since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began, an unprecedented number of women have been engaging in combat operations. Likewise, the number of women using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services has doubled since 2001. Military service, and deployment to combat in particular, poses certain risks for traumatic brain injury (TBI)-for all service members. However, women may have additional military and nondeployment risk factors such as intimate partner violence (IPV). We briefly review the definition and classification issues related to TBI, as well as common acute and chronic health symptoms after TBI. Specific sex differences in prognosis after TBI, in particular the neurobehavioral symptoms, are also reviewed. We then focus on the emerging literature regarding TBI in women veterans including the etiologies, outcomes, and unique challenges this population faces. The article concludes with suggestions for enhanced screening by VA and non-VA providers alike, as well as directions for future research and clinical inquiry.

  9. Risk factors for hepatitis C infection among Vietnam era veterans versus nonveterans: results from the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boscarino, Joseph A; Sitarik, Alexandra; Gordon, Stuart C; Rupp, Loralee B; Nerenz, David R; Vijayadeva, Vinutha; Schmidt, Mark A; Henkle, Emily; Lu, Mei

    2014-10-01

    Research suggests that Vietnam era veterans have a higher prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) than other veterans and nonveterans. However, the reasons for this are unclear, since this research has been conducted among Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients and most veterans do not use the VA. The current study compares HCV risk factors between the Vietnam era veterans and nonveterans seen in 4 large non-VA systems to explain this disparity. A total of 4,636 HCV patients completed surveys in 2011-2012. Vietnam era veterans were defined as those who served in the military any time between 1964 and 1975. Bivariate tests followed by logistic regressions, and multivariable modeling were conducted to study risk factors among Vietnam era veterans and nonveterans. Since few veterans were female (~2 %), they were excluded. Among male respondents (N = 2,638), 22.5 % were classified as Vietnam era veterans. Compared to nonveterans, these patients were older (p risk factor differences for HCV infection by veteran status suggested that while injection drug use approached statistical significance (nonveterans = 46.1 % vs. Vietnam era veterans = 41.4 %, p = 0.06), only reported sex with men was significant (nonveterans = 2.4 % vs. Vietnam era veterans = 0.6 %, p = 0.013). In multivariate logistic regression controlling for age, education, country of birth, marital status and study site, no HCV risk factor was associated with Vietnam era veteran status. However, veterans were more likely to report "other" exposures were the source of infection than nonveterans (p Vietnam era veterans seen in non-VA facilities do not report a higher prevalence of common HCV risk factors, such as injection drug use, they are more likely to report "other" exposures, typically associated with military service, as the source of HCV infection.

  10. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-22

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

  12. 75 FR 16163 - Announcement of Funding Awards for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-31

    ...,688 105 Nevada Rural Housing Authority........ 3695 Desatoya Drive...... Carson City NV 89701 407,291.... 300. City of Virginia Beach Princess Anne Park Virginia Beach VA 23456 270,541 35 Municipal Center...

  13. 78 FR 76412 - Agency Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-17

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... Application, VA Form 0924t. e. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Event Application, VA Form 0925b. f. Voluntary Service Application, VA Form 0925d. g. National Veteran Golden Age Games Application, VA Form 0926...

  14. 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.

  15. Health care utilization and costs after entry into an outreach program for homeless mentally ill veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenheck, R; Gallup, P; Frisman, L K

    1993-12-01

    This study evaluated the impact of a Department of Veterans Affairs outreach and residential treatment program for homeless mentally ill veterans on utilization and cost of health care services provided by the VA. Veterans at nine program sites (N = 1,748) were assessed with a standard intake instrument. Services provided by the outreach program were documented in quarterly clinical reports and in residential treatment discharge summaries. Data on nonprogram VA health service utilization and health care costs were obtained from national VA data bases. Changes in use of services and cost of services from the year before initial contact with the program to the year after were analyzed by t test. Multivariate analyses were used to examine the relationship of these changes to indicators of clinical need and to participation in the outreach program. Although utilization of inpatient service did not increase after veterans' initial contact with the program, use of domiciliary and outpatient services increased substantially. Total annual costs to the VA also increased by 35 percent, from $6,414 to $8,699 per veteran per year. Both clinical need and participation in the program were associated with increased use of health services and increased cost. Veterans with concomitant psychiatric and substance abuse problems used fewer health care services than others. Specialized programs to improve the access of homeless mentally ill persons to health care services appear to be effective, but costly. Dually diagnosed persons seem especially difficult to engage in treatment.

  16. Mortality ascertainment of women veterans: a comparison of sources of vital status information, 1979-2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savas, Lara S; del Junco, Deborah J; Bastian, Lori A; Vernon, Sally W

    2009-01-01

    To support health research on the unique cohort of women with a history of military service, this study assessed the completeness of mortality ascertainment for Texas women veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA databases. We examined female veteran-specific mortality ascertainment comparing the VA Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem Death File (BIRLS DF), VA Patient Treatment Files (PTF), and Social Security Administration-Death Master File (SSA-DMF) with Texas death certificate data. Databases were deterministically cross-linked, using female sex and social security numbers. Deterministic and probabilistic linkage methods were also compared. Of 6,297 decedents identified by death certificates, SSA-DMF, BIRLS DF, and PTF databases identified 97.5% collectively and 94%, 77%, and 5% individually. Compared with Texas death certificates, sensitivity of VA and SSA databases improved with increasing age. This study highlights that although the VA and SSA administrative databases have less complete ascertainment for younger decedents, combined these electronic databases provide nearly complete ascertainment for women veterans. Challenges related to large female-specific cross-linkage studies are explored, and a need to examine methods for female-specific health research studies in the general population is identified.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 38 CFR 14.605 - Suits against Department of Veterans Affairs employees arising out of a wrongful act or omission...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietert, Michelle; Dentice, Dianne; Keig, Zander

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: There is a gap in social science literature addressing issues of access and quality of care for transgender military veterans. Psychologists, medical doctors, and other health professionals are beginning to address some of the barriers present in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system that affect veterans who are also transgender and intersex. Over a 7-year period, between 2006 and 2013, 2600 transgender veterans were served by the VA. Data from several surveys revealed that most transgender veterans perceive the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to be less than accommodating for their special needs. The goal of this study was to investigate the experiences of a sample of transgender veterans with regard to their experiences with healthcare services provided by the VHA. Methods: Using snowball sampling techniques, we were able to recruit 22 transgender military veterans to participate in our study. A combination of telephone interviews and questionnaires provided data from veterans in various branches of the military throughout the United States. Results: Findings indicate that even though the VHA is working to address issues of inequality for transgender veterans, our participants indicated that there are still some problems with administration of care, proper training of staff and physicians, and availability of comprehensive services for the unique healthcare needs of transgender individuals. Conclusion: Since our data were collected, the VA has worked to bridge the gap by focusing on increased training for VHA providers and staff and establishing LGBT programs at VA facilities. However, we suggest that one key area of importance should continue to focus on how mental health and medical providers and ancillary staff are trained to interact with and provide care for their transgender patients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Multi-family Group Treatment for Veterans with Mood Disorders: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Michelle D; Fischer, Ellen P; Owen, Richard R; Lu, Liya; Han, Xiaotong

    2015-09-01

    Mood disorders affect large numbers of individuals and their families; the ripple effects on relationship functioning can be great. Researchers have advocated for a relational perspective to mood disorder treatment, and several promising treatments have been developed. However, few rigorous evaluations have been conducted within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Multifamily group therapy, an evidence-based practice for people living with schizophrenia, has recently been adapted for other psychological disorders with promising results. This report describes the first published evaluation of this treatment modality in the VA system for veterans living with mood disorders. 101 male veterans (74 with major depression and 27 with bipolar disorder) and their family members participated in REACH (Reaching out to Educate and Assist Caring, Healthy Families), a 9-month, manualized, multi-family group treatment, intervention adapted from McFarlane's original multi-family group model. Participants completed self-report questionnaires at four time points across the course of the treatment, and service utilization data for veterans were obtained from VA databases. Both veterans and family members showed improvements in their knowledge about mood disorders, understanding of positive strategies for dealing with situations commonly confronted in mood disorders, and family coping strategies. Veterans also evidenced improvement in family communication and problem-solving behaviors, empowerment, perceived social support, psychiatric symptoms, and overall quality of life. The REACH intervention holds promise as a feasible, acceptable, and effective treatment for veterans living with mood disorders and their families. Further study is warranted.

  3. 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.

  4. 38 CFR 74.27 - How will VA store information?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false How will VA store... (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.27 How will VA store information? VA... electronically on the Department's secure servers. CVE personnel will compare information provided concerning...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Use of alcoholic beverages in VA medical centers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qadri S Faiz

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Benzodiazepines are the first-line choice for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. However, several hospitals continue to provide alcoholic beverages through their formulary for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. While there are data on the prevalence of this practice in academic medical centers, there are no data on the availability of alcoholic beverages at the formularies of the hospitals operated by the department of Veteran's Affairs. Methods In this study, we surveyed the Pharmacy managers at 112 Veterans' Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs to ascertain the availability of alcohol on the VAMC formularies, and presence or lack of a policy on the use of alcoholic beverages in their VA Medical Center. Results Of the pharmacy directors contacted, 81 responded. 8 did not allow their use, while 20 allowed their use. There was a lack of a consistent policy across the VA medical centers on availability and use of alcoholic beverages for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Conclusion There is lack of uniform policy on the availability of alcoholic beverages across the VAMCs, which may create potential problems with difference in the standards of care.

  11. Trends in anemia management in lung and colon cancer patients in the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2002-2008.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarlov, Elizabeth; Stroupe, Kevin T; Lee, Todd A; Weichle, Thomas W; Zhang, Qiuying L; Michaelis, Laura C; Ozer, Howard; Browning, Margaret M; Hynes, Denise M

    2012-08-01

    In 2007, growing concerns about adverse impacts of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in cancer patients led to an FDA-mandated black box warning on product labeling, publication of revised clinical guidelines, and a Medicare coverage decision limiting ESA coverage. We examined ESA therapy in lung and colon cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in the VA from 2002 to 2008 to ascertain trends in and predictors of ESA use. A retrospective study employed national VA databases to "observe" treatment for a 12-month period following diagnosis. Multivariable logistic regression analyses evaluated changes in ESA use following the FDA-mandated black box warning in March 2007 and examined trends in ESA administration between 2002 and 2008. Among 17,014 lung and 4,225 colon cancer patients, those treated after the March 2007 FDA decision had 65% (lung OR 0.35, CI(95%) 0.30-0.42) and 53% (colon OR 0.47, CI(95%) 0.36-0.63) reduced odds of ESA treatment compared to those treated before. Declines in predicted probabilities of ESA use began in 2006. The magnitude of the declines differed across age groups among colon patients (p = 0.01) and levels of hemoglobin among lung cancer patients (p = 0.04). Use of ESA treatment for anemia in VA cancer care declined markedly after 2005, well before the 2007 changes in product labeling and clinical guidelines. This suggests that earlier dissemination of research results had marked impacts on practice patterns with these agents.

  12. Implementation of online suicide-specific training for VA providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Elizabeth; York, Janet; Magruder, Kathryn; Yeager, Derik; Knapp, Rebecca; De Santis, Mark L; Burriss, Louisa; Mauldin, Mary; Sulkowski, Stan; Pope, Charlene; Jobes, David A

    2014-10-01

    Due to the gap in suicide-specific intervention training for mental health students and professionals, e-learning is one solution to improving provider skills in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system. This study focused on the development and evaluation of an equivalent e-learning alternative to the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) in-person training approach at a Veteran Health Affairs medical center. The study used a multicenter, randomized, cluster, and three group design. the development of e-CAMS was an iterative process and included pilot testing. Eligible and consenting mental health providers, who completed a CAMS pre-survey, were randomized. Provider satisfaction was assessed using the standard VA evaluation of training consisting of 20 items. Two post training focus groups, divided by learning conditions, were conducted to assess practice adoption using a protocol focused on experiences with training and delivery of CAMS. A total of 215 providers in five sites were randomized to three conditions: 69 to e-learning, 70 to in-person, 76 to the control. The providers were primarily female, Caucasian, midlife providers. Based on frequency scores of satisfaction items, both learning groups rated the trainings positively. In focus groups representing divided by learning conditions, participants described positive reactions to CAMS training and similar individual and institutional barriers to full implementation of CAMS. This is the first evaluation study of a suicide-specific e-learning training within the VA. The e-CAMS appears equivalent to the in-person CAMS in terms of provider satisfaction with training and practice adoption, consistent with other comparisons of training deliveries across specialty areas. Additional evaluation of provider confidence and adoption and patient outcomes is in progress. The e-CAMS has the potential to provide ongoing training for VA and military mental health providers and serve as a tutorial for

  13. You won't know if you're improving unless you measure: recommendations for evaluating Hospice-Veteran Partnerships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Diane; Edes, Thomas; Shreve, Scott; Casarett, David J

    2006-11-01

    Growing evidence indicates that there are abundant opportunities to improve the care that patients receive near the end of life. Hospice care has been associated with improvements in these and other outcomes, but hospice is underused by most patient populations. Therefore, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made hospice access a priority in its plan to improve end-of-life care for all veterans. In addition to committing funding for hospice care, the VA has also established a national network of Hospice-Veteran Partnerships (HVPs) whose goal is to improve access to hospice for veterans. This article describes the results of a nationwide consensus project to develop measures of the success of HVPs and recommends key measures that should be used to track improvements and to identify opportunities for highly successful collaborative strategies.

  14. 76 FR 4152 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-24

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

  15. 78 FR 37278 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-20

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

  16. Induced abortion among women veterans: data from the ECUUN study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Eleanor Bimla; Sileanu, Florentina E; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K; Callegari, Lisa S; Borrero, Sonya

    2018-01-01

    We compared rates of induced abortion among women veterans receiving Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare to rates in the general US population, as current policy prohibits VA provision of abortion counseling or services even when pregnancy endangers a veteran's life. We analyzed data from 2298 women veterans younger than 45 years who completed a telephone-based, cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled English-speaking women from across the United States who had received VA healthcare. We compared lifetime, last-5-year and last-year rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion among participants to age-matched data from the National Survey of Family Growth. As few abortions were reported in the last year, we used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between abortion in the last 5 years and age, race/ethnicity, income, education, religion, marital status, parity, geography, deployment history, housing instability, and past medical and mental health among VA patients. Women veterans were more likely than matched US women to report ever having an abortion [17.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 16.1%-19.3% vs. 15.2% of US women]. In the last 5 years, unintended pregnancy and abortion were reported by veterans at rates similar to US women. In multivariable models, VA patients were more likely to report abortion in the last 5 years if their annual income was less than $40,000 (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.95, 95% CI 1.30-6.70), they had experienced homelessness or housing instability (adjusted OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.01-3.62), they were single (adj. OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.23-4.91) and/or they had given birth (adjusted OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.19-4.40). Women veterans face unintended pregnancy and seek abortion as often as the larger US population. The Veterans Health Care Act, which prohibits provision of abortion services, increases vulnerable veterans' out-of-pocket healthcare costs and limits veterans' reproductive freedom. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. 38 CFR 17.251 - The Subcommittee on Academic Affairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  18. A National Study of Veterans Treatment Court Participants: Who Benefits and Who Recidivates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Finlay, Andrea; Flatley, Bessie; Kasprow, Wesley J; Clark, Sean

    2017-07-21

    Although there are now over 400 veterans treatment courts (VTCs) in the country, there have been few studies on participant outcomes in functional domains. Using national data on 7931 veterans in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Justice Outreach program across 115 VA sites who entered a VTC from 2011 to 2015, we examined the housing, employment, income, and criminal justice outcomes of VTC participants; and identified veteran characteristics predictive of outcomes. VTC participants spent an average of nearly a year in the program and 14% experienced a new incarceration. From program admission to exit, 10% more participants were in their own housing, 12% more were receiving VA benefits, but only 1% more were employed. Controlling for background characteristics, a history of incarceration predicted poor criminal justice, housing, and employment outcomes. Participants with property offenses or probation/parole violations and those with substance use disorders were more likely to experience a new incarceration. Participants with more mental health problems were more likely to be receiving VA benefits and less likely to be employed at program exit. Together, these findings highlight the importance of proper substance abuse treatment as well as employment services for VTC participants so that they can benefit from the diversion process.

  19. Associations Between Provider Designation and Female-specific Cancer Screening in Women Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Bastian, Lori; Trentalange, Mark; Murphy, Terrence E.; Skanderson, Melissa; Allore, Heather; Reyes-Harvey, Evelyn; Maisel, Natalya C.; Gaetano, Vera; Wright, Steven; Haskell, Sally; Brandt, Cynthia

    2017-01-01

    Background In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA) implemented policy to provide Comprehensive Primary Care (for acute, chronic, and female-specific care) from designated Women’s Health providers (DWHPs) at all VA sites. However, since that time no comparisons of quality measures have been available to assess the level of care for women Veterans assigned to these providers. Objectives To evaluate the associations between cervical and breast cancer screening rates among age-appropriate women Veterans and designation of primary-care provider (DWHP vs. non-DWHP). Research Design Cross-sectional analyses using the fiscal year 2012 data on VA women’s health providers, administrative files, and patient-specific quality measures. Subjects The sample included 37,128 women Veterans aged 21 through 69 years. Measures Variables included patient demographic and clinical factors (ie, age, race, ethnicity, mental health diagnoses, obesity, and site), and provider factors (ie, DWHP status, sex, and panel size). Screening measures were defined by age-appropriate subgroups using VA national guidelines. Results Female-specific cancer screening rates were higher among patients assigned to DWHPs (cervical cytology 94.4% vs. 91.9%, P screening (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–1.47; P screening (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.10–1.39; P screening within VA. Separate evaluation of sex neutral measures is needed to determine whether other measures accrue benefits for patients with DWHPs. PMID:25767975

  20. Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans. Welcome

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    pages 90-91 Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance ( TSGLI ) - Module 4, page 85 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) - Module 1, page 31...PNOK – Primary Next of Kin SSN – Social Security Number TSGLI – Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance VA – Department of Veterans Affairs...pages 90-92 TBI Prevalence - Module 1, page 3 TBI Types - Module 1, pages 13-14 TSGLI (Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Development and Validation of an Instrument to Assess Imminent Risk of Homelessness Among Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fargo, Jamison D.; Kane, Vincent; Culhane, Dennis P.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Veterans are overrepresented within the homeless population compared with their non-veteran counterparts, particularly when controlling for poverty. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to prevent new episodes of homelessness by targeting households at greatest risk; however, there are no instruments that systematically assess veterans' risk of homelessness. We developed and tested a brief screening instrument to identify imminent risk of homelessness among veterans accessing VA health care. Methods The study team developed initial assessment items, conducted cognitive interviews with veterans experiencing homelessness, refined pilot items based on veterans' and experts' feedback and results of psychometric analyses, and assigned weights to items in the final instrument to indicate a measure of homelessness risk. Results One-third of veterans who responded to the field instrument reported imminent risk of homelessness (i.e., housing instability in the previous 90 days or expected in the next 90 days). The reliability coefficient for the instrument was 0.85, indicating good internal consistency. Veterans who had a recent change in income, had unpaid housing expenses, were living temporarily with family and friends, needed help to get or keep housing, and had poor rental and credit histories were more likely to report a risk of homelessness than those who did not. Conclusion This study provides the field with an instrument to identify individuals and households at risk of or experiencing homelessness, which is necessary to prevent and end homelessness. In addition, it supports VA's investment in homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing services for veterans who are experiencing or are at risk for homelessness. PMID:25177054

  4. Performance-based budgeting in the public sector: an illustration from the VA health care system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaisawarng, Suthathip; Burgess, James F

    2006-03-01

    This paper estimates frontier cost functions for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in FY2000 that are consistent with economic theory and explicitly account for cost differences across patients' risk, level of access to care, quality of care, and hospital-specific characteristics. Results indicate that on average VA hospitals in FY2000 operate at efficiency levels of 94%, as compared to previous studies on US private sector hospitals that average closer to 90% efficient. Using these cost frontiers, management systems potentially could be implemented to enhance the equitable allocation of the VA medical care global budget and systematically distribute funds across hospitals and networks. The paper also provides recommendations to improve the efficiency of delivering health care services applicable to public sector organizations. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Test-retest reliability of the VA National Center for Patient Safety culture questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiner, Brian; Ronconi, Julia M; McKnight, Scott; Young-Xu, Yinong; Mills, Peter D; Watts, Bradley V

    2016-12-01

    Patient safety culture may have a significant influence on safety processes and outcomes. Therefore, it is important to have valid tools to measure patient safety culture in order to identify potential levers for cultural change that could improve patient safety. The 65-item Department of Veterans Affairs Patient Safety Culture Survey (VA PSCS) consists of 14 dimensions and is administered biannually to VA employees. Test-retest reliability of the VA PSCS has not been established. We conducted repeated administrations of the VA PSCS among 28 VA employees. We measured intraclass correlation coefficients for each item and dimension. Test-retest intraclass correlation coefficient values were 0.7 or greater for 13 out of 14 dimensions of the VA PSCS. Employees had difficulty reliably reporting how others feel about patient safety. In general, the VA PSCS survey showed adequate test-retest reliability. Items asking what others think or feel showed lower reliability. Further work is needed to better understand the relationship between safety culture, safety processes and safety outcomes. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  6. 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 …

  7. 75 FR 25321 - Agency Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-07

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... Wheelchair Games Application, VA Form 0925a series. c. National Veterans Golden Age Games Application, VA... therapeutic rehabilitation programs such as the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, National Veterans Golden...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Developing programs for homeless veterans: understanding driving forces in implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakashima, John; McGuire, Jim; Berman, Stephen; Daniels, William

    2004-01-01

    Between 1992 and 2003, services for homeless veterans at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System went from inappropriate utilization of hospital medical and psychiatric beds, to a continuum of residential treatment, transitional housing, and employment programs through arrangements with private agencies. The authors use elements of Hasenfeld and Brock's Political Economy Model (1991) to explain this transformation in service delivery that was spearheaded by a VA social work leadership team. It is argued that three driving forces crucial to program implementation were present: technological certainty, economic stability, and concentration of power. Evidence of the implementation's impact includes creation of new homeless program beds, a reduction in use of medical/psychiatric beds, and a large number of formerly homeless veterans with housing and employment at program discharge. Study limitations and implications for future studies are discussed.

  11. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 78 FR 59769 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-27

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

  16. 76 FR 20823 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-13

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

  17. Predictors of mental health care use among male and female veterans deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Leone, Brooke A L; Vogt, Dawne; Gradus, Jaimie L; Street, Amy E; Giasson, Hannah L; Resick, Patricia A

    2013-05-01

    What factors predict whether Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans who need mental health care receive that care? The present research examined factors associated with a need for care, sociodemographic characteristics, deployment experiences, and perceptions of care as gender-specific predictors of overall mental health care use and Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health care use for male and female OEF/OIF veterans (N = 1,040). Only veterans with a probable need for mental health care, as determined by scores on self-report measures of mental health symptomatology, were included in the sample. Overall, predictors of service use were similar for women and men. A notable exception was the finding that lower income predicted use of both overall and VA mental health care for women, but not men. In addition, sexual harassment was a unique predictor of VA service use for women, whereas non-White race was predictive of VA service use for men only. Knowledge regarding the factors that are associated with use of mental health care (broadly and at VA) is critical to ensuring that veterans who need mental health care receive it. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. Regional variation in post-stroke multidisciplinary rehabilitation care among veteran residents in community nursing homes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia H

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Huanguang Jia,1 Qinglin Pei,1 Charles T Sullivan,1 Diane C Cowper Ripley,1 Samuel S Wu,1 W Bruce Vogel,1 Xinping Wang,1 Douglas E Bidelspach,2 Jennifer L Hale-Gallardo,1 Barbara E Bates3 1Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, Gainesville, FL, 2Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC, 3Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Saginaw, MI, USA Introduction: Effective post-acute multidisciplinary rehabilitation therapy improves stroke survivors’ functional recovery and daily living activities. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA places veterans needing post-acute institutional care in private community nursing homes (CNHs. These placements are made under the same rules and regulations across the VA health care system and through individual per diem contracts between local VA facilities and CNHs. However, there is limited information about utilization of these veterans’ health services as well as the geographic variation of the service utilization. Aim: The aims of this study were to determine rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care utilization by veterans with stroke in VA-contracted CNHs and to assess risk-adjusted regional variations in the utilization of rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care. Methods: This retrospective study included all veterans diagnosed with stroke residing in VA-contracted CNHs between 2006 and 2009. Minimum Dataset (a health status assessment tool for CNH residents for the study CNHs was linked with veterans’ inpatient and outpatient data within the VA health care system. CNHs were grouped into five VA-defined geographic regions: the North Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Continental, and Pacific regions. A two-part model was applied estimating risk-adjusted utilization probability and average weekly utilization days. Two dependent variables were rehabilitation

  19. Age-Related Concerns of Male Veteran Callers to a Suicide Crisis Line

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Deborah A.; O’Riley, Alisa A.; Thompson, Caitlin; Conwell, Yeates; He, Hua; Kemp, Janet

    2015-01-01

    In July 2007, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) to create the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) in order to meet the unique needs of Veterans in distress. The current study utilized a mixed methods design to examine characteristics of male callers to the VCL. Results from qualitative analyses demonstrated that the majority of callers between April 1 and August 31, 2008 contacted the VCL with concerns related to mental health issues, suicide ideation, and substance abuse issues. Quantitative analyses demonstrated age differences associated with concerns presented by callers such that middle-aged and older callers were more likely to present with loneliness and younger callers were more likely to present with mental health concerns. The results of this study will help to inform future research designed to optimize the effectiveness of the VCL for suicide prevention in Veterans. PMID:24810270

  20. Important aspects of end-of-life care among veterans: implications for measurement and quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casarett, David; Pickard, Amy; Amos Bailey, F; Ritchie, Christine; Furman, Christian; Rosenfeld, Ken; Shreve, Scott; Shea, Judy A

    2008-02-01

    To identify aspects of end-of-life care in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system that are not assessed by existing survey instruments and to identify issues that may be unique to veterans, telephone interviews using open-ended questions were conducted with family members of veterans who had received care from a VA facility in the last month of life. Responses were compared to validated end-of-life care assessment instruments in common use. The study took place in four VA medical centers and one family member per patient was invited to participate, selected from medical records using predefined eligibility criteria. These family members were asked to describe positive and negative aspects of the care the veteran received in the last month of life. Interview questions elicited perceptions of care both at VA sites and at non-VA sites. Family reports were coded and compared with items in five existing prospective and retrospective instruments that assess the quality of care that patients receive near the end of life. Interviews were completed with 66 family members and revealed 384 codes describing both positive and negative aspects of care during the last month of life. Almost half of these codes were not represented in any of the five reference instruments (n=174; 45%). These codes, some of which are unique to the veteran population, were grouped into eight categories: information about VA benefits (n=36; 55%), inpatient care (n=36; 55%), access to care (n=33; 50%), transitions in care (n=32; 48%), care that the veteran received at the time of death (n=31; 47%), home care (n=26; 40%), health care facilities (n=12; 18%), and mistakes and complications (n=18; 27%). Although most of the reference instruments assessed some aspect of these categories, they did not fully capture the experiences described by our respondents. These data suggest that many aspects of veterans' end-of-life care that are important to their families are not assessed by

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  4. 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,...

  5. REACH VA: Moving from Translation to System Implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Linda O; Martindale-Adams, Jennifer; Burns, Robert; Zuber, Jeffrey; Graney, Marshall J

    2016-02-01

    Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs (REACH VA) has been implemented in the VA system as a national program for caregivers. We describe the trajectory of REACH VA from national randomized clinical trial through translation to national implementation. The implementation is examined through the six stages of the Fixsen and Blasé implementation process model: exploration and adoption, program installation, initial implementation, full operation, innovation, and sustainability. Different drivers that move the implementation process forward are important at each stage, including staff selection, staff training, consultation and coaching, staff evaluation, administrative support, program evaluation/fidelity, and systems interventions. Caregivers in the REACH VA 4 session intervention currently implemented in the VA had similar outcomes to longer REACH interventions, including Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregivers Health (REACH II). Caregivers experienced significant decreases in burden, depression, anxiety, number of troubling patient behaviors reported, caregiving frustrations, stress symptoms (feeling overwhelmed, feeling like crying, being frustrated as a result of caregiving, being lonely), and general stress. Effect sizes (Cohen's d) for these significant variables were between small and medium ranging from .24 to .46. The implementation of REACH VA provides a road map for implementation of other behavioral interventions in health care delivery settings. Lessons learned include the importance of implementing a proven, needed intervention, support from both leadership and clinical staff, willingness to respond to staff and organization needs and modify the intervention while preserving its integrity, and fitting the intervention into ongoing routines and practices. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Gerontological Society of America 2014.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease, Thrombotic Cardiovascular Events, and Use of Oral P2Y12 Inhibitors among Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Manisha; Raghavan, Deepa; Williams, James S; Martin, Bradley C; Hudson, Teresa J; Owen, Richard R; Jain, Nishank

    2018-02-01

    Contemporary prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and thrombotic cardiovascular (CV) events remains unclear in Veterans enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System (VA) care. Although oral P2Y12 inhibitors (P2Y12i) are increasingly being prescribed to this patient population, the overall prescription trend for P2Y12i remains unclear. Using national VA corporate warehouse data, we used International Classification of Diseases-9 codes to identify Veterans with CKD, dialysis-dependent CKD, and CV events. VA pharmacy data were used to count P2Y12i prescriptions for the federal fiscal years (FY) 2011 through 2015. The period prevalence of Veterans with CKD was 378,233 (6.1%). The point prevalence of CKD increased by 49% from 132,979 (2.30%) in FY11 to 213,444 (3.42%) in FY15. The period prevalence of Veterans with dialysis-dependent CKD was 150,298 (2.4%). In all, 128,703 (56.7%) CV events occurred in Veterans with CKD. Veterans with CKD were given 50.1% of prescriptions for clopidogrel, 49.3% for prasugrel, and 60.4% for ticagrelor. In this patient population, year-to-year increases in P2Y12i prescriptions were observed with a dramatic increase in ticagrelor prescriptions. CKD is common among Veterans and its true prevalence is likely being underestimated. The prevalence of dialysis-dependent CKD is higher among Veterans than the non-Veteran US population. CV events are widely co-prevalent and these patients are commonly prescribed P2Y12i. The recent increase in ticagrelor prescriptions in this patient population and large cost differences between the 3 P2Y12i underline the need for future studies to identify the preferred P2Y12i for these patients. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. The use of data to assist in the design of a new service system for homeless veterans in New York City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Claire; Bainbridge, Jay; Keaton, Kim; Kenton, Martha; Guz, Meghan; Kanis, Becky

    2008-03-01

    Operation Home is an agreement between the City of New York and the US Department of Veterans Affairs to design a new service system to help end veteran homelessness in New York City. The authors' task was to obtain data to inform the design of this new system. A variety of methods were used. The group reviewed relevant literature and data from street homeless survey samples, analyzed shelter data, and consulted with VA homeless program staff on the findings. We then surveyed case managers at a veterans' shelter regarding their clients and determined their housing eligibility using a standardized logic model, and led two focus groups of veterans at this shelter regarding their views of the current shelter system and services for homeless veterans and how these might be improved. Among those resident in shelters during 2006, 37.2% of self-identified veterans compared to 0.9% of others reported their prior residence as supported housing, suggesting the need for more intensive case management at veterans' supported housing sites to help them sustain their tenure. The lack of interconnectedness among the various information systems made it more difficult to collect and analyze pertinent data. To begin to address this, a data match was undertaken to estimate the proportion of veterans resident in the veterans' shelter who were not in receipt of VA benefits to which they may be entitled. The data obtained through collaboration between staff from NYC's Department of Homelessness Services, US Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in the New York/New Jersey region and Common Ground Community led to information that informed the evaluation design of the new system. The identification of gaps in available data on homeless veterans will lead to projects both to improve and share data.

  10. 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)

    2016-10-01

    Chou, PhD Org : Modus Health LLC Award Amount: $465,470 Study/Product Aim(s) •  To determine the magnitude of clinically relevant change in...Rating scale for determining small and substantial meaningful change . Data will be analyzed to determine each metrics small and substantial change ...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0522 TITLE: Determining Clinically Relevant Changes in Community Walking Metrics to Be Tracked by the VA as Part of

  11. Employment of Veterans in Executive Branch

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  12. Evaluation of VA Women's Health Fellowships: developing leaders in academic women's health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilstra, Sarah A; Kraemer, Kevin L; Rubio, Doris M; McNeil, Melissa A

    2013-07-01

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) instituted the VA Women's Health Fellowship (VAWHF) Program in 1994, to accommodate the health needs of increasing numbers of female veterans and to develop academic leaders in women's health. Despite the longevity of the program, it has never been formally evaluated. To describe the training environments of VAWHFs and career outcomes of female graduates. Cross-sectional web-based surveys of current program directors (2010-2011) and VAWHF graduates (1995-2011). Responses were received from six of seven program directors (86 %) and 42 of 74 graduates (57 %). The mean age of graduates was 41.2 years, and mean time since graduation was 8.5 years. Of the graduates, 97 % were female, 74 % trained in internal medicine, and 64 % obtained an advanced degree. Those with an advanced degree were more likely than those without an advanced degree to pursue an academic career (82 % vs. 60 %; Pwomen's health and spend up to 66 % of their time devoted to women's health issues. Thirty percent have held a VA faculty position. Seventy-nine percent remain in academics, with 39 % in the tenure stream. Overall, 94 % had given national presentations, 88 % had received grant funding, 79 % had published in peer-reviewed journals, 64 % had developed or evaluated curricula, 51 % had received awards for teaching or research, and 49 % had held major leadership positions. At 11 or more years after graduation, 33 % of the female graduates in academics had been promoted to the rank of associate professor and 33 % to the rank of full professor. The VAWHF Program has been successful in training academic leaders in women's health. Finding ways to retain graduates in the VA system would ensure continued clinical, educational, and research success for the VA women veteran's healthcare program.

  13. Another Phoenix VA director leaves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. The Arizona Republic reports that the director at the Phoenix VA Medical Center, Deborah Amdur, will retire after only 9 months for health reasons (1. Amdur will be replaced by Barbara Fallen, director of the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. Fallen will be interim director until a permanent replacement for Amdur can be found. This is the fifth hospital director since former Director Sharon Helman was removed in mid-2014 amid the nationwide veterans health-care scandal that was first exposed at the Phoenix VA. The Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN in Gilbert, which oversees the VA Medical Center in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas has also been through a series of 4 directors since Susan Bowers retired under pressure in the wake of the VA scandal. Marie Weldon, current acting regional director, also oversees the Los Angeles-based VA Desert Pacific Healthcare System. Weldon described Fallen as “an experienced leader who ...

  14. 38 CFR 21.272 - Veteran-student services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Veteran-student services.... Chapter 31 Monetary Assistance Services § 21.272 Veteran-student services. (a) Eligibility. Veterans who.... Veteran-student services may be utilized in connection with: (1) VA outreach service program as carried...

  15. 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.

  16. Patient Perception of Enough Time Spent With Provider Is a Mechanism for Improving Women Veterans' Experiences With VA Outpatient Health Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    We postulated that associations between two specific provider characteristics, class (nurse practitioner relative to physician) and primary care providers who are proficient and interested in women's health (designated women's provider relative to nondesignated) and overall satisfaction with provider, were mediated through women veterans' perception of enough time spent with the provider. A national patient experience survey was administered to 7,620 women veterans. Multivariable models of overall patient satisfaction with provider were compared with and without the proposed mediator. A structural equation model (SEM) of the mediation of the two provider characteristics was also evaluated. Without the mediator, associations of provider class and designation with overall patient satisfaction were significant. With the proposed mediator, these associations became nonsignificant. An SEM showed that the majority (>80%) of the positive associations between provider class and designation and the outcome were exerted through patient perception of enough time spent with provider. Higher ratings of overall satisfaction with provider exhibited by nurse practitioners and designated women's health providers were exerted through patient perception of enough time spent with provider. Future research should examine what elements of provider training can be developed to improve provider-patient communication and patient satisfaction with their health care. © The Author(s) 2016.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  20. 76 FR 40453 - Agency Information Collection (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-08

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review... INFORMATION: Titles: a. Application for VA Education Benefits, VA Form 22-1990. b. Application for Family Member to Use Transferred Benefits, VA Form 22-1990E. ] c. Application for VA Education Benefits Under...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 75 FR 24514 - Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-05

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. The transformation experience of the Veterans Health Administration and its relevance to Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fooks, Cathy; Decter, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Over the past few years, there has been a steady stream of visitors to Canada from the US Veterans Health Administration (VA). Led by the former Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Ken Kizer, they come to tell the remarkable story of how the VA transformed itself from a hospital-based bureaucracy described as "dangerous, dirty and scandal-ridden" to a healthcare system for veterans recognized for its high-quality, patient-centred care. It is a fascinating story of how a publicly funded healthcare service changed its entire approach to patient care with a quality improvement lens at its core. Fifteen years ago, critics of the VA called for its complete privatization as the only solution to fixing its problems. A team of quality champions set out to prove otherwise. Canada has some lessons to learn. The VA is a compelling role model for Canadian reformers, in large measure, due to its public sector character.

  7. Epilepsy Among Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans - United States, 2002-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugh, Mary Jo; Van Cott, Anne C; Amuan, Megan; Baca, Christine; Rutecki, Paul; Zack, Matthew M; Kobau, Rosemarie

    2016-11-11

    The age-adjusted prevalence of seizure disorder in United States veterans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts (IAV) is 6.1 per 1,000 persons (1), compared with 7.1 to 10 per 1,000 persons in the general population (2,3). Persons with epilepsy are at risk of excess mortality in part because of comorbidity (4). Although patterns of comorbidity have been associated with mortality in IAV (5), the unique contribution of epilepsy to excess mortality in IAV is unknown. A cohort study was developed using inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VA) to identify epilepsy, demographic characteristics, and baseline comorbidity for IAV who received VA care in 2010 and 2011. The VA's vital status records were used to identify 5-year mortality (2011-2015). The unadjusted Kaplan-Meier estimator and adjusted proportional hazards regression models tested the hypothesis that excess mortality is associated with epilepsy. IAV with epilepsy were more likely than those without epilepsy to have mental and physical comorbidity, and significantly higher mortality, even after controlling for demographic characteristics and other comorbid conditions (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1-3.2). IAV with epilepsy could benefit from evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs to reduce physical and psychiatric comorbidity, and linkages to VA clinical and other community health and social service providers.

  8. Mental health outreach and screening among returning veterans: are we asking the right questions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloeser, Katharine; McCarron, Kelly K; Batorsky, Benjamin; Reinhard, Matthew J; Pollack, Stanley J; Amdur, Richard

    2014-01-01

    This study looked at predictors of mental health treatment utilization in a unique cohort of recently separated Veterans coming to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (N=152). This convenience sample voluntarily completed questionnaires, which included mental health screening tools, during an outreach event at a large urban VA Medical Center. Researchers reviewed computerized medical records of these consenting participants to record VA treatment utilization. There is a statistically significant association between posttraumatic stress disorder screening results, functional impairment, and treatment-seeking. Certain functional impairments increase the odds of participation in VA mental health care. These include problems with school and/or work (odds ratio (OR)=2.8), physical fights (OR=2.8), physical health problems (OR=3.0), financial difficulties (OR=3.0), irritability/anger (OR=3.4), isolation (OR=3.8), drug use (OR=5.7), and problems with social support (OR=7.0). This study concluded that asking about symptoms alone may not capture the breadth and nature of Veterans' postdeployment difficulties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-07

    ... Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below to the Office of Management...: Denise McLamb, Enterprise Records Service (005R1B), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue... guaranteed unless the veteran is a satisfactory credit risk. The data collected on the following forms are...

  10. 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

  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. Evaluating the impact of dental care on housing intervention program outcomes among homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Elizabeth; Gibson, Gretchen; Jones, Judith A; Schinka, John A

    2013-12-01

    In this retrospective longitudinal cohort study, we examined the impact of dental care on outcomes among homeless veterans discharged from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) transitional housing intervention program. Our sample consisted of 9870 veterans who were admitted into a VA homeless intervention program during 2008 and 2009, 4482 of whom received dental care during treatment and 5388 of whom did not. Primary outcomes of interest were program completion, employment or stable financial status on discharge, and transition to permanent housing. We calculated descriptive statistics and compared the 2 study groups with respect to demographic characteristics, medical and psychiatric history (including alcohol and substance use), work and financial support, and treatment outcomes. Veterans who received dental care were 30% more likely than those who did not to complete the program, 14% more likely to be employed or financially stable, and 15% more likely to have obtained residential housing. Provision of dental care has a substantial positive impact on outcomes among homeless veterans participating in housing intervention programs. This suggests that homeless programs need to weigh the benefits and cost of dental care in program planning and implementation.

  13. The use of warfarin in veterans with atrial fibrillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosenbeck Karen

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Warfarin therapy is effective for the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. However, warfarin therapy is underutilized even among ideal anticoagulation candidates. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of warfarin in both inpatients and outpatients with atrial fibrillation within a Veterans Affairs (VA hospital system. Methods This retrospective medical record review included outpatients and inpatients with atrial fibrillation. The outpatient cohort included all patients seen in the outpatient clinics of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System during June 2000 with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. The inpatient cohort included all patients discharged from the VA Connecticut Healthcare System West Haven Medical Center with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation during October 1999 – March 2000. The outcome measure was the rate of warfarin prescription in patients with atrial fibrillation. Results A total of 538 outpatients had a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and 73 of these had a documented contraindication to anticoagulation. Among the 465 eligible outpatients, 455 (98% were prescribed warfarin. For the inpatients, a total of 212 individual patients were discharged with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and 97 were not eligible for warfarin therapy. Among the 115 eligible inpatients, 106 (92% were discharged on warfarin. Conclusions Ideal anticoagulation candidates with atrial fibrillation are being prescribed warfarin at very high rates within one VA system, in both the inpatient and outpatient settings; we found warfarin use within our VA was much higher than that observed for Medicare beneficiaries in our state.

  14. The Availability and Utility of Services to Address Risk Factors for Recidivism among Justice-Involved Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blonigen, Daniel M; Rodriguez, Allison L; Manfredi, Luisa; Britt, Jessica; Nevedal, Andrea; Finlay, Andrea K; Rosenthal, Joel; Smelson, David; Timko, Christine

    2017-10-01

    The availability and utility of services to address recidivism risk factors among justice-involved veterans is unknown. We explored these issues through qualitative interviews with 63 Specialists from the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Justice Programs. To guide the interviews, we utilized the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model of offender rehabilitation. Specialists reported that justice-involved veterans generally have access to services to address most RNR-based risk factors (substance abuse; lack of positive school/work involvement; family/marital dysfunction; lack of prosocial activities/interests), but have less access to services targeting risk factors of antisocial tendencies and associates and empirically-based treatments for recidivism in VA. Peer-based services, motivational interviewing/cognitive-behavioral therapy, and Veterans Treatment Courts were perceived as useful to address multiple risk factors. These findings highlight potential gaps in provision of evidence-based care to address recidivism among justice-involved veterans, as well as promising policy-based solutions that may have widespread impact on reducing recidivism in this population.

  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. Hysterectomy risk in premenopausal-aged military veterans: associations with sexual assault and gynecologic symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Ginny L; Mengeling, Michelle A; Summers, Karen M; Booth, Brenda M; Torner, James C; Syrop, Craig H; Sadler, Anne G

    2016-03-01

    Several gynecological conditions associated with hysterectomy, including abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain, have been observed at increased rates in women who have experienced sexual assault. Previous findings have suggested that one of the unique health care needs for female military veterans may be an increased prevalence of hysterectomy and that this increase may partially be due to their higher risk of sexual assault history and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although associations between trauma, PTSD, and gynecological symptoms have been identified, little work has been done to date to directly examine the relationship between sexual assault, PTSD, and hysterectomy within the rapidly growing female veteran population. The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of hysterectomy in premenopausal-aged female veterans, compare with general population prevalence, and examine associations between hysterectomy and sexual assault, PTSD, and gynecological symptoms in this veteran population. We performed a computer-assisted telephone interview between July 2005 and August 2008 of 1004 female Veterans Affairs (VA)-enrolled veterans ≤ 52 years old from 2 Midwestern US Veterans Affairs medical centers and associated community-based outreach clinics. Within the veteran study population, associations between hysterectomy and sexual assault, PTSD, and gynecological symptoms were assessed with bivariate analyses using χ(2), Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney, and Student t tests; multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to look for independent associations. Hysterectomy prevalence and ages were compared with large civilian populations represented in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program databases from similar timeframes using χ(2) and Student t tests. Prevalence of hysterectomy was significantly higher (16.8% vs 13.3%, P = .0002), and mean age at hysterectomy was

  17. Trust is the basis for effective suicide risk screening and assessment in veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganzini, Linda; Denneson, Lauren M; Press, Nancy; Bair, Matthew J; Helmer, Drew A; Poat, Jennifer; Dobscha, Steven K

    2013-09-01

    To reduce suicides among Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has designated suicide risk assessments for Veterans who screen positive for depression or post-traumatic stress disorder as a national performance goal. Many VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) are using brief suicidal ideation screens, administered in non-mental health ambulatory care settings, as the first step in the assessment process. To explore Veterans' perceptions of the suicide screening and risk assessment process, the barriers and facilitators to disclosing suicidal thoughts, and perceptions of possible consequences of revealing suicidal thoughts. Investigators recorded one semi-structured interview with each Veteran. Transcripts were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Thirty-four Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans who screened positive for suicidal ideation in non-mental health ambulatory care settings in 2009 and 2010. Veterans accepted the need to assess suicide risk. They increasingly experienced attempts to suppress and avoid thoughts of suicide as burdensome and exhausting. Despite this, Veterans often failed to disclose severe and pervasive suicidal thoughts when screened because: (1) they considered suicidal thoughts as shameful and a sign of weakness; (2) they believed suicidal thoughts were private and not to be divulged to strangers; (3) they worried that disclosure would lead to unwanted hospitalization or medication recommendations; and (4) the templated computer reminder process was perceived as perfunctory and disrespectful. In contrast, admitting and discussing thoughts of suicide with a health provider who focused on building a relationship, demonstrated genuineness and empathy, offered information on the rationale for suicide risk assessment, and used straightforward and understandable language, all promoted trust that resulted in more honest disclosure of suicidal thoughts. In ambulatory care settings, both provider

  18. Racial Differences in Chronic Conditions and Sociodemographic Characteristics Among High-Utilizing Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breland, Jessica Y; Chee, Christine Pal; Zulman, Donna M

    2015-06-01

    African-Americans are disproportionally represented among high-risk, high-utilizing patients. To inform program development for this vulnerable population, the current study describes racial variation in chronic conditions and sociodemographic characteristics among high-utilizing patients in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA). We identified the 5 % most costly Veterans who used inpatient or outpatient care at the VA during fiscal year 2010 (N = 237,691) based on costs of inpatient and outpatient care, pharmacy services, and VA-sponsored contract care. Patient costs and characteristics were abstracted from VA outpatient and inpatient data files. Racial differences in sociodemographic characteristics (age, sex, marital support, homelessness, and health insurance status) were assessed with chi-square tests. Racial differences in 32 chronic condition diagnoses were calculated as relative risk ratios. African-Americans represented 21 % of high-utilizing Veterans. African-Americans had higher rates of homelessness (26 vs. 10 %, p < 0.001) and lower rates of supplemental health insurance (44 vs. 58 %, p < 0.001). The mean number of chronic conditions was similar across race. However, there were racial differences in the prevalence of specific chronic conditions, including a higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS (95 % confidence interval (CI) 4.86, 5.50) and schizophrenia (95 % CI 1.94, 2.07) and a lower prevalence of ischemic heart disease (95 % CI 0.57, 0.59) and bipolar disorder (95 % CI 0.78, 0.85) among African-American high-utilizing Veterans. Racial disparities among high-utilizing Veterans may differ from those found in the general population. Interventions should devote attention to social, environmental, and mental health issues in order to reduce racial disparities in this vulnerable population.

  19. 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

  20. 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