Wang, Virginia; Maciejewski, Matthew L; Patel, Uptal D; Stechuchak, Karen M; Hynes, Denise M; Weinberger, Morris
Demand for dialysis treatment exceeds its supply within the Veterans Health Administration (VA), requiring VA to outsource dialysis care by purchasing private sector dialysis for veterans on a fee-for-service basis. It is unclear whether outcomes are similar for veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus non-VA providers. We assessed the extent of chronic dialysis treatment utilization and differences in all-cause hospitalizations and mortality between veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus VA-outsourced providers. We constructed a retrospective cohort of veterans in 2 VA regions who received chronic dialysis treatment financed by VA between January 2007 and December 2008. From VA administrative data, we identified veterans who received outpatient dialysis in (1) VA, (2) VA-outsourced settings, or (3) both ("dual") settings. In adjusted analyses, we used two-part and logistic regression to examine associations between dialysis setting and all-cause hospitalization and mortality one-year from veterans' baseline dialysis date. Of 1,388 veterans, 27% received dialysis exclusively in VA, 47% in VA-outsourced settings, and 25% in dual settings. Overall, half (48%) were hospitalized and 12% died. In adjusted analysis, veterans in VA-outsourced settings incurred fewer hospitalizations and shorter hospital stays than users of VA due to favorable selection. Dual-system dialysis patients had lower one-year mortality than veterans receiving VA dialysis. VA expenditures for "buying" outsourced dialysis are high and increasing relative to "making" dialysis treatment within its own system. Outcomes comparisons inform future make-or-buy decisions and suggest the need for VA to consider veterans' access to care, long-term VA savings, and optimal patient outcomes in its placement decisions for dialysis services.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Demand for dialysis treatment exceeds its supply within the Veterans Health Administration (VA, requiring VA to outsource dialysis care by purchasing private sector dialysis for veterans on a fee-for-service basis. It is unclear whether outcomes are similar for veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus non-VA providers. We assessed the extent of chronic dialysis treatment utilization and differences in all-cause hospitalizations and mortality between veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus VA-outsourced providers. Methods We constructed a retrospective cohort of veterans in 2 VA regions who received chronic dialysis treatment financed by VA between January 2007 and December 2008. From VA administrative data, we identified veterans who received outpatient dialysis in (1 VA, (2 VA-outsourced settings, or (3 both (“dual” settings. In adjusted analyses, we used two-part and logistic regression to examine associations between dialysis setting and all-cause hospitalization and mortality one-year from veterans’ baseline dialysis date. Results Of 1,388 veterans, 27% received dialysis exclusively in VA, 47% in VA-outsourced settings, and 25% in dual settings. Overall, half (48% were hospitalized and 12% died. In adjusted analysis, veterans in VA-outsourced settings incurred fewer hospitalizations and shorter hospital stays than users of VA due to favorable selection. Dual-system dialysis patients had lower one-year mortality than veterans receiving VA dialysis. Conclusions VA expenditures for “buying” outsourced dialysis are high and increasing relative to “making” dialysis treatment within its own system. Outcomes comparisons inform future make-or-buy decisions and suggest the need for VA to consider veterans’ access to care, long-term VA savings, and optimal patient outcomes in its placement decisions for dialysis services.
Department of Veterans Affairs — At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), our most important mission is to provide the high quality health care and benefits Veterans have earned and deserve —...
Van Houtven, Courtney Harold; Jeffreys, Amy S.; Coffman, Cynthia J.
Purpose: The Veterans Affairs or VA health care system is in the process of significantly expanding home health care (HOC) nationwide. We describe VA HHC use in 2003 for all VA HHC users from 2002; we examine whether VA utilization across a broad spectrum of services differed for a sample of VA HHC users and their propensity-score-matched…
... AGENCY: Office of Public & Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Office of Public Affairs (OPA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is announcing an... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-NEW] Proposed Information Collection (VA...
Weeks, William B.; Lee, Richard E.; Wallace, Amy E.; West, Alan N.; Bagian, James P.
Context: Unplanned readmission within 30 days of discharge is an indicator of hospital quality. Purpose: We wanted to determine whether older rural veterans who were enrolled in the VA had different rates of unplanned readmission to VA or non-VA hospitals than their urban counterparts. Methods: We used the combined VA/Medicare dataset to examine…
Carlson, Kathleen F; Taylor, Brent C; Hagel, Emily M; Cutting, Andrea; Kerns, Robert; Sayer, Nina A
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
Kimerling, Rachel; Pavao, Joanne; Greene, Liberty; Karpenko, Julie; Rodriguez, Allison; Saweikis, Meghan; Washington, Donna L
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.
... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Titles: a. National Disabled Veterans Winter... Form 0928h. m. Surfing Personnel Application, VA Form 0928i. n. Venue Personnel Application, VA Form... Creative Arts Festival, National Veterans TEE Tournament, National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic...
... Verification Self-Assessment Tool that walks the veteran through the regulation and how it applies to the...) Verification Guidelines AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking... regulations governing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification...
Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH; Su Sun, MPH; Mark Canning, BA
Most veteran research is conducted in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings, although most veterans obtain healthcare outside the VA. Our objective was to determine the adequacy and relative contributions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and Department of Defense (DOD) administrative databases for representing the U.S. veteran population, using as an example the creation of a sampling frame for the National Survey of Women Vete...
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Peterson, Rachel; Gundlapalli, Adi V.; Metraux, Stephen; Carter, Marjorie E.; Palmer, Miland; Redd, Andrew; Samore, Matthew H.; Fargo, Jamison D.
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
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.
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
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.
Karel, Michele J; Teri, Linda; McConnell, Eleanor; Visnic, Stephanie; Karlin, Bradley E
Nonpharmacological, psychosocial approaches are first-line treatments for managing behavioral symptoms in dementia, but they can be challenging to implement in long-term care settings. The Veterans Health Administration implemented STAR-VA, an interdisciplinary behavioral approach for managing challenging dementia-related behaviors in its Community Living Center (CLCs, nursing home care) settings. This study describes how the program was implemented and provides an evaluation of Veteran clinical outcomes and staff feedback on the intervention. One mental health professional and registered nurse team from 17 CLCs completed STAR-VA training, which entailed an experiential workshop followed by 6 months of expert consultation as they worked with their teams to implement STAR-VA with Veterans identified to have challenging dementia-related behaviors. The frequency and severity of target behaviors and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation were evaluated at baseline and at intervention completion. Staff provided feedback regarding STAR-VA feasibility and impact. Seventy-one Veterans completed the intervention. Behaviors clustered into 6 types: care refusal or resistance, agitation, aggression, vocalization, wandering, and other. Frequency and severity of target behaviors and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation all significantly decreased, with overall effect sizes of 1 or greater. Staff rated both benefits for Veterans and program feasibility favorably. This evaluation supports the feasibility and effectiveness of STAR-VA, an interdisciplinary, behavioral intervention for managing challenging behaviors among residents with dementia in CLCs. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Gerontological Society of America 2015.
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…
Beder, Joan; Postiglione, Paul
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.
Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani
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.
Bastian, Lori A; Trentalange, Mark; Murphy, Terrence E; Brandt, Cynthia; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Maisel, Natalya C; Wright, Steven M; Gaetano, Vera S; Allore, Heather; Skanderson, Melissa; Reyes-Harvey, Evelyn; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rose, Danielle; Haskell, Sally
Women veterans comprise a small percentage of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users. Prior research on women veterans' experiences with primary care has focused on VA site differences and not individual provider characteristics. In 2010, the VA established policy requiring the provision of comprehensive women's health care by designated women's health providers (DWHPs). Little is known about the quality of health care delivered by DWHPs and women veterans' experience with care from these providers. Secondary data were obtained from the VA Survey of Healthcare Experience of Patients (SHEP) using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) patient-centered medical home (PCMH) survey from March 2012 through February 2013, a survey designed to measure patient experience with care and the DWHPs Assessment of Workforce Capacity that discerns between DWHPs versus non-DWHPs. Of the 28,994 surveys mailed to women veterans, 24,789 were seen by primary care providers and 8,151 women responded to the survey (response rate, 32%). A total of 3,147 providers were evaluated by the SHEP-CAHPS-PCMH survey (40%; n = 1,267 were DWHPs). In a multivariable model, patients seen by DWHPs (relative risk, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04) reported higher overall experiences with care compared with patients seen by non-DWHPs. The main finding is that women veterans' overall experiences with outpatient health care are slightly better for those receiving care from DWHPs compared with those receiving care from non-DWHPs. Our findings have important policy implications for how to continue to improve women veterans' experiences. Our work provides support to increase access to DWHPs at VA primary care clinics. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Congressional Requesters December 2016 GAO-17-52 United States Government Accountability Office United States Government Accountability Office...VHA officials said not all facilities require onsite gynecologists and facilities may authorize gynecological services from non-VA providers. They...including previously closed combat positions, which could contribute to the increase in the women veteran population. See GAO, Military Personnel: DOD Is
Washington, Donna L; Sun, Su; Canning, Mark
Most veteran research is conducted in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings, although most veterans obtain healthcare outside the VA. Our objective was to determine the adequacy and relative contributions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and Department of Defense (DOD) administrative databases for representing the U.S. veteran population, using as an example the creation of a sampling frame for the National Survey of Women Veterans. In 2008, we merged the VHA, VBA, and DOD databases. We identified the number of unique records both overall and from each database. The combined databases yielded 925,946 unique records, representing 51% of the 1,802,000 U.S. women veteran population. The DOD database included 30% of the population (with 8% overlap with other databases). The VHA enrollment database contributed an additional 20% unique women veterans (with 6% overlap with VBA databases). VBA databases contributed an additional 2% unique women veterans (beyond 10% overlap with other databases). Use of VBA and DOD databases substantially expands access to the population of veterans beyond those in VHA databases, regardless of VA use. Adoption of these additional databases would enhance the value and generalizability of a wide range of studies of both male and female veterans.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development of Space for Community Services and Parking in Memphis, TN AGENCY... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Housing in Grand Island, NE AGENCY: Department of... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contracts with state approving agencies (SAAs) to assess whether schools and training programs offer education of sufficient quality for veterans to receive VA education assistance benefits when attending them. The General Accounting Office examined the gatekeeping activities of the VA and the Department of…
servicemembers to civilian life. For its part, VA’s agency priority goals are to (1) ensure access to VA benefits and services, (2) eliminate the disability...transfer their benefits to dependents. VA – Veterans 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
Finley, Erin P; Mader, Michael; Bollinger, Mary J; Haro, Elizabeth K; Garcia, Hector A; Huynh, Alexis K; Pugh, Jacqueline A; Pugh, Mary Jo
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects nearly one-fifth of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAV). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has invested in making evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD available at every VA facility nationwide; however, an unknown number of veterans opt to receive care in the community rather than with VA. We compared PTSD care utilization patterns among Texas IAV with PTSD, an ethnically, geographically, and economically diverse group. To identify IAV in Texas with service-connected disability for PTSD, we used a crosswalk of VA administrative data from the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Roster and service-connected disability data from the Veterans Benefits Administration. We then surveyed a random sample of 1,128 veterans from the cohort, stratified by sex, rurality, and past use/nonuse of any VA care. Respondents were classified into current utilization groups (VA only, non-VA only, dual care, and no professional PTSD treatment) on the basis of reported PTSD care in the prior 12 months. Responses were weighted to account for sample stratification and for response rate within each strata. Utilization group characteristics were compared to the population mean using the one sample Z-test for proportions, or the t-test for means. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to identify survey variables significantly associated with current utilization group. 249 IAV completed the survey (28.4% response rate). Respondents reported receiving PTSD care: in the VA only (58.3%); in military or community-based settings (including private practitioners) (non-VA only, 8.7%); and in both VA and non-VA settings (dual care, 14.5%). The remainder (18.5%) reported no professional PTSD care in the prior year. Veterans ineligible for Department of Defense care, uncomfortable talking about their problems, and opposed to medication were more likely to receive non-VA care only, whereas those with lower household income
Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Pinnock, Laura; Dobalian, Aram
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.
.... 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...
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...
Stephen Schey; Jim Francfort
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.
Jakupcak, Matthew; Luterek, Jane; Hunt, Stephen; Conybeare, Daniel; McFall, Miles
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.
Weeks, William B; Wallace, Tanner A; Wallace, Amy E
To determine whether the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Enhancement Act (the Act), which was designed to achieve VA physician salary parity with American Academy of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Associate Professors and enacted in 2006, had achieved its goal. Using VA human resources datasets and data from the AAMC, we calculated mean VA physician salaries, with 95 percent confidence intervals, for 15 different medical specialties. For each specialty, we compared VA salaries to the median, 25th, and 75th percentile of AAMC Associate Professors' incomes. The Act's passage resulted in a $20,000 annual increase in VA physicians' salaries. VA primary care physicians, medical subspecialists, and psychiatrists had salaries that were comparable to their AAMC counterparts prior to and after enactment of the Act. However, VA surgical specialists', anesthesiologists', and radiologists' salaries lagged their AAMC counterparts both before and after the Act's enactment. Income increases were negatively correlated with full-time workforce changes. VA does not appear to provide comparable salaries for physicians necessary for surgical care. In certain cases, VA should consider outsourcing surgical services.
... the entire Knoxville campus of the VA Central Iowa Healthcare System. The selected lessee will finance... that includes integrated residential, commercial, agricultural and technology components. The... Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461...
that arise prior to making contact with veterans. Further, ongoing scheduling errors, such as incorrectly revising preferred dates when rescheduling ...primary care provider and support staff—a nurse care manager, clinical associate, and administrative clerk. Letter Page 2 GAO-16-328...appointments were canceled, and if so, whether and when they were rescheduled . We also obtained information on the dates
Assessing Risks Report to Congressional Requesters April 2016 GAO-16-393 United States Government Accountability Office United States...Government Accountability Office Highlights of GAO-16-393, a report to congressional requesters April 2016 VETERANS JUSTICE OUTREACH PROGRAM...quality, timeliness, efficiency, cost of service, and outcome. GAO, Tax Administration: IRS Needs to Further Refine Its Tax Filing Season
Westover, Arthur N; Nakonezny, Paul A; Halm, Ethan A; Adinoff, Bryon
Non-medical use of prescribed stimulant medications is a growing concern. This study's aims were to ascertain the demographics of stimulant medication users compared with non-users, examine temporal trends of stimulant medication use and estimate risk factors for development of amphetamine use disorder (AUD) and mortality among new users of stimulant medications. Cox proportional hazards regression in a retrospective cohort adjusted by baseline covariates. United States, national administrative database of the Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care system. Adult incident users of stimulant medications (n = 78 829) from fiscal years (FY) 2001 to 2012. Primary outcomes were time-to-event: (1) occurrence of AUD diagnosis and (2) death. Baseline covariates included demographic information, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved indications for stimulant use, substance use disorders (SUD) and depression. Stimulant users compared with non-users were younger, more likely to be non-Hispanic white and female. Incident stimulant medication users increased threefold from FY2001-FY2012 and eightfold among adults aged 18-44 years. Nearly one in 10 incident users in FY2012 had a comorbid baseline SUD. Off-label use was common-nearly three of every five incident users in FY2012. Comorbid SUDs among incident stimulant medication users were risk factors for occurrence of AUD during follow-up, with adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) estimates ranging from 1.54 to 2.83 (Ps users in the Veterans Affairs health-care system, measured from fiscal years 2001 to 2012, comorbid substance use disorders were common and were risk factors for development of an amphetamine use disorder (AUD). Increased mortality risk among incident users of stimulant medications was observed among both those who developed an AUD later and those whose use was defined as off-label. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.
Yoon, Jean; Lo, Jeanie; Gehlert, Elizabeth; Johnson, Erin E; O'Toole, Thomas P
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.
of the country. The Fair Market Rent is the cost of standard, non- luxury housing in the community. The payment standard is the maximum subsidy a...access that can be particularly beneficial for those located in high-rent markets . According to the VA’s Fiscal Year 2017 “EUL Consideration...during fiscal year 2017. The draft that VA shared with us requires an analysis of the local market , including current and anticipated supply and
Department of Veterans Affairs — The OneVA Pharmacy application design consists of 3 main components: VistA Medication Profile screen, Health Data Record Clinical Data Service (HDR/CDS), and OneVA...
Jia, Huanguang; Pei, Qinglin; Sullivan, Charles T; Cowper Ripley, Diane C; Wu, Samuel S; Bates, Barbara E; Vogel, W Bruce; Bidelspach, Douglas E; Wang, Xinping; Hoffman, Nannette
Effective poststroke rehabilitation care can speed patient recovery and minimize patient functional disabilities. Veterans affairs (VA) community living centers (CLCs) and VA-contracted community nursing homes (CNHs) are the 2 major sources of institutional long-term care for Veterans with stroke receiving care under VA auspices. This study compares rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care among Veterans residing in VA CLCs versus those Veterans in VA-contracted CNHs. Retrospective observational. All Veterans diagnosed with stroke, newly admitted to the CLCs or CNHs during the study period who completed at least 2 Minimum Data Set assessments postadmission. The outcomes were numbers of days for rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care received by the Veterans during their stays in CLCs or CNHs as documented in the Minimum Data Set databases. For rehabilitation therapy, the CLC Veterans had lower user rates (75.2% vs. 76.4%, P=0.078) and fewer observed therapy days (4.9 vs. 6.4, Pcare, CLC Veterans had higher user rates (33.5% vs. 30.6%, Pcare days (9.4 vs. 5.9, Pcare (coefficient=5.48±0.37, Pcare both before and after risk adjustment.
Schnurr, Paula P; Chard, Kathleen M; Ruzek, Josef I; Chow, Bruce K; Shih, Mei-Chiung; Resick, Patricia A; Foa, Edna B; Marx, Brian P; Huang, Grant D; Lu, Ying
CERV-PTSD is a randomized controlled trial of two of the most effective treatments for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Despite solid evidence that both treatments are effective, there is limited evidence about their effectiveness relative to one another. The primary objective is to compare the effectiveness of PE and CPT for reducing PTSD symptom severity in a healthcare system that offers both treatments. The secondary objective is to compare the effectiveness of PE and CPT for reducing the severity of comorbid mental health problems and service utilization as well as improving functioning and quality of life. The tertiary objective is to examine whether discrepancy between patient preferences and treatment assignment reduces the effectiveness of each treatment. Exploratory analyses will examine whether demographic and clinical characteristics predict differential response to PE and CPT. The study is designed to randomize 900 male and female veterans with PTSD due to any traumatic military event to receive PE or CPT. The standard dose of treatment is 12 weekly sessions but veterans who improve more rapidly may finish in fewer sessions and veterans who improve more slowly may have additional sessions. The primary outcome is improvement in PTSD symptoms, measured during and after treatment and then 3 and 6 months later. As a large multi-site trial with men and women, CERV-PTSD is designed to advance the delivery of care for PTSD by providing conclusive information about whether one treatment is better than the other, overall, and for different types of patients. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Davis, Alan K; Bonar, Erin E; Goldstick, Jason E; Walton, Maureen A; Winters, Jamie; Chermack, Stephen T
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.
Eisenberg, Dan; Lohnberg, Jessica A; Kubat, Eric P; Bates, Cheryl C; Greenberg, Lauren M; Frayne, Susan M
Provision of bariatric surgery in the Veterans Health Administration must account for obese veterans' co-morbidity burden and the geographically dispersed location of patients relative to Veterans Affairs (VA) bariatric centers. To evaluate a collaborative, integrated, interdisciplinary bariatric team of surgeons, bariatricians, psychologists, dieticians, and physical therapists working in a hub-and-spokes care model, for pre- and post-bariatric surgery assessment and management. This is a description of an interdisciplinary clinic and bariatric program at a VA healthcare system and a report on program evaluation findings. Retrospective data of a prospective database was abstracted. For program evaluation, we abstracted charts to characterize patient data and conducted a patient survey. Since 2009, 181 veterans have undergone bariatric surgery. Referrals came from 7 western U.S. states. Mean preoperative body mass index was 46 kg/m 2 (maximum 71). Mean age was 53 years, with 33% aged>60 years; 79% were male. Medical co-morbidity included diabetes (70%), hypertension (85%), and lower back or extremity joint pain (84%). A psychiatric diagnosis was present in 58%. At 12 months, follow-up was 81% and percent excess body mass index loss was 50.5%. Among 54 sequential clinic patients completing anonymous surveys, overall satisfaction with the interdisciplinary team approach and improved quality of life were high (98% and 94%, respectively). The integrated, interdisciplinary team approach using a hub-and-spokes model is well suited to the VA bariatric surgery population, with its heavy burden of medical and mental health co-morbidity and its system of geographically dispersed patients receiving treatment at specialty centers. As the VA seeks to expand the use of bariatric surgery as an option for obese veterans, interdisciplinary models crafted to address case complexity, care coordination, and long-term outcomes should be part of policy planning efforts. Published by
Schey, Stephen [Intertek Testing Services, North America, Phoenix, AZ (United States); Francfort, Jim [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
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.
Relevant Changes in Community Walking Metrics to Be Tracked by the VA as Part of Routine Care in Lower Limb Amputee Veterans 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT ... poster presentation at the Association of Academic Physiatrists annual conference in Las Vegas. They are receiving value research and technical...writing experience. How were the results disseminated to communities of interest? A poster presentation was presented at the Association of Academic
Kleijn, M.J.J. de; Lagro-Janssen, A.L.M.; Canelo, I.; Yano, E.M.
BACKGROUND: Women Veterans are a significant minority of users of the VA healthcare system, limiting provider and staff experience meeting their needs in environments historically designed for men. The VA is nonetheless committed to ensuring that women Veterans have access to comprehensive care in
Urosevich, Thomas G; Boscarino, Joseph J; Hoffman, Stuart N; Kirchner, H Lester; Figley, Charles R; Adams, Richard E; Withey, Carrie A; Boscarino, Joseph A
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder are considered the signature injuries of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. With the extensive use of improvised explosive devices by the enemy, the concussive effects from blast have a greater potential to cause mild TBI (mTBI) in military Service Members. These mTBI can be associated with other physical and psychological health problems, including mTBI-induced visual processing and eye movement dysfunctions. Our study assessed if any visual dysfunctions existed in those surveyed in non-Veterans Administration (VA) facilities who had suffered mTBI (concussive effect), in addition to the presence of concussion-related co-morbidities. As part of a larger study involving veterans from different service eras, we surveyed 235 Veterans who had served during the Iraq and/or Afghanistan conflict era. Data for the study were collected using diagnostic telephone interviews of these veterans who were outpatients of the Geisinger Health System. We assess visual dysfunction in this sample and compare visual dysfunctions of those who had suffered a mTBI (concussive effect), as well as co-morbidities, with those in the cohort who had not suffered concussion effects. Of those veterans who experienced visual dysfunctions, our results reflected that the visual symptoms were significant for concussion with the subjects surveyed, even though all had experienced a mTBI event greater than five years ago. Although we did find an association with concussion and visual symptoms, the association for concussion was strongest with the finding of greater than or equal to three current TBI symptoms, therefore we found this to be the best predictor of previous concussion among the veterans. Veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan era who had suffered concussive blast effects (mTBI) can present with covert visual dysfunction as well as additional physical and psychological health problems. The primary eye care providers, especially
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...
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...
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...
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...
... potentially homeless individuals sleep in cars and other vehicles overnight in the lot. As that parking lot is... outdoor sports facilities for veterans, such as a fitness center and tennis courts, etc. The DMP addressed...
Etingen, Bella; Martinez, Rachael N; Vallette, Marissa A; Dendinger, Ryan; Bidassie, Balmatee; Miskevics, Scott; Khan, Hira T; Cozart, Huberta T; Locatelli, Sara M; Weaver, Frances M
To assess patients' perceptions of environmental control units (ECUs) at Veterans Affairs Spinal Cord Injury Centers. A brief questionnaire was conducted with patients in real-time while they were hospitalised ("on-the-spot questionnaire"); a survey was mailed to patients who had recently been discharged from a hospital stay ("discharge survey"). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Seventy on-the-spot questionnaires and 80 discharge surveys were collected. ECU features used most frequently were comparable in responses from both surveys: watching TV/movies (81%, 85%), calling the nurse (68%, 61%), turning lights on/off (63%, 52%), adjusting the bed (53%, 33%), and playing games (39%, 24%). Many on-the-spot questionnaire respondents felt the ECU met their need for independence a great deal (42%). Most respondents to both surveys were satisfied with the ECU (71%, 57%). Areas for improvement included user training, improved functionality of the device and its features, and device design. ECUs were well-accepted by persons with spinal cord injuries/disorders (SCI/D) in the inpatient setting, and increased patients' perceptions of independence. To maximise usability and satisfaction, facilities should ensure that comprehensive training on ECU use and features available is offered to all patients, and resources are available for timely troubleshooting and maintenance. Implications for rehabilitation An environmental control unit (ECU) is a form of assistive technology that allows individuals with disabilities (such as spinal cord injuries and disorders [SCI/D]) to control functional and entertainment-related aspects of their environment. ECU use can increase functioning, independence and psychosocial well-being among individuals with SCI/D, by allowing users to reclaim control over day-to-day activities that are otherwise limited by their disability. Our study results indicate that, among persons with SCI/D, ECUs are well-accepted and increase perceptions of
Pedersen, Eric R; Villarosa-Hurlocker, Margo C; Prince, Mark A
Young adult veterans are at risk for problematic marijuana use and associated consequences, which is partially due to their high rates of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and problematic substance use. Veterans tend to endorse more severe and chronic mental health symptoms compared to their civilian counterparts and they identify marijuana use as a method to cope with their symptoms. Given the prevalence of marijuana use among veterans in the community and in clinical settings, it is important to explore the factors that may help minimize harm associated with use for those that choose to use the drug. The present study sought to examine the impact of protective behavioral strategies on the relationship between mental health symptoms and marijuana use and consequences in a sample of 180 young adult veteran marijuana users. Participants were recruited via social media advertisements and completed measures of marijuana use and consequences, protective behavioral strategies, and PTSD and depression symptoms. Findings indicated that more frequent use of protective behavioral strategies was associated with less marijuana use and consequences. Participants who screened positive for PTSD or depression reported more marijuana consequences than did those not positive on these screeners. Regression analyses revealed protective strategies moderated the relationship between PTSD and marijuana consequences such that young veterans who endorsed more PTSD symptoms and infrequent use of protective strategies reported the most marijuana consequences. No moderating effects were found for the relationship between depression and marijuana consequences. Findings have clinical implications for working with young veterans.
Haun, Jolie N; Lind, Jason D; Shimada, Stephanie L; Martin, Tracey L; Gosline, Robert M; Antinori, Nicole; Stewart, Max; Simon, Steven R
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented an electronic asynchronous "Secure Messaging" tool within a Web-based patient portal (ie, My HealtheVet) to support patient-provider communication. This electronic resource promotes continuous and coordinated patient-centered care, but to date little research has evaluated patients' experiences and preferences for using Secure Messaging. The objectives of this mixed-methods study were to (1) characterize veterans' experiences using Secure Messaging in the My HealtheVet portal over a 3-month period, including system usability, (2) identify barriers to and facilitators of use, and (3) describe strategies to support veterans' use of Secure Messaging. We recruited 33 veterans who had access to and had previously used the portal's Secure Messaging tool. We used a combination of in-depth interviews, face-to-face user-testing, review of transmitted secure messages between veterans and staff, and telephone interviews three months following initial contact. We assessed participants' computer and health literacy during initial and follow-up interviews. We used a content-analysis approach to identify dominant themes in the qualitative data. We compared inferences from each of the data sources (interviews, user-testing, and message review) to identify convergent and divergent data trends. The majority of veterans (27/33, 82%) reported being satisfied with Secure Messaging at initial interview; satisfaction ratings increased to 97% (31/32, 1 missing) during follow-up interviews. Veterans noted Secure Messaging to be useful for communicating with their primary care team to manage health care needs (eg, health-related questions, test requests and results, medication refills and questions, managing appointments). Four domains emerged from interviews: (1) perceived benefits of using Secure Messaging, (2) barriers to using Secure Messaging, (3) facilitators for using Secure Messaging, and (4) suggestions for improving
...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional Housing Facility on a 1-Acre Parcel at the George E... lessee will finance, design, develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Vancouver, WA AGENCY: Department..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional Housing Facility in Pineville, LA AGENCY..., construct, renovate, manage, operate and maintain the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional and Permanent Housing Facility in Canandaigua, NY..., construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the lessees... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Senior Housing Facility in Kerrville, TX AGENCY: Department of..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Supportive Housing Facility in Lyons, NJ AGENCY..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Fort Harrison, MT AGENCY..., design, develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Menlo Park, CA AGENCY: Department..., construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the lessee will... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Housing in Augusta, GA AGENCY: Department of Veterans... lessee will be required to finance, design, develop, construct, maintain and operate the EUL development... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...
Democratic Society White House Leadership Development Program (WHLD) Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)–Senior Executive Fellows Program George......Nurse Leaders: An Exploration of Current Nurse Leadership Development in the Veterans Health Administration 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER
Koo, Kelly H; Madden, Erin; Maguen, Shira
The purpose of this study was to compare health care utilization patterns by race-ethnicity and gender among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A retrospective analysis was conducted with records from U.S. service members and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who enrolled in health care through the Veterans Health Administration, who received a psychiatric diagnosis, and who had used primary or mental health outpatient care between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2012 (N=309,050). Racial-ethnic minority groups were first collapsed together and compared with whites and then separated by racial-ethnic group. Gender was also tested as a moderator of utilization. Although rates of mental health outpatient care, primary care, and emergency service utilization were relatively similar for racial-ethnic minority groups and whites, minority groups were admitted to psychiatric inpatient care at lower rates than whites. When veterans were separately categorized by specific racial-ethnic groups, some differences in utilization rates emerged; most notably, only black and Hispanic men were admitted less frequently to psychiatric inpatient care, and male and female Asian/Pacific Islander veterans used emergency services less, than their white counterparts. Gender moderated the association between race-ethnicity and mental health outpatient use, such that American Indian and Hispanic women used mental health outpatient services less than white women, but American Indian and Hispanic men showed the opposite pattern. Furthermore, black men were more likely than white men to use mental health outpatient services, but there was no difference between these women. Although service utilization rates between minority groups and whites were similar when minority groups were combined, examination of utilization by racial-ethnic groups and by men and women separately yielded more robust findings.
Edwards, Samuel T; Helfrich, Christian D; Grembowski, David; Hulen, Elizabeth; Clinton, Walter L; Wood, Gordon B; Kim, Linda; Rose, Danielle E; Stewart, Greg
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.
.... 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...
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,...
... (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.27 How will VA store information? VA... examination visits will be scanned onto portable media and fully secured in the Center for Veterans Enterprise...
Pope, Charlene A.; Davis, Boyd H.; Wine, Leticia; Nemeth, Lynne S.; Axon, Robert N.
Among Veterans, heart failure (HF) contributes to frequent emergency department visits and hospitalization. Dual health care system use (dual use) occurs when Veterans Health Administration (VA) enrollees also receive care from non-VA sources. Mounting evidence suggests that dual use decreases efficiency and patient safety. This qualitative study used constructivist grounded theory and content analysis to examine decision making among 25 Veterans with HF, for similarities and differences between all-VA users and dual users. In general, all-VA users praised specific VA providers, called services helpful, and expressed positive capacity for managing HF. In addition, several Veterans who described inadvertent one-time non-VA health care utilization in emergent situations more closely mirrored all-VA users. By contrast, committed dual users more often reported unmet needs, nonresponse to VA requests, and faster services in non-VA facilities. However, a primary trigger for dual use was VA telephone referral for escalating symptoms, instead of care coordination or primary/specialty care problem-solving. PMID:29482411
... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...
... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...
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.
Davis, Alan K; Bonar, Erin E; Ilgen, Mark A; Walton, Maureen A; Perron, Brian E; Chermack, Stephen T
Psychiatric symptoms, somatic problems, and co-occurring substance use have been associated with medical marijuana consumption among civilian patients with substance use disorders. It is possible that these factors may impact Veterans' ability to engage in or adhere to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Therefore, we examined whether psychiatric functioning, substance use, and somatic problems were associated with medical marijuana use among Veterans receiving substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment. Participants (n=841) completed screening measures for a randomized controlled trial and 67 (8%) reported that they had a current medical marijuana card. Most of these participants (78%) reported using marijuana to treat severe/chronic pain. Significant bivariate differences revealed that, compared to participants without a medical marijuana card, those with a card were more likely to be in a middle income bracket, unemployed, and they had a significantly higher number of recent days of marijuana use, synthetic marijuana use, and using sedatives prescribed to them. Additionally, a significantly higher proportion of participants with a medical marijuana card scored above the clinical cutoff for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, had significantly higher severity of sleep-related problems, and reported a higher level of pain. These findings highlight the co-occurrence of substance use, PTSD symptoms, sleep-related problems, and chronic pain among Veterans who use medical marijuana. Future research should investigate the inter-relationships among medical marijuana use and other clinical issues (e.g., PTSD symptoms, sleep, pain) over time, and potential implications of medical marijuana use on treatment engagement and response. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lind, Jason D; Shimada, Stephanie L; Martin, Tracey L; Gosline, Robert M; Antinori, Nicole; Stewart, Max; Simon, Steven R
Background The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented an electronic asynchronous “Secure Messaging” tool within a Web-based patient portal (ie, My HealtheVet) to support patient-provider communication. This electronic resource promotes continuous and coordinated patient-centered care, but to date little research has evaluated patients’ experiences and preferences for using Secure Messaging. Objective The objectives of this mixed-methods study were to (1) characterize veterans’ experiences using Secure Messaging in the My HealtheVet portal over a 3-month period, including system usability, (2) identify barriers to and facilitators of use, and (3) describe strategies to support veterans’ use of Secure Messaging. Methods We recruited 33 veterans who had access to and had previously used the portal’s Secure Messaging tool. We used a combination of in-depth interviews, face-to-face user-testing, review of transmitted secure messages between veterans and staff, and telephone interviews three months following initial contact. We assessed participants’ computer and health literacy during initial and follow-up interviews. We used a content-analysis approach to identify dominant themes in the qualitative data. We compared inferences from each of the data sources (interviews, user-testing, and message review) to identify convergent and divergent data trends. Results The majority of veterans (27/33, 82%) reported being satisfied with Secure Messaging at initial interview; satisfaction ratings increased to 97% (31/32, 1 missing) during follow-up interviews. Veterans noted Secure Messaging to be useful for communicating with their primary care team to manage health care needs (eg, health-related questions, test requests and results, medication refills and questions, managing appointments). Four domains emerged from interviews: (1) perceived benefits of using Secure Messaging, (2) barriers to using Secure Messaging, (3) facilitators for using
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 ...
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...
Nazi, Kim M
Consumer research reveals considerable interest in the use of Personal Health Records (PHRs), yet adoption remains relatively low. Both adopters and nonadopters represent important perspectives from which to understand this paradox. This study focuses on direct feedback from adopters obtained using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey on the My HealtheVet PHR portal (http://www.myhealth.va.gov) of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The results represent a source of direct feedback with which to better understand veterans' needs and preferences. The ACSI Survey was implemented in October 2007 to measure satisfaction and elicit information about characteristics and preferences of My HealtheVet PHR adopters. The data represent a continuous random sample of site visitors who have navigated at least four pages on the site. A total of 100 617 surveys were completed (17.2%). Satisfaction with My HealtheVet is high (8.3/10.0), and users are highly likely to return to the site (8.6/10.0) and recommend the site to other veterans (9.1/10.0). The majority of system adopters are male (91%), between the ages of 51 and 70 (68%), and served in the Vietnam War (60%). Most veterans currently visit the site to utilize pharmacy-related features. VHA has used the ACSI to monitor satisfaction, and to better understand the characteristics, needs, and preferences of early adopters. The data provide an important source of direct feedback to inform program development. Future research will include monitoring the impact of enhancements and new features on satisfaction, and conducting additional research with nonadopters to identify barriers to adoption and use.
Background Consumer research reveals considerable interest in the use of Personal Health Records (PHRs), yet adoption remains relatively low. Both adopters and nonadopters represent important perspectives from which to understand this paradox. Objective This study focuses on direct feedback from adopters obtained using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey on the My HealtheVet PHR portal (http://www.myhealth.va.gov) of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The results represent a source of direct feedback with which to better understand veterans' needs and preferences. Methods The ACSI Survey was implemented in October 2007 to measure satisfaction and elicit information about characteristics and preferences of My HealtheVet PHR adopters. The data represent a continuous random sample of site visitors who have navigated at least four pages on the site. A total of 100 617 surveys were completed (17.2%). Results Satisfaction with My HealtheVet is high (8.3/10.0), and users are highly likely to return to the site (8.6/10.0) and recommend the site to other veterans (9.1/10.0). The majority of system adopters are male (91%), between the ages of 51 and 70 (68%), and served in the Vietnam War (60%). Most veterans currently visit the site to utilize pharmacy-related features. Conclusion VHA has used the ACSI to monitor satisfaction, and to better understand the characteristics, needs, and preferences of early adopters. The data provide an important source of direct feedback to inform program development. Future research will include monitoring the impact of enhancements and new features on satisfaction, and conducting additional research with nonadopters to identify barriers to adoption and use. PMID:20190065
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...
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...
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,...
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,...
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,...
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....
... Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924--233 hours. b. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Application, VA.... National Veterans TEE Tournament Application, VA Form 0927--133 hours. e. National Veterans Summer Sports... Form 0929--67 hours. OMB Control Number: 2900-New (VA Form 0924). Type of Review: Existing collection...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false VA environmental decision making and documents. 26.7 Section 26.7 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) ACTIONS § 26.7 VA environmental decision making and document...
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...
... reported to VA Police. 1.203 Section 1.203 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... be reported to VA Police. Information about actual or possible violations of criminal laws related to... occurs on VA premises, will be reported by VA management officials to the VA police component with...
Lauren M. Denneson, PhD; Kathryn Corson, PhD; Steven K. Dobscha, MD
We describe prior use and willingness to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among 401 veterans experiencing chronic noncancer pain and explore differences between CAM users and nonusers. Participants in a randomized controlled trial of a collaborative intervention for chronic pain from five Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics self-reported prior use and willingness to try chiropractic care, massage therapy, herbal medicines, and acupuncture. Prior CAM users ...
Spencer, Samantha H; Suda, Katie J; Smith, Bridget M; Huo, Zhiping; Bailey, Lauren; Stroupe, Kevin T
Erectile dysfunction (ED) medications are therapeutically effective and associated with satisfaction. Medicare Part D included ED medications on the formulary during 2006 and inadvertently in 2007-2008. To characterize phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE-5) medication use among veterans who were dually eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D benefits. Veterans aged > 66 years who received PDE-5 inhibitors between 2005 and 2009 were included. Veterans were categorized by PDE-5 inhibitor claims: VA-only, Part D-only, or dual users of VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies. T-tests and chi-square tests were applied as appropriate. From 2005 to 2009, the majority (85.2%) of veterans used VA benefits exclusively for their PDE-5 inhibitors; 11.4% used Medicare Part D exclusively; and 3.4% were dual users. The Part D-only group was older, more frequently not black, had a VA copay, and had a higher income (P filling prescriptions for PDE-5 inhibitors (-68%) and total number of PDE-5 inhibitor 30-day equivalents dispensed (-86.7%) from the VA decreased. Part D prescriptions increased through 2006 (full coverage period) and 2007 (accidental partial coverage) and decreased in 2008. While Part D accounted for only 10% of PDE-5 inhibitor 30-day equivalents, it equaled 29.2% of dispensed tablets. In October 2007, VA PDE-5 inhibitor use returned to 2005 levels. Implementation of Medicare Part D reduced VA PDE-5 inhibitor acquisition. However, after removal of PDE-5 inhibitors from the Part D formulary, use of VA pharmacies for PDE-5 inhibitors resumed. Medication policies outside the VA can affect medication use. Veterans with access to non-VA health care may obtain medications from the private sector because of VA restrictions. This may be especially true for nonformulary and lifestyle medications. The authors received funding support for this research project from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...
Fried, Dennis A; Rajan, Mangala; Tseng, Chin-Lin; Helmer, Drew
During the Vietnam War, the US military sprayed almost 20 million gallons of Agent Orange (AO), an herbicide contaminated with dioxin, over Vietnam. Approximately, 2.7 million US military personnel may have been exposed to AO during their deployment. Ordinarily, veterans who can demonstrate a nexus between a diagnosed condition and military service are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) service-connected disability compensation. Vietnam Veterans have had difficulty, however, establishing a nexus between AO exposure and certain medical conditions that developed many years after the war. In response, VA has designated certain conditions as "presumed service connected" for Vietnam Veterans who were present and possibly exposed. Veterans with any of these designated conditions do not have to document AO exposure, making it easier for them to access the VA disability system. The extent to which VA healthcare utilization patterns reflect easier access afforded those with diagnosed presumptive conditions remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that Vietnam Veterans with diagnosed presumptive conditions would be heavier users of the VA healthcare system than those without these conditions. In our analysis of 85,699 Vietnam Veterans, we used binary and cumulative logit multivariable regression to assess associations between diagnosed presumptive conditions and VA healthcare utilization in 2013. We found that diagnosed presumptive conditions were associated with higher odds of 5+ VHA primary care visits (OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.93-2.07), 5+ specialty care visits (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 2.04-2.18), emergency department use (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.11-1.34), and hospitalization (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.17-1.29). Consistent with legislative intent, presumptive policies appear to facilitate greater VA system utilization for Vietnam Veterans who may have been exposed to AO.
Fried, Dennis A.; Rajan, Mangala; Tseng, Chin-lin; Helmer, Drew
Abstract During the Vietnam War, the US military sprayed almost 20 million gallons of Agent Orange (AO), an herbicide contaminated with dioxin, over Vietnam. Approximately, 2.7 million US military personnel may have been exposed to AO during their deployment. Ordinarily, veterans who can demonstrate a nexus between a diagnosed condition and military service are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) service-connected disability compensation. Vietnam Veterans have had difficulty, however, establishing a nexus between AO exposure and certain medical conditions that developed many years after the war. In response, VA has designated certain conditions as “presumed service connected” for Vietnam Veterans who were present and possibly exposed. Veterans with any of these designated conditions do not have to document AO exposure, making it easier for them to access the VA disability system. The extent to which VA healthcare utilization patterns reflect easier access afforded those with diagnosed presumptive conditions remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that Vietnam Veterans with diagnosed presumptive conditions would be heavier users of the VA healthcare system than those without these conditions. In our analysis of 85,699 Vietnam Veterans, we used binary and cumulative logit multivariable regression to assess associations between diagnosed presumptive conditions and VA healthcare utilization in 2013. We found that diagnosed presumptive conditions were associated with higher odds of 5+ VHA primary care visits (OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.93–2.07), 5+ specialty care visits (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 2.04–2.18), emergency department use (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.11–1.34), and hospitalization (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.17–1.29). Consistent with legislative intent, presumptive policies appear to facilitate greater VA system utilization for Vietnam Veterans who may have been exposed to AO. PMID:29742706
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking direct final action to amend its regulations related to the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a pilot program to offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans. Specifically, this rule will add language to clarify the limited preemptive effect of certain criteria in the VADIP regulations.
Wadia, Roxanne J; Yao, Xiaopan; Deng, Yanhong; Li, Jia; Maron, Steven; Connery, Donna; Gunduz-Bruce, Handan; Rose, Michal G
There are limited data on the impact of mental health comorbidities (MHC) on stage at diagnosis and timeliness of cancer care. Axis I MHC affect approximately 30% of Veterans receiving care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. The purpose of this study was to compare stage at diagnosis and timeliness of care of solid tumor malignancies among Veterans with and without MHC. We performed a retrospective analysis of 408 charts of Veterans with colorectal, urothelial, and head/neck cancer diagnosed and treated at VA Connecticut Health Care System (VACHS) between 2008 and 2011. We collected demographic data, stage at diagnosis, medical and mental health co-morbidities, treatments received, key time intervals, and number of appointments missed. The study was powered to assess for stage migration of 15–20% from Stage I/II to Stage III/IV. There was no significant change in stage distribution for patients with and without MHC in the entire study group (p = 0.9442) and in each individual tumor type. There were no significant differences in the time intervals from onset of symptoms to initiation of treatment between patients with and without MHC (p = 0.1135, 0.2042 and 0.2352, respectively). We conclude that at VACHS, stage at diagnosis for patients with colorectal, urothelial and head and neck cancers did not differ significantly between patients with and without MHC. Patients with MHC did not experience significant delays in care. Our study indicates that in a medical system in which mental health is integrated into routine care, patients with Axis I MHC do not experience delays in cancer care
Department of Veterans Affairs — National-level, VISN-level, and/or VAMC-level statistics on the numbers and percentages of users of VHA care form the Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC)....
Runnals, Jennifer J; Garovoy, Natara; McCutcheon, Susan J; Robbins, Allison T; Mann-Wrobel, Monica C; Elliott, Alyssa
Given recent, rapid growth in the field of women veterans' mental health, the goal of this review was to update the status of women veterans' mental health research and to identify current themes in this literature. The scope of this review included women veterans' unique mental health needs, as well as gender differences in veterans' mental health needs. Database searches were conducted for relevant articles published between January 2008 and July 2011. Searches were supplemented with bibliographic reviews and consultation with subject matter experts. The database search yielded 375 titles; 32 met inclusion/exclusion criteria. The women veterans' mental health literature crosses over several domains, including prevalence, risk factors, health care utilization, treatment preferences, and access barriers. Studies were generally cross-sectional, descriptive, mixed-gender, and examined Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users from all service eras. Results indicate higher rates of specific disorders (e.g., depression) and comorbidities, with differing risk factors and associated medical and functional impairment for female compared with male veterans. Although satisfaction with VA health care is generally high, unique barriers to care and indices of treatment satisfaction exist for women. There is a breadth of descriptive knowledge in many content areas of women veterans' mental health; however, the research base examining interventional and longitudinal designs is less developed. Understudied content areas and targets for future research and development include certain psychiatric disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), the effects of deployment on woman veterans' families, and strategies to address treatment access, attrition, and provision of gender-sensitive care. Published by Elsevier Inc.
... (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA... Under the Montgomery GI Bill, VA Form 22-1990E. c. Application for VA Education Benefits Under the...
Gitlin, Laura N; Mann, William C; Vogel, W Bruce; Arthur, Paul B
Behavioral symptoms accompanying dementia are associated with increased health care costs, reduced quality of life and daily functioning, heightened family caregiver burden, and nursing home placement. Standard care typically involves pharmacologic agents, but these are, at best, modestly effective, carry serious risks, including mortality, and do not address behavioral symptoms families consider most distressful and which may prompt nursing home placement. Given dementia's devastating effects and the absence of an imminent cure, the Veterans Administration has supported the development and testing of new approaches to manage challenging behaviors at home. The Tailored Activity Program - Veterans Administration is a Phase III efficacy trial designed to reduce behavioral symptoms in Veterans with dementia living with their caregivers in the community. The study uses a randomized two-group parallel design with 160 diverse Veterans and caregivers. The experimental group receives a transformative patient-centric intervention designed to reduce the burden of behavioral symptoms in Veterans with dementia. An occupational therapist conducts an assessment to identify a Veteran's preserved capabilities, deficit areas, previous roles, habits, and interests to develop activities tailored to the Veteran. Family caregivers are then trained to incorporate activities into daily care. The attention-control group receives bi-monthly telephone contact where education on topics relevant to dementia is provided to caregivers. Key outcomes include reduced frequency and severity of behavioral symptoms using the 12-item Neuropsychiatric Inventory (primary endpoint), reduced caregiver burden, enhanced skill acquisition, efficacy using activities, and time spent providing care at 4 months; and long-term effects (8 months) on the Veteran's quality of life and frequency and severity of behavioral symptoms, and caregiver use of activities. The programs' impact of Veterans Administration cost
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...
... (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration... Education Benefits, VA Form 22-1990. b. Application for Family Member to Use Transferred Benefits, VA Form 22-1990E. [[Page 40454
... women veterans with or without the care of dependent children. 2. Funding Priority 2--VA is offering the... homeless veterans (i.e., veterans who are not incarcerated but are involved in the criminal justice system...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN49 Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency..., authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reimburse eligible veterans for costs related to non-VA.... Specifically, section 1725 authorizes reimbursement for emergency treatment for eligible veterans with...
Coker, Kendell L; Stefanovics, Elina; Rosenheck, Robert
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).
Moreau, Jessica L; Cordasco, Kristina M; Young, Alexander S; Oishi, Sabine M; Rose, Danielle E; Canelo, Ismelda; Yano, Elizabeth M; Haskell, Sally G; Hamilton, Alison B
Women veterans are a growing segment of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) users with distinct mental health needs and well-documented barriers to care. Telemental health holds much promise for reducing barriers to mental health care. We assessed VA stakeholders' perceptions of telemental health's appropriateness and potential to address the mental health needs of women veteran VA users. We conducted semistructured qualitative interviews with 40 key leadership and clinical stakeholders at VA medical centers and associated outpatient clinics. Transcripts were summarized in a template of key domains developed based on the interview guide, and coded for topics relevant to women's mental health needs and telehealth services. Telemental health was perceived to increase access to mental health care, including same-gender care and access to providers with specialized training, especially for rural women and those with other limiting circumstances. Respondents saw women veterans as being particularly poised to benefit from telemental health, owing to responsibilities associated with childcare, spousal care, and elder caregiving. Interviewees expressed enthusiasm for telemental health's potential and were eager to expand services, including women-only mental health groups. Implementation challenges were also noted. Overall, our stakeholders saw telemental health as a good fit for helping to address the perceived needs of women veterans, especially in addressing the geographical barriers experienced by rural women and those with a limited ability to travel. These findings can help to inform gender-tailored expansion of telemental health within and outside of the VA. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Schneider, K C; Dove, H G
A phenomenon well known to emergency room personnel is the high use of ER facilities by a small number of patients. In this study of 335 patients followed in outpatient specialty clinics at a university-affiliated VA medical center, 23% of the patients accounted for 73% of the ER visits. Although some patients may be abusing the system, the problem is difficult to correct because of congressional legislation that deters the VA from providing primary care. Thus, a small subset of patients with chronic medical problems who live close to the hospital are likely to continue to consume a disproportionate amount of ER resources.
...-connected disability incurred incident to the veteran's employment and covered under a worker's compensation... code. These charges apply in the situations set forth in paragraph (e)(1) of this section and are... Guidelines fee survey); see paragraph (a)(3) of this section for Data Sources. The 80th percentile charge for...
www.va.gov/health/aboutVHA.asp. 24 Veterans Benefits Administration, “About VBA ,” last updated December 18, 2014, accessed May 10, 2015, http...Department of Veterans Affairs, 2014. Veterans Benefits Administration. “About VBA .” Last updated December 18, 2014. Accessed May 10, 2015. http...OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom VA Department of Veterans Affairs VA OIG Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General VBA Veterans Benefits
Washington, Donna L; Davis, Teri D; Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Yano, Elizabeth M
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in women veterans (WVs), and associated with significant co-morbidity. Effective treatment is available; however, PTSD is often unrecognized. Identify PTSD prevalence and mental healthcare (MHC) use in a representative national WV sample. Cross-sectional, population-based 2008-2009 national survey of 3,611 WVs, weighted to the population. We screened for PTSD using a validated instrument, and also assessed demographic characteristics, health characteristics, and MHC use in the prior 12 months. Among those screening positive, we conducted multivariate logistic regression to identify independent predictors of MHC use. Overall, 13.0 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] 9.8-16.2) of WVs screened PTSD-positive. Veterans Health Administration (VA) healthcare was used by 31.1 % of PTSD-positives and 11.4 % of PTSD-negatives (phealth care (OR=0.2; 95 % CI 0.1-0.4) and household income below the federal poverty level (OR=0.2; 95 % CI 0.1-0.5) predicted nonuse. More than one in eight WVs screened positive for PTSD. Though a majority of VA-users received MHC, low income predicted nonuse. Only a minority of VA-nonusers received MHC. The majority of WVs use non-VA healthcare providers, who may be unaware of their veteran status and PTSD risk. VA outreach to educate VA-nonusers and their healthcare providers about WVs' PTSD risk and available evidence-based VA treatment options is one approach to extend the reach of VA MHC. Research to characterize barriers to VA MHC use for VA-nonusers and low income VA-users is warranted to better understand low service utilization, and to inform program development to engage more WVs in needed MHC.
Collett, Garen A; Song, Kangwon; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Potter, Jennifer S; Finley, Erin P; Pugh, Mary Jo
The increase in the quantities of central nervous system (CNS)-acting medications prescribed has coincided with increases in overdose mortality, suicide-related behaviors, and unintentional deaths in military personnel deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Data on the extent and impact of prescribing multiple CNS drugs among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAVs) are sparse. We sought to identify the characteristics of IAVs with CNS polypharmacy and examine the association of CNS polypharmacy with drug overdose and suicide-related behaviors controlling for known risk factors. This cross-sectional cohort study examined national data of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (N = 311,400) who used the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) during the fiscal year 2011. CNS polypharmacy was defined as five or more CNS-acting medications; drug/alcohol overdose and suicide-related behaviors were identified using ICD-9-CM codes. Demographic and clinical characteristics associated with CNS polypharmacy were identified using a multivariable logistic regression model. We found that 25,546 (8.4 %) of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans had CNS polypharmacy. Those with only post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.50, 99 % confidence interval (CI) 5.96-7.10), only depression (AOR 6.42, 99 % CI 5.86-7.04), co-morbid PTSD and depression (AOR 12.98, 99 % CI 11.97-14.07), and co-morbid traumatic brain injury (TBI), PTSD, and depression (AOR 15.30, 99 % CI 14.00-16.73) had the highest odds of CNS polypharmacy. After controlling for these co-morbid conditions, CNS polypharmacy was significantly associated with drug/alcohol overdose and suicide-related behavior. CNS polypharmacy was most strongly associated with PTSD, depression, and TBI, and independently associated with overdose and suicide-related behavior after controlling for known risk factors. These findings suggest that CNS polypharmacy may be used as an indicator of risk for adverse outcomes
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan AGENCY: Department of Veterans... Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of the FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan... Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) (Pub. L. 111-352). The Strategic Plan provides the Department's long-term...
... INFORMATION: Titles: a. National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924a, c, d and..., c, e. j. Voluntary Service Application, VA Form 0927f. k. National Veterans Summer sports Clinic... Festival Event Application, VA0929a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h. Type of Review: Revision of an already approved...
... Winter Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924a series. b. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Application.... National Veterans TEE Tournament Application, VA Form 0927a series. e. National Veterans Summer Sports... Form 0929a series. Type of Review: Existing collection in use without an OMB control number. Abstract...
... VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.26 What types of business information will VA collect? VA will examine a variety of business records. See § 74.12, “What is... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What types of business...
Denneson, Lauren M; Corson, Kathryn; Dobscha, Steven K
We describe prior use and willingness to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among 401 veterans experiencing chronic noncancer pain and explore differences between CAM users and nonusers. Participants in a randomized controlled trial of a collaborative intervention for chronic pain from five Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics self-reported prior use and willingness to try chiropractic care, massage therapy, herbal medicines, and acupuncture. Prior CAM users were compared with nonusers on demographic characteristics, pain-related clinical characteristics, disease burden, and treatment satisfaction. A majority of veterans ( n = 327, 82%) reported prior use of at least one CAM modality, and nearly all (n = 399, 99%) were willing to try CAM treatment for pain. Chiropractic care was the least preferred option, whereas massage therapy was the most preferred (75% and 96%, respectively). CAM users were less likely to have service-connection disabilities (54% vs 68%; chi square = 4.64, p = 0.03) and reported having spent a larger percentage of their lives in pain (26% vs 20%; Z = 1.40, p = 0.04) than nonusers. We detected few differences between veterans who had tried CAM and those who had not, suggesting that CAM may have broad appeal among veterans with chronic pain. Implications for VA policy and practice and for clinicians treating veterans with chronic pain are discussed.
Asztalos, Bela F.; Collins, Dorothea; Horvath, Katalin V.; Bloomfield, Hanna E.; Robins, Sander J.; Schaefer, Ernst J.
Objective The significant cardiovascular disease (CVD) event reduction in VA-HIT could not be fully explained by the 6% increase in HDL-C with the fibrate, gemfibrozil. We examined whether measurement of HDL subpopulations provided additional information relative to CVD-risk reduction. Methods and Results HDL subpopulations were characterized by 2-dimensional gel-electrophoresis in subjects who were treated with gemfibrozil (n=754) or placebo (n=741). In this study, samples obtained at the 3-month visit were used and data were analyzed prospectively using CVD events (CHD death, MI, or stroke) during the 5.1 years follow up. Analyses in the gemfibrozil arm showed that subjects with recurrent CVD events had significantly higher preβ-1 and had significantly lower α-1 and α-2 HDL levels than those without such events. Preβ-1 level was a significant positive predictor; α-1 and α-2 levels were significant negative risk factors for future CVD events. α-2 level was superior to HDL-C level in CVD-risk assessment after adjustment for established risk factors. Gemfibrozil treatment was associated with 3%-6% decreases in the small, lipid-poor preβ-1 HDL and in the large, lipid-rich α-1 and α-2 HDL and with increases in the small α-3 (3%) and preα-3 (16%) HDLs. Conclusions While the use of gemfibrozil has been associated with reduction in CVD events in VA-HIT, HDL subpopulation analysis indicates that gemfibrozil-mediated improvement in CVD risk might not be the result of its effects on HDL. It is quite possible that much of the cardiovascular benefits of gemfibrozil are due to a much wider spectrum of effects on metabolic processes that is not reflected by changes in blood lipids and HDL subpopulations. PMID:18078862
...'s Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... Application for Compensation and/or Pension, VA Form 21-526. b. Veteran's Supplemental Claim Application, VA.../or pension benefits. b. Veterans who previously filed a claim using VA Form 21-526, and who wish to...
Cosio, David; Lin, Erica H
Past studies have shown that U.S. Veterans are consumers of CAM. However, more than 75% of Veteran non-users report they would utilize these treatment options if made available. Thus, Veterans may not be fully aware of the CAM options currently available to them in the current U.S. VA health care system. The current study tested the hypothesis that Veterans would report an increase in CAM utilization after completing a formal pain education program in a VA medical center. The study used a quasi-experimental, one-group, pre/post-test design. Midwestern, U.S. VA Medical Center. The responses from 103 Veterans who elected to participate in the program and the assessment measures were included in the outcome analyses. "Pain Education School" is a 12-week, educational program that is open to all Veterans and their families. It is a comprehensive program that introduces patients to 23 different disciplines at the VA Medical Center that deal with chronic, non-cancer pain. An adaptation of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire(©), SECTION A: Use of Alternative Health Care Providers. There was a significant difference found in overall utilization of CAM after completing the pain education program. The most utilized CAM modality was the chiropractor; the least utilized were hypnosis and aromatherapy. Not all health care systems or providers may have access to an education-focused, professionally driven program as an amenity. However, lessons can be learned from this study in terms of what pain providers may be able to accomplish in their practice. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
... Administration (VBA), Department of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below... Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Abstract: VBA employees, non-VBA employees in VBA space and Veteran Service Organization employees who have access to VA's benefit records complete VA...
... expressed that the organizational chart should indicate that the Director of the Center for Women Veterans..., about 30 percent of women Veterans surveyed did not think they were eligible for VA benefits.'' The...
... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report AGENCY: Department...) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA policies and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans' illnesses. The GWVI-TF...
post - traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) and...Veterans Affairs (VA) Intramural Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) Research Funding and VA’s Medical and Prosthetic Research Appropriation...Table 6: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Research Centers and Programs That Conduct or Support Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) Research
highest priorities: Veteran homelessness, “ VBA access ” to allow improved awareness of available VA services and benefits, and the backlog of benefits...Veterans by 2015. VBA access refers to improved Veteran awareness of the various VA benefits and services available, particularly through outreach and...claim completion time. While all three of these priorities impact VBA , the second two--increased access and decreased backlog--directly relate to
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...
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...
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...
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. As I write this Dennis Wagner is publishing a series of articles in the Arizona Republic describing his quest to find out if care at VA hospitals have improved over the last 2 years (1. To begin the article Wagner describes the fable of the King of Siam who presented albino pachyderms to his enemies knowing they would be bankrupted because the cost of food and care outweighed all usefulness. A modern expression derives from this parable: the white elephant. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA has prided itself on being a leader in healthcare. It is the largest healthcare system in the US, implemented the first electronic medical record, and more than 70 percent of all US doctors have received training in the VA healthcare system (2. This year the VA is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its partnership with US medical schools. Beginning in 1946, the VA partnered ...
deKleijn, Miriam; Lagro-Janssen, Antoine L M; Canelo, Ismelda; Yano, Elizabeth M
Women Veterans are a significant minority of users of the VA healthcare system, limiting provider and staff experience meeting their needs in environments historically designed for men. The VA is nonetheless committed to ensuring that women Veterans have access to comprehensive care in environments sensitive to their needs. We sought to determine what aspects of care need to be tailored to the needs of women Veterans in order for the VA to deliver gender-sensitive comprehensive care. Modified Delphi expert panel process. Eleven clinicians and social scientists with expertise in women's health, primary care, and mental health. Importance of tailoring over 100 discrete aspects of care derived from the Institute of Medicine's definition of comprehensive care and literature-based domains of sex-sensitive care on a 5-point scale. Panelists rated over half of the aspects of care as very-to-extremely important (median score 4+) to tailor to the needs of women Veterans. The panel arrived at 14 priority recommendations that broadly encompassed the importance of (1) the design/delivery of services sensitive to trauma histories, (2) adapting to women's preferences and information needs, and (3) sex awareness and cultural transformation in every facet of VA operations. We used expert panel methods to arrive at consensus on top priority recommendations for improving delivery of sex-sensitive comprehensive care in VA settings. Accomplishment of their breadth will require national, regional, and local strategic action and multilevel stakeholder engagement, and will support VA's national efforts at improving customer service for all Veterans.
Bezold, C; Mayer, E; Dighe, A
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.
...--Federalism AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans... that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO86-VA Dental Insurance Program-- Federalism... Order 13132, Federalism Section 6(c) of Executive Order 13132 (entitled ``Federalism'') requires an...
McEachrane-Gross, F Patricia; Liebschutz, Jane M; Berlowitz, Dan
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is emerging as an important form of care in the United States. We sought to measure the prevalence of selected CAM use among veterans attending oncology and chronic pain clinics and to describe the characteristics of CAM use in this population. The self-administered, mail-in survey included questions on demographics, health beliefs, medical problems and 6 common CAM treatments (herbs, dietary supplements, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture and homeopathy) use. We used the chi-square test to examine bivariate associations between our predictor variables and CAM use. Seventy-two patients (27.3%) reported CAM use within the past 12 months. CAM use was associated with more education (p = 0.02), higher income (p = 0.006), non-VA insurance (p = 0.003), additional care outside the VA (p = 0.01) and the belief that lifestyle contributes to illness (p = 0.015). The diagnosis of chronic pain versus cancer was not associated with differential CAM use (p = 0.15). Seventy-six percent of CAM non-users reported that they would use it if offered at the VA. Use of 6 common CAM treatments among these veterans is lower than among the general population, but still substantial. A large majority of veterans reported interest in using CAM modalities if they were offered at the VA. A national assessment of veteran interest in CAM may assist VA leaders to respond to patients' needs.
Swenty, Constance L; Schaar, Gina L; Butler, Ryan M
Veterans are challenged with multiple unique healthcare issues related to their military service environment. Likewise, health care providers must understand the special concerns associated with military conflict and recognize how the veteran's care can be optimized by interprofessional care delivery. Little is taught didactically or clinically that supports nursing students in addressing the unique issues of the veteran or the student's need to work collaboratively with allied health team members to enhance the veteran's care. Because of limited exposure to the veteran's special conditions, nursing students who may seek a career with the veteran population often face challenges in rendering appropriate care. The VA offers an invaluable opportunity for health profession students to collaborate with VA interprofessional Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) ultimately optimizing veteran health outcomes. This academic partnership, that implements an interprofessional model, will prepare students to better embrace the veteran population. This article describes the immersion of health profession students in interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) using PACT team principles which ultimately promotes the students' ability to link theory content to patient care delivery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The association of PTSD with physical and mental health functioning and disability (VA Cooperative Study #569: the course and consequences of posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam-era Veteran twins)
Magruder, Kathryn M.; Forsberg, Christopher W.; Kazis, Lewis E.; Üstün, T. Bedirhan; Friedman, Matthew J.; Litz, Brett T.; Vaccarino, Viola; Heagerty, Patrick J.; Gleason, Theresa C.; Huang, Grant D.; Smith, Nicholas L.
Purpose To assess the relationship of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with health functioning and disability in Vietnamera Veterans. Methods A cross-sectional study of functioning and disability in male Vietnam-era Veteran twins. PTSD was measured by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview; health functioning and disability were assessed using the Veterans RAND 36-Item Health Survey (VR-36) and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0). All data collection took place between 2010 and 2012. Results Average age of the 5,574 participating Veterans (2,102 Vietnam theater and 3,472 non-theater) was 61.0 years. Veterans with PTSD had poorer health functioning across all domains of VR-36 and increased disability for all subscales of WHODAS 2.0 (all p < .001) compared with Veterans without PTSD. Veterans with PTSD were in poorer overall health on the VR-36 physical composite summary (PCS) (effect size = 0.31 in theater and 0.47 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both) and mental composite summary (MCS) (effect size = 0.99 in theater and 0.78 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both) and had increased disability on the WHODAS 2.0 summary score (effect size = 1.02 in theater and 0.96 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both). Combat exposure, independent of PTSD status, was associated with lower PCS and MCS scores and increased disability (all p < .05, for trend). Within-pair analyses in twins discordant for PTSD produced consistent findings. Conclusions Vietnam-era Veterans with PTSD have diminished functioning and increased disability. The poor functional status of aging combat-exposed Veterans is of particular concern. PMID:24318083
Melvin, Valerie C
...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability...
Farmer, Carrie M; Hosek, Susan D; Adamson, David M
In response to concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced about veterans' access to care and the quality of care delivered, Congress enacted the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("Veterans Choice Act") in August 2014. The law was passed to help address access issues by expanding the criteria through which veterans can seek care from civilian providers. In addition, the law called for a series of independent assessments of the VA health care system across a broad array of topics related to the delivery of health care services to veterans in VA-owned and -operated facilities, as well as those under contract to VA. RAND conducted three of these assessments: Veteran demographics and health care needs (A), VA health care capabilities (B), and VA authorities and mechanisms for purchasing care (C). This article summarizes the findings of our assessments and includes recommendations from the reports for improving the match between veterans' needs and VA's capabilities, including VA's ability to purchase necessary care from the private sector.
Finlay, Andrea K; Stimmel, Matthew; Blue-Howells, Jessica; Rosenthal, Joel; McGuire, Jim; Binswanger, Ingrid; Smelson, David; Harris, Alex H S; Frayne, Susan M; Bowe, Tom; Timko, Christine
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) program links veterans exiting prison with treatment. Among veterans served by HCRV, national VA clinical data were used to describe contact with VA health care, and mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses and treatment use. Of veterans seen for an HCRV outreach visit, 56 % had contact with VA health care. Prevalence of mental health disorders was 57 %; of whom 77 % entered mental health treatment within a month of diagnosis. Prevalence of substance use disorders was 49 %; of whom 37 % entered substance use disorder treatment within a month of diagnosis. For veterans exiting prison, increasing access to VA health care, especially for rural veterans, and for substance use disorder treatment, are important quality improvement targets.
Lynnette A. Averill
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
Averill, Lynnette A; Eubanks Fleming, C J; Holens, Pamela L; Larsen, Sadie E
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
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
Concerns that disability benefits may create disincentives for employment may be especially relevant for young American military veterans, particularly veterans of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are facing a current economic recession and turning in large numbers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for disability compensation. This study describes the rate of employment and VA disability compensation among a nationally representative sample of veterans under the age of 65 and examines the association between levels of VA disability compensation and employment, adjusting for sociodemographics and health status. Data on a total of 4,787 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans were analyzed using multinomial logistic regressions to compare employed veterans with two groups that were not employed. Two-thirds of veterans under the age of 65 were employed, although only 36 % of veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating of 50 % or higher were employed. Veterans who received no VA disability compensation or who were service-connected 50 % or more were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for employment than veterans who were not service-connected or were service-connected less than 50 %, suggesting high but not all levels of VA disability compensation create disincentives for employment. Results were similar when analyses were limited to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Education and vocational rehabilitation interventions, as well as economic work incentives, may be needed to maximize employment among veterans with disabilities.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.25 What types of personally identifiable information will VA collect? In order to establish owner... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What types of personally...
Mishuris, Rebecca G; Stewart, Max; Fix, Gemmae M; Marcello, Thomas; McInnes, D Keith; Hogan, Timothy P; Boardman, Judith B; Simon, Steven R
Electronic, or web-based, patient portals can improve patient satisfaction, engagement and health outcomes and are becoming more prevalent with the advent of meaningful use incentives. However, adoption rates are low, particularly among vulnerable patient populations, such as those patients who are home-bound with multiple comorbidities. Little is known about how these patients view patient portals or their barriers to using them. To identify barriers to and facilitators of using My HealtheVet (MHV), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patient portal, among Veterans using home-based primary care services. Qualitative study using in-depth semi-structured interviews. We conducted a content analysis informed by grounded theory. Fourteen Veterans receiving home-based primary care, surrogates of two of these Veterans, and three home-based primary care (HBPC) staff members. We identified five themes related to the use of MHV: limited knowledge; satisfaction with current HBPC care; limited computer and Internet access; desire to learn more about MHV and its potential use; and value of surrogates acting as intermediaries between Veterans and MHV. Despite their limited knowledge of MHV and computer access, home-bound Veterans are interested in accessing MHV and using it as an additional point of care. Surrogates are also potential users of MHV on behalf of these Veterans and may have different barriers to and benefits from use. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Tucker, Phebe; von Schlageter, Margo Shultes; Park, EunMi; Rosenberg, Emily; Benjamin, Ashley B.; Nawar, Ola
Objective: The authors examined the effects of medical student assignment to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center inpatient and outpatient psychiatry clerkship sites versus other university and community sites on the performance outcome measure of National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject examination scores. Methods:…
Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M; Amaral, Ernesto F L; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii; Mendelsohn, Joshua; Ross, Rachel; Rutter, Carolyn M; Weinick, Robin M; Woods, Dulani; Hosek, Susan D; Farmer, Carrie M
The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next decade, and the demographic mix and geographic locations of these veterans will change. While the number of veterans using VA health care has increased over time, demand will level off in the coming years. Veterans have more favorable economic circumstances than non-veterans, but they are also older and more likely to be diagnosed with many health conditions. Not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care. Whether and to what extent an eligible veteran uses VA health care depends on a number of factors, including access to other sources of health care. Veterans who rely on VA health care are older and less healthy than veterans who do not, and the prevalence of costly conditions in this population is projected to increase. Potential changes to VA policy and the context for VA health care, including effects of the Affordable Care Act, could affect demand. Analysis of a range of data sources provided insight into how the veteran population is likely to change in the next decade.
Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M.; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W.; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M.; Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii; Mendelsohn, Joshua; Ross, Rachel; Rutter, Carolyn M.; Weinick, Robin M.; Woods, Dulani; Hosek, Susan D.; Farmer, Carrie M.
Abstract The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next decade, and the demographic mix and geographic locations of these veterans will change. While the number of veterans using VA health care has increased over time, demand will level off in the coming years. Veterans have more favorable economic circumstances than non-veterans, but they are also older and more likely to be diagnosed with many health conditions. Not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care. Whether and to what extent an eligible veteran uses VA health care depends on a number of factors, including access to other sources of health care. Veterans who rely on VA health care are older and less healthy than veterans who do not, and the prevalence of costly conditions in this population is projected to increase. Potential changes to VA policy and the context for VA health care, including effects of the Affordable Care Act, could affect demand. Analysis of a range of data sources provided insight into how the veteran population is likely to change in the next decade. PMID:28083423
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,...
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,...
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,...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO42 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations governing...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AN40 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance--Slayer's Rule Exclusion AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations...
... contracts in order to arrange for the provision of care through the pilot program. See Public Law 110- 387... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Pilot Program of Enhanced Contract Care Authority for Veterans in... Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing Sec. 403 of Public Law (Pub. L.) 110-387, ``Veterans' Mental Health...
... facility, if the veteran: (1) Is in need of nursing home care for a VA adjudicated service-connected...' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) PER DIEM FOR NURSING HOME CARE OF VETERANS IN STATE HOMES Per Diem Payments § 51.41 Per diem for certain veterans based on service-connected disabilities...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Agency Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey) Under OMB Review AGENCY: Board of Veterans.... Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey, VA Form 0745. OMB Control...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2010 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of public availability... Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is publishing...
... (Agreement To Train on the Job Disabled Veterans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... to assure that on the job training establishments are providing veterans with the appropriate... information technology. Title: Agreement to Train on the Job Disabled Veterans, VA Form 28- 1904. OMB Control...
... for emergency services for nonservice-connected conditions in non-VA facilities. 17.1000 Section 17.1000 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Payment Or Reimbursement for Emergency Services for Nonservice-Connected Conditions in Non-Va Facilities § 17.1000 Payment...
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.
Abstract The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) current and projected health care capabilities and resources. An examination of data from a variety of sources, along with a survey of VA medical facility leaders, revealed the breadth and depth of VA resources and capabilities: fiscal resources, workforce and human resources, physical infrastructure, interorganizational relationships, and information resources. The assessment identified barriers to the effective use of these resources and capabilities. Analysis of data on access to VA care and the quality of that care showed that almost all veterans live within 40 miles of a VA health facility, but fewer have access to VA specialty care. Veterans usually receive care within 14 days of their desired appointment date, but wait times vary considerably across VA facilities. VA has long played a national leadership role in measuring the quality of health care. The assessment showed that VA health care quality was as good or better on most measures compared with other health systems, but quality performance lagged at some VA facilities. VA will require more resources and capabilities to meet a projected increase in veterans' demand for VA care over the next five years. Options for increasing capacity include accelerated hiring, full nurse practice authority, and expanded use of telehealth. PMID:28083424
Shireman, Paula K; Rasmussen, Todd E; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Pugh, Mary Jo
Limb injuries comprise 50-60% of U.S. Service member's casualties of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Combat-related vascular injuries are present in 12% of this cohort, a rate 5 times higher than in prior wars. Improvements in medical and surgical trauma care, including initial in-theatre limb salvage approaches (IILS) have resulted in improved survival and fewer amputations, however, the long-term outcomes such as morbidity, functional decline, and risk for late amputation of salvaged limbs using current process of care have not been studied. The long-term care of these injured warfighters poses a significant challenge to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA Vascular Injury Study (VAVIS): VA-DoD Extremity Injury Outcomes Collaborative, funded by the VA, Health Services Research and Development Service, is a longitudinal cohort study of Veterans with vascular extremity injuries. Enrollment will begin April, 2015 and continue for 3 years. Individuals with a validated extremity vascular injury in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry will be contacted and will complete a set of validated demographic, social, behavioral, and functional status measures during interview and online/ mailed survey. Primary outcome measures will: 1) Compare injury, demographic and geospatial characteristics of patients with IILS and identify late vascular surgery related limb complications and health care utilization in Veterans receiving VA vs. non-VA care, 2) Characterize the preventive services received by individuals with vascular repair and related outcomes, and 3) Describe patient-reported functional outcomes in Veterans with traumatic vascular limb injuries. This study will provide key information about the current process of care for Active Duty Service members and Veterans with polytrauma/vascular injuries at risk for persistent morbidity and late amputation. The results of this study will be the first step for clinicians in VA and
Damron-Rodriguez, JoAnn; White-Kazemipour, Whitney; Washington, Donna; Villa, Valentine M; Dhanani, Shawkat; Harada, Nancy D
Diverse veteran's perspectives on the accessibility and acceptability of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health services are presented. The qualitative methodology uses 16 focus groups (N = 178) stratified by war cohort (World War II and Korean Conflict versus Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War) and four ethnic/racial categories (African American, Asian American, European American, Hispanic American). Five themes emerged regarding veterans' health care expectations: (1) better information regarding available services, (2) sense of deserved benefits, (3) concern about welfare stigma, (4) importance of physician attentiveness, and (5) staff respect for patients as veterans. Although veterans' ethnic/racial backgrounds differentiated their military experiences, it was the informants' veteran identity that framed what they expected of VA health services. Accessibility and acceptability of VA health care is related to veterans' perspectives of the nature of their entitlement to service. Provider education and customer service strategies should consider the identified factors to increase access to VA as well as improve veterans' acceptance of the care.
... AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: In... to VA's OMB Desk Officer, OMB Human Resources and Housing Branch, New Executive Office Building, Room... benefit claim within 30 days prior to the fielding period. The sample will be stratified as follows: (1...
Newins, Amie R; Wilson, Sarah M; Hopkins, Tiffany A; Straits-Troster, Kristy; Kudler, Harold; Calhoun, Patrick S
The study investigated barriers to the utilization of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care services among female veterans who served in served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including reasons for not choosing VA health care, reasons for not seeking mental health treatment, and types of desired VA services. Female respondents to a survey assessing Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans' needs and health (N = 186) completed measures of military history, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, barriers to VA health care, and preferences for services. Barriers to use of VA health care endorsed by female veterans included receiving care elsewhere and logistical issues. Barriers to utilization of mental health services among female veterans who screened positive for depression or posttraumatic stress disorder included negative treatment biases and concerns about stigma, privacy, and cost. Female veterans endorsed preferences for services related to eligibility education, nonprimary care physical health services, vocational assistance, and a few behavioral/mental health services. Findings highlight the need for ongoing outreach and education regarding eligibility and types of resources for physical and mental health problems experienced by female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as inform types of VA programming and services desired by female veterans. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Tsan, Min-Fu; Nguyen, Yen; Brooks, Robert
We compared the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) quality indicator data of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities using their own VA institutional review boards (IRBs) with those using affiliated university IRBs. From a total of 25 performance metrics, 13 did not demonstrate statistically significant differences, while 12 reached statistically significance differences. Among the 12 with statistically significant differences, facilities using their own VA IRBs performed better on four of the metrics, while facilities using affiliate IRBs performed better on eight. However, the absolute difference was small (0.2-2.7%) in all instances, suggesting that they were of no practical significance. We conclude that it is acceptable for facilities to use their own VA IRBs or affiliated university IRBs as their IRBs of record.
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...
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. Yesterday on D-Day, the 74th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, President Trump signed the VA Mission Act. The law directs the VA to combine a number of existing private-care programs, including the so-called Choice program, which was created in 2014 after veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA (1. During the signing Trump touted the new law saying “there has never been anything like this in the history of the VA” and saying that veterans “can go right outside [the VA] to a private doctor”-but can they? Although the bill authorizes private care, it appropriates no money to pay for it. Although a bipartisan plan to fund the expansion is proposed in the House, the White House has been lobbying Republicans to vote the plan down (2. Instead Trump has been asking Congress to pay for veteran’s programs by cutting spending elsewhere (2. We in Arizona are …
Luck, Jeff; Bowman, Candice; York, Laura; Midboe, Amanda; Taylor, Thomas; Gale, Randall; Asch, Steven
Effective implementation of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) in primary care practices requires training and other resources, such as online toolkits, to share strategies and materials. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) developed an online Toolkit of user-sourced tools to support teams implementing its Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) medical home model. To present findings from an evaluation of the PACT Toolkit, including use, variation across facilities, effect of social marketing, and factors influencing use. The Toolkit is an online repository of ready-to-use tools created by VA clinic staff that physicians, nurses, and other team members may share, download, and adopt in order to more effectively implement PCMH principles and improve local performance on VA metrics. Multimethod evaluation using: (1) website usage analytics, (2) an online survey of the PACT community of practice's use of the Toolkit, and (3) key informant interviews. Survey respondents were PACT team members and coaches (n = 544) at 136 VA facilities. Interview respondents were Toolkit users and non-users (n = 32). For survey data, multivariable logistic models were used to predict Toolkit awareness and use. Interviews and open-text survey comments were coded using a "common themes" framework. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) guided data collection and analyses. The Toolkit was used by 6,745 staff in the first 19 months of availability. Among members of the target audience, 80 % had heard of the Toolkit, and of those, 70 % had visited the website. Tools had been implemented at 65 % of facilities. Qualitative findings revealed a range of user perspectives from enthusiastic support to lack of sufficient time to browse the Toolkit. An online Toolkit to support PCMH implementation was used at VA facilities nationwide. Other complex health care organizations may benefit from adopting similar online peer-to-peer resource libraries.
Lehavot, Keren; Katon, Jodie G; Simpson, Tracy L; Shipherd, Jillian C
Transgender individuals are overrepresented among Veterans. However, little is known regarding their satisfaction with Veterans Administration (VA) care and unmet health needs. This study examined transgender Veterans' satisfaction with VA medical and mental health care, prevalence of delaying care, and correlates of these outcomes. We used data from transgender Veterans collected in 2014 through an online, national survey. In total, 298 transgender Veterans living in the United States. We assessed patient satisfaction with VA medical and mental health care and self-reported delays in seeking medical and mental health care in the past year. Potential correlates associated with these 4 outcomes included demographic, health, and health care variables. Over half of the sample used VA (56%) since their military discharge. Among transgender Veterans who had used VA, 79% were satisfied with medical care and 69% with mental health care. Lower income was associated with dissatisfaction with VA medical care, and being a transgender man was associated with dissatisfaction with VA mental health care. A substantial proportion reported delays in seeking medical (46%) or mental (38%) health care in the past year (not specific to VA). Screening positive for depression and/or posttraumatic stress disorder was associated with delays in seeking both types of care. Although the majority of transgender Veterans are satisfied with VA health care, certain subgroups are less likely to be satisfied with care. Further, many report delaying accessing care, particularly those with depression and/or posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Adapting health care settings to better engage these vulnerable Veterans may be necessary.
...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for interoperability...
... Collection Activity (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Under OMB Review AGENCY.... Abstract: VA's top priority is the prevention of Veterans suicide. It is imperative to reach these at-risk... families' awareness of VA's suicide prevention and mental health support services. In addition, the surveys...
Cordasco, Kristina M; Huynh, Alexis K; Zephyrin, Laurie; Hamilton, Alison B; Lau-Herzberg, Amy E; Kessler, Chad S; Yano, Elizabeth M
Visits to Veterans Administration (VA) emergency departments (EDs) are increasingly being made by women. A 2011 national inventory of VA emergency services for women revealed that many EDs have gaps in their resources and processes for gynecologic emergency care. To guide VA in addressing these gaps, we sought to understand factors acting as facilitators and/or barriers to improving VA ED capacity for, and quality of, emergency gynecology care. Semistructured interviews with VA emergency and women's health key informants. ED directors/providers (n=14), ED nurse managers (n=13), and Women Veteran Program Managers (n=13) in 13 VA facilities. Leadership, staff, space, demand, funding, policies, and community were noted as important factors influencing VA EDs building capacity and improving emergency gynecologic care for women Veterans. These factors are intertwined and cross multiple organizational levels so that each ED's capacity is a reflection not only of its own factors, but also those of its local medical center and non-VA community context as well as VA regional and national trends and policies. Policies and quality improvement initiatives aimed at building VA's emergency gynecologic services for women need to be multifactorial and aimed at multiple organizational levels. Policies need to be flexible to account for wide variations across EDs and their medical center and community contexts. Approaches that build and encourage local leadership engagement, such as evidence-based quality improvement methodology, are likely to be most effective.
Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert
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.
for veterans who deployed to the Gulf War in 1990 or thereafter. However, VA has not made available data on remuneration for those conditions. 31...Associate Director for Economic Analysis, Congressional Budget Office, before the Subcommittee on Social Security of the House Committee on Ways and...program remunerates veterans for their service-connected medical conditions. In addition, determination of disability by VA is a first step toward
...--Federalism AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Direct final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of... that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO85-VA Dental Insurance Program-- Federalism... add preemption language in accordance with the discussion above. Executive Order 13132, Federalism...
Veterans Administration, Washington, DC.
The Conference Poceedings are divided into three broad topics: systems planning, audiovisuals in biomedical communication, and automation and networking. Speakers from within the Veterans Administration (VA), from the National Medical Audiovisual Center, and the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, National Library of…
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. David Shulkin MD, Secretary for Veterans Affairs (VA was finally fired by President Donald Trump ending long speculation (1. Trump nominated his personal physician, Ronny Jackson MD, to fill Shulkin’s post. The day after his firing, Shulkin criticized his firing in a NY Times op-ed claiming pro-privatization factions within the Trump administration led to his ouster (2. “They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed,” Dr. Shulkin wrote. “That is because I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans.” Former Secretary Shulkin’s tenure at the VA has had several controversies. First, as undersecretary of Veterans Healthcare and later as secretary money appropriated to the VA to obtain private care under the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Acts of 2014 and the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of …
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); and the National Health Interview Survey ( NHIS ). As of July 1, 2010, VA has submitted to...NHANES and NHIS staff specific questions that if answered positively, will identify Veteran study subjects beginning in 2011 in both these National...several discussions with investigators on the NHANES and NHIS . Staffs from both surveys are willing to include Veteran-specific questions and to plan
... Joint Disability Evaluation Board Claim): Activity under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... . Please refer to ``OMB Control No. 2900-0704.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: VA/DOD Joint Disability Evaluation Board Claim, VA Form 21- 0819. OMB Control Number: 2900-0704. Type of Review: Extension of a...
... signature by mark or thumbprint? 3.2130 Section 3.2130 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF... of This Title General § 3.2130 Will VA accept a signature by mark or thumbprint? VA will accept signatures by mark or thumbprint if: (a) They are witnessed by two people who sign their names and give their...
... poster. 803.7000 Section 803.7000 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS... Improper Business Practices 803.7000 Display of the VA Hotline poster. (a) Under the circumstances described in paragraph (b) of this section, a contractor must display prominently a VA Hotline poster...
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 ...
First, veterans would send a notice of disagreement to their facility. Then the facility is to generate a statement of case (SOC). Lastly, the...an area agency on aging, or a state agency or a center for independent living. VA employees are excluded from providing care or services under VCP...unless the provider is an employee of VA, and is not acting within the scope of such employment while providing hospital care or medical services
... health care services for veterans).'' Proposed Sec. 17.121(a) would establish the clinical decision maker... practice to utilize the services of health care professionals, such as nurses, for purposes of clinical review. For this reason, establishing the clinical decision maker as a ``designated VA clinician'' would...
Liebschutz Jane M
Full Text Available Abstract Background Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM is emerging as an important form of care in the United States. We sought to measure the prevalence of selected CAM use among veterans attending oncology and chronic pain clinics and to describe the characteristics of CAM use in this population. Methods The self-administered, mail-in survey included questions on demographics, health beliefs, medical problems and 6 common CAM treatments (herbs, dietary supplements, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture and homeopathy use. We used the chi-square test to examine bivariate associations between our predictor variables and CAM use. Results Seventy-two patients (27.3% reported CAM use within the past 12 months. CAM use was associated with more education (p = 0.02, higher income (p = 0.006, non-VA insurance (p = 0.003, additional care outside the VA (p = 0.01 and the belief that lifestyle contributes to illness (p = 0.015. The diagnosis of chronic pain versus cancer was not associated with differential CAM use (p = 0.15. Seventy-six percent of CAM non-users reported that they would use it if offered at the VA. Conclusion Use of 6 common CAM treatments among these veterans is lower than among the general population, but still substantial. A large majority of veterans reported interest in using CAM modalities if they were offered at the VA. A national assessment of veteran interest in CAM may assist VA leaders to respond to patients' needs.
VAMC VA Medical Center VBA Veterans Benefits Administration VFW Veterans of Foreign War of the United States VHA Veterans Health...System, August 26, 2014, accessed August 27, 2014, http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-14-02603-267.pdf. 2 Sloan D. Gibson, “Remarks of Acting Secretary...Sloan D. Gibson During VFW Annual Convention” (address at the 115th VFW Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, July 22, 2014), accessed July 27, 2014, http
Full Text Available Elizabeth Bass1,2, Etienne Pracht1,3, Philip Foulis4,51VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, Tampa, FL; 2School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; 3College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; 4James A Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, FL, USA; 5Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USAGoals: Recent findings suggest the prevalence of osteoporosis among men is under-recognized. The patient population of the Veterans Health Administration (VA is predominantly male and many elderly veterans may be at risk of osteoporosis. Given the lack of data on male osteoporosis, we provide initial insight into diagnostic procedures for patients at one VA medical center. Procedures: A review and descriptive analysis of patients undergoing radiological evaluation for osteoporosis at one VA medical center.Results: We identified 4,919 patients who had bone mineral density scans from 2001–2004. VA patients receiving bone mineral density scans were commonly white, male, over age 70 and taking medications with potential bone-loss side effects.Conclusions: While further research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that the VA screens the most vulnerable age groups in both genders. Heightened awareness among primary care providers of elderly male patients at risk of osteoporosis can lead to early intervention and improved management of this age-related condition.Keywords: bone mineral density scans, osteoporosis, veterans
... occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions at the conclusion of World War II. In addition, the advisory board will assist the VA and DTRA in communicating with...; ``Quality Review of Radiation Cases at the Jackson VARO'', by VA STAR Representative; ``Update on the...
to veterans’ benefits, including claims for service connection, increased disability ratings, pension, insurance benefits, educational benefits...accompanying the budget request provides few details regarding the data and assumptions that were modified in the updated actuarial model projection...Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans who meet certain eligibility criteria. Benefits to veterans range from disability compensation and pensions
Osborne, Lauren K.
Unemployment continues to be a growing concern among both civilian and veteran populations. As 14% of the veteran population currently identify as disabled because of service, this population's need for specialized vocational rehabilitation is increasing. Specifically in Veterans Affairs (VA) Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) where holistic…
... (Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment) Activity; Comment... Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their families. DATES: Written comments and...: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment, VA Form 10-21091. OMB...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related to Gulf...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...
... Collection (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... prevention of suicide among Veterans and their families. DATES: Written comments and recommendations on the.... Abstract: VA's top priority is the prevention of Veterans suicide. It is imperative to reach these at-risk...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Proposed Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey Card) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY... information technology. Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey Card, VA...
... 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...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Harbor View Room at the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, Florida...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Lafayette Park Room at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1001 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC. On February...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The...
... (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits.../or pension benefit sought. DATES: Written comments and recommendations on the proposed collection of... information technology. Titles: a. Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension, VA Form 21-526. b...
Mody, Lona; Greene, M. Todd; Saint, Sanjay; Meddings, Jennifer; Trautner, Barbara W.; Wald, Heidi L.; Crnich, Christopher; Banaszak-Holl, Jane; McNamara, Sara E.; King, Beth J.; Hogikyan, Robert; Edson, Barbara; Krein, Sarah L.
OBJECTIVE The impact of healthcare system integration on infection prevention programs is unknown. Using catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention as an example, we hypothesize that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes have a more robust infection prevention infrastructure due to integration and centralization compared with non-VA nursing homes. SETTING VA and non-VA nursing homes participating in the “AHRQ Safety Program for Long-term Care” collaborative. METHODS Nursing homes provided baseline information about their infection prevention programs to assess strengths and gaps related to CAUTI prevention. RESULTS A total of 353 (71%; 47 VA, 306 non-VA) of 494 nursing homes from 41 states responded. VA nursing homes reported more hours/week devoted to infection prevention-related activities (31 vs. 12 hours, P<.001), and were more likely to have committees that reviewed healthcare-associated infections. Compared with non-VA facilities, a higher percentage of VA nursing homes reported tracking CAUTI rates (94% vs. 66%, P<.001), sharing CAUTI data with leadership (94% vs. 70%, P=.014) and nursing personnel (85% vs. 56%, P=.003). However, fewer VA nursing homes reported having policies for appropriate catheter use (64% vs. 81%, P=.004) and catheter insertion (83% vs. 94%, P=.004). CONCLUSIONS Among nursing homes participating in an AHRQ-funded collaborative, VA and non-VA nursing homes differed in their approach to CAUTI prevention. Best practices from both settings should be applied universally to create an optimal infection prevention program within emerging integrated healthcare systems. PMID:27917728
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 ...
Sørensen, Birgitte Refslund
provided the soldier by rank, function, and mission vanishes and translates into an imperative ontological question about possible veteran subjectivity. In this article I argue that the veterans’ struggle to create postdeployment, postmilitary social identities entails profound secrecy work where past...... experiences, present conditions, and future ambitions are embedded in webs of concealment, disclosure, exposure, deception, lying, silence, and so forth, only partially controlled by the veterans themselves. The intricacies and anxieties associated with secrecy work are discussed in relation to three veteran...
Singh, Jasvinder A.
Introduction Epidemiologic studies usually use database diagnoses or patient self-report to identify disease cohorts, but no previous research has examined the extent to which self-report of chronic disease agrees with database diagnoses in a Veterans Affairs (VA) health care setting. Methods All veterans who had a medical care visit from October 1, 1996, through May 31, 1998, at any of the Veterans Integrated Service Network 13 facilities were surveyed about physician diagnosis of chronic ob...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false VA Form 10-0144A-Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws. 58.17 Section 58.17 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) FORMS § 58.17 VA Form 10-0144A—Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal...
Fischer, Ellen P; Sherman, Michelle D; McSweeney, Jean C; Pyne, Jeffrey M; Owen, Richard R; Dixon, Lisa B
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).
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA announced steps that it is taking as part of an aggressive new approach to produce rapid improvements at VA’s low-performing medical facilities nationwide (1. VA defines its low-performing facilities as those medical centers that receive the lowest score in its Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL star rating system, or a one-star rating out of five. The SAIL star rating was initiated in 2016 and uses a variety of measures including mortality, length of hospital stay, readmission rates, hospital complications, physician productivity and efficiency. A complete listing of the VA facilities, their star ratings and the metrics used to determine the ratings is available through the end of fiscal year 2017 (2. Based on the latest ratings, the VA currently has 15 one-star facilities including Denver, Loma Linda, and Phoenix in the Southwest (Table 1. Table 1. VA facilities with one-star ratings …
... Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Transparency Media Room Inside the Media Room Public Affairs News Releases Speeches Videos Publications National Observances Veterans Day Memorial Day Celebrating America's Freedoms Special Events Adaptive Sports Program Creative Arts Festival ...
Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M.; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W.; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M.; Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii
The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next...
... § 21.21 Election of benefits under education programs administered by the Department of Veterans... education programs administered by VA must make an election of benefits between chapter 31 and any other VA... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Election of benefits...
Full Text Available ... facility near you. Spread the Word Download logos, Web ads, and materials and help get the word ... Veteran Suicide The Veterans Crisis Line text-messaging service does not store mobile phone numbers of users ...
Melvin, Valerie C; Oliver, Barbara S; Collier, Barbara; Shaw, Kelly; Williams, Jr, Robert
...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability...
coverage, there is no rigid mathematical relationship among those proportions because veterans enrolled in Part A may choose to enroll in either Part B or...assumption is consistent with the statistical analysis by an actuarial firm with which VA contracted when developing its model for projecting
Facility-Level Variation in Hospitalization, Mortality, and Costs in the 30 Days After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Insights on Short-Term Healthcare Value From the Veterans Affairs Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System (VA CART) Program.
Bradley, Steven M; O'Donnell, Colin I; Grunwald, Gary K; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Hebert, Paul L; Maddox, Thomas M; Jesse, Robert L; Fihn, Stephan D; Rumsfeld, John S; Ho, P Michael
Policies to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are intended to improve healthcare value by reducing costs while maintaining patient outcomes. Whether facility-level hospitalization rates after PCI are associated with cost of care is unknown. We studied 32,080 patients who received PCI at any 1 of 62 Veterans Affairs hospitals from 2008 to 2011. We identified facility outliers for 30-day risk-standardized hospitalization, mortality, and cost. Compared with the risk-standardized average, 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a lower-than-expected hospitalization rate, and 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a higher-than-expected hospitalization rate. We observed no statistically significant variation in facility-level risk-standardized mortality. The facility-level unadjusted median per patient 30-day total cost was $23,820 (interquartile range, $19,604-$29,958). Compared with the risk-standardized average, 17 hospitals (27.4%) had lower-than-expected costs, and 14 hospitals (22.6%) had higher-than-expected costs. At the facility level, the index PCI accounted for 83.1% of the total cost (range, 60.3%-92.2%), whereas hospitalization after PCI accounted for only 5.8% (range, 2.0%-12.7%) of the 30-day total cost. Facilities with higher hospitalization rates were not more expensive (Spearman ρ=0.16; 95% confidence interval, -0.09 to 0.39; P=0.21). In this national study, hospitalizations in the 30 day after PCI accounted for only 5.8% of 30-day cost, and facility-level cost was not correlated with hospitalization rates. This challenges the focus on reducing hospitalizations after PCI as an effective means of improving healthcare value. Opportunities remain to improve PCI value by reducing the variation in total cost of PCI without compromising patient outcomes. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
Chen, Joyce H; Rosenheck, Robert A; Greenberg, Greg A; Seibyl, Catherine
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.
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. According to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission, JCAHO, an independent organization that reviews hospitals, the Phoenix VA does not comply with U.S. standards for safety, patient care and management (1. The hospital was at the epicenter of the national scandal over the quality of care being afforded to the nation's veterans where the now notorious practice of double-booking patient appointments was first exposed. The hospital's indifferent management provoked congressional investigations that uncovered still more system-wide abuses leading to the removal of the hospital director and the resignation of then VA secretary, Eric Shinseki. The hospital maintains its accreditation but with a follow-up survey in 1-6 months where it must show that it has successfully addressed the 13 identified problems (1. Inspectors who conducted the review in July found that VA employees were unable to report concerns "without retaliatory action from the hospital." Other alarming ...
.... Abstract: VA pays per diem to State homes providing nursing home and adult day health services care to... Activities (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of... Regarding Lobbying, VA Form 10-0144. h. Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws, VA...
VA Education Benefits: Actions Taken, but Outreach and Oversight Could Be Improved. Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives. GAO-11-256
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provided $9 billion in education benefits to service-members and veterans in fiscal year 2010, mostly through the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. In providing education benefits, VA relies on State Approving Agencies (SAA) to approve schools; and on schools to report students' enrollment status. US Government…
... per diem to State homes providing nursing home and adult day health services care to Veterans. VA... Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State... information needed to ensure that nursing home and adult day health care facilities are providing high quality...
... State homes providing nursing home and adult day health services care to Veterans. VA requires... Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State... information needed to ensure that nursing home and adult day health care facilities are providing high quality...
...,'' authorizing VA to exercise discretion to provide certain mental health services, counseling, and training for... Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides health benefits for... the Veterans' Mental Health Care Act of 2008 and Other Laws AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of... Affairs (VA) is publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of the FY 2011 Service...
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...
Assistance Crosswalk websites Transition GPS National Career Readiness Certificate Post Traumatic Stress Credits (PDF) Fidelity Bonding Program National Career Readiness (PDF) Veteran Recruitment State/Federal veteran recruitment process Military Veteran Employment Guide Veterans Hiring Toolkit Other Information
Hoggatt, Katherine J; Jamison, Andrea L; Lehavot, Keren; Cucciare, Michael A; Timko, Christine; Simpson, Tracy L
We conducted a systematic literature review on substance misuse, abuse, and dependence in women veterans, including National Guard/reserve members. We identified 837 articles published between 1980 and 2013. Of 56 included studies, 32 reported rates of alcohol misuse, binge drinking, or other unhealthy alcohol use not meeting diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence, and 33 reported rates of drug misuse or diagnosed alcohol or drug use disorders. Rates ranged from 4% to 37% for alcohol misuse and from 7% to 25% for binge drinking; among Veterans Health Administration (VA) health-care system outpatients, rates ranged from 3% to 16% for substance use disorder. Studies comparing women veterans and civilians reported no clear differences in binge or heavy drinking. Substance misuse rates were generally lower among women veterans than men veterans. Substance misuse was associated with higher rates of trauma, psychiatric and medical conditions, and increased mortality and suicide rates. Most studies included only VA patients, and many used only VA medical record data; therefore, the reported substance misuse rates likely do not reflect true prevalence. Rates also varied by assessment method, source of data, and the subgroups studied. Further efforts to develop epidemiologically valid prevalence estimates are needed to capture the true health burden of substance misuse in women veterans, particularly those not using VA care. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
..., non-VBA employees in VBA space and Veteran Service Organization employees who have access to VA's... (VBA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information... the following collection of information, VBA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection...
..., non-VBA employees in VBA space and Veteran Service Organization employees who have access to VA's... (VBA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information... the following collection of information, VBA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection...
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a direct final rule in the Federal Register on October 22, 2013, amending its regulations related to the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a pilot program to offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans. Specifically, this rule adds language to clarify the limited preemptive effect of certain criteria in the VADIP regulations. VA received no comments concerning this rule or its companion substantially identical proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2013. This document confirms that the direct final rule became effective on December 23, 2013. In a companion document in this issue of the Federal Register, we are withdrawing as unnecessary the proposed rule.
Bangerter, Ann; Gravely, Amy; Cutting, Andrea; Clothier, Barb; Spoont, Michele; Sayer, Nina
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made treatment and care of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans a priority. Researchers face challenges identifying the OIF/OEF population because until fiscal year 2008, no indicator of OIF/OEF service was present in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative databases typically used for research. In this article, we compare an algorithm we developed to identify OIF/OEF veterans using the Austin Information Technology Center administrative data with the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster and veterans' self-report of military service. We drew data from two different institutional review board-approved funded studies. The positive predictive value of our algorithm compared with the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster and self-report was 92% and 98%, respectively. However, this method of identifying OIF/OEF veterans failed to identify a large proportion of OIF/OEF veterans listed in the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster. Demographic, diagnostic, and VA service use differences were found between veterans identified using our method and those we failed to identify but who were in the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster. Therefore, depending on the research objective, this method may not be a viable alternative to the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster for identifying OIF/OEF veterans.
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...
Zivin, Kara; Yosef, Matheos; Levine, Debra S; Abraham, Kristen M; Miller, Erin M; Henry, Jennifer; Nelson, C Beau; Pfeiffer, Paul N; Sripada, Rebecca K; Harrod, Molly; Valenstein, Marcia
Prior research found lower employment rates among working-aged patients who use the VA than among non-Veterans or Veterans who do not use the VA, with the lowest reported employment rates among VA patients with mental disorders. This study assessed employment status, employment functioning, and barriers to employment among VA patients treated in primary care settings, and examined how depression and anxiety were associated with these outcomes. The sample included 287 VA patients treated in primary care in a large Midwestern VA Medical Center. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted examining associations between socio-demographic and clinical predictors of six employment domains, including: employment status, job search self-efficacy, work performance, concerns about job loss among employed Veterans, and employment barriers and likelihood of job seeking among not employed Veterans. 54% of respondents were employed, 36% were not employed, and 10% were economically inactive. In adjusted analyses, participants with depression or anxiety (43%) were less likely to be employed, had lower job search self-efficacy, had lower levels of work performance, and reported more employment barriers. Depression and anxiety were not associated with perceived likelihood of job loss among employed or likelihood of job seeking among not employed. Single VA primary care clinic; cross-sectional study. Employment rates are low among working-aged VA primary care patients, particularly those with mental health conditions. Offering primary care interventions to patients that address mental health issues, job search self-efficacy, and work performance may be important in improving health, work, and economic outcomes. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Byers, AL; Covinsky, KE; Barnes, DE; Yaffe, K
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether less severe depression spectrum diagnoses such as dysthymia, as well as depression, are associated with risk of developing dementia and mortality in a "real-world" setting. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study conducted using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Patient Care Database (1997-2007). SETTING: VA medical centers in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 281,540 veterans aged 55 years and older without dementia at study baseline (1997-...
Mattocks, Kristin M; Sullivan, J Cherry; Bertrand, Christina; Kinney, Rebecca L; Sherman, Michelle D; Gustason, Carolyn
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.
Pan, Eric; Botts, Nathan; Jordan, Harmon; Olinger, Lois; Donahue, Margaret; Hsing, Nelson
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran Health Information Exchange (VHIE, formerly Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record, or VLER) had been deployed at all VA sites and used to exchange clinical information with private sector healthcare partners nationally. This paper examined VHIE's effect on allergy documentation. Review of all inbound VHIE transactions in FY14 showed that VHIE use was associated with a nearly eight-fold increase in allergy documentation rate. Preliminary manual document review further showed that VA and partners had shared knowledge of only 38% ofpatient allergies, while VA had exclusive knowledge of another 58% ofpatient allergies, and partners had exclusive knowledge of the last 5% of patient allergies. To our knowledge, this is the first study that examined the effect of HIE on allergy documentation.
Virginia Tech. Department of English. Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society; Virginia Tech. Veterans Studies Group
This program lists the daily sessions, presentations, and events that took place during the 2014 Veterans in Society Conference, which was held from April 27-28, 2014 at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA. This program also includes speaker and presenter bios, descriptions of unrecorded conference events, and a letter from conference co-chair Jim Dubinsky, the director of Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society. The 2014 Veterans in Society Conference: Humanizing the Discour...
Petrakis, Ismene L; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani
There is considerable concern about the emergence of significant substance abuse among younger veterans of war in the Middle East, especially among those with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but little information exists on the magnitude of this problem. Using national administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (n = 1,001,996), we examined rates of diagnosed substance use disorders in Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with PTSD compared to other psychiatric disorders; and compared rates among veterans of other service eras. Of VA patients with a selected mental disorder, 21.0% had a comorbid substance diagnosis. Veterans who served in the post-Vietnam era (VET) (1973-1991) had the highest rates of comorbidity. Logistic regression models indicated that veterans with each selected psychiatric diagnosis were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed in comparison to veterans with PTSD; post-Vietnam veterans were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed than veterans from other eras. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are most strongly associated with dual diagnosis in OEF/OIF (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom) veterans. There are high rates of substance use disorders among veterans with mental illness. The highest rates of comorbidity occur among those with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia; and in post-VET veterans. © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. The long-awaited Office of Inspector General’s (OIG report on the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS was released on August 27, 2014 (1. The report was scathing in its evaluation of VA practices and leadership. Five questions were investigated: 1.Were there clinically significant delays in care? 2. Did PVAHCS omit the names of veterans waiting for care from its Electronic Wait List (EWL? 3. Were PVAHCS personnel not following established scheduling procedures? 4. Did the PVAHCS culture emphasize goals at the expense of patient care? 5. Are scheduling deficiencies systemic throughout the VA? In each case, the OIG found that the allegations were true. Despite initial denials, the OIG report showed that former PVAHCS director Sharon Helman, associate director Lance Robinson, hospital administration director Brad Curry, chief of staff Darren Deering and other senior executives were aware of delays in care and unofficial wait lists. Perhaps most disturbing is ...
... will include overview briefings from the Atlanta VA Medical Center leadership and the VA Southeast... Clairmont Road, Decatur, Georgia, to receive briefings on RO business lines and services for women Veterans. A briefing from local Memorial Affairs leadership will also be presented. On August 23, the...
... occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions at the conclusion of World War II. In addition, the advisory board will assist the VA and DTRA in communicating with... the Veterans' Advisory Board on Dose Reconstruction. Written statements should be no longer than two...
... conform to amendments made by the enactment of the Caregivers and Veteran Omnibus Health Services Act of... the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Public Law 111-163. Section 206 of... in what is known as the VA ``medical benefits package.'' This rulemaking amends Sec. 17.38(a) to...
... September 23, 2013. ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to Andrew Ridgeway, Office of Workforce Investment... include the total number of eligible veterans who participated, the associates degrees or certificates... VA approved community college or technical school. VRAP provides the benefit to veterans who fulfill...
... Andrew Ridgeway, Office of Workforce Investment, Room S-4203, Employment and Training Administration, U.S... include the total number of eligible veterans who participated, the associates degrees or certificates... VA approved community college or technical school. The VRAP provides the benefit to veterans who...
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. The February 2011 Pulmonary Journal Club reviews a study by Rice and colleagues (1 of high-risk COPD patients (click here for Pulmonary Journal Club. This review was authored by Kevin Park who also authored an ACP Journal Club review (2. In Rice’s study a single educational session, an individualized care plan, and monthly case-manager telephone calls, resulted in a 41% decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits and a nonsignficant trend toward decreased mortality.Rice’s study was supported and conducted in the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 23 (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas. The COPD patients in this study were recruited and followed primarily using the VA computer system. The study represents a potential model of data-based management leading to improved patient outcomes. The authors; Robert Petzel MD, then VISN 23 Director (now Veterans Healthcare Administration Undersecretary; and Janet Murphy, then VISN Primary Care Service Line CEO (now VISN …
Render, Marta L; Nowak, John; Hammond, Emmett K; Roselle, Gary
To estimate and compare Veterans Health Administration (VA) expenditures for outpatient pharmaceuticals for veterans at six VA facilities with hypothetical private sector costs. Using the VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Strategic Health Care Group (PBM) database, we extracted data for all dispensed outpatient prescriptions from the six study sites over federal fiscal year 1999. After extensive data validation, we converted prescriptions to the same units and merged relevant VA pricing information by National Drug Code to Redbook listed average wholesale price and the Medicaid maximal allowable charge, where available. We added total VA drug expenditures to personnel cost from the pharmacy portion of that medical center's cost distribution report. Hypothetical private sector payments were $200.8 million compared with an aggregate VA budget of $118.8 million. Using National Drug Code numbers, 97% of all items dispensed from the six facilities were matched to private sector price data. Nonmatched pharmaceuticals were largely generic over-the-counter pain relievers and commodities like alcohol swabs. The most commonly prescribed medications reflect the diseases and complaints of an older male population: pain, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and depression or other psychiatric disorders. Use of the VA PBM database permits researchers to merge expenditure and prescription data to patient diagnoses and sentinel events. A critical element in its use is creating similar units among the systems. Such data sets permit a deeper view of the variability in drug expenditures, an important sector of health care whose inflation has been disproportionate to that of the economy and even health care.
Muus, Kyle J; Knudson, Alana; Klug, Marilyn G; Gokun, Jane; Sarrazin, Mary; Kaboli, Peter
Hospital re-admissions for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are relatively common and costly occurrences within the US health infrastructure, including the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. Little is known about CHF re-admissions among rural veteran patients, including the effects of socio-demographics and follow-up outpatient visits on these re-admissions. To examine socio-demographics of US veterans with CHF who had 30 day potentially preventable re-admissions and compare the effect of 30 day VA post-discharge service use on these re-admissions for rural- and urban-dwelling veterans. The 2005-2007 VA data were analyzed to examine patient characteristics and hospital admissions for 36 566 veterans with CHF. The CHF patients who were and were not re-admitted to a VA hospital within 30 days of discharge were identified. Logistic regression was used to examine and compare the effect of VA post-acute service use on re-admissions between rural- and urban-dwelling veterans. Re-admitted veterans tended to be older (p=.002), had disability status (p=.024) and had longer hospital stays (precovery and good health among hospitalized veterans with CHF, regardless of their rural or urban residence. Older, rural veterans with CHF are in need of special attention for VA discharge planning and follow up with primary care providers.
Chapman, Shawna L Carroll; Wu, Li-Tzy
The number of female veterans is increasing. Veterans Administration (VA) enrollment increased over 40% from past eras. However, little research has focused on their mental health. We reviewed literature to examine associations of substance use with suicide in female veterans, identify research gaps, and inform future studies. Google Scholar, Pub Med, and PsychINFO were searched using: substance use, female veteran, and suicide. Exclusion criteria (e.g., not discussing U.S. veterans) left 17 articles. Nine studies examined completed suicide among veterans. In most recent years, rates of deaths were greater for veterans than nonveterans, including females. Completed suicide was associated with past trauma, young age, and a mental disorder. Studies have often not addressed substance use. Three studies examined completed suicide among VA treated veterans without examining substance use as an associated factor. Rates of completed suicides were also higher among veterans than nonveterans, including females. A large proportion of females also had a mental diagnosis. Five studies examined substance use and attempted or completed suicide among VA treated veterans. Veterans in poor mental health had increased odds of suicide mortality; women with a substance use disorder (SUD) had a higher hazard ratio for completed suicide than men with a SUD. Engagement in substance abuse treatment decreased odds of suicide attempt among veterans. Available data suggest that suicide rates are higher among female veterans than women in the general population. Substance use may increase the likelihood of suicidal behaviors among female veterans, particularly those with a mental diagnosis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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...
Seal, Karen H; Bertenthal, Daniel; Miner, Christian R; Sen, Saunak; Marmar, Charles
Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) have endured high combat stress and are eligible for 2 years of free military service-related health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, yet little is known about the burden and clinical circumstances of mental health diagnoses among OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities. US veterans separated from OEF/OIF military service and first seen at VA health care facilities between September 30, 2001 (US invasion of Afghanistan), and September 30, 2005, were included. Mental health diagnoses and psychosocial problems were assessed using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. The prevalence and clinical circumstances of and subgroups at greatest risk for mental health disorders are described herein. Of 103 788 OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA health care facilities, 25 658 (25%) received mental health diagnosis(es); 56% of whom had 2 or more distinct mental health diagnoses. Overall, 32 010 (31%) received mental health and/or psychosocial diagnoses. Mental health diagnoses were detected soon after the first VA clinic visit (median of 13 days), and most initial mental health diagnoses (60%) were made in nonmental health clinics, mostly primary care settings. The youngest group of OEF/OIF veterans (age, 18-24 years) were at greatest risk for receiving mental health or posttraumatic stress disorder diagnoses compared with veterans 40 years or older. Co-occurring mental health diagnoses and psychosocial problems were detected early and in primary care medical settings in a substantial proportion of OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities. Targeted early detection and intervention beginning in primary care settings are needed to prevent chronic mental illness and disability.
Soroka, Mort; Crump, Trafford; Bennett, Amy
This study was designed to determine the use of optometrists with the Veterans Health Administration hospital system and to develop accurate statistics regarding the number and type of services these doctors provide. The findings help describe their responsibilities in the treatment and management of ocular diseases and their use of diagnostic and therapeutic drugs. The study also investigated what, if any, role optometrists play beyond care in the education and research practices of the hospital. A descriptive analysis was conducted through the use of surveys and interviews of department chiefs or medical directors. A survey was sent out to 149 Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals, located using the VA facility locator Web site. Data were tabulated, aggregated, and analyzed. A response rate of 81% was achieved (122 surveys returned), 98% of which (120 facilities) provide eye services to their patients in either an outpatient or inpatient capacity. One hundred seventeen (98%) of these had optometrists affiliated with their facility. These optometrists were responsible for providing a range of services, prescribing the use of diagnostic or therapeutic drugs, and participating in educational training of other health personnel. Optometry has developed a strong partnership with the Veterans Health Administration, and act as an integral part of its hospital services. The VA has developed a workforce mix that should serve as a model for managed care organizations.
Wong, Edwin S; Liu, Chuan-Fen
In the U.S., economic conditions are intertwined with labor market decisions, access to health care, health care utilization and health outcomes. The Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has served as a safety net provider by supplying free or reduced cost care to qualifying veterans. This study examines whether local area labor market conditions, measured using county-level unemployment rates, influence whether veterans obtain health care from the VA. We used survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in years 2000, 2003 and 2004 to construct a random sample of 73,964 respondents self-identified as veterans. VA health service utilization was defined as whether veterans received all, some or no care from the VA. Hierarchical ordered logistic regression was used to address unobserved state and county random effects while adjusting for individual characteristics. Local area labor market conditions were defined as the average 12-month unemployment rate in veterans' county of residence. The mean unemployment rate for veterans receiving all, some and no care was 5.56%, 5.37% and 5.24%, respectively. After covariate adjustment, a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate in a veteran's county of residence was associated with an increase in the probability of receiving all care (0.34%, p-value = 0.056) or some care (0.29%, p-value = 0.023) from the VA. Our findings suggest that the important role of the VA in providing health care services to veterans is magnified in locations with high unemployment.
Dorflinger, Lindsey M; Ruser, Christopher B; Masheb, Robin M
The obesity rate is higher among veterans than the general population, yet few studies have examined their eating behaviors, and none have examined the presence of night eating and related comorbidities. This study examines night eating syndrome (NES) among veterans seeking weight management treatment, and relationships between NES and weight, insomnia, disordered eating, and psychological variables. The sample consisted of 110 veterans referred to a weight management program at VA Connecticut Healthcare System. More than one out of ten veterans screened positive for NES, and one-third screened positive for insomnia. Most individuals screening positive for NES also screened positive for insomnia. Night eating was associated with higher BMI, and with higher scores on measures of binge eating, emotional overeating, and eating disorder symptomatology. Veterans screening positive for NES were also significantly more likely to screen positive for depression and PTSD. When controlling for insomnia, only the relationships between night eating and binge and emotional eating remained significant. Those screening positive for PTSD were more likely to endorse needing to eat to return to sleep. Findings suggest that both NES and insomnia are common among veterans seeking weight management services, and that NES is a marker for additional disordered eating behavior, specifically binge eating and overeating in response to emotions. Additional studies are needed to further delineate the relationships among NES, insomnia, and psychological variables, as well as to examine whether specifically addressing NES within behavioral weight management interventions can improve weight outcomes and problematic eating behaviors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Agency Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY... information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The PRA...
... to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the... comments on factors described in the Supplementary Information. DATES: Comments must be received by VA on... (003A2A), Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont...
... AFFAIRS MEDICAL Outpatient Treatment § 17.96 Medication prescribed by non-VA physicians. Any prescription... and medicines ordered by a private or non-Department of Veterans Affairs doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the prescription is written, shall...
Valenstein, Paul N; Wang, Edward; O'Donohue, Tom
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) operates the largest integrated laboratory network in the United States. To assess whether the unique characteristics of VA laboratories impact efficiency of operations, we compared the productivity of VA and non-VA facilities. Financial and activity data were prospectively collected from 124 VA and 131 non-VA laboratories enrolled in the College of American Pathologists Laboratory Management Index Program (LMIP) during 2002. In addition, secular trends in 5 productivity ratios were calculated for VA and non-VA laboratories enrolled in LMIP from 1997 through 2002. Veterans Health Administration and non-VA facilities did not differ significantly in size. Inpatients accounted for a lower percentage of testing at VA facilities than non-VA facilities (21.7% vs 37.3%; P benefits; P depreciation, and maintenance than their non-VA counterparts (all P <.001), resulting in lower overall cost per on-site test result (2.64 dollars vs 3.40 dollars; P <.001). Cost per referred (sent-out) test did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Analysis of 6-year trends showed significant increases in both VA (P <.001) and non-VA (P =.02) labor productivity (on-site tests/total FTE). Expenses at VA laboratories for labor per test, consumables per test, overall expense per test, and overall laboratory expense per discharge decreased significantly during the 6-year period (P <.001), while in non-VA facilities the corresponding ratios showed no significant change. Overall productivity of VA laboratories is superior to that of non-VA facilities enrolled in LMIP. The principal advantages enjoyed by the VA are higher-than-average labor productivity (tests/FTE) and lower-than-average consumable expenses.
Schwarz, Eleanor Bimla; Sileanu, Florentina E; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K; Callegari, Lisa S; Borrero, Sonya
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.
... of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions at the conclusion of World War II. In addition, the advisory board will assist the VA and DTRA in communicating with... than two type-written pages and must address the following: the issue, discussion, and recommended...
Greenbaum, Mark A.; Rosen, Craig S.
Objective: Guidelines addressing the treatment of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) strongly recommend a therapeutic trial of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This study examined veteran characteristics associated with receiving such first-line pharmacotherapy, as well as how being a veteran of the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq impact receipt of pharmacotherapy for PTSD. Method: This was a national study of 482 Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatients between the ages of 18 and 69 years who had been newly diagnosed with PTSD (DSM-IV criteria: 309.81) during a VA outpatient visit between May 31, 2006, and December 7, 2007. Participants completed a mailed survey between August 11, 2006, and April 6, 2008. Veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and female veterans were intentionally oversampled. Logistic regression models were developed to predict 2 dependent variables: odds of initiating an SSRI/SNRI and, among veterans who initiated an SSRI/SNRI, odds of receiving an adequate therapeutic trial. Each dependent variable was regressed on a variety of sociodemographic and survey characteristics. Results: Of the 377 veterans prescribed a psychotropic medication, 73% (n = 276) received an SSRI/SNRI, of whom 61% (n = 168) received a therapeutic trial. Afghanistan and Iraq veterans were less likely to receive a therapeutic trial (odds ratio [OR] = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.27–0.75; P < .01), with presence of a comorbid depression diagnosis in the year after the index episode moderating this relationship, which further decreased the odds of completing a therapeutic trial (OR = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.09–0.95; P < .05). Conclusions: Reduced levels of receipt of first-line pharmacotherapy among recent veteran returnees parallel previous findings of less mental health treatment utilization in this population and warrant investigation. PMID:22943028
Russo, Jack E; McCool, Ryan R; Davies, Louise
The Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system provides beneficiary travel reimbursement ("travel pay") to qualifying patients for traveling to appointments. Travel pay is a large expense for the VA and hence the U.S. Government, projected to cost nearly $1 billion in 2015. Telemedicine in the VA system has the potential to save money by reducing patient travel and thus the amount of travel pay disbursed. In this study, we quantify this savings and also report trends in VA telemedicine volumes over time. All telemedicine visits based at the VA Hospital in White River Junction, VT between 2005 and 2013 were reviewed (5,695 visits). Travel distance and time saved as a result of telemedicine were calculated. Clinical volume in the mental health department, which has had the longest participation in telemedicine, was analyzed. Telemedicine resulted in an average travel savings of 145 miles and 142 min per visit. This led to an average travel payment savings of $18,555 per year. Telemedicine volume grew significantly over the study period such that by the final year the travel pay savings had increased to $63,804, or about 3.5% of the total travel pay disbursement for that year. The number of mental health telemedicine visits rose over the study period but remained small relative to the number of face-to-face visits. A higher proportion of telemedicine visits involved new patients. Telemedicine at the VA saves travel distance and time, although the reduction in travel payments remains modest at current telemedicine volumes.
Sales, Mariscelle M; Cunningham, Francesca E; Glassman, Peter A; Valentino, Michael A; Good, Chester B
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Strategic Healthcare Group (VA PBM) oversees the formulary for the entire VA system, which serves more than 4 million veterans and provides more than 108 million prescriptions per year. Since its establishment in 1995, the VA PBM has managed pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical-related policies, including drug safety and efficacy evaluations, pharmacologic management algorithms, and criteria for drug use. These evidence-based practices promote, optimize, and assist VA providers with the safe and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals while allowing for formulary decisions that can result in substantial cost savings. The VA PBM also has utilized various contracting techniques to standardize generic agents as well as specific drugs and drug classes (eg, antihistamines, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, alpha-blockers, and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors [statins]). These methods have enabled the VA to save approximately dollar 1.5 billion since 1996 even as drug expenditures continued to rise from roughly dollar 1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to more than dollar 3 billion in FY 2003. Furthermore, the VA PBM has established an outcomes research section to undertake quality-improvement and safety initiatives that ultimately monitor and determine the clinical impact of formulary decisions on the VA system nationwide. The experiences of this pharmacy benefits program, including clinical and contracting processes/procedures and their impact on the VA healthcare system, are described.
Hynes, Denise M; Stroupe, Kevin T; Fischer, Michael J; Reda, Domenic J; Manning, Willard; Browning, Margaret M; Huo, Zhiping; Saban, Karen; Kaufman, James S
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.
Whitehead, Alison M; Czarnogorski, Maggie; Wright, Steve M; Hayes, Patricia M; Haskell, Sally G
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.
Czarnogorski, Maggie; Wright, Steve M.; Hayes, Patricia M.; Haskell, Sally G.
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
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...
Bush, Shane S; Bass, Carmela
Veterans with polytrauma have suffered injuries to multiple body parts and organs systems, including the brain. The injuries can generate a triad of physical, neurologic/cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Accurate diagnosis is essential for the treatment of these conditions and for fair allocation of benefits. To accurately diagnose polytrauma disorders and their related problems, clinicians take into account the validity of reported history and symptoms, as well as clinical presentations. The purpose of this article is to describe the assessment of validity with polytrauma Veteran populations. Review of scholarly and other relevant literature and clinical experience are utilized. A multimethod approach to validity assessment that includes objective, standardized measures increases the confidence that can be placed in the accuracy of self-reported symptoms and physical, cognitive, and emotional test results. Due to the multivariate nature of polytrauma and the multiple disciplines that play a role in diagnosis and treatment, an ideal model of validity assessment with polytrauma Veteran populations utilizes neurocognitive, neurological, neuropsychiatric, and behavioral measures of validity. An overview of these validity assessment approaches as applied to polytrauma Veteran populations is presented. Veterans, the VA, and society are best served when accurate diagnoses are made.
... Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 100-503), amended the Privacy... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA 2010-0006] Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/ Department of Veterans Affairs/Veterans Benefits Administration (VA/ VBA...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Preferences service provides a means to store, retrieve, and manage user preferences. The service supports definition of enterprise wide preferences, as well as...
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
Barnett, Paul G; Hong, Juliette S; Carey, Evan; Grunwald, Gary K; Joynt Maddox, Karen; Maddox, Thomas M
The Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Care (CC) Program supplements VA care with community-based medical services. However, access gains and value provided by CC have not been well described. To compare the access, cost, and quality of elective coronary revascularization procedures between VA and CC hospitals and to evaluate if procedural volume or publicly reported quality data can be used to identify high-value care. Observational cohort study of veterans younger than 65 years undergoing an elective coronary revascularization, controlling for differences in risk factors using propensity adjustment. The setting was VA and CC hospitals. Participants were veterans undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and veterans undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2011. The analysis was conducted between July 2014 and July 2017. Receipt of an elective coronary revascularization at a VA vs CC facility. Access to care as measured by travel distance, 30-day mortality, and costs. In the 3 years ending on September 30, 2011, a total of 13 237 elective PCIs (79.1% at the VA) and 5818 elective CABG procedures (83.6% at the VA) were performed in VA or CC hospitals among veterans meeting study inclusion criteria. On average, use of CC was associated with reduced net travel by 53.6 miles for PCI and by 73.3 miles for CABG surgery compared with VA-only care. Adjusted 30-day mortality after PCI was higher in CC compared with VA (1.54% for CC vs 0.65% for VA, P publicly reported mortality data identified hospitals that provided higher-value care with the exception that CABG mortality was lower in small-volume CC hospitals. In this veteran cohort, PCIs performed in CC hospitals were associated with shorter travel distance but with higher mortality, higher costs, and minimal travel savings compared with VA hospitals. The CABG procedures performed in CC hospitals were associated with shorter travel distance
Wei, Wei; Pelletier, Denis
This paper develops a new test to evaluate Value af Risk (VaR) forecasts. VaR is a standard risk measure widely utilized by financial institutions and regulators, yet estimating VaR is a challenging problem, and popular VaR forecast relies on unrealistic assumptions. Hence, assessing...
Noska, Amanda J; Belperio, Pamela S; Loomis, Timothy P; O'Toole, Thomas P; Backus, Lisa I
Veterans are disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Homeless veterans are at particularly high risk for HIV, HCV, and HBV due to a variety of overlapping risk factors, including high rates of mental health disorders and substance use disorders. The prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans nationally is currently unknown. This study describes national testing rates and prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans. Using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Corporate Warehouse Data from 2015, we evaluated HIV, HCV, and HBV laboratory testing and infection confirmation rates and diagnoses on the Problem List for nonhomeless veterans and for veterans utilizing homeless services in 2015. Among 242740 homeless veterans in VA care in 2015, HIV, HCV, and HBV testing occurred in 63.8% (n = 154812), 78.1% (n = 189508), and 52.8% (n = 128262), respectively. The HIV population prevalence was 1.52% (3684/242740) among homeless veterans, compared with 0.44% (23797/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans. The HCV population prevalence among homeless veterans was 12.1% (29311/242740), compared with 2.7% (148079/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans, while the HBV population prevalence was 0.99% (2395/242740) for homeless veterans and 0.40% (21611/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans. To our knowledge this work represents the most comprehensive tested prevalence and population prevalence estimates of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans nationally. The data demonstrate high prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans, and reinforce the need for integrated healthcare services along with homeless programming. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Le, Karen T; Sawicki, Mark P; Wang, Marilene B; Hershman, Jerome M; Leung, Angela M
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.
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...
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Chang, Bei-Hung; Mueller, Lisa; Resnick, Sandra G; Osatuke, Katerine; Eisen, Susan V
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) peer specialists and vocational rehabilitation specialists are Veterans employed in mental health services to help other Veterans with similar histories and experiences. Study objectives were to (a) examine job satisfaction among these employees, (b) compare them to other VA mental health workers, and (c) identify factors associated with job satisfaction across the 3 cohorts. The study sample included 152 VA-employed peer specialists and 222 vocational rehabilitation specialists. A comparison group included 460 VA employees from the same job categories. All participants completed the Job Satisfaction Index (11 aspects and overall satisfaction ratings). Linear regression was used to compare job satisfaction and identify its predictors among the 3 cohorts. Job satisfaction was fairly high, averaging "somewhat satisfied" to "very satisfied" in 6 (peer specialists) and 9 (vocational rehabilitation specialists) of the 11 aspects and overall job ratings. Adjusting for length of employment, age and gender resulted in no significant group differences with 2 exceptions: White peer specialists were less satisfied with pay and promotion opportunities than vocational rehabilitation specialists and comparison-group employees. Across all cohorts, shorter length of time employed in the job was associated with higher job satisfaction. The high job satisfaction levels among the 2 peer cohorts suggest support for the policy of hiring peer specialists in the VA. Furthermore, the results are consistent with those of the nonveteran samples, indicating that integrating peer providers into mental health care is possible in VA and non-VA settings. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Dichter, Melissa E; Thomasson, Arwin M; Fu, Xiaoying; Roberts, Christopher B
This study explored demographic influences on veterans' reports of homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness with a particular focus on gender. We analyzed data for a cohort of veterans who responded to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) universal screener for homelessness and risk during a 3-month period. Multinomial mixed effects models-stratified by gender-predicted veterans' reports of homelessness or risk based on age, race, marital status, and receipt of VA compensation. The proportion of positive screens-homelessness or risk-was 2.7% for females and 1.7% for males. Women more likely to report being at risk of homelessness were aged 35 to 54 years, Black, and unmarried; those more likely to experience homelessness were Black and unmarried. Among male veterans, the greatest predictors of both homelessness and risk were Black race and unmarried status. Among both genders, receiving VA disability compensation was associated with lesser odds of being homeless or at risk. The findings describe the current population of veterans using VHA health care services who may benefit from homelessness prevention or intervention services, identify racial differences in housing stability, and distinguish subpopulations who may be in particular need of intervention. Interventions to address these needs are described. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Desai, Karishma Rohanraj; Chewning, Betty; Wilcox, Andrew; Safdar, Nasia
The VA system is the largest single provider of healthcare in the United States and to individuals infected with HIV specifically. High quality medication management is particularly important since HIV is a chronic infectious condition which requires taking multiple medications with strict requirements for adherence to medication regimens. Veterans Administration (VA) patients are required to obtain all chronic medications using the VA mail-order pharmacy system. Drawing on Donabedian's Quality Improvement framework, this study sought to examine experiences that Veterans with HIV have with the Veterans Administration medication mail-order system, and to explore opportunities for quality improvement. A sequential, explanatory mixed-methods design was used to interview Veterans receiving care at a Midwestern Veterans Administration Hospital using a mail-order experience survey followed by in-depth interviews. All 57 Veterans, out of 72, who were successfully contacted consented to participate. Overall, Veterans evaluated the mail-order service positively and valued the accuracy (correct medication delivery). However, a notable problem emerged with respect to assuring access to HIV medications with about half (47%) indicating running out of HIV medication. Respondents identified structural issues with respect to days covered by mailed medications (90 versus current 30 days) and process issues with scheduling new refills. Veterans also indicated the information sheets were too long, complex and not helpful for their queries. Patients were open to pharmacists playing an active role during clinic visits and felt this would help manage their conditions better. Veterans generally reported that the VA Mail-order service was of high quality. However, some findings indicate there are opportunities to improve this service to be more patient-centered particularly for vulnerable HIV patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The SCALE (Standardized Computer Analyses for Licensing Evaluation) computer software system developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is widely used and accepted around the world for criticality safety analyses. The well-known KENO V.a three-dimensional Monte Carlo criticality computer code is the primary criticality safety analysis tool in SCALE. The KENO V.a primer is designed to help a new user understand and use the SCALE/KENO V.a Monte Carlo code for nuclear criticality safety analyses. It assumes that the user has a college education in a technical field. There is no assumption of familiarity with Monte Carlo codes in general or with SCALE/KENO V.a in particular. The primer is designed to teach by example, with each example illustrating two or three features of SCALE/KENO V.a that are useful in criticality analyses. The primer is based on SCALE 4.4a, which includes the Criticality Safety Processor for Analysis (CSPAN) input processor for Windows personal computers (PCs). A second edition of the primer, which uses the new KENO Visual Editor, is currently under development at ORNL and is planned for publication in late 2003. Each example in this first edition of the primer uses CSPAN to provide the framework for data input. Starting with a Quickstart section, the primer gives an overview of the basic requirements for SCALE/KENO V.a input and allows the user to quickly run a simple criticality problem with SCALE/KENO V.a. The sections that follow Quickstart include a list of basic objectives at the beginning that identifies the goal of the section and the individual SCALE/KENO V.a features which are covered in detail in the example problems in that section. Upon completion of the primer, a new user should be comfortable using CSPAN to set up criticality problems in SCALE/KENO V.a
Hysong, Sylvia J; Spitzmuller, Christiane; Espadas, Donna; Sittig, Dean F; Singh, Hardeep
Use of certain components of electronic health records (EHRs), such as EHR-based alerting systems (EASs), might reduce provider satisfaction, a strong precursor to turnover. We examined the impact of factors likely to influence providers' acceptance of an alerting system, designed to facilitate electronic communication in outpatient settings, on provider satisfaction, intentions to quit, and turnover. We conducted a cross-sectional Web-based survey of EAS-related practices from a nationwide sample of primary care providers (PCPs) practicing at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. Of 5001 invited VA PCPs, 2590 completed the survey. We relied on Venkatesh's Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology to create survey measures of 4 factors likely to impact user acceptance of EAS: supportive norms, monitoring/ feedback, training, and providers' perceptions of the value (PPOV) of EASs to provider effectiveness. Facility-level PCP turnover was measured via the VA's Service Support Center Human Resources Cube. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling. After accounting for intercorrelations among predictors, monitoring/feedback regarding EASs significantly predicted intention to quit (b = 0.30, P < .01), and PPOV of EASs predicted both overall provider satisfaction (b = 0.58, P < .01) and facility-level provider turnover levels (b = -0.19, P < .05), all without relying on any intervening mechanisms. Design, implementation, and use of EASs might impact provider satisfaction and retention. Institutions should consider strategies to help providers perceive greater value in these clinical tools.
Beyeler, Walter E; DeMenno, Mercy B.; Finley, Patrick D.
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.
... Housing g. Mobility and Portability of HUD-VASH Vouchers h. Case Management Requirements i. Turnover of... veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the VA through its community medical... services sites and Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) across the nation. The HUD- VASH program is a...
... providers of home health services and hospice care. The preamble of that final rule stated the effective... 17.56, applicable to non-VA home health services and hospice care. Section 17.56 provides, among... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN98 Payment for Home Health Services and...
approximately 150 hospitals, 130 nursing homes, 800 community-based outpatient clinics, as well as other facilities to provide care to veterans. VA also...receive care and have to return for rescheduled appointments. Such missed appointments can lead to lost revenue for the military treatment facility
Jameson, John Paul; Farmer, Mary Sue; Head, Katharine J.; Fortney, John; Teal, Cayla R.
Context: Mental health (MH) providers in community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) are important stakeholders in the development of the Veterans Health Administration (VA) telemental health (TMH) system, but their perceptions of these technologies have not been systematically examined. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the…
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN86 Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency...) ``Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency Services for Nonservice-Connected Conditions in Non-VA Facilities... Reimbursement Act. Some of the revisions in this proposed rule are purely technical, matching the language of...
Mitchell, Karen S; Rasmusson, Ann; Bartlett, Brooke; Gerber, Megan R
Eating disorders (EDs) remain understudied among veterans, possibly due to the perception that primarily male population does not suffer from EDs. However, previous research suggests that male and female veterans do experience EDs. The high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and obesity observed among veterans may make this group vulnerable to disordered eating. Retrospective chart review was used to obtain data from 492 female veterans who were presented to a women's primary care center at a large, urban VA medical center between 2007 and 2009. A total of 2.8% of this sample had been diagnosed with an ED. In bivariate analyses, presence of PTSD and depression were significantly associated with having an ED diagnosis. However, when these two disorders were included in a multivariate model controlling for age, only depression diagnosis and lower age were significantly related to ED status. In sum, the rate of EDs in this sample is comparable to prevalence estimates of EDs in the general population. Current findings underscore the importance of assessing for EDs among VA patients and the need for further research among veterans. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Tsai, Jack; Hoff, Rani A; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to preventing and ending homelessness among U.S. veterans, but there have been few estimates of the incidence of veteran homelessness and prospective studies to identify predictors of homelessness. This study examines the 1-year incidence of homelessness among veterans seen in VA specialty mental health clinics and identified sociodemographic and clinical predictors of homelessness. Using a retrospective cohort study design, data were extracted from the VA medical records of 306,351 veterans referred to anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder clinics across 130 VA facilities from 2008-2012 and followed for 1 year after referral. Homeless incidence was defined as new use of any VA homeless services or a documented International Classification of Diseases (9th rev.) V60.0 (lack of housing) code during the year. Of the total sample, 5.6% (7.8% for women and 5.4% for men) experienced homelessness within 1 year after referral to VA specialty mental health care. Veterans who were unmarried or diagnosed with a drug use disorder were more than twice as likely to become homeless; those who were Black or had annual incomes less than $25,000 were more than one and a half times as likely to become homeless. Together, these findings suggest a notable and important percentage of veterans seen in VA specialty mental health clinics newly experience homelessness annually. Monitoring early signs of housing vulnerability and preventing homelessness in this vulnerable but treatment-engaged population may be important in the VA's efforts to end veteran homelessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Breland, Jessica Y; Donalson, Rosemary; Dinh, Julie; Nevedal, Andrea; Maguen, Shira
Disordered eating, which includes subclinical and clinical maladaptive eating behaviors, is common among women, including those served by the Veterans Health Administration (VA). We used qualitative methods to determine whether and how women veterans want to receive treatment for disordered eating. Women veterans participated in one of seven focus groups/interviews and completed in-person demographic and psychological questionnaires. We used thematic analysis of focus groups/interviews to understand preferences for disordered eating treatment. Participants (n = 20) were mostly women of color (55%); mean age was 48 (SD = 15) and 65% had significant psychological symptoms. Few participants described being assessed for disordered eating, but all thought VA should provide treatment for disordered eating. Through thematic analysis, we identified six preferences: 1) treatment for disordered eating should be provided in groups, 2) treatment for disordered eating should provide concrete skills to facilitate the transition out of structured military environments, 3) treatment for disordered eating should address the relationship between eating and mental health, 4) disordered eating can be treated with mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral therapy, 5) disordered eating treatment providers should be experienced and take an interactive approach to care, but can come from diverse disciplines, and 6) referrals to treatment for disordered eating should be open ended, occur early, and allow for ongoing, flexible access to treatment. Women veterans are interested in treatment for disordered eating. Preferred treatments align with existing treatments, could be offered in conjunction with weight loss or primary care services, and should provide social support and interactive learning. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Sherman, Michelle D; Larsen, Jessica; Straits-Troster, Kristy; Erbes, Christopher; Tassey, John
The majority of adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are parents. Parents with PTSD report lower levels of parenting satisfaction, poorer parent-child relationships, and elevated incidence of child distress and behavioral problems in comparison with parents without PTSD. Although literature exists regarding parent-child communication about serious mental illness and physical health problems, research has yet to examine this communication regarding parental PTSD. This 3-site, mixed methods study involved 19 veteran parents who had a diagnosis of PTSD; participants were recruited from VA medical centers. Veterans participated in focus groups or individual interviews and completed questionnaires, responding to questions about motivations and barriers for disclosure of their PTSD to their children, the content of such disclosure, experiences at the VA as a parent, and desired VA family resources. Although many veterans described a desire to talk with their children about PTSD, they experience many barriers to doing so, including both personal reservations and feelings (e.g., avoidance of discussing PTSD, shame) and concerns about the consequences of disclosure on their children (e.g., child distress, loss of child's respect for veteran). Regarding veterans' experience at the VA, 21% reported that none of their providers had assessed if they have children, and 21% experienced the VA system as not welcoming to them as parents, citing both logistical issues (e.g., lack of childcare) and provider neglect of parenting concerns. Veterans indicated they would like the VA to offer parenting classes, workshops for families, child care, and family therapy. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Dobalian, Aram; Stein, Judith A; Heslin, Kevin C; Riopelle, Deborah; Venkatesh, Brinda; Lanto, Andrew B; Simon, Barbara; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rubenstein, Lisa V
limitations, and a greater number of health conditions. Because many veterans use non-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care providers for at least some of their health needs, future disaster planning for both VA and non-VA providers should incorporate interventions targeted at these groups.
Abbott, Daniel E; Macke, Ryan A; Kurtz, Jodi; Safdar, Nasia; Greenberg, Caprice C; Weber, Sharon M; Voils, Corrine I; Fisher, Deborah A; Maloney, James D
Access to specialty health care in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system continues to be problematic. Given the potential temporal and fiscal benefits of telehealth, the Madison VA developed a virtual consultation (VC) mechanism to expedite diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for Veterans with incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules. Materials and. VC, a remote encounter between referring provider and thoracic surgeon for incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules, was implemented at the Madison VA between 2009 and 2011. Time from request to completion of consultation, hospital cost, and travel costs were determined for 157 veterans. These endpoints were then compared with in-person consultations over a concurrent 6-mo period. For the entire study cohort, the mean time to completion of VC was 3.2 d (SD ± 4.4 d). For the 6-mo period of first VC availability, the mean time to VC completion versus in-person consultation was 2.8 d (SD ± 2.8 d) and 20.5 d (SD ± 15.6 d), respectively (p < 0.05). Following initial VC, 84 (53%) veterans were scheduled for virtual follow-up alone; no veteran required an additional office visit before further diagnostic or therapeutic intervention. VA hospital cost was $228 per in-person consultation versus $120 per episode for VC - a 47.4% decrease. The average distance form veteran home to center was 86 miles, with an average travel reimbursement of $112 per in-person consultation, versus no travel cost associated with VC. VC for incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules significantly decreases time to consultation completion, hospital cost, and veteran travel cost. These data suggest that a significant opportunity exists for expansion of telehealth into additional practice settings within the VA system. © Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
Pracht, Etienne E; Bass, Elizabeth
This paper explores the link between utilization of ambulatory care and the likelihood of rehospitalization for an avoidable reason in veterans served by the Veteran Health Administration (VA). The analysis used administrative data containing healthcare utilization and patient characteristics stored at the national VA data warehouse, the Corporate Franchise Data Center. The study sample consisted of 284 veterans residing in Florida who had been hospitalized at least once for an avoidable reason. A bivariate probit model with instrumental variables was used to estimate the probability of rehospitalization. Veterans who had at least 1 ambulatory care visit per month experienced a significant reduction in the probability of rehospitalization for the same avoidable hospitalization condition. The findings suggest that ambulatory care can serve as an important substitute for more expensive hospitalization for the conditions characterized as avoidable. © 2011 National Association for Healthcare Quality.
Luz M. Semeah
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.
Klein, Dawn M; Pham, Kassi; Samy, Leila; Bluth, Adam; Nazi, Kim M; Witry, Matthew; Klutts, J Stacey; Grant, Kathleen M; Gundlapalli, Adi V; Kochersberger, Gary; Pfeiffer, Laurie; Romero, Sergio; Vetter, Brian; Turvey, Carolyn L
Information continuity is critical to person-centered care when patients receive care from multiple healthcare systems. Patients can access their electronic health record data through patient portals to facilitate information exchange. This pilot was developed to improve care continuity for rural Veterans by (1) promoting the use of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patient portal to share health information with non-VA providers, and (2) evaluating the impact of health information sharing at a community appointment. Veterans from nine VA healthcare systems were trained to access and share their VA Continuity of Care Document (CCD) with their non-VA providers. Patients and non-VA providers completed surveys on their experiences. Participants (n = 620) were primarily older, white, and Vietnam era Veterans. After training, 78% reported the CCD would help them be more involved in their healthcare and 86% planned to share it regularly with non-VA providers. Veterans (n = 256) then attended 277 community appointments. Provider responses from these appointments (n = 133) indicated they were confident in the accuracy of the information (97%) and wanted to continue to receive the CCD (96%). Ninety percent of providers reported the CCD improved their ability to have an accurate medication list and helped them make medication treatment decisions. Fifty percent reported they did not order a laboratory test or another procedure because of information available in the CCD. This pilot demonstrates feasibility and value of patient access to a CCD to facilitate information sharing between VA and non-VA providers. Outreach and targeted education are needed to promote consumer-mediated health information exchange.
Duan-Porter, Wei; Van Houtven, Courtney H; Mahanna, Elizabeth P; Chapman, Jennifer G; Stechuchak, Karen M; Coffman, Cynthia J; Hastings, Susan Nicole
Healthcare systems are interested in technology-enhanced interventions to improve patient access and outcomes. However, there is uncertainty about feasibility and acceptability for groups who may benefit but are at risk for disparities in technology use. Thus, we sought to describe characteristics of Internet use and technology-related attitudes for two such groups: (1) Veterans with multi-morbidity and high acute care utilization and (2) informal caregivers of Veterans with substantial care needs at home. We used survey data from two ongoing trials, for 423 Veteran and 169 caregiver participants, respectively. Questions examined Internet use in the past year, willingness to communicate via videoconferencing, and comfort with new technology devices. Most participants used Internet in the past year (81% of Veterans, 82% of caregivers); the majority of users (83% of Veterans, 92% of caregivers) accessed Internet at least a few times a week, and used a private laptop or computer (81% of Veterans, 89% of caregivers). Most were willing to use videoconferencing via private devices (77-83%). A majority of participants were comfortable attempting to use new devices with in-person assistance (80% of Veterans, 85% of caregivers), whereas lower proportions were comfortable "on your own" (58-59% for Veterans and caregivers). Internet use was associated with comfort with new technology devices (odds ratio 2.76, 95% confidence interval 1.70-4.53). Findings suggest that technology-enhanced healthcare interventions are feasible and acceptable for Veterans with multi-morbidity and high healthcare utilization, and informal caregivers of Veterans. In-person assistance may be important for those with no recent Internet use.
Coker, Kendell L; Rosenheck, Robert
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.
There has been increasing concern in recent years about the availability of mental health services for people with serious mental illness in rural areas. To meet these needs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Rural Access Networks for Growth Enhancement (RANGE) program, in 2007, modeled on the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model. This study uses VA administrative data from the RANGE program (N = 343) to compare client characteristics at program entry, patterns of service delivery, and outcomes with those of Veterans who received services from the general VA ACT-like program (Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) (N = 3,077). Veterans in the rural program entered treatment with similar symptom severity, less likelihood of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and having had long-term hospitalization, but significantly higher suicidality index scores and greater likelihood of being dually diagnosed compared with those in the general program. RANGE Veterans live further away from their treatment teams but did not differ significantly in measures of face-to-face treatment intensity. Similar proportions of RANGE and MHICM Veterans were reported to have received rehabilitation services, crisis intervention and substance abuse treatment. The rural programs had higher scores on overall satisfaction with VA mental health care than general programs, slightly poorer outcomes on quality of life and on the suicidality index but no significant difference on other outcomes. These data demonstrate the clinical need, practical feasibility and potential effectiveness of providing intensive case management through small specialized case management teams in rural areas.
Wagner, Todd H; Sinnott, Patricia; Siroka, Andrew M
This study analyzed spending for treatment of mental health and substance use disorders in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in fiscal years (FYs) 2000 through 2007. VA spending as reported in the VA Decision Support System was linked to patient utilization data as reported in the Patient Treatment Files, the National Patient Care Database, and the VA Fee Basis files. All care and costs from FY 2000 to FY 2007 were analyzed. Over the study period the number of veterans treated at the VA increased from 3.7 million to over 5.1 million (an average increase of 4.9% per year), and costs increased .7% per person per year. For mental health and substance use disorder treatment, the volume of inpatient care decreased markedly, residential care increased, and spending decreased on average 2% per year (from $668 in FY 2000 to $578 per person in FY 2007). FY 2007 saw large increases in mental health spending, bucking the trend from FY 2000 through FY 2006. VA's continued emphasis on outpatient and residential care was evident through 2007. This trend in spending might be unimpressive if VA were enrolling healthier Veterans, but the opposite seems to be true: over this time period the prevalence of most chronic conditions, including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, increased. VA spending on mental health care grew rapidly in 2007, and given current military activities, this trend is likely to increase.
assess VHA’s employee performance management processes, we reviewed VA directives and handbooks , and procedures related to the performance...primary pay and classification system.30 VHA’s HR staff are classified as either an HR specialist, who manage , supervise, and deliver HR products ...Board. 815 C.F.R. § 430; Department of Veterans Affairs, Performance Management Systems, VA Handbook 5013, Part I. VHA Needs to Strengthen
as yield important information regarding other physical health conditions, the systematic screening for mTBI among OEF/OIF veterans who receive VA care... physical and mental health functioning and disability (VA Cooperative Study #569: the course and consequences of posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam...research, mental and physical health mea- sures were used to demonstrate criterion-related validity in the DRRI, and researchers have found the
Of the 814 referred, including 654 males (80%) and 160 females (20%), 154 Veterans (19% of those referred) have been randomized to the study. Of the...and we use internal advertisements for the project (e.g., newsletters, messages on VA TVs and VA website). We have developed a feedback loop to...determine the primary recruitment sites with positive referrals for the project and then use this information to refine our recruitment strategy and
Women Veterans. GAO-17-52. Washington , D.C.: December 2, 2016. Veterans Health Care: Improvements Needed in Operationalizing Strategic Goals and...Access to Primary Care. GAO-16-328. Washington , D.C.: March 18, 2016. DOD and VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Help Ensure Appropriate Medication...ET Wednesday, March 15, 2017 GAO-17-473T United States Government Accountability Office United States Government Accountability Office
Averill, Lynnette A.; Fleming, CJ Eubanks; Holens, Pamela L.; Larsen, Sadie E.
Background: A series of recent articles has reported on well-designed studies examining base rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screenings within the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan conflict)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq conflict) (OEF/OIF) military population. Although these studies have a number of strengths, this line of research points out several key areas in need of further examination.Objective: Many OEF/OIF Veterans do not use available Veterans Affairs (VA) servic...
Radomski, Thomas R; Bixler, Felicia R; Zickmund, Susan L; Roman, KatieLynn M; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Hale, Jennifer A; Sileanu, Florentina E; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Thorpe, Joshua M; Suda, Katie J; Stroupe, Kevin T; Gordon, Adam J; Good, Chester B; Fine, Michael J; Gellad, Walid F
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented robust strategies to monitor prescription opioid dispensing, but these strategies have not accounted for opioids prescribed by non-VA providers. State-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are a potential tool to identify VA patients' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers, and recent legislation requires their use within VA. To evaluate VA physicians' perspectives and experiences regarding use of PDMPs to monitor Veterans' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers. Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Forty-two VA primary care physicians who prescribed opioids to 15 or more Veterans in 2015. We sampled physicians from two states with PDMPs (Massachusetts and Illinois) and one without prescriber access to a PDMP at the time of the interviews (Pennsylvania). From February to August 2016, we conducted semi-structured telephone interviews that addressed the following topics regarding PDMPs: overall experiences, barriers to optimal use, and facilitators to improve use. VA physicians broadly supported use of PDMPs or desired access to one, while exhibiting varying patterns of PDMP use dictated by state laws and their clinical judgment. Physicians noted administrative burdens and incomplete or unavailable prescribing data as key barriers to PDMP use. To facilitate use, physicians endorsed (1) linking PDMPs with the VA electronic health record, (2) using templated notes to document PDMP use, and (3) delegating routine PDMP queries to ancillary staff. Despite the time and administrative burdens associated with their use, VA physicians in our study broadly supported PDMPs. The application of our findings to ongoing PDMP implementation efforts may strengthen PDMP use both within and outside VA and improve the safe prescribing of opioids.
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
Evans, Elizabeth A; Glover, Dawn L; Washington, Donna L; Hamilton, Alison B
Women Veterans who use the Veterans Health Administration (VA) have high rates of substance abuse and poorer health than non-Veteran women. Less is known about the psychosocial needs of women Veterans who seek care in non-VA settings. We provide a grounded description of factors that impact substance abuse, mental health, and related quality of life of women Veterans who use non-VA community-based health and social services. Utilizing a mixed methods design, we conducted semi-structured in-person interviews with 22 women Veterans in Los Angeles in 2013-2015. The current health of these women Veterans was shaped by substance abuse and several other factors, including: histories of trauma (in childhood, during military service) and discrimination, and associated mental health conditions; post-military socio-economic stressors; shifting social roles and adverse social support; and lost personal identity after military service. Psychosocial factors collectively underscore areas in which delivery of health and social services to women Veterans being treated in non-VA settings could be improved: (1) diffuse, implement, and sustain evidence-based gender-sensitive substance abuse treatment; (2) address traumas contributing to poor health; (3) recognize stress proliferation processes erode women's capacity to access healthcare or cope with stressors in healthy ways; (4) champion women Veterans who embody resilience and thereby can help others to form empowered personal identities of health and wellness. Findings can inform interventions and services that ameliorate vulnerability to substance abuse and other health risks among women Veterans.
Coxe, D Nicole; Conner, Brian T; Lauerer, Joy; Skipper, Janice; York, Janet; Fraggos, Mary; Stuart, Gail W
The Veterans Administration (VA) has been committed to academic affiliate training partnerships for nearly 70 years in efforts to enhance veteran-centric health care. One such effort, the VA Nursing Academy (VANA) program, was developed in 2007 in response to the nationwide nursing shortage and began as a five-year pilot with funding competitively awarded to 15 partnerships between local VA medical centers and schools of nursing. The VANA program evolved into the VA Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP) program following the initial pilot. This article describes the development and evolution of the Charleston VANAP, which includes the Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center (RHJ VAMC) and the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing (MUSC CON). The VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) funded a large portion of the initial five years of the Charleston VANAP. Once the national funding source ceased, the RHJ VAMC and the MUSC CON entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to offer in-kind contributions to the partnership. The Charleston VANAP is the only program in the nation to offer three different nurse trainee programs and this article highlights some of the more notable achievements from each program. The Charleston VANAP is a comprehensive partnership between the RHJ VAMC and the MUSC CON that truly demonstrates a commitment to assure that the very best care be provided to Veterans, our Nation's heroes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tsai, Jack; Middleton, Margaret; Villegas, Jennifer; Johnson, Cindy; Retkin, Randye; Seidman, Alison; Sherman, Scott; Rosenheck, Robert A
Medical-legal partnerships-collaborations between legal professionals and health care providers that help patients address civil legal problems that can affect health and well-being-have been implemented at several Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers to serve homeless and low-income veterans with mental illness. We describe the outcomes of veterans who accessed legal services at four partnership sites in Connecticut and New York in the period 2014-16. The partnerships served 950 veterans, who collectively had 1,384 legal issues; on average, the issues took 5.4 hours' worth of legal services to resolve. The most common problems were related to VA benefits, housing, family issues, and consumer issues. Among a subsample of 148 veterans who were followed for one year, we observed significant improvements in housing, income, and mental health. Veterans who received more partnership services showed greater improvements in housing and mental health than those who received fewer services, and those who achieved their predefined legal goals showed greater improvements in housing status and community integration than those who did not. Medical-legal partnerships represent an opportunity to expand cross-sector, community-based partnerships in the VA health care system to address social determinants of mental health.
Luck, Jeff; York, Laura S; Bowman, Candice; Gale, Randall C; Smith, Nina; Asch, Steven M
Peer-to-peer collaboration within integrated health systems requires a mechanism for sharing quality improvement lessons. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) developed online compendia of tools linked to specific cancer quality indicators. We evaluated awareness and use of the toolkits, variation across facilities, impact of social marketing, and factors influencing toolkit use. A diffusion of innovations conceptual framework guided the collection of user activity data from the Toolkit Series SharePoint site and an online survey of potential Lung Cancer Care Toolkit users. The VA Toolkit Series site had 5,088 unique visitors in its first 22 months; 5% of users accounted for 40% of page views. Social marketing communications were correlated with site usage. Of survey respondents (n = 355), 54% had visited the site, of whom 24% downloaded at least one tool. Respondents' awareness of the lung cancer quality performance of their facility, and facility participation in quality improvement collaboratives, were positively associated with Toolkit Series site use. Facility-level lung cancer tool implementation varied widely across tool types. The VA Toolkit Series achieved widespread use and a high degree of user engagement, although use varied widely across facilities. The most active users were aware of and active in cancer care quality improvement. Toolkit use seemed to be reinforced by other quality improvement activities. A combination of user-driven tool creation and centralized toolkit development seemed to be effective for leveraging health information technology to spread disease-specific quality improvement tools within an integrated health care system. Copyright © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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...
Byrne, Colene M; Mercincavage, Lauren M; Pan, Eric C; Vincent, Adam G; Johnston, Douglas S; Middleton, Blackford
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.
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
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...
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Bulson, Ryan; Jun, Weon; Hayes, John
Advances in protective armor technology and changes in the "patterns of war" have created a population of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) that provide a unique challenge to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare practitioners. The purpose of the study was to determine the frequency of symptomatic ocular and visual sequelae of TBI in OIF/OEF veterans at the Portland VA Medical Center, a Polytrauma Support Clinic Team site. A retrospective analysis of 100 OIF/OEF veterans with TBI was conducted to determine the prevalence of ocular and visual complaints. Referral patterns were also investigated. Visual symptoms were reported in approximately 50% of veterans with TBI. Loss of consciousness, but not number of deployments or number of blast exposures, was found to have a statistically significant association with severity of reported visual symptoms. The most commonly reported symptoms included blurred vision (67%), photosensitivity (50%), and accommodative problems (40%). Visual symptoms of OIF/OEF veterans at the Portland VA Medical Center are reported at slightly lower rates than similar studies conducted at the Palo Alto and Edward Hines Jr VA facilities.
Young, J Christopher; Roper, Brad L; Arentsen, Timothy J
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.
Kuzmak, Peter M.; Dayhoff, Ruth E.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is using the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard to integrate image data objects from multiple systems for use across the healthcare enterprise. DICOM uses a structured representation of image data and a communication mechanism that allows the VA to easily acquire images from multiple sources and store them directly into the online patient record. The VA can obtain both radiology and non- radiology images using DICOM, and can display them on low-cost clinician's color workstations throughout the medical center. High-resolution gray-scale diagnostic quality multi-monitor workstations with specialized viewing software can be used for reading radiology images. The VA's DICOM capabilities can interface six different commercial Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and over twenty different image acquisition modalities. The VA is advancing its use of DICOM beyond radiology. New color imaging applications for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Ophthalmology using DICOM are under development. These are the first DICOM offerings for the vendors, who are planning to support the recently passed DICOM Visible Light and Structured Reporting service classes. Implementing these in VistA is a challenge because of the different workflow and software support for these disciplines within the VA HIS environment.
Hatch, Maya N; Raad, Jason; Suda, Katie; Stroupe, Kevin T; Hon, Alice J; Smith, Bridget M
To examine the different sources of medications, the most common drug classes filled, and the characteristics associated with Medicare Part D pharmacy use in veterans with spinal cord injury/disorder (SCI/D). Retrospective, cross-sectional, observational study. Outpatient clinics and pharmacies. Veterans (N=13,442) with SCI/D using Medicare or Veteran Affairs pharmacy benefits. Not applicable. Characteristics and top 10 most common drug classes were examined in veterans who (1) used VA pharmacies only; (2) used both VA and Medicare Part D pharmacies; or (3) used Part D pharmacies only. Chi-square tests and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to determine associations between various patient variables and source of medications. Patient level frequencies were used to determine the most common drug classes. A total of 13,442 veterans with SCI/D were analyzed in this study: 11,788 (87.7%) used VA pharmacies only, 1281 (9.5%) used both VA and Part D pharmacies, and 373 (2.8%) used Part D pharmacies only. Veterans older than 50 years were more likely to use Part D pharmacies, whereas those with traumatic injury, or secondary conditions, were less associated with the use of Part D pharmacies. Opioids were the most frequently filled drug class across all groups. Other frequently used drug classes included skeletal muscle relaxants, gastric medications, antidepressants (other category), anticonvulsants, and antilipemics. Approximately 12% of veterans with SCI/D are receiving medication outside the VA system. Polypharmacy in this population of veterans is relatively high, emphasizing the importance of health information exchange between systems for improved care for this medically complex population. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Bukowski, Leigh A; Blosnich, John; Shipherd, Jillian C; Kauth, Michael R; Brown, George R; Gordon, Adam J
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.
Walters, Heather; Kulkarni, Madhur; Forman, Jane; Roeder, Kathryn; Travis, Jamie; Valenstein, Marcia
The majority of VA patient suicides are completed with firearms. Interventions that delay patients' gun access during high-risk periods may reduce suicide, but may not be acceptable to VA stakeholders or may be challenging to implement. Using qualitative methods, stakeholders' perceptions about gun safety and interventions to delay gun access during high-risk periods were explored. Ten focus groups and four individual interviews were conducted with key stakeholders, including VA mental health patients, mental health clinicians, family members and VA facility leaders (N=60). Transcripts were consensus-coded by two independent coders, and structured summaries were developed and reviewed using a consensus process. All stakeholder groups indicated that VA health system providers had a role in increasing patient safety and emphasized the need for providers to address gun access with their at-risk patients. However, VA mental health patients and clinicians reported limited discussion regarding gun access in VA mental health settings during routine care. Most, although not all, patients and clinicians indicated that routine screening for gun access was acceptable, with several noting that it was more acceptable for mental health patients. Most participants suggested that family and friends be involved in reducing gun access, but expressed concerns about potential family member safety. Participants generally found distribution of trigger locks acceptable, but were skeptical about its effectiveness. Involving Veteran Service Organizations or other individuals in temporarily holding guns during high-risk periods was acceptable to many participants but only with numerous caveats. Patients, clinicians and family members consider the VA health system to have a legitimate role in addressing gun safety. Several measures to delay gun access during high-risk periods for suicide were seen as acceptable and feasible if implemented thoughtfully. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Porter, Ben; Long, Kyna; Rull, Rudolph P; Dursa, Erin K
This research describes Gulf War and era veterans enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study, who were sampled from US military personnel serving in 2000, and compares health characteristics of this sample to a Department of Veterans Affairs study sampled from the complete population. Demographics characteristics of this sample were described. Self-reported health characteristics were compared between the two studies. Gulf War and era veterans in the Millennium Cohort were generally healthier than in the VA study; they had fewer medical conditions and mental health disorders and better self-reported health. In both studies, Gulf War veterans had poorer health outcomes than era veterans. The Millennium Cohort Study is a unique resource for examining the long-term health effects of Gulf War deployment, particularly comparing deployed and nondeployed personnel and examining illnesses with long latencies.
Hoerster, Katherine D; Wilson, Sarah; Nelson, Karin M; Reiber, Gayle E; Masheb, Robin M
United States Veterans have a higher prevalence of overweight and related chronic conditions compared to the general population. Although diet is a primary and modifiable contributor to these conditions, little is known about factors influencing diet quality among Veterans. The goal of this study is to examine individual, social environment, and physical environment correlates of general diet quality among Veterans. Study participants (N=653) received care at an urban VA Medical Center in Seattle, WA and completed a mailed survey in 2012 and 2013. Diet quality was assessed with Starting the Conversation, an instrument that measures consumption of unhealthy snacks, fast food, desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages, and fats; fruits and vegetables; and healthy proteins. Variables significantly (pfoods in neighborhood stores where the Veteran shops (Diff=-0.37; CI=-0.6, -0.2; pfoods are needed to improve Veteran diet quality. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
One in three veterans has arthritis. This podcast provides information on how veterans can improve their quality of life with physical activity and other arthritis management strategies. Created: 11/9/2015 by National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). Date Released: 11/9/2015.
Heinz, Adrienne J; Freeman, Michael A; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan; Pietrzak, Robert H
American military veterans are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed compared to non-veterans, and are majority owners in nine percent of all businesses nationwide. Despite their contribution to the broader economy and the potential for training programs to cultivate and foster successful self-employment and veteran-lead entrepreneurial ventures, research on veteran entrepreneurs remains limited. In order to gain a better understanding of the potential strengths and vulnerabilities of veteran entrepreneurs, the current study utilized data from a large, nationally representative sample to profile self-employed veterans (n=230) and compare them to veterans who work as employees (n=1,055) with respect to demographic, military service history, and psychosocial characteristics. Results indicated that self-employed veterans were older and more educated and more likely to utilize VA healthcare. Self-employed veterans were more likely to serve in Vietnam and to serve in the military for fewer years. No differences were noted in perceived military experience, level of combat exposure, or military branch served as a function of self-employment. Although reporting more lifetime traumas, self-employed veterans did not experience higher rates of current or lifetime psychopathology or lower perceived quality of life. Potential protective resilience-promoting factors may be associated with the higher levels of openness, extraversion, optimism, achievement-orientation (purpose in life), and greater need for autonomy and professional development observed among self-employed veterans. Moreover, self-employed veterans demonstrated higher levels of gratitude, community integration, and altruistic service to others. Findings have potential to inform human resources management strategies and vocational training and reintegration initiatives for veterans.
Heinz, Adrienne J.; Freeman, Michael A.; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan; Pietrzak, Robert H.
American military veterans are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed compared to non-veterans, and are majority owners in nine percent of all businesses nationwide. Despite their contribution to the broader economy and the potential for training programs to cultivate and foster successful self-employment and veteran-lead entrepreneurial ventures, research on veteran entrepreneurs remains limited. In order to gain a better understanding of the potential strengths and vulnerabilities of veteran entrepreneurs, the current study utilized data from a large, nationally representative sample to profile self-employed veterans (n=230) and compare them to veterans who work as employees (n=1,055) with respect to demographic, military service history, and psychosocial characteristics. Results indicated that self-employed veterans were older and more educated and more likely to utilize VA healthcare. Self-employed veterans were more likely to serve in Vietnam and to serve in the military for fewer years. No differences were noted in perceived military experience, level of combat exposure, or military branch served as a function of self-employment. Although reporting more lifetime traumas, self-employed veterans did not experience higher rates of current or lifetime psychopathology or lower perceived quality of life. Potential protective resilience-promoting factors may be associated with the higher levels of openness, extraversion, optimism, achievement-orientation (purpose in life), and greater need for autonomy and professional development observed among self-employed veterans. Moreover, self-employed veterans demonstrated higher levels of gratitude, community integration, and altruistic service to others. Findings have potential to inform human resources management strategies and vocational training and reintegration initiatives for veterans. PMID:29290645
Kouri, Elena M; Landrum, Mary Beth; Lamont, Elizabeth B; Bozeman, Sam; McNeil, Barbara J; Keating, Nancy L
Many veterans undergo cancer surgery outside of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We assessed to what extent these patients obtained care in the VHA before surgery. VHA-Medicare data, VHA administrative data, and Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry data. We identified patients aged ≥65 years in the VHA-Medicare cohort who underwent lung or colon cancer resection outside the VHA and assessed VHA visits in the year before surgery. Over 60% of patients in the VHA-Medicare cohort who received lung or colon cancer surgeries outside the VHA did not receive any care in VHA before surgery. Veterans' receipt of major cancer surgery outside the VHA probably reflects usual private sector care among veterans who are infrequent VHA users. © Health Research and Educational Trust.
must manually review and correct most incoming cases due to issues with labeling, mismatched dates, and missing files. Via an internal study, VA...individuals acclimate to their jobs —and factored this into the modeling assumptions used to project the number of Board staff needed. More...Needed to Promote Increased User Satisfaction . GAO-15-582 (Washington, D.C.: September 1, 2015). Page 29 GAO-17-234 VA Disability
Forrester, M B
There is little information on poisonings managed at military and Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. This investigation described and compared poisonings reported to Texas poison centers that were managed at military and VA hospitals. Retrospective analysis of poison centre data. Cases were poisonings among patients aged 18 years or more reported to Texas poison centers during 2000-2015 where management occurred at a military or VA hospital. The distribution of exposures for various demographic and clinical factors was determined for military and veterans hospitals and comparisons were made between the two groups. There were 4353 and 1676 poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals, resepctively. Males accounted for 50.5% of the military hospital patients and 84.9% of the VA hospital patients. The mean age for military hospital patients was 31 years and for VA hospital patients was 50 years. The proportion of poisonings managed at military hospitals and VA hospitals, respectively, were intentional (70.0% vs 64.1%), particularly suspected attempted suicide (57.3% vs 47.7%), and unintentional (25.0% vs 30.5%). More than one substance was reported in 37.7% of military and 33.2% of VA hospital poisonings. The most commonly reported substance categories for poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals, respectively, were analgesics (28.4% vs 19.7%), sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics (24.7% vs 23.4%), antidepressants (18.7% vs 19.7%) and alcohol (11.3% vs 10.6%). A number of differences were observed between poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals. These differing patterns of poisonings may need to be taken into account in the education, prevention and treatment of poisonings at these hospitals and among the populations they serve. Copyright © 2016 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kertesz, Stefan G; Austin, Erika Laine; Holmes, Sally K; Pollio, David E; Schumacher, Joseph E; White, Bert; Lukas, Carol VanDeusen
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
Johnson, Brenda Webb
Emotional intelligence (EI) has not been studied extensively within the Veterans' Health Administration (VHA). The VHA is the largest healthcare organization in America with over 360,000 employees and the organization invests heavily in competency development. The Tampa VA is a level 1 facility with over 5,000 employees in the Tampa Bay area. The…
War or the 1899-1901 Philippine Insurrection.14 I.2 World War I By the early 20th century, the reconstituted Armed Forces of the United States...to the tardiness of the current system. Third, when medical evidence, possibly new, about the veteran from non-VA medical facilities is critical to
Heffner, Kathi L; Crean, Hugh F; Kemp, Jan E
Interest in meditation to manage posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms is increasing. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of meditation programs offered to Veterans within Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health services. The current study addresses this gap using data from a multisite VA demonstration project. Evaluation data collected at 6 VA sites (N = 391 Veterans) before and after a meditation program, and a treatment-as-usual (TAU) program, were examined here using random effects meta-analyses. Site-specific and aggregate between group effect sizes comparing meditation programs to TAU were determined for PTSD severity measured by clinical interview and self-report. Additional outcomes included experiential avoidance and mindfulness. In aggregate, analyses showed medium effect sizes for meditation programs compared to TAU for PTSD severity (clinical interview: effect size (ES) = -0.32; self-report: ES = -0.39). Similarly sized effects of meditation programs were found for overall mindfulness (ES = 0.41) and 1 specific aspect of mindfulness, nonreactivity to inner experience (ES = .37). Additional findings suggested meditation type and program completion differences each moderated program effects. VA-sponsored meditation programs show promise for reducing PTSD severity in Veterans receiving mental health services. Where meditation training fits within mental health services, and for whom programs will be of interest and effective, require further clarification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
... difficulty obtaining similar treatment during a transitional period. In particular, if mental health issues... housing upon release from incarceration in a prison or jail. The proposed rule would permit VA to work with these veterans while they are in these programs with the goal of continuing to work with them...
Fuchs, Steven J.; Cannella, Lee grace; Pisano, Susan
In fall 2010, St. Joseph's College initiated a partnership between the college, Northport VA Medical Center, and Long Island State Veterans Home that provides a therapeutic platform for the integration of the three communities through sustainable and mutually beneficial curricular and co-curricular service and experiential learning programs. In…
Schumm, Jeremiah A; Walter, Kristen H; Bartone, Anne S; Chard, Kathleen M
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.
Dhanda Patil, Reena; Patil, Yash J
(1) To determine the presence of Veterans Affairs (VA) institutional guidelines for the perioperative management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); (2) to examine current use of preoperative screening tools for OSA in the VA; and (3) to understand current VA practice patterns regarding postoperative disposition of patients with OSA. Survey study. Veterans Affairs hospitals with surgical services; sample size 102 facilities. Veterans Affairs health care providers. The authors surveyed health care providers at VA hospitals using a survey tool developed by the authors. The response rate was 80%. A variety of preoperative screening tools for OSA were used by respondents, most commonly American Society of Anesthesiologists guidelines (53%). A policy for postoperative disposition of known and presumed OSA was present in 26% and 19% of responses, respectively. Of those respondents reporting a formal postoperative care policy, 48% and 30% admitted patients to a monitored ward bed and surgical intensive care unit, respectively. Of the 74% of respondents unaware of an institutional policy, Anesthesia and Surgery worked together to dictate postoperative disposition of patients with known OSA 73% of the time. The degree of OSA was ranked as the most important factor (58%) influencing postoperative disposition. Ten percent of respondents reported a major perioperative complication attributable to OSA in the past year. This survey study elucidates the heterogeneity of preoperative screening for and postoperative care of veterans with OSA. Future investigators may use these data to formalize institutional policies with regard to patients with OSA, with potentially significant impacts on patient care and usage of financial resources.
Ingelse, Kathy; Messecar, Deborah
While the total number of veterans in the U.S. is decreasing overall, the number of women veterans is significantly increasing. There are numerous barriers which keep women veterans from accessing mental health care. One barrier which can impact receiving care is living in a rural area. Veterans in rural areas have access to fewer mental health services than do urban residing veterans, and women veterans in general have less access to mental health care than do their male colleagues. Little is known about rural women veterans and their mental health service needs. Women, who have served in the military, have unique problems related to their service compared to their male colleagues including higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST). This qualitative study investigated use of and barriers to receiving mental health care for rural women veterans. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten women veterans who have reported experiencing problems with either MST, PTSD, or combat trauma. All ten women had utilized mental health services during active-duty military service, and post service, in Veterans Administration (VA) community based-outpatient clinics. Several recurring themes in the women's experience were identified. For all of the women interviewed, a sentinel precipitating event led to seeking mental health services. These precipitating events included episodes of chronic sexual harassment and ridicule, traumatic sexual assaults, and difficult combat experiences. Efforts to report mistreatment were unsuccessful or met with punishment. All the women interviewed reported that they would not have sought services without the help of a supportive peer who encouraged seeking care. Barriers to seeking care included feeling like they were not really a combat veteran (in spite of serving in a combat unit in Iraq); feeling stigmatized by providers and other military personnel, being treated as crazy; and a lack of interest
Gerber, Megan R; King, Matthew W; Iverson, Katherine M; Pineles, Suzanne L; Haskell, Sally G
The women Veteran population accessing Veterans Health Administration (VA) care has grown rapidly. Women Veterans exhibit high rates of mental health conditions that increase coronary artery disease (CAD) risk; however, the relationship between specific conditions and increasing mental health burden to CAD in this population is unknown. Using VA National Patient Care Data for 2009, we identified women Veterans over 45 (N = 157,195). Logistic regression models examined different mental health diagnoses and increasing mental health burden (number of diagnostic clusters) as predictors of CAD. CAD prevalence was 4.16%, and 36% of women Veterans were current smokers. Depression exhibited the strongest association with CAD (odds ratio [OR] 1.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.50-1.71]), similar to that of current smoking (OR 1.68 [1.58-1.78]). Controlling for demographic variables, smoking, diabetes, and obesity, each additional mental health diagnosis increased the odds of CAD by 44%. Women Veterans over age 45 accessing VA care exhibited a high degree of mental health burden, which is associated with elevated odds of CAD; those with depression alone had 60% higher odds of CAD. For women Veterans using VA, mental health diagnoses may act as CAD risk factors that are potentially modifiable. Novel interventions in primary care and mental health are needed to address heart disease in this growing and aging population.
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 …
MacDonald, Serena; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Sileanu, Florentina E; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K; Borrero, Sonya
To describe perceived race-based discrimination in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care settings and assess its associations with contraceptive use among a sample of women Veterans. This study used data from a national telephone survey of women Veterans aged 18-44 receiving health care in VA who were at risk of unintended pregnancy. Participants were asked about their perceptions of race-based discrimination while seeking VA health care and about their contraceptive use at last heterosexual intercourse. Logistic and multinomial regression analyses were used to examine associations between perceived race-based discrimination with use of prescription contraception. In our sample of 1341 women Veterans, 7.9% report perceived race-based discrimination when receiving VA care, with blacks and Hispanics reporting higher levels of perceived discrimination than white women (11.3% and 11.2% vs. 4.4%; Pwomen who perceived race-based discrimination were less likely to use any prescription birth control than women who did not (odds ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.42-1.00), with the largest difference seen in rates of intrauterine device or implant use (odds ratio, 0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.20-0.79). In this national sample of women Veterans, over 10% of racial/ethnic minority women perceived race-based discrimination when receiving care in VA settings, and perceived racial/ethnic discrimination was associated with lower likelihood of prescription contraception use, especially intrauterine devices and implants. VA efforts to enhance respectful interactions may not only improve patient health care experiences, but also represent an opportunity to improve reproductive health outcomes for women Veterans.
Stephens, Brady; Morley, Sybil; Thompson, Caitlin; Kemp, Janet; Bossarte, Robert M.
Objectives: The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Suicide Prevention Applications Network (SPAN) is a national system for suicide event tracking and case management. The objective of this study was to assess data on suicide attempts among people using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services. Methods: We assessed the degree of data overlap on suicide attempters reported in SPAN and the VHA’s medical records from October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2014—overall, by year, and by region. Data on suicide attempters in the VHA’s medical records consisted of diagnoses documented with E95 codes from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision. Results: Of 50 518 VHA patients who attempted suicide during the 4-year study period, data on fewer than half (41%) were reported in both SPAN and the medical records; nearly 65% of patients whose suicide attempt was recorded in SPAN had no data on attempted suicide in the VHA’s medical records. Conclusion: Evaluation of administrative data suggests that use of SPAN substantially increases the collection of data on suicide attempters as compared with the use of medical records alone, but neither SPAN nor the VHA’s medical records identify all suicide attempters. Further research is needed to better understand the strengths and limitations of both systems and how to best combine information across systems. PMID:28123228
Smith, Shawna N.; Lai, Zongshan; Almirall, Daniel; Goodrich, David E.; Abraham, Kristen M.; Nord, Kristina M.; Kilbourne, Amy M.
Policy is a powerful motivator of clinical change, but implementation success can depend on organizational characteristics. This paper used validated measures of organizational resources, culture and climate to predict uptake of a nationwide VA policy aimed at implementing Re-Engage, a brief care management program that re-establishes contact with Veterans with serious mental illness lost to care. Patient care databases were used to identify 2,738 Veterans lost to care. Local Recovery Coordinators (LRCs) were to update disposition for 2,738 Veterans at 158 VA facilities and, as appropriate, facilitate a return to care. Multivariable regression assessed organizational culture and climate as predictors of early policy compliance (via LRC presence) and uptake at six months. Higher composite climate and culture scores were associated with higher odds of having a designated LRC, but were not predictive of higher uptake. Sites with LRCs had significantly higher rates of updated documentation than sites without LRCs. PMID:27668352
This article examines the disability compensation programs and health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from the perspective of therapeutic jurisprudence scholarship. VA psychiatric patients have unambiguous financial incentives to endlessly litigate disability claims, to seek lengthy hospitalization rather than outpatient treatment, and to be ill, disabled, and unemployed. These countertherapeutic incentives reward incapacitation, encourage perceiving one-self as sick, diminish personal responsibility, taint treatment relationships, and lead to disparaging perceptions of VA patients. In addition, such perceptions produce moral dilemmas that arise from mutual distrust and frustration when patients and caregivers have antagonistic goals for the clinical encounter. Changes in disability determination procedures, compensation levels, and patterns of payment for treatment could give VA patients and caregivers a "healthier" health care system that encourages personal responsibility and promotes respectful attitudes toward patients. In the absence of such changes, an awareness of countertherapeutic financial incentives can help clinicians distinguish between psychopathological behavior and the pursuit of a rational income strategy, and can help practitioners recognize that apparently deceitful or litigious behavior represents a reasonable response to the economic contingencies that VA patients face.
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Schlenger, William E; Mulvaney-Day, Norah; Williams, Christianna S; Kulka, Richard A; Corry, Nida H; Mauch, Danna; Nagler, Caryn F; Ho, Chia-Lin; Marmar, Charles R
The primary goal of this analysis was to assess whether recent use of outpatient services for general medical concerns by Vietnam veterans varies according to level of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology over time. Another goal was to determine whether PTSD symptomatology was associated with veterans' reports of discussing behavioral health issues as part of a general medical visit. Self-reported service use data and measures of PTSD were from a nationally representative sample of 848 male and female Vietnam theater veterans (individuals who were deployed to the Vietnam theater of operations) who participated in the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study, a 25-year follow-up of a cohort of veterans originally interviewed from 1984-1988 as part of the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. Four categories of PTSD symptomatology course over 25 years were defined, and logistic regression models were used to assess their relationship with recent use of outpatient general medical services. Male and female theater veterans with high or increasing PTSD symptomatology over the period were more likely than those with low symptomatology to report recent VA outpatient visits. Males in the increasing and high categories were also more likely to discuss behavioral health issues at general medical visits. Vietnam veterans with high and increasing PTSD symptomatology over time were likely to use VA outpatient general health services. Attention to stressors of the aging process and to persistence of PTSD symptoms is important for Vietnam veterans, as is addressing PTSD with other psychiatric and medical comorbidities within the context of outpatient general medical care.
Lan, Chiao-Wen; Fiellin, David A.; Barry, Declan T.; Bryant, Kendall J.; Gordon, Adam J.; Edelman, E. Jennifer; Gaither, Julie R.; Maisto, Stephen A.; Marshall, Brandon D.L.
Background Substance use disorders (SUDs), which encompass alcohol and drug use disorders (AUDs, DUDs), constitute a major public health challenge among US veterans. SUDs are among the most common and costly of all health conditions among veterans. Objectives This study sought to examine the epidemiology of SUDs among US veterans, compare the prevalence of SUDs in studies using diagnostic and administrative criteria assessment methods, and summarize trends in the prevalence of SUDs reported in studies sampling US veterans over time. Methods Comprehensive electronic database searches were conducted. A total of 3,490 studies were identified. We analyzed studies sampling US veterans and reporting prevalence, distribution, and examining AUDs and DUDs. Results Of the studies identified, 72 met inclusion criteria. The studies were published between 1995 and 2013. Studies using diagnostic criteria reported higher prevalence of AUDs (32% vs. 10%) and DUDs (20% vs. 5%) than administrative criteria, respectively. Regardless of assessment method, both the lifetime and past year prevalence of AUDs in studies sampling US veterans has declined gradually over time. Conclusion The prevalence of SUDs reported in studies sampling US veterans are affected by assessment method. Given the significant public health problems of SUDs among US veterans, improved guidelines for clinical screening using validated diagnostic criteria to assess AUDs and DUDs in US veteran populations are needed. Scientific Significance These findings may inform VA and other healthcare systems in prevention, diagnosis, and intervention for SUDs among US veterans. PMID:26693830
Miller, Laura J; Ghadiali, Nafisa Y
This pilot study aims to ascertain the prevalence of self-reported premenstrual, perinatal, and perimenopausal influences on mental health, and of gynecologic conditions that could interact with psychiatric conditions, among women veterans receiving psychiatric care within a Veterans Administration (VA) Women's Health Clinic (WHC). Participants included all women veterans (N=68) who received psychiatric evaluations within a VA WHC over a 5-month period. This setting encompasses colocated and coordinated primary care, gynecologic and mental health services. Evaluations included a Women's Mental Health Questionnaire, a psychiatric interview, and medical record review. Deidentified data were extracted from a clinical data repository for this descriptive study. High proportions of study participants reported that their emotional problems intensified premenstrually (42.6%), during pregnancy (33.3%), in the postpartum period (33.3%), or during perimenopause (18.2%). Unintended pregnancy (70.0% of pregnancies) and pregnancy loss (63.5% of women who had been pregnant) were prominent sex-linked stressors. Dyspareunia (22.1% of participants) and pelvic pain (17.6% of participants) were frequent comorbidities. Among women veterans receiving psychiatric care within a VA WHC, there are high rates of self-reported premenstrual, perinatal, and perimenopausal influences on mental health. This population also has substantial comorbidity of psychiatric disorders with dyspareunia and pelvic pain. This underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing women veterans' sex-specific care needs, including interactions among reproductive cycle phases, gynecologic pain, and psychiatric symptoms. The findings support the need for greater awareness of the sex-specific mental health needs of women veterans, and for more definitive studies to further characterize these needs.
2009-2013 13 Contents Page ii GAO-15-55 VA Psychiatric Medications and Suicide Data Table 2: Number of Veterans in GAO’s Sample...anxiety, depressed mood, ruminations , suicidal ideation, sleep problems, intrusive memories, drug seeking behaviors, flashbacks, guilt/remorse...recommendation, with estimated completion dates in calendar year 2015. As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents of this
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
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.
Maa, April Y; Wojciechowski, Barbara; Hunt, Kelly; Dismuke, Clara; Janjua, Rabeea; Lynch, Mary G
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.
Ramon, Javier; Pena, Jorge
1 - Description of program or function: This package contains versions KENO-Va-SM (Shared Memory version) and KENO-Va-PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine version) based on SCALE-4.1. KENO-Va three-dimensional Boltzmann transport equation for neutron multiplying systems. The primary purpose of KENO-Va is to determine k-effective. Other calculated quantities include lifetime and generation time, energy-dependent leakages, energy- and region-dependent absorptions, fissions, fluxes, and fission densities. 2 - Method of solution: KENO-Va employs the Monte Carlo technique
Sedlander, Erica; Barboza, Katherine C; Jensen, Ashley; Skursky, Nicole; Bennett, Katelyn; Sherman, Scott; Schwartz, Mark
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) is investing considerable resources into providing remote management care to patients for disease prevention and management. Remote management includes online patient portals, e-mails between patients and providers, follow-up phone calls, and home health devices to monitor health status. However, little is known about patients' attitudes and preferences for this type of care. This qualitative study was conducted to better understand patient preferences for receiving remote care. Ten focus groups were held comprising 77 patients with hypertension or tobacco use history at two VA medical centers. Discussion questions focused on experience with current VA remote management efforts and preferences for receiving additional care between outpatient visits. Most participants were receptive to remote management for referrals, appointment reminders, resource information, and motivational and emotional support between visits, but described challenges with some technological tools. Participants reported that remote management should be personalized and tailored to individual needs. They expressed preferences for frequency, scope, continuity of provider, and mode of communication between visits. Most participants were open to nonclinicians contacting them as long as they had direct connection to their medical team. Some participants expressed a preference for a licensed medical professional. All groups raised concerns around confidentiality and privacy of healthcare information. Female Veterans expressed a desire for gender-sensitive care and an interest in complementary and alternative medicine. The findings and specific recommendations from this study can improve existing remote management programs and inform the design of future efforts.
... Information Office, Voice of the Veteran Call Center Survey; Correction AGENCY: Board of Veterans Appeals... comment on the proposed collection. The department name should read ``Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA... ``Board of Veterans' Appeals, Veterans Information Office, Voice of the Veterans Call Center Survey''. We...
... Payment Request for the VA Funding Fee Payment System (VA FFPS); a Computer Generated Funding Fee Receipt.... 2900-0474.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Create Payment Request for the VA Funding Fee Payment System (VA FFPS); a Computer Generated Funding Fee Receipt, VA Form 26-8986. OMB Control Number: 2900...
Hollenbach, D.F.; Dodds, H.L.; Petrie, L.M.
The development of the vector processor, which is used in the current generation of supercomputers and is beginning to be used in workstations, provides the potential for dramatic speed-up for codes that are able to process data as vectors. Unfortunately, the stochastic nature of Monte Carlo codes prevents the old scalar version of these codes from taking advantage of the vector processors. New Monte Carlo algorithms that process all the histories undergoing the same event as a batch are required. Recently, new vectorized Monte Carlo codes have been developed that show significant speed-ups when compared to the scalar version of themselves or equivalent codes. This paper discusses the vectorization of an already existing and widely used criticality safety code, KENO V.a All the changes made to KENO V.a are transparent to the user making it possible to upgrade from the standard scalar version of KENO V.a to the vectorized version without learning a new code
Fortier, Catherine Brawn; Amick, Melissa M; Kenna, Alexandra; Milberg, William P; McGlinchey, Regina E
Mild traumatic brain injury is the signature injury of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND), yet its identification and diagnosis is controversial and fraught with challenges. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented a policy requiring traumatic brain injury (TBI) screening on all individuals returning from deployment in the OEF/OIF/OND theaters of operation that lead to the rapid and widespread use of the VA TBI screen. The Boston Assessment of TBI-Lifetime (BAT-L) is the first validated, postcombat semistructured clinical interview to characterize head injuries and diagnose TBIs throughout the life span, including prior to, during, and post-military service. Community-dwelling convenience sample of 179 OEF/OIF/OND veterans. BAT-L, VA TBI screen. Based on BAT-L diagnosis of military TBI, the VA TBI screen demonstrated similar sensitivity (0.85) and specificity (0.82) when administered by research staff. When BAT-L diagnosis was compared with historical clinician-administered VA TBI screen in a subset of participants, sensitivity was reduced. The specificity of the research-administered VA TBI screen was more than adequate. The sensitivity of the VA TBI screen, although relatively high, suggests that it does not oversample or "catch all" possible military TBIs. Traumatic brain injuries identified by the BAT-L, but not identified by the VA TBI screen, were predominantly noncombat military injuries. There is potential concern regarding the validity and reliability of the clinician administered VA TBI screen, as we found poor correspondence between it and the BAT-L, as well as low interrater reliability between the clinician-administered and research-administered screen.
Gellad, Walid F.; Donohue, Julie M.; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K.; Thorpe, Carolyn T.; Smith, Jeremy; Good, Chester B.; Fine, Michael J.; Morden, Nancy E.
Background Medicare Part D and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) use different approaches to manage prescription drug benefits, with implications for spending. Medicare relies on private plans with distinct formularies, whereas VA administers its own benefit using a national formulary. Objective To compare overall and regional rates of brand-name drug use among older adults with diabetes in Medicare and VA. Design Retrospective cohort Setting Medicare and VA Patients National sample in 2008 of 1,061,095 Part D beneficiaries and 510,485 Veterans age 65+ with diabetes. Measurements Percent of patients on oral hypoglycemics, statins, and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor-blockers who filled brand-name drugs and percent of patients on long-acting insulin who filled analogues. We compared sociodemographic and health-status adjusted hospital referral region (HRR) brand-name use to examine local practice patterns, and calculated changes in spending if each system’s brand-name use mirrored the other. Results Brand-name use in Medicare was 2–3 times that of VA: 35.3% vs. 12.7% for oral hypoglycemics, 50.7% vs. 18.2% for statins, 42.5% vs. 20.8% for angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor-blockers, and 75.1% vs. 27.0% for insulin analogues. Adjusted HRR brand-name statin use ranged (5th to 95th percentile) from 41.0%–58.3% in Medicare and 6.2%–38.2% in VA. For each drug group, the HRR at the 95th percentile in VA had lower brand-name use than the 5th percentile HRR in Medicare. Medicare spending in this population would have been $1.4 billion less if brand-name use matched the VA for these medications. Limitation This analysis cannot fully describe the factors underlying differences in brand-name use. Conclusions Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes use 2–3 times more brand-name drugs than a comparable group within VA, at substantial excess cost. Primary Funding Sources VA; NIH; RWJF PMID:23752663
Harris, J I; Strom, Thad Q; Ferrier-Auerbach, Amanda G; Kaler, Matthew E; Hansen, Lucas P; Erbes, Christopher R
For Veterans managing PTSD symptoms, returning to vocational functioning is often challenging; identifying modifiable variables that can contribute to positive vocational adjustment is critical to improved vocational rehabilitation services. Workplace social support has proven to be important in vocational adjustment in both general population and vocational rehabilitation samples, but this area of inquiry has received little attention among Veterans with PTSD symptoms. In this small correlational study, employed Veterans (N = 63) presenting for outpatient PTSD treatment at a VA Health Care System completed surveys assessing demographic variables, PTSD symptoms, workplace social support, and job satisfaction. Workplace social support contributed to the prediction of job satisfaction. It is of note that workplace social support predicted a larger proportion of the variance in employment satisfaction than PTSD symptoms. Further research on workplace social support as a vocational rehabilitation resource for Veterans with PTSD is indicated.
J I Harris
Full Text Available For Veterans managing PTSD symptoms, returning to vocational functioning is often challenging; identifying modifiable variables that can contribute to positive vocational adjustment is critical to improved vocational rehabilitation services. Workplace social support has proven to be important in vocational adjustment in both general population and vocational rehabilitation samples, but this area of inquiry has received little attention among Veterans with PTSD symptoms. In this small correlational study, employed Veterans (N = 63 presenting for outpatient PTSD treatment at a VA Health Care System completed surveys assessing demographic variables, PTSD symptoms, workplace social support, and job satisfaction. Workplace social support contributed to the prediction of job satisfaction. It is of note that workplace social support predicted a larger proportion of the variance in employment satisfaction than PTSD symptoms. Further research on workplace social support as a vocational rehabilitation resource for Veterans with PTSD is indicated.
Findley, Patricia; Shen, Chan; Sambamoorthi, Usha
This study investigated the association between multimorbidity and persistent depression among cohorts of veterans with diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension. The retrospective longitudinal analysis used national administrative data on around 1.38 million Veteran Health Administration clinic users merged with Medicare claims data.…
Frakt, Austin B; Pizer, Steven D; Hendricks, Ann M
Medicare and the Veterans Health Administration (VA) both finance large outpatient prescription drug programs, though in very different ways. In the ongoing debate on how to control Medicare spending, some suggest that Medicare should negotiate directly with drug manufacturers, as the VA does. In this article we relate the role of interest groups to policy differences between Medicare and the VA and, in doing so, explain why such a large change to the Medicare drug program is unlikely. We argue that key policy differences are attributable to stable differences in interest group involvement. While this stability makes major changes in Medicare unlikely, it suggests the possibility of leveraging VA drug purchasing to achieve savings in Medicare. This could be done through a VA-administered drug-only benefit for Medicare-enrolled veterans. Such a partnership could incorporate key elements of both programs: capacity to accept large numbers of enrollees (like Medicare) and leverage to negotiate prescription drug prices (like the VA). Moreover, it could be implemented at no cost to the VA while achieving savings for Medicare and beneficiaries.
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...
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...
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...
... the beaches of Normandy, from t... [...] Read Article House Doubles Down on Commitment to Veterans 08 Nov ... R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed nine veterans bills Tuesday and ...
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...
Gayed, Benjamin; Black, Stephen; Daggy, Joanne; Munshi, Imtiaz A
In April 2009, an analysis of joint replacement surgical procedures at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, revealed that total hip and knee replacements incurred $1.4 million in non-Veterans Affairs (VA) care costs with an average length of stay of 6.1 days during fiscal year 2008. The Joint Replacement Program system redesign project was initiated following the Vision-Analysis-Team-Aim-Map-Measure-Change-Sustain (VA-TAMMCS) model to increase efficiency, decrease length of stay, and reduce non-VA care costs. To determine the effectiveness of Lean Six Sigma process improvement methods applied in a VA hospital. Perioperative processes for patients undergoing total joint replacement were redesigned following the VA-TAMMCS model--the VA's official, branded method of Lean Six Sigma process improvement. A multidisciplinary team including the orthopedic surgeons, frontline staff, and executive management identified waste in the current processes and initiated changes to reduce waste and increase efficiency. Data collection included a 1-year baseline period and a 20-month sustainment period. The primary endpoint was length of stay; a secondary analysis considered non-VA care cost reductions. Length of stay decreased 36% overall, decreasing from 5.3 days during the preproject period to 3.4 days during the 20-month sustainment period (P Lean and Six Sigma process improvement initiatives in a surgical practice, producing a 36% sustained reduction in length of stay and completely eliminating non-VA care for total hip and knee replacements while increasing total joint replacement volume at this medical center.
Shepherd-Banigan, Megan; Smith, Valerie A.; Stechuchak, Karen M.; Miller, Katherine E. M.; Hastings, Susan Nicole; Wieland, Gilbert Darryl; Olsen, Maren K.; Kabat, Margaret; Henius, Jennifer; Campbell-Kotler, Margaret; Van Houtven, Courtney Harold
Family caregivers are an important component of the long-term services and supports (LTSS) system. However, caregiving may have negative consequences for caregiver physical and emotional health. Connecting caregivers to formal short-term home- and community-based services (HCBS), through information resources and referrals, might alleviate family caregiver burden and delay nursing home entry for the patient. The aim of this study was to evaluate the early impact of the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) (established by P.L. 111-163 for family caregivers of seriously injured post-9/11 Veterans) on Veteran use of LTSS. A two-cohort pre-post design with a nonequivalent comparison group (treated n = 15 650; comparison n = 8339) was used to (1) examine the association between caregiver enrollment in PCAFC and any VA-purchased or VA-provided LTSS use among Veterans and (2) describe program-related trends in HCBS and institutional LTSS use. The comparison group was an inverse-propensity-score weighted sample of Veterans whose caregivers applied for, but were not accepted into, the program. From baseline through 24 months post application, use of any LTSS ranged from 13.1% to 17.8% for Veterans whose caregivers were enrolled in PCAFC versus from 3.8% to 5.3% for Veterans in the comparison group. Participation in PCAFC was associated with a statistically significant increased use of any LTSS from 1 to 24 months post application (over time odds ratios ranged from 2.71 [95% confidence interval: 2.31-3.17] to 4.86 [3.93-6.02]). Support for family caregivers may enhance utilization of LTSS for Veterans with physical, emotional, and/or cognitive conditions. PMID:29591540
Edwards, Samuel T; Saha, Somnath; Prentice, Julia C; Pizer, Steven D
To examine how medical complexity modifies the relationship between enrollment in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home-based primary care (HBPC) and hospitalization for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSC) for veterans with diabetes mellitus and whether the effect of HBPC on hospitalizations varies according to clinical condition. Retrospective cohort study. VA and non-VA hospitals. VA beneficiaries aged 67 and older with diabetes mellitus and enrolled in Medicare (N = 364,972). Instrumental variables regression models were used to estimate the effect of HBPC enrollment on hospitalization for ACSCs (defined according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Prevention Quality Indicators) overall and in subgroups stratified according to medical complexity. Models were also estimated for each ACSC to determine which conditions were most sensitive to HBPC. Distance from the veteran's residence to the nearest HBPC site was used as the instrumental variable. HBPC was associated with fewer ACSC hospitalizations (odds ratio (OR) = 0.35 per person-month, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.30-0.42). For veterans in the highest quartile of medical complexity, HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer ACSC hospitalizations (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.19-0.93), whereas for those in the lowest quartile, HBPC was associated with more ACSC hospitalizations (OR = 33.2, 95% CI = 4.6-240.1). HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer hospitalizations for a range of ACSCs. HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer hospitalizations for a range of ACSCs in veterans with diabetes mellitus but only in the most medically complex individuals. This demonstrates the importance of appropriate targeting and suggests that the effect of HBPC is attributable to its comprehensive approach rather than condition-specific interventions. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Full Text Available Shelley B Bhattacharya,1–3 Michelle I Rossi,1,2 Jennifer M Mentz11Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC, Veteran's Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, 2University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 3Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program, Pittsburgh, PA, USAIntroduction: Interprofessional patient care is a well-recognized path that health care systems are striving toward. The Veteran's Affairs (VA system initiated interprofessional practice (IPP models with their Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM programs. GEM programs incorporate a range of specialties, including but not limited to, medicine, nursing, social work, physical therapy and pharmacy, to collaboratively evaluate veterans. Despite being a valuable resource, they are now faced with significant cut-backs, including closures. The primary goal of this project was to assess how the GEM model could be optimized at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania VA to allow for the sustainability of this important IPP assessment. Part 1 of the study evaluated the IPP process using program, patient, and family surveys. Part 2 examined how well the geriatrician matched patients to specialists in the GEM model. This paper describes Part 1 of our study.Methods: Three strategies were used: 1 a national GEM program survey; 2 a veteran/family satisfaction survey; and 3 an absentee assessment.Results: Twenty-six of 92 programs responded to the GEM IPP survey. Six strategies were shared to optimize IPP models throughout the country. Of the 34 satisfaction surveys, 80% stated the GEM clinic was beneficial, 79% stated their concerns were addressed, and 100% would recommend GEM to their friends. Of the 24 absentee assessments, the top three reasons for missing the appointments were transportation, medical illnesses, and not knowing/remembering about the appointment. Absentee rate diminished from 41% to 19% after instituting a reminder phone call policy.Discussion: Maintaining the
7 subjects (1.3%) had monocular blindness with VA<3/60. 37 (3.3%) subjects had low vision with VA < 6/18-3/60. Conclusion: Most of the subjects were young people. Ocular disorders were encountered in computer users. Ocular health status of computer users can be improved through periodic ocular examination and ...
... things, altered the language upon which the Bryant Court relied. VA has determined that RIN 2900-AO06.... 20.706 and Appendix A, to return the regulations to the language in effect before August 23, 2011....120, Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance; 64.124, All- Volunteer Force Educational...
... Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 4331 et seq.), the Council on Environmental... the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SFVAMC) Institutional Master Plan AGENCY...: Comments should be addressed to John Pechman, Facility Planner, San Francisco VA Medical Center (001), 4150...
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.
Lypson, Monica L; Ross, Paula T; Zimmerman, Natalie; Goldrath, Kathryn E; Ravindranath, Divy
Addressing the medical concerns of veterans in both civilian health care systems and the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, where staff are familiar with issues of military reintegration, remains difficult but is increasingly important. In 2013, the authors developed and implemented a faculty development workshop for practicing clinicians using the documentary Where Soldiers Come From. The workshop included topics on unconscious bias, the service member trajectory, health care disparities, and strategies for overcoming barriers to treating veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The workshop engaged faculty in the following active-learning techniques: images in education; trigger video; critical thinking and reflective writing; think-pair-share; and large-group discussion. The workshop has been conducted at three locations with 46 health care professionals. Thirty-one of 37 (84%) participants who completed the workshop evaluation were VA employees. The evaluation results show 25/32 (78.1%) participants indicated the workshop activities changed their knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills; 22/34 (64.7%) stated they had a better understanding of how to develop a care plan for veterans; and 27/34 (79.4%) stated they gained a better understanding of how to prepare for issues around returning veterans. To address the issue of veteran-centered care education more broadly, the authors have developed a massive open online course for health professionals, using most of the content from this workshop, which will be offered in spring 2016. Another important next step will be to deliver this workshop to and collect evaluation data from non-VA providers.
Finley, Erin P; Noël, Polly H; Mader, Michael; Haro, Elizabeth; Bernardy, Nancy; Rosen, Craig S; Bollinger, Mary; Garcia, Hector; Sherrieb, Kathleen; Pugh, Mary Jo V
In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) to provide reimbursement for community-based care to eligible veterans. Inadequate networks of participating providers may impact the utility of VCP for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a complex condition occurring at lower frequency among civilians. To compare characteristics and attitudes of community-based primary care and mental health providers reporting interest or no interest in VCP participation during early implementation; and to examine perceptions and experiences of VCP among "early adopters." Cross-sectional surveys with 2 samples: a stratified random sample of mental health and primary care prescribers and psychotherapists drawn from state licensing boards (Community Sample); and a stratified random sample of prescribers and psychotherapists identified as VCP-authorized providers (VCP-Authorized). Five hundred fifty-three respondents in the Community Sample and 115 in the VCP-Authorized (total, n=668; 21.1% response). Surveys assessed provider and practice characteristics, attitudes to VA and VCP, and experiences and satisfaction with the VCP; an open-ended survey item assessed providers' reasons for interest or lack of interest in VCP participation. Few providers reported VCP participation during this period. Interest in VCP participation was associated across provider groups with factors including being a veteran and receiving VA reimbursement; currently providing treatment for PTSD was associated with interest in VCP participation among psychotherapists, but not prescribers. Developing networks of VCP providers to serve Veterans with PTSD is likely to require targeting more receptive provider groups, reducing barriers to participation, and more effectively communicating the value of VCP participation to providers.
Mileski, Michael; Scott Kruse, Clemens; Brooks, Matthew; Haynes, Christine; Collingwood, Ying; Rodriguez, Rachel
technology and preventative care. Veterans are hindered from receiving help with their dementia concerns due to most veteran's dependence on the Veterans Affairs (VA) for health services, a lack of education about possible treatments and programs, and a lack of services in rural areas. This review will prove useful to providers when evaluating the expansion of VA services and caregiver interventions. Reprint & Copyright © 2017 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
Heget, Jeffrey R; Bagian, James P; Lee, Caryl Z; Gosbee, John W
In 1998 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) created the National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) to lead the effort to reduce adverse events and close calls systemwide. NCPS's aim is to foster a culture of safety in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by developing and providing patient safety programs and delivering standardized tools, methods, and initiatives to the 163 VA facilities. To create a system-oriented approach to patient safety, NCPS looked for models in fields such as aviation, nuclear power, human factors, and safety engineering. Core concepts included a non-punitive approach to patient safety activities that emphasizes systems-based learning, the active seeking out of close calls, which are viewed as opportunities for learning and investigation, and the use of interdisciplinary teams to investigate close calls and adverse events through a root cause analysis (RCA) process. Participation by VA facilities and networks was voluntary. NCPS has always aimed to develop a program that would be applicable both within the VA and beyond. NCPS's full patient safety program was tested and implemented throughout the VA system from November 1999 to August 2000. Program components included an RCA system for use by caregivers at the front line, a system for the aggregate review of RCA results, information systems software, alerts and advisories, and cognitive acids. Following program implementation, NCPS saw a 900-fold increase in reporting of close calls of high-priority events, reflecting the level of commitment to the program by VHA leaders and staff.
Brunner, Julian; Chuang, Emmeline; Goldzweig, Caroline; Cain, Cindy L; Sugar, Catherine; Yano, Elizabeth M
A growing literature has demonstrated the ability of user-centered design to make clinical decision support systems more effective and easier to use. However, studies of user-centered design have rarely examined more than a handful of sites at a time, and have frequently neglected the implementation climate and organizational resources that influence clinical decision support. The inclusion of such factors was identified by a systematic review as "the most important improvement that can be made in health IT evaluations." (1) Identify the prevalence of four user-centered design practices at United States Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics and assess the perceived utility of clinical decision support at those clinics; (2) Evaluate the association between those user-centered design practices and the perceived utility of clinical decision support. We analyzed clinic-level survey data collected in 2006-2007 from 170 VA primary care clinics. We examined four user-centered design practices: 1) pilot testing, 2) provider satisfaction assessment, 3) formal usability assessment, and 4) analysis of impact on performance improvement. We used a regression model to evaluate the association between user-centered design practices and the perceived utility of clinical decision support, while accounting for other important factors at those clinics, including implementation climate, available resources, and structural characteristics. We also examined associations separately at community-based clinics and at hospital-based clinics. User-centered design practices for clinical decision support varied across clinics: 74% conducted pilot testing, 62% conducted provider satisfaction assessment, 36% conducted a formal usability assessment, and 79% conducted an analysis of impact on performance improvement. Overall perceived utility of clinical decision support was high, with a mean rating of 4.17 (±.67) out of 5 on a composite measure. "Analysis of impact on performance
Liu, Winnie; Saxon, David R; McNair, Bryan; Sanagorski, Rebecca; Rasouli, Neda
Rates of diabetes for veterans who receive health care through the Veterans Health Administration are higher than rates in the general population. Furthermore, many veterans live in rural locations, far from Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, thus limiting their ability to readily seek face-to-face endocrinology care for diabetes. Telehealth (TH) technologies present an opportunity to improve access to specialty diabetes care for such patients; however, there is a lack of evidence regarding the ability of TH to improve glycemic control in comparison to traditional face-to-face consultations. This was a retrospective cohort study of all new endocrinology diabetes consultations at the Denver VA Medical Center over a 1-year period. A total of 189 patients were included in the analysis. In all, 85 patients had received face-to-face (FTF) endocrinology consultation for diabetes and 104 patients had received TH consultation. Subjects were mostly males (94.7%) and the mean age was 62.8 ± 10.1 years old. HbA1c improved from 9.76% (9.40% to 10.11%) to 8.55% (8.20% to 8.91%) (P Endocrinology TH consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional FTF visits in a veteran population with diabetes. © 2016 Diabetes Technology Society.
Full Text Available Background. Most genetic disorders are caused by single nucleotide variations (SNVs or small insertion/deletions (indels. High throughput sequencing has broadened the catalogue of human variation, including common polymorphisms, rare variations or disease causing mutations. However, identifying one variation among hundreds or thousands of others is still a complex task for biologists, geneticists and clinicians.Results. We have developed VaRank, a command-line tool for the ranking of genetic variants detected by high-throughput sequencing. VaRank scores and prioritizes variants annotated either by Alamut Batch or SnpEff. A barcode allows users to quickly view the presence/absence of variants (with homozygote/heterozygote status in analyzed samples. VaRank supports the commonly used VCF input format for variants analysis thus allowing it to be easily integrated into NGS bioinformatics analysis pipelines. VaRank has been successfully applied to disease-gene identification as well as to molecular diagnostics setup for several hundred patients.Conclusions. VaRank is implemented in Tcl/Tk, a scripting language which is platform-independent but has been tested only on Unix environment. The source code is available under the GNU GPL, and together with sample data and detailed documentation can be downloaded from http://www.lbgi.fr/VaRank/.
Syme, Maggie L; Delaney, Eileen; Wachen, Jennifer Schuster; Gosian, Jeffrey; Moye, Jennifer
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.
Horner, David J; Wendel, Christopher S; Skeps, Raymond; Rawl, Susan M; Grant, Marcia; Schmidt, C Max; Ko, Clifford Y; Krouse, Robert S
Intestinal stomas (ostomies) have been associated negatively with multiple aspects of health-related quality of life. This article examines the relationship between employment status and psychological well-being (PWB) in veterans who underwent major bowel procedures with or without ostomy. Veterans from 3 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers were surveyed using the City of Hope ostomy-specific questionnaire and the Short Form 36 item Veteran's version (SF-36V). Response rate was 48% (511 of 1,063). Employment and PWB relationship was assessed using multiple regression with age, income, SF-36V physical component summary (PCS), and employment status as independent variables. Employed veterans reported higher PWB compared with unemployed veterans (P = .003). Full-time workers also reported higher PWB than part-time or unemployed workers (P = .001). Ostomy was not an independent predictor of PWB. Employment among veterans after major abdominal surgery may have intrinsic value for PWB. Patients should be encouraged to return to work, or do volunteer work after recovery. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Harada, Nancy D; Traylor, Laural; Rugen, Kathryn Wirtz; Bowen, Judith L; Smith, C Scott; Felker, Bradford; Ludke, Deborah; Tonnu-Mihara, Ivy; Ruberg, Joshua L; Adler, Jayson; Uhl, Kimberly; Gardner, Annette L; Gilman, Stuart C
This paper describes the Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE), a seven-site collaborative project funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) within the Veterans Health Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The CoEPCE was established to fulfill OAA's vision of large-scale transformation of the clinical learning environment within VA primary care settings. This was accomplished by funding new Centers within VA facilities to develop models of interprofessional education (IPE) to teach health professions trainees to deliver high quality interprofessional team-based primary care to Veterans. Using reports and data collected and maintained by the National Coordinating Center over the first six years of the project, we describe program inputs, the multicomponent intervention, activities undertaken to develop the intervention, and short-term outcomes. The findings have implications for lessons learned that can be considered by others seeking large-scale transformation of education within the clinical workplace and the development of interprofessional clinical learning environments. Within the VA, the CoEPCE has laid the foundation for IPE and collaborative practice, but much work remains to disseminate this work throughout the national VA system.
Watkins, Katherine E; Smith, Brad; Akincigil, Ayse; Sorbero, Melony E; Paddock, Susan; Woodroffe, Abigail; Huang, Cecilia; Crystal, Stephen; Pincus, Harold Alan
The quality of mental health care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was compared with care provided to a comparable population treated in the private sector. Two cohorts of individuals with mental disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, and substance use disorders) were created with VA administrative data (N=836,519) and MarketScan data (N=545,484). The authors computed VA and MarketScan national means for seven process-based quality measures related to medication evaluation and management and estimated national-level performance by age and gender. In every case, VA performance was superior to that of the private sector by more than 30%. Compared with individuals in private plans, veterans with schizophrenia or major depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate initial medication treatment, and veterans with depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate long-term treatment. Findings demonstrate the significant advantages that accrue from an organized, nationwide system of care. The much higher performance of the VA has important clinical and policy implications.
Martinez, Michelle E; Kearney, David J; Simpson, Tracy; Felleman, Benjamin I; Bernardi, Nicole; Sayre, George
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is associated with reduced depressive symptoms, quality of life improvements, behavioral activation, and increased acceptance among veterans. This study was conducted to increase the reach and impact of a veterans' MBSR program by identifying barriers to enrollment and participation to inform modifications in program delivery. Verify or challenge suspected barriers, and identify previously unrecognized barriers, to enrollment and participation in MBSR among veterans. A retrospective qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews. VA Puget Sound Health Care System (Seattle, WA). 68 interviewed, and 48 coded and analyzed before reaching saturation. Content analysis of semistructured interviews. Of the participants who enrolled, most (78%) completed the program and described MBSR positively. Veterans identified insufficient or inaccurate information, scheduling issues, and an aversion to groups as barriers to enrollment. Participants who discontinued the program cited logistics (e.g., scheduling and medical issues), negative reactions to instructors or group members, difficulty understanding the MBSR practice purposes, and struggling to find time for the practices as barriers to completion. Other challenges (cohort dynamics, teacher impact on group structure and focus, instructor lack of military service, and physical and psychological challenges) did not impede participation; we interpreted these as growth-facilitating challenges. Common conditions among veterans (chronic pain, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression) were not described as barriers to enrollment or completion. Women-only MBSR groups and tele-health MBSR groups could improve accessibility to MBSR for veterans by addressing barriers such as commute anxiety, time restrictions, and an aversion to mixed gender groups among women. Educating MBSR teachers about veteran culture and health challenges faced by veterans, adding psychoeducation materials that
Rosen, Craig S; Greenbaum, Mark A; Fitt, Julie E; Laffaye, Charlene; Norris, Virginia A; Kimerling, Rachel
Survey and medical record data from 482 Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who recently received diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were examined to determine need and predisposing factors associated with utilization of psychotherapy and counseling. More than half (58%) of participants initiated VA psychotherapy for PTSD within a year of diagnosis. Of those, one third completed eight or more sessions. Roughly two thirds of participants initiated counseling at a Vet Center. Initiating PTSD psychotherapy was associated with greater impairment but not with stigma, concerns about fitting in, or satisfaction with care. The use of Vet Center counseling was associated with desire for help, concerns about fitting in, and satisfaction with care. Unexpectedly, veterans with greater stigma concerns completed more psychotherapy visits and Vet Center counseling. Negative attitudes about mental health treatment did not seem to be substantial barriers to engaging in psychotherapy among these VA patients. Future research should consider enabling treatment system factors in addition to predisposing patient characteristics.
Shay, Kenneth; Hyduke, Barbara; Burris, James F
The leaders of Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) undertook a strategic planning process that led to approval in 2009 of a multidisciplinary, evidence-guided strategic plan. This article reviews the four goals contained in that plan and describes VHA's progress in addressing them. The goals included transforming the healthcare system to a veteran-centric approach, achieving universal access to a panel of services, ensuring that the Veterans Affair's (VA) healthcare workforce was adequately prepared to manage the needs of the growing elderly veteran population, and integrating continuous improvement into all care enhancements. There has been substantial progress in addressing all four goals. All VHA health care has undergone an extensive transformation to patient-centered care, has enriched the services it can offer caregivers of dependent veterans, and has instituted models to better integrate VA and non-VA cares and services. A range of successful models of geriatric care described in the professional literature has been adapted to VA environments to gauge suitability for broader implementation. An executive-level task force developed a three-pronged approach for enhancing the VA's geriatric workforce. The VHA's performance measurement approaches increasingly include incentives to enhance the quality of management of vulnerable elderly adults in primary care. The GEC strategic plan was intended to serve as a road map for keeping VHA aligned with an ambitious but important long-term vision for GEC services. Although no discrete set of resources was appropriated for fulfillment of the plan's recommendations, this initial report reflects substantial progress in addressing most of its goals. © 2013, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2013, The American Geriatrics Society.
Association of Admission to Veterans Affairs Hospitals vs Non-Veterans Affairs Hospitals With Mortality and Readmission Rates Among Older Men Hospitalized With Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, or Pneumonia.
Nuti, Sudhakar V; Qin, Li; Rumsfeld, John S; Ross, Joseph S; Masoudi, Frederick A; Normand, Sharon-Lise T; Murugiah, Karthik; Bernheim, Susannah M; Suter, Lisa G; Krumholz, Harlan M
Little contemporary information is available about comparative performance between Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals, particularly related to mortality and readmission rates, 2 important outcomes of care. To assess and compare mortality and readmission rates among men in VA and non-VA hospitals. Cross-sectional analysis involving male Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 years or older hospitalized between 2010 and 2013 in VA and non-VA acute care hospitals for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), or pneumonia using the Medicare Standard Analytic Files and Enrollment Database together with VA administrative claims data. To avoid confounding geographic effects with health care system effects, we studied VA and non-VA hospitals within the same metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Hospitalization in a VA or non-VA hospital in MSAs that contained at least 1 VA and non-VA hospital. For each condition, 30-day risk-standardized mortality rates and risk-standardized readmission rates for VA and non-VA hospitals. Mean aggregated within-MSA differences in mortality and readmission rates were also assessed. We studied 104 VA and 1513 non-VA hospitals, with each condition-outcome analysis cohort for VA and non-VA hospitals containing at least 7900 patients (men; ≥65 years), in 92 MSAs. Mortality rates were lower in VA hospitals than non-VA hospitals for AMI (13.5% vs 13.7%, P = .02; -0.2 percentage-point difference) and HF (11.4% vs 11.9%, P = .008; -0.5 percentage-point difference), but higher for pneumonia (12.6% vs 12.2%, P = .045; 0.4 percentage-point difference). In contrast, readmission rates were higher in VA hospitals for all 3 conditions (AMI, 17.8% vs 17.2%, 0.6 percentage-point difference; HF, 24.7% vs 23.5%, 1.2 percentage-point difference; pneumonia, 19.4% vs 18.7%, 0.7 percentage-point difference, all P percentage-point difference, -0.22; 95% CI, -0.40 to -0.04) and HF (-0.63; 95% CI, -0.95 to -0.31), and
Oliva, Elizabeth M; Nevedal, Andrea; Lewis, Eleanor T; McCaa, Matthew D; Cochran, Michael F; Konicki, P Eric; Davis, Corey S; Wilder, Christine
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
Hull, Amanda; Brooks Holliday, Stephanie; Eickhoff, Christine; Sullivan, Patrick; Courtney, Rena; Sossin, Kayla; Adams, Alyssa; Reinhard, Matthew
Complementary and integrative health (CIH) services are being used more widely across the nation, including in both military and veteran hospital settings. Literature suggests that a variety of CIH services show promise in treating a wide range of physical and mental health disorders. Notably, the Department of Veterans Affairs is implementing CIH services within the context of a health care transformation, changing from disease based health care to a personalized, proactive, patient-centered approach where the veteran, not the disease, is at the center of care. This study examines self-reported physical and mental health outcomes associated with participation in the Integrative Health and Wellness Program, a comprehensive CIH program at the Washington DC VA Medical Center and one of the first wellbeing programs of its kind within the VA system. Using a prospective cohort design, veterans enrolled in the Integrative Health and Wellness Program filled out self-report measures of physical and mental health throughout program participation, including at enrollment, 12 weeks, and 6 months. Analyses revealed that veterans reported significant improvements in their most salient symptoms of concern (primarily pain or mental health symptoms), physical quality of life, wellbeing, and ability to participate in valued activities at follow-up assessments. These results illustrate the potential of CIH services, provided within a comprehensive clinic focused on wellbeing not disease, to improve self-reported health, wellbeing, and quality of life in a veteran population. Additionally, data support recent VA initiatives to increase the range of CIH services available and the continued growth of wellbeing programs within VA settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
...; disregards case law indicating contract awards resulting from fraudulent representation are considered void... close of business on the fifth business day after notification by the contracting officer of the... party. If the Director, CVE, does not contact the contracting officer within 21 business days, the...
Turvey, Carolyn L; Zulman, Donna M; Nazi, Kim M; Wakefield, Bonnie J; Woods, Susan S; Hogan, Timothy P; Weaver, Frances M; McInnes, Keith
Personal health records provide patients with ownership of their health information and allow them to share information with multiple healthcare providers. However, the usefulness of these records relies on patients understanding and using their records appropriately. My HealtheVet is a Web-based patient portal containing a personal health record administered by the Veterans Health Administration. The goal of this study was to explore veterans' interest and use of My HealtheVet to transfer and share information as well as to identify opportunities to increase veteran use of the My HealtheVet functions. Two waves of data were collected in 2010 through an American Customer Satisfaction Index Web-based survey. A random sample of veterans using My HealtheVet was invited to participate in the survey conducted on the My HealtheVet portal through a Web-based pop-up browser window. Wave One results (n=25,898) found that 41% of veterans reported printing information, 21% reported saving information electronically, and only 4% ever sent information from My HealtheVet to another person. In Wave Two (n=18,471), 30% reported self-entering medication information, with 18% sharing this information with their Veterans Affairs (VA) provider and 9.6% sharing with their non-VA provider. Although veterans are transferring important medical information from their personal health records, increased education and awareness are needed to increase use. Personal health records have the potential to improve continuity of care. However, more research is needed on both the barriers to adoption as well as the actual impact on patient health outcomes and well-being.
... Payment Request for the VA Funding Fee Payment System (VA FFPS); A Computer Generated Funding Fee Receipt... Payment Request for the VA Funding Fee Payment System (VA FFPS); A Computer Generated Funding Fee Receipt... information through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at http://www.Regulations.gov or to Nancy J...
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... Payment Request for the VA Funding Fee Payment System (VA FFPS); A Computer Generated Funding Fee Receipt... Payment Request for the VA Funding Fee Payment System (VA FFPS); A Computer Generated Funding Fee Receipt... information through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at http://www.Regulations.gov or to Nancy J...
Sokolovsky, K. V.; Lebedev, A. A.
Variability Search Toolkit (VaST) is a software package designed to find variable objects in a series of sky images. It can be run from a script or interactively using its graphical interface. VaST relies on source list matching as opposed to image subtraction. SExtractor is used to generate source lists and perform aperture or PSF-fitting photometry (with PSFEx). Variability indices that characterize scatter and smoothness of a lightcurve are computed for all objects. Candidate variables are identified as objects having high variability index values compared to other objects of similar brightness. The two distinguishing features of VaST are its ability to perform accurate aperture photometry of images obtained with non-linear detectors and handle complex image distortions. The software has been successfully applied to images obtained with telescopes ranging from 0.08 to 2.5 m in diameter equipped with a variety of detectors including CCD, CMOS, MIC and photographic plates. About 1800 variable stars have been discovered with VaST. It is used as a transient detection engine in the New Milky Way (NMW) nova patrol. The code is written in C and can be easily compiled on the majority of UNIX-like systems. VaST is free software available at http://scan.sai.msu.ru/vast/.
Goetz, MB; Bowman, C; Hoang, T; Anaya, H; Osborn, T; Gifford, AL; Asch, SM
Abstract Background We describe how we used the framework of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) to develop a program to improve rates of diagnostic testing for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This venture was prompted by the observation by the CDC that 25% of HIV-infected patients do not know their diagnosis – a point of substantial importance to the VA, which is the largest provider of HIV care in the United States. Methods Fo...
Hernandez, Maria Del Pilar; Vance, Evan; Gilinski, Dani; Youtseff, Helen; Toro, Maribel; Antoine, Marie; Jeffers, Lennox J.; Peyton, Adam
Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection remains a priority in the veterans affairs (VA) health care system nationwide, as there is a high burden of liver disease due to HCV infection among US veterans. The combination of sofosbuvir and simeprevir was the first all-oral antiviral regimen used in clinical practice to treat veterans with HCV infection. In this study, we report a single-center experience showing both the feasibility and effectiveness of this all-oral combination to treat HCV genotype 1 infection. One hundred patients with HCV genotype 1 infection were treated between December 2013 and June 2014. Eighty-six patients were treated with sofosbuvir and simeprevir, with or without ribavirin, for 12 weeks; 12 patients were treated with sofosbuvir, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin for 12 weeks; and 2 patients were treated with sofosbuvir and ribavirin for 24 weeks. Overall, treatment was well tolerated and feasible, with compliance rates over 95% in patients treated with all-oral therapy. The sustained virologic response (SVR) rate for sofosbuvir and simeprevir (88.4%) was superior to the rate for sofosbuvir, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin (50.0%). Subgroup analysis showed diminished SVR rates in cirrhotic patients vs noncirrhotic patients. There were no significant differences in SVR when comparing treatment with or without ribavirin or among genotype subtypes. In conclusion, this study demonstrated excellent completion rates for all-oral treatment of veterans with chronic HCV infection. Additionally, treatment was highly effective, nearing a 90% cure rate. Thus, we recommend that the VA health care system continue to incorporate new HCV medications into its formulary so as to expand HCV treatment for US veterans. PMID:27917084
Barnett, Mitchell J; Perry, Paul J; Langstaff, Jodi D; Kaboli, Peter J
Inappropriate prescribing in the elderly is common, but rates across different health care systems and the impact of formulary restrictions are not well described. To determine if rates of inappropriate medication use in the elderly differ between the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system and the private sector Medicare health maintenance organization (HMO) patients. A cross-sectional study design compared administrative pharmacy claims from 10 distinct geographic regions in the United States in the VA health care system and 10 analogous regions for patients enrolled in Medicare HMOs. The cohorts included 123,633 VA and 157,517 Medicare HMO patients aged 65 years and older. Inappropriate medication use was identified using the Zhan modification of the Beers criteria, which categorizes 33 potentially inappropriate drugs into 3 major classifications: "always avoid," "rarely appropriate," and "some indications." Comparisons between the VA health care system and the private sector Medicare HMO were performed for overall differences and stratified by gender and age. The drug formulary status of the Zhan-criteria drugs was known for the VA health system but not for the Medicare HMO patients. Compared with private sector patients, VA patients were less likely to receive any inappropriate medication (21% vs. 29%, P private sector for males (21% vs. 24%, P private sector Medicare HMOs, elderly VA patients were less likely to receive medications defined by the Zhan criteria as potentially inappropriate. A restrictive formulary that excludes 12 of the 33 Zhan criteria drugs may be a factor in the reduction of undesired prescribing patterns in elderly populations.
Hamilton, Alison B; Poza, Ines; Washington, Donna L
Veterans comprise a disproportionate fraction of the nation's homeless population, with women veterans up to four times more likely to be homeless than non-veteran women. This paper provides a grounded description of women veterans' pathways into homelessness. Three focus groups were held in Los Angeles, California, with a total of 29 homeless women veterans. Five predominant "roots" (precipitating experiences) initiated pathways toward homelessness: 1) childhood adversity, 2) trauma and/or substance abuse during military service, 3) post-military abuse, adversity, and/or relationship termination, 4) post-military mental health, substance abuse, and/or medical problems, and 5) unemployment. Contextual factors, which promoted development of homelessness in the setting of primary roots, included women veterans' "survivor instinct," lack of social support and resources, sense of isolation, pronounced sense of independence, and barriers to care. These contextual factors also reinforced persistence of the roots of post-military adversity and mental health and substance abuse problems, serving to maintain cycles of chronic homelessness. Collectively, these multiple, interacting roots and contextual factors form a "web of vulnerability" that is a target for action. Multiple points along the pathways to homelessness represent critical junctures for VA and community-based organizations to engage in prevention or intervention efforts on behalf of women veterans. Considering the multiple, interconnected challenges that these women veterans described, solutions to homelessness should address multiple risk factors, include trauma-informed care that acknowledges women veterans' traumatic experiences, and incorporate holistic responses that can contribute to healing and recovery. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Jonathan M Olson
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
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...
Hammond, Kenric W; Ben-Ari, Alon Y; Laundry, Ryan J; Boyko, Edward J; Samore, Matthew H
Free text in electronic health records resists large-scale analysis. Text records facts of interest not found in encoded data, and text mining enables their retrieval and quantification. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinical data repository affords an opportunity to apply text-mining methodology to study clinical questions in large populations. To assess the feasibility of text mining, investigation of the relationship between exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and recorded diagnoses was conducted among all VA-treated Gulf war veterans, utilizing all progress notes recorded from 2000-2011. Text processing extracted ACE exposures recorded among 44.7 million clinical notes belonging to 243,973 veterans. The relationship of ACE exposure to adult illnesses was analyzed using logistic regression. Bias considerations were assessed. ACE score was strongly associated with suicide attempts and serious mental disorders (ORs = 1.84 to 1.97), and less so with behaviorally mediated and somatic conditions (ORs = 1.02 to 1.36) per unit. Bias adjustments did not remove persistent associations between ACE score and most illnesses. Text mining to detect ACE exposure in a large population was feasible. Analysis of the relationship between ACE score and adult health conditions yielded patterns of association consistent with prior research. Copyright © 2015 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Siegel, Eliot L.; Reiner, Bruce I.; Kuzmak, Peter M.
The diffusion of PACS technology within the Department of Veterans Affairs has followed the 'S' curve transition originally described by Ryan and Gross in 1943. They described a paradigm that describes the diffusion of a new technology into the community. However the rate of adoption of filmless radiology by the VA has been much higher than that of the general healthcare system. This is likely due to the fact that the VA and Department of Defense medical systems are somewhat isolated and independent from other health care systems and are subject to a different rate of diffusion of technology. The early introduction and success of PACS in the VA undoubtedly accelerated its acceptance throughout the system. An additional impetus to the growth of PACS in the VA has been the development of an image management system that has been incorporated into the electronic medical record. The universal use of the VISTA HIS and RIS system throughout the VA and the fact that it was developed 'in-house' as well as its extensive support for DICOM functionality have also played a major role in facilitating the acceptance of Picture Archival and Communication Systems throughout the VA.
Veterans Crisis Line Skip to Main Content SuicidePreventionLifeline.org Get Help Materials Get Involved Crisis Centers About Be There ... Line FAQs Veteran Suicide Welcome to the Veterans Crisis Line Website The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans ...
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Full Text Available ... About About the Veterans Crisis Line FAQs Veteran Suicide Spread the Word Videos Homeless Resources Additional Information ... About About the Veterans Crisis Line FAQs Veteran Suicide The Veterans Crisis Line text-messaging service does ...
Afghanistan Veterans seen in VA care receiving this diagnosis. In addition to counseling therapies, several medications are effective in treating PTSD...disorder in Veterans, with nearly 1 in 3 returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans seen in VA care receiving this diagnosis. In addition to counseling ...than those prescribed non-antipsychotics. 4 Table 1: Characteristics by augmenting medication group Variable AAP (N=24,131) N (column %) NAP
Department of Veterans Affairs — Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning Value Model or SAIL, is a system for summarizing hospital system performance within Veterans Health Administration...
Zullig, Leah L; Williams, Christina D; Fortune-Britt, Alice G
Lung cancer (LC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) are the second- and third-most commonly diagnosed cancers in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. While many studies have evaluated the treatment quality and outcomes of various aspects of VA LC and CRC care, there are no known reviews synthesizing this information across studies. The purpose of this literature review was to describe LC and CRC treatment (ie, surgical and nonsurgical) and outcomes (eg, mortality, psychosocial, and other) in the VA health care system as reported in the existing peer-reviewed scientific literature. We identified potential articles through a search of published literature using the PubMed electronic database. Our search strategy identified articles containing Medical Subject Headings terms and keywords addressing veterans or veterans’ health and LC and/or CRC. We limited articles to those published in the previous 11 years (January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2013). A total of 230 articles were retrieved through the search. After applying the selection criteria, we included 74 studies (34 LC, 47 CRC, and seven both LC and CRC). VA provides a full array of treatments, often with better outcomes than other health care systems. More work is needed to assess patient-reported outcomes
LePage, J P; Bradshaw, L D; Cipher, D J; Crawford, A M; Hoosyhar, D
This study evaluates the prevalence of Multiple Comorbid Chronic Disease (MCCD) within homeless and non-homeless Veterans and the association between MCCD and inpatient medical care. All individuals seen in the VA North Texas Health Care System between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010 (n = 102,034) were evaluated. Homelessness during the year and the number of common chronic diseases were evaluated for an association with likelihood of medical and psychiatric hospitalizations, bed days of care, inpatient substance treatment, rehabilitation admissions, and emergency department visits. Homeless Veterans had higher all-cause mortality rates and rates of use of almost all resources after controlling for chronic disease burden using the Charlson Comorbidity Index, psychiatric illnesses, substance use disorders, and demographic variables. Homelessness Veterans are vulnerable to a high use of resources and mortality, independent of medical and psychiatric conditions. This finding should focus additional attention on reducing homelessness. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Muralidharan, Anjana; Klingaman, Elizabeth A; Molinari, Victor; Goldberg, Richard W
Individuals with serious mental illness endorse many more medical and psychosocial barriers to physical activity (PA) than the general population. However, it is unknown if older adults with serious mental illness are at greater risk of experiencing barriers to PA than their younger counterparts. The present study utilized a national VA dataset to compare veterans with serious mental illness ages 55 and older (n = 9,044) to veterans with serious mental illness ages 54 and younger (n = 8,782) on their responses to a questionnaire assessment of barriers to PA. Older veterans were more likely to endorse arthritis and cardiopulmonary disease, and less likely to endorse work schedule, as barriers to PA. Interventions designed to increase PA for young/middle-aged adults with serious mental illness may be broadly useful for older adults with serious mental illness, with some modification to address specific health concerns. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
There are 9.4 million military veterans receiving Social Security benefits, which means that almost one out of every four adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the United States military. In addition, veterans and their families make up almost 40 percent of the adult Social Security beneficiary population. Policymakers are particularly interested in military veterans and their families and have provided them with benefits through several government programs, including Social Security credits, home loan guarantees, and compensation and pension payments through the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is therefore important to understand the economic and demographic characteristics of this population. Information in this article is based on data from the March 2004 Current Population Survey, a large, nationally representative survey of U.S. households. Veterans are overwhelmingly male compared with all adult Social Security beneficiaries who are more evenly split between males and females. Military veterans receiving Social Security are more likely to be married and to have finished high school compared with all adult Social Security beneficiaries, and they are less likely to be poor or near poor than the overall beneficiary population. Fourteen percent of veterans receiving Social Security benefits have income below 150 percent of poverty, while 25 percent of all adult Social Security beneficiaries are below this level. The higher economic status among veterans is also reflected in the relatively high Social Security benefits they receive. The number of military veterans receiving Social Security benefits will remain high over the next few decades, while their make-up and characteristics will change. In particular, the number of Vietnam War veterans who receive Social Security will increase in the coming decades, while the number of veterans from World War II and the Korean War will decline.
... secure reasonable premium and copayment pricing through multiple tier options to allow enrollees to... program that offers premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and... regulations to establish VADIP, a pilot program that would offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled...
through the Affordable Healthcare Act ( ACA ) and other sources. Most veterans are not seen in VA facilities. The Geisinger Clinic, the community partner...group practice, ten hospital campuses, a 467,000-member health plan, and is one of the largest employers in the state. The knowledge gained from...Complete Analyses for Study Aim 3 ( Effectiveness ) and for Aim 4 (Genetics), Prepare Final Manuscripts for Review and Submission, Convene Final Conferences
Full Text Available The effects of a Finnish national school-based antibullying program (KiVa were evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (2007–2009 and during nationwide implementation (since 2009. The KiVa program is been found to reduce bullying and victimization and increase empathy towards victimized peers and self-efficacy to support and defend them. KiVa increases school liking and motivation and contributes to significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and negative peer perceptions. Somewhat larger reductions in bullying and victimization were found in the randomized controlled trial than in the broad rollout, and the largest effects were obtained in primary school (grades 1–6. The uptake of the KiVa program is remarkable, with 90 percent of Finnish comprehensive schools currently registered as program users.
Full Text Available Jenni B Teeters,1,2 Cynthia L Lancaster,1,2 Delisa G Brown,3 Sudie E Back1,2 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA; 2Ralph H Johnson Veterans Affairs (VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC, USA, 3Department of Human Development and Psychoeducation, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA Abstract: Substance use disorders (SUDs are a significant problem among our nation’s military veterans. In the following overview, we provide information on the prevalence of SUDs among military veterans, clinical characteristics of SUDs, options for screening and evidence-based treatment, as well as relevant treatment challenges. Among psychotherapeutic approaches, behavioral interventions for the management of SUDs typically involve short-term, cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions. These interventions focus on the identification and modification of maladaptive thoughts and behaviors associated with increased craving, use, or relapse to substances. Additionally, client-centered motivational interviewing approaches focus on increasing motivation to engage in treatment and reduce substance use. A variety of pharmacotherapies have received some support in the management of SUDs, primarily to help with the reduction of craving or withdrawal symptoms. Currently approved medications as well as treatment challenges are discussed. Keywords: addiction, alcohol use disorders, drug use disorders, treatment, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy
Pugh, Mary Jo; Swan, Alicia A; Carlson, Kathleen F; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Eapen, Blessen C; Dillahunt-Aspillaga, Christina; Amuan, Megan E; Delgado, Roxana E; McConnell, Kimberly; Finley, Erin P; Grafman, Jordan H
To examine the association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) severity; social, family, and community reintegration outcomes; and return to work status among post-9/11 veterans in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care. Retrospective observational cohort study. Mail/online survey fielded to a national sample of veterans. Sample of post-9/11 veterans with at least 3 years of VA care stratified according to TBI severity and comorbidities who completed and returned surveys (N=2023). Not applicable. Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory-2 family functioning and social support subscales; Military to Civilian Questionnaire; and employment status. Bivariate analyses revealed that veterans with every classification of TBI severity reported significantly more difficulty on social, family, and community reintegration outcomes than those with no TBI. In the fully adjusted model, veterans with unclassified and moderate/severe TBI reported significantly more difficulty with community reintegration and were less likely to be employed relative to those with no TBI; those with unclassified TBI also reported significantly more difficulty with family functioning. Veterans with mild TBI also reported significantly more difficulty with community reintegration. This study provides insight into long-term outcomes associated with TBI in post-9/11 veterans and suggests that exposure to TBI has a negative effect on social and family functioning, community reintegration, and return to work even after controlling for comorbidity, deployment experiences, and sociodemographic characteristics. Additional research is required to explicate what appears to be complex interactions among TBI severity, psychosocial well-being, combat exposures, and socioeconomic resources in this population. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Harrod, Molly; Manojlovich, Milisa; Kowalski, Christine P; Saint, Sanjay; Krein, Sarah L
Health care-associated infection (HAI) is costly to hospitals and potentially life-threatening to patients. Numerous infection prevention programs have been implemented in hospitals across the United States. Yet, little is known about infection prevention practices and implementation in rural hospitals. The purpose of this study was to understand the infection prevention practices used by rural Veterans' Affairs (VA) hospitals and the unique factors they face in implementing these practices. This study used a sequential, mixed methods approach. Survey data to identify the HAI prevention practices used by rural VA hospitals were collected, analyzed, and used to inform the development of a semistructured interview guide. Phone interviews were conducted followed by site visits to rural VA hospitals. We found that most rural VA hospitals were using key recommended infection prevention practices. Nonetheless, a number of challenges with practice implementation were identified. The 3 most prominent themes were: (1) lack of human capital including staff with HAI expertise; (2) having to cultivate needed resources; and (3) operating as a system within a system. Rural VA hospitals are providing key infection prevention services to ensure a safe environment for the veterans they serve. However, certain factors, such as staff expertise, limited resources, and local context impacted how and when these practices were used. The creative use of more accessible alternative resources as well as greater flexibility in implementing HAI-related initiatives may be important strategies to further improve delivery of these important services by rural VA hospitals. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
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
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.
Gellad, Walid F; Thorpe, Joshua M; Zhao, Xinhua; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Sileanu, Florentina E; Cashy, John P; Hale, Jennifer A; Mor, Maria K; Radomski, Thomas R; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Donohue, Julie M; Gordon, Adam J; Suda, Katie J; Stroupe, Kevin T; Hanlon, Joseph T; Cunningham, Francesca E; Good, Chester B; Fine, Michael J
To estimate the prevalence and consequences of receiving prescription opioids from both the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D. Among US veterans enrolled in both VA and Part D filling 1 or more opioid prescriptions in 2012 (n = 539 473), we calculated 3 opioid safety measures using morphine milligram equivalents (MME): (1) proportion receiving greater than 100 MME for 1 or more days, (2) mean days receiving greater than 100 MME, and (3) proportion receiving greater than 120 MME for 90 consecutive days. We compared these measures by opioid source. Overall, 135 643 (25.1%) veterans received opioids from VA only, 332 630 (61.7%) from Part D only, and 71 200 (13.2%) from both. The dual-use group was more likely than the VA-only group to receive greater than 100 MME for 1 or more days (34.3% vs 10.9%; adjusted risk ratio [ARR] = 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.9, 3.1), have more days with greater than 100 MME (42.5 vs 16.9 days; adjusted difference = 16.4 days; 95% CI = 15.7, 17.2), and to receive greater than 120 MME for 90 consecutive days (7.8% vs 3.1%; ARR = 2.2; 95% CI = 2.1, 2.3). Among veterans dually enrolled in VA and Medicare Part D, dual use of opioids was associated with more than 2 to 3 times the risk of high-dose opioid exposure.
Ghose, T; Fiellin, D A; Gordon, A J; Metraux, S; Goetz, M B; Blackstock, O; McInnes, K; Rodriguez-Barradas, M C; Justice, A C
While scholarship on alcohol use and homelessness has focused on the impact of alcohol abuse and dependence, little is known about the effects of lower levels of misuse such as hazardous use. Veterans receiving care in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System (VA) constitute a population that is vulnerable to alcohol misuse and homelessness. This research examines the effects of hazardous drinking on homelessness in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, a sample of 2898 older veterans (mean age=50.2), receiving care in 8 VAs across the country. Logistic regression models examined the associations between (1) hazardous drinking at baseline and homelessness at 1-year follow-up, (2) transitions into and out of hazardous drinking from baseline to follow-up and homelessness at follow-up, and (3) transitioning to hazardous drinking and transitioning to homelessness from baseline to follow-up during that same time-period. After controlling for other correlates including alcohol dependence, hazardous drinking at baseline increased the risk of homelessness at follow-up (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.02, 1.88). Transitioning to hazardous drinking more than doubled the risk of homelessness at follow-up (AOR=2.42, 95% CI=1.41, 4.15), while more than doubling the risk of transitioning from being housed at baseline to being homeless at follow-up (AOR=2.49, 95% CI=1.30, 4.79). Early intervention that seeks to prevent transitioning into hazardous drinking could increase housing stability among veterans. Brief interventions which have been shown to be effective at lower levels of alcohol use should be implemented with veterans in VA care. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Washington, Donna L; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Hamilton, Alison B; Cordasco, Kristina M; Yano, Elizabeth M
The number of women Veterans (WVs) utilizing the Veterans Health Administration (VA) has doubled over the past decade, heightening the importance of understanding their healthcare delivery preferences and utilization patterns. Other studies have identified healthcare issues and behaviors of WVs in specific military service eras (e.g., Vietnam), but delivery preferences and utilization have not been examined within and across eras on a population basis. To identify healthcare delivery preferences and healthcare use of WVs by military service era to inform program design and patient-centeredness. Cross-sectional 2008-2009 survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,611 WVs, weighted to the population. Healthcare delivery preferences measured as importance of selected healthcare features; types of healthcare services and number of visits used; use of VA or non-VA; all by military service era. Military service era differences were present in types of healthcare used, with World War II and Korea era WVs using more specialty care, and Vietnam era-to-present WVs using more women's health and mental health care. Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) WVs made more healthcare visits than WVs of earlier military eras. The greatest healthcare delivery concerns were location convenience for Vietnam and earlier WVs, and cost for Gulf War 1 and OEF/OIF/OND WVs. Co-located gynecology with general healthcare was also rated important by a sizable proportion of WVs from all military service eras. Our findings point to the importance of ensuring access to specialty services closer to home for WVs, which may require technology-supported care. Younger WVs' higher mental health care use reinforces the need for integration and coordination of primary care, reproductive health and mental health care.
Gao, Ni; Dolce, Joni; Rio, John; Heitzmann, Carma; Loving, Samantha
This column describes a goal-oriented, time-limited in vivo coaching/training approach for skills building among peer veterans vocational rehabilitation specialists of the Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP). Planning, implementing, and evaluating the training approach for peer providers was intended, ultimately, to support veterans in their goal of returning to community competitive employment. The description draws from the training experience that aimed to improve the ability of peer providers to increase both rates of employment and wages of the homeless veterans using their services. Training peers using an in vivo training approach provided a unique opportunity for the veterans to improve their job development skills with a focus to support employment outcomes for the service users. Peers who received training also expressed that learning skills through an in vivo training approach was more engaging than typical classroom trainings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Barnett, P G; Rodgers, J H
The Department of Veterans Affairs is adopting the Decision Support System (DSS), computer software and databases which include a cost-accounting system which determines the cost of health care products and patient encounters. A system for providing cost data for cost-effectiveness analysis should be provide valid, detailed, and comprehensive data that can be aggregated. The design of DSS is described and compared with those criteria. Utilization data from DSS was compared with other VA utilization data. Aggregate DSS cost data from 35 medical centers was compared with relative resource weights developed for the Medicare program. Data on hospital stays at 3 facilities found that 3.7% of the stays in DSS were not in the VA discharge database, whereas 7.6% of the stays in the discharge data were not in DSS. DSS reported between 68.8% and 97.1% of the outpatient encounters reported by six facilities in the ambulatory care data base. Relative weights for each Diagnosis Related Group based on DSS data from 35 VA facilities correlated with Medicare weights (correlation coefficient of .853). DSS will be useful for research if certain problems are overcome. It is difficult to distinguish long-term from acute hospital care. VA does not have a complete database of all inpatient procedures, so DSS has not assigned them a specific cost. The authority to access encounter-level DSS data needs to be centralized. Researchers can provide the feedback needed to improve DSS cost estimates. A comprehensive encounter-level extract would facilitate use of DSS for research.
Nissen, Lars Ravnborg; Stoltenberg, Christian; Nielsen, Anni B Sternhagen
OBJECTIVE: To examine the assumption that postdeployment incidence of sickness and other absence from work are higher among Gulf War Veterans compared with nonveterans. METHODS: A prospective registry study including a cohort of 721 Danish Gulf War Veterans and a control cohort of 3,629 nonveterans...... and nonveterans in the incidence rate of long-term sickness absence. After an initial short period (3 months) with elevated incidence rate of long-term absence from work among veterans, there was no difference between the cohorts. CONCLUSION: Among Danish Gulf War Veterans, no postdeployment increased risk...... outcomes and information on deployment history was studied using time-to-event analysis. The index date was the return date from the last deployment to the Gulf. The follow-up period was the time from index date until April 27, 2014. RESULTS: As the main finding, no difference was found between veterans...
... and engage with the community; (2) Facilitate reintegration with the community and provide services that may optimize reintegration such as life-skills education, recreational activities, and follow-up... relationships with family; (4) Ensure adequate supervision, including supervision of medication and monitoring...
...-laws or operating agreements; organizational, annual and board/member meeting records; stock ledgers... rule will be effective on the date of publication. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, applies to this final rule. This interim final rule is generally neutral in...
... ownership as a technique to encourage teamwork, reduce employee turnover, and increase productivity... changes the distribution of profits for limited liability companies and employee stock ownership plans and... receiving funds from payments and distributing funds to employees and contractors and to ensure that there...
... that greatly affect today's business climate and put an unnecessary burden on certain business owners... participation restricts business growth and limits participation in global markets. We agree with these... the owners to continue to grow their business and participate in the global marketplace. 7. Several...
Dersh Jeffrey J
Full Text Available Abstract Background The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA recently linked antiepileptic drug (AED exposure to suicide-related behaviors based on meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. We examined the relationship between suicide-related behaviors and different AEDs in older veterans receiving new AED monotherapy from the Veterans Health Administration (VA, controlling for potential confounders. Methods VA and Medicare databases were used to identify veterans 66 years and older, who received a care from the VA between 1999 and 2004, and b an incident AED (monotherapy prescription. Previously validated ICD-9-CM codes were used to identify suicidal ideation or behavior (suicide-related behaviors cases, epilepsy, and other conditions previously associated with suicide-related behaviors. Each case was matched to controls based on prior history of suicide-related behaviors, year of AED prescription, and epilepsy status. Results The strongest predictor of suicide-related behaviors (N = 64; Controls N = 768 based on conditional logistic regression analysis was affective disorder (depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Odds Ratio 4.42, 95% CI 2.30 to 8.49 diagnosed before AED treatment. Increased suicide-related behaviors were not associated with individual AEDs, including the most commonly prescribed AED in the US - phenytoin. Conclusion Our extensive diagnostic and treatment data demonstrated that the strongest predictor of suicide-related behaviors for older patients newly treated with AED monotherapy was a previous diagnosis of affective disorder. Additional, research using a larger sample is needed to clearly determine the risk of suicide-related behaviors among less commonly used AEDs.
... in multiple areas, including data integrity, ethics, privacy, and human research protections, as well... replace the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) with Alion... human research protection programs. VA Response: VA is currently reviewing its accreditation...
Clement, Meredith E; Park, Lawrence P; Navar, Ann Marie; Okeke, Nwora Lance; Pencina, Michael J; Douglas, Pamela S; Naggie, Susanna
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The potential impact of recently updated cholesterol guidelines on treatment of HIV- and HCV-infected veterans is unknown. We performed a retrospective cohort study to assess statin use and recommendations among 13 579 HIV-infected, 169 767 HCV-infected, and 6628 HIV/HCV-coinfected male veterans aged 40-75 years. Prior 2004 Adult Treatment Panel (ATP-III) guidelines were compared with current 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) cholesterol guidelines and 2014 US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)/US Department of Defense (DoD) joint clinical practice guidelines using laboratory, medication, and comorbidity data from the VA Clinical Case Registry from 2008 through 2010. Using risk criteria delineated by the ATP-III guidelines, 50.6% of HIV-infected, 45.9% of HCV-infected, and 33.8% of HIV/HCV-coinfected veterans had an indication for statin therapy. However, among those eligible, 22.7%, 30.5%, and 31.5%, respectively, were not receiving ATP-III recommended statin therapy. When current cholesterol guidelines were applied by VA/DoD and ACC/AHA criteria, increases in recommendations for statins were found in all groups (57.3% and 66.1% of HIV-infected, 64.4% and 73.7% of HCV-infected, 49.1% and 58.5% of HIV/HCV-coinfected veterans recommended). Statins were underutilized among veterans infected with HIV, HCV, and HIV/HCV according to previous ATP-III guidelines. Current VA/DoD and ACC/AHA guidelines substantially expand statin recommendations and widen the gap of statin underutilization in all groups. These gaps in care present an opportunity to improve CVD prevention efforts in these at-risk populations. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail email@example.com.
de Cordova, Pamela B; Phibbs, Ciaran S; Schmitt, Susan K; Stone, Patricia W
In hospitals, nurses provide patient care around the clock, but the impact of night staff characteristics on patient outcomes is not well understood. The aim of this study was to examine the association between night nurse staffing and workforce characteristics and the length of stay (LOS) in 138 veterans affairs (VA) hospitals using panel data from 2002 through 2006. Staffing in hours per patient day was higher during the day than at night. The day nurse workforce had more educational preparation than the night workforce. Nurses' years of experience at the unit, facility, and VA level were greater at night. In multivariable analyses controlling for confounding variables, higher night staffing and a higher skill mix were associated with reduced LOS. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Yano, Elizabeth M; Bastian, Lori A; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Eisen, Seth; Frayne, Susan; Hayes, Patricia; Klap, Ruth; Lipson, Linda; Mattocks, Kristin; McGlynn, Geraldine; Sadler, Anne; Schnurr, Paula; Washington, Donna L
The purpose of this paper is to report on the outcomes of the 2010 VA Women's Health Services Research Conference, which brought together investigators interested in pursuing research on women veterans and women in the military with leaders in women's health care delivery and policy within and outside the VA, to significantly advance the state and future direction of VA women's health research and its potential impacts on practice and policy. Building on priorities assembled in the previous VA research agenda (2004) and the research conducted in the intervening six years, we used an array of approaches to foster research-clinical partnerships that integrated the state-of-the-science with the informational and strategic needs of senior policy and practice leaders. With demonstrated leadership commitment and support, broad field-based participation, strong interagency collaboration and a push to accelerate the move from observational to interventional and implementation research, the Conference provided a vital venue for establishing the foundation for a new research agenda. In this paper, we provide the historical evolution of the emergence of women veterans' health services research and an overview of the research in the intervening years since the first VA women's health research agenda. We then present the resulting VA Women's Health Research Agenda priorities and supporting activities designed to transform care for women veterans in six broad areas of study, including access to care and rural health; primary care and prevention; mental health; post deployment health; complex chronic conditions, aging and long-term care; and reproductive health. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Hausmann, Leslie R M; Brandt, Cynthia A; Carroll, Constance M; Fenton, Brenda T; Ibrahim, Said A; Becker, William C; Burgess, Diana J; Wandner, Laura D; Bair, Matthew J; Goulet, Joseph L
To examine black-white and Hispanic-white differences in total knee arthroplasty from 2001 to 2013 in a large cohort of patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Data were from the VA Musculoskeletal Disorders cohort, which includes data from electronic health records of more than 5.4 million veterans with musculoskeletal disorders diagnoses. We included white (non-Hispanic), black (non-Hispanic), and Hispanic (any race) veterans, age ≥50 years, with an OA diagnosis from 2001-2011 (n = 539,841). Veterans were followed from their first OA diagnosis until September 30, 2013. As a proxy for increased clinical severity, analyses were also conducted for a subsample restricted to those who saw an orthopedic or rheumatology specialist (n = 148,844). We used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine racial and ethnic differences in total knee arthroplasty by year of OA diagnosis, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, physical and mental diagnoses, and pain intensity scores. We identified 12,087 total knee arthroplasty procedures in a sample of 473,170 white, 50,172 black, and 16,499 Hispanic veterans. In adjusted models examining black-white and Hispanic-white differences by year of OA diagnosis, total knee arthroplasty rates were lower for black than for white veterans diagnosed in all but 2 years. There were no Hispanic-white differences regardless of when diagnosis occurred. These patterns held in the specialty clinic subsample. Black-white differences in total knee arthroplasty appear to be persistent in the VA, even after controlling for potential clinical confounders. © 2016, American College of Rheumatology.
Full Text Available Studies aiming to identify if war veterans are at higher risk of suicide have often produced inconsistent results; this could be due to the complexity of comparisons and different methodological approaches. It should be noted that this contingent has many risk factors, such as stressful exposures, wounds, brain trauma and pain syndrome. Most recent observations confirm that veterans are really more likely to die of suicide as compared to the general population; they are also more likely to experience suicidal ideation and suffer from mental health problems. Suicides are more frequent in those who develop PTSD, depression and comorbid states due to war exposure. Combat stress and its’ frequency may be an important factor leading to suicide within the frame of the stress-vulnerability model. According to this model, the effects of stress may interact with social factors, interpersonal relations and psychological variables producing suicidal tendencies. Modern understanding of stress-vulnerability mechanisms based on genetic predispositions, early life development, level of exposure to stress and stress-reactivity together with interpersonal aspects may help to build more effective suicide prevention programs based on universal/selective/indicated prevention principles.
Rozanov, Vsevolod; Carli, Vladimir
Studies aiming to identify if war veterans are at higher risk of suicide have often produced inconsistent results; this could be due to the complexity of comparisons and different methodological approaches. It should be noted that this contingent has many risk factors, such as stressful exposures, wounds, brain trauma and pain syndrome. Most recent observations confirm that veterans are really more likely to die of suicide as compared to the general population; they are also more likely to experience suicidal ideation and suffer from mental health problems. Suicides are more frequent in those who develop PTSD, depression and comorbid states due to war exposure. Combat stress and its' frequency may be an important factor leading to suicide within the frame of the stress-vulnerability model. According to this model, the effects of stress may interact with social factors, interpersonal relations and psychological variables producing suicidal tendencies. Modern understanding of stress-vulnerability mechanisms based on genetic predispositions, early life development, level of exposure to stress and stress-reactivity together with interpersonal aspects may help to build more effective suicide prevention programs based on universal/selective/indicated prevention principles.
Lee, Sei J; Stijacic-Cenzer, Irena; Barnhart, Caroline; McClymont, Keelan; Steinman, Michael A
Although nursing home (NH) residents make up a large and growing proportion of Americans with diabetes mellitus, little is known about how glucose-lowering medications are used in this population. We sought to examine glucose-lowering medication use in Veterans Affairs (VA) NH residents with diabetes between 2005 and 2011. Retrospective cohort study, using linked laboratory, pharmacy, administrative, and NH Minimum Dataset (MDS) 2.0 databases in 123 VA NHs. A total of 9431 long-stay (>90 days) VA NH residents older than 65 followed for 52,313 person-quarters. We identified receipt of glucose-lowering medications, including insulin, metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and others (alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, meglitinides, glucagonlike peptide-1 analogs, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and amylin analogs) per quarter. The rates of sulfonylurea use in long-stay NH residents dropped dramatically from 24% in 2005 to 12% in 2011 (P use (10% to 2%, P use in 2007 (4% to Metformin use was stable, ranging between 7% and 9% (P = .24). Insulin use increased slightly from 30% to 32% (P Use of other classes of glucose-lowering medications was stable (P = .22) and low, remaining below 1.3%. Between 2005 and 2011, there were dramatic declines in use of sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones in VA NH residents, suggesting that prescribing practices can be quickly changed in this setting. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Nazi, Kim M; Turvey, Carolyn L; Klein, Dawn M; Hogan, Timothy P; Woods, Susan S
To explore the experience of early patient adopters who accessed their clinical notes online using the Blue Button feature of the My HealtheVet portal. A web-based survey of VA patient portal users from June 22 to September 15, 2013. 33.5% of respondents knew that clinical notes could be viewed, and nearly one in four (23.5%) said that they had viewed their notes at least once. The majority of VA Notes users agreed that accessing their notes will help them to do a better job of taking medications as prescribed (80.1%) and be better prepared for clinic visits (88.6%). Nine out of 10 users agreed that use of visit notes will help them understand their conditions better (91.8%), and better remember the plan for their care (91.9%). In contrast, 87% disagreed that VA Notes will make them worry more, and 88.4% disagreed that access to VA Notes will be more confusing than helpful. Users who had either contacted their provider or healthcare team (11.9%) or planned to (13.5%) primarily wanted to learn more about a health issue, medication, or test results (53.7%). Initial assessment of the patient experience within the first 9 months of availability provides evidence that patients both value and benefit from online access to clinical notes. These findings are congruent with OpenNotes study findings on a broader scale. Additional outreach and education is needed to enhance patient awareness. Healthcare professionals should author notes keeping in mind the opportunity patient access presents for enhanced communication. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Byers, Amy L; Covinsky, Kenneth E; Barnes, Deborah E; Yaffe, Kristine
To determine whether less severe depression spectrum diagnoses such as dysthymia, as well as depression, are associated with risk of developing dementia and mortality in a "real-world" setting. Retrospective cohort study conducted using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Patient Care Database (1997-2007). VA medical centers in the United States. A total of 281,540 veterans aged 55 years and older without dementia at study baseline (1997-2000). Depression status and incident dementia were ascertained from International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes during study baseline (1997-2000) and follow-up (2001-2007), respectively. Mortality was ascertained by time of death dates in the VA Vital Status File. Ten percent of veterans had baseline diagnosis of depression and nearly 1% had dysthymia. The unadjusted incidence of dementia was 11.2% in veterans with depression, 10.2% with dysthymia and 6.4% with neither. After adjusting for demographics and comorbidities, patients diagnosed with dysthymia or depression were twice as likely to develop incident dementia compared with those with no dysthymia/depression (adjusted dysthymia hazard ratio [HR]: 1.96, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.71-2.25; and depression HR: 2.18, 95% CI: 2.08-2.28). Dysthymia and depression also were associated with increased risk of death (31.6% dysthymia and 32.9% depression versus 28.5% neither; adjusted dysthymia HR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.31-1.53; and depression HR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.43-1.51). Findings suggest that older adults with dysthymia or depression need to be monitored closely for adverse outcomes. Future studies should determine whether treatment of depression spectrum disorders may reduce risk of these outcomes.
Karuza, Jurgis; Gillespie, Suzanne M; Olsan, Tobie; Cai, Xeuya; Dang, Stuti; Intrator, Orna; Li, Jiejin; Gao, Shan; Kinosian, Bruce; Edes, Thomas
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.
Pierre-Cédric B. Crouch
Full Text Available The HITECH Act signed into law in 2009 requires hospitals to provide patients with electronic access to their health information through an electronic personal health record (ePHR in order to receive Medicare/Medicaid incentive payments. Little is known about who uses these systems or the impact these systems will have on patient outcomes in HIV care. The health care empowerment model provides rationale for the hypothesis that knowledge from an electronic personal health record can lead to greater patient empowerment resulting in improved outcomes. The objective was to determine the patient characteristics and patient activation, empowerment, satisfaction, knowledge of their CD4, Viral Loads, and antiretroviral medication, and medication adherence outcomes associated with electronic personal health record use in Veterans living with HIV at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. The participants included HIV-Infected Veterans receiving care in a low volume HIV-clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, divided into two groups of users and non-users of electronic personal health records. The research was conducted using in-person surveys either online or on paper and data abstraction from medical records for current anti-retroviral therapy (ART, CD4 count, and plasma HIV-1 viral load. The measures included the Patient Activation Measure, Health Care Empowerment Inventory, ART adherence, provider satisfaction, current CD4 count, current plasma viral load, knowledge of current ART, knowledge of CD4 counts, and knowledge of viral load. In all, 40 participants were recruited. The use of electronic personal health records was associated with significantly higher levels of patient activation and levels of patient satisfaction for getting timely appointments, care, and information. ePHR was also associated with greater proportions of undetectable plasma HIV-1 viral loads, of knowledge of current CD4 count, and of knowledge of current viral load. The
Hessinger, Jonathan D; London, Melissa J; Baer, Sheila M
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has continued to emphasize the availability, access, and utilization of high quality mental health care particularly in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While dissemination and availability of evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) have only increased, treatment engagement and utilization have continued to be oft-noted challenges. Administrators, researchers, and individual clinicians have continued to develop and explore novel systemic and individualized interventions to address these issues. Pilot studies utilizing shared decision-making models to aid in veteran treatment selection have demonstrated the impact this approach may have on selection of and engagement in EBPs for PTSD. Based on these promising studies, a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient PTSD clinic began to implement a shared-decision making intervention as part of a clinic redesign. In seeking to evaluate the impact of this intervention, archival clinical data from 1,056 veterans were reviewed by the authors for rates of treatment selection, EBP initiation, session attendance, and EBP completion. Time elapsed from consult until EBP initiation was also computed by the authors. These variables were then compared on the basis of whether the veteran received the shared-decision making intervention. Veterans who received the intervention were more likely to select and thus initiate an EBP for PTSD sooner than veterans who did not receive this intervention. Veterans, whether receiving the intervention or not, did not differ in therapy session attendance and completion. Implications of these findings and directions for future study are further discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Cope, Jacqueline R; Yano, Elizabeth M; Lee, Martin L; Washington, Donna L
OBJECTIVE To describe the variation in provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception among Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. DESIGN Key informant, cross-sectional survey of 166 VA medical facilities. Data from public use data sets and VA administrative databases were linked to facility data to further characterize their contextual environments. PARTICIPANTS All VA hospital-based and affiliated community-based outpatient clinics delivering services to at least 400 unique women during fiscal year 2000. MEASUREMENTS Onsite availability of hormonal contraceptive prescription and intrauterine device (IUD) placement. RESULTS Ninety-seven percent of facilities offered onsite prescription and management of hormonal contraception whereas 63% offered placement of IUDs. After adjusting for facility caseload of reproductive-aged women, 3 organizational factors were independently associated with onsite IUD placement: (1) onsite gynecologist (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 20.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.02 to 58.74; Pwomen's health training to other clinicians (adjusted OR, 3.40; 95% CI 1.19 to 9.76; P=.02). CONCLUSIONS VA's provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception is in accordance with community standards, although onsite availability is not universal. Although contraception is a crucial component of a woman's health maintenance, her ability to obtain certain contraceptives from the facility where she obtains her primary care is largely influenced by the availability of a gynecologist. Further research is needed to determine how fragmentation of women's care into reproductive and nonreproductive services impacts access to contraception and the incidence of unintended pregnancy. PMID:16637943
Mondragon, Sasha A; Wang, David; Pritchett, Lonique; Graham, David P; Plasencia, M Leili; Teng, Ellen J
Military sexual trauma (MST) encompasses experiences of sexual harassment and/or assault that occur during active duty military service. MST is associated with postdeployment mental health, interpersonal, and physical difficulties and appears to be more influential in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than other active duty experiences, including combat, among women veterans. Although some literature suggests that men who experience MST also evidence significant postdeployment difficulties, research in this area is lacking. The current study evaluated a large sample of returning male veterans (N = 961) who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Veterans were referred for treatment in a trauma and anxiety specialty clinic at a large VA hospital. Of this sample, 18% (n = 173) reported MST perpetrated by a member of their unit. Results indicated veterans who reported MST were younger (p = .001), less likely to be currently married (p sexual abuse either as children or adults (p < .001). Analyses revealed that MST was negatively associated with postdeployment social support (p < .001 and positively associated with postdeployment perceived emotional mistreatment (p = .004), but was not associated with postdeployment loss of romantic relationship (p = .264), job loss (p = .351), or unemployment (p = .741) after statistically controlling for other trauma exposures and current social support. Results reflect the detrimental associations of MST on male veterans and the need for more research in this area. These findings also highlight the need for treatment interventions that address social and interpersonal functioning in addition to symptoms of depressive disorders. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Smith, Philip H; Potenza, Marc N; Mazure, Carolyn M; McKee, Sherry A; Park, Crystal L; Hoff, Rani A
Compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) is highly prevalent among men, often co-occurring with psychiatric disorders and traumatic experiences. Psychiatric disorders and trauma are highly prevalent among military veterans, yet there is a paucity of research on CSB among military samples. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of and factors associated with CSB among male military veterans. Surveys were administered to veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, or New Dawn at baseline (n = 258), 3 months(n = 194), and 6 months (n = 136). Bivariate analyses and Generalized Estimating Equations were utilized to estimate associations between CSB and the following variables: psychiatric co-morbidity, childhood physical or sexual trauma, pre- and post-deployment experiences, TV/ Internet usage, and sociodemographics. Associations between CSB and specific PTSD symptom clusters were also examined. CSB was reported by 16.7% of the sample at baseline. Several variables were associated with CSB in bivariate analyses; however, only PTSD severity, childhood sexual trauma, and age remained significant in multivariable GEE models. The PTSD symptom cluster re-experiencing was most strongly associated with CSB. This exploratory study suggests that CSB is prevalent amongst veterans returning from combat and is associated with childhood trauma and PTSD, particularly re-experiencing. Further study is needed to identify the mechanisms linking PTSD and CSB, define the context and severity of CSB in veterans, and examine the best ways to assess and treat CSB in VA clinical settings.
Smelson, David A; Chinman, Matthew; McCarthy, Sharon; Hannah, Gordon; Sawh, Leon; Glickman, Mark
The Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program is one of the largest initiatives to end Veteran homelessness. However, mental health and substance use disorders continue to reduce client stability and impede program success. HUD-VASH programs do not consistently employ evidence-based practices that address co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. This paper presents a study protocol to evaluate the implementation of an evidence-based, co-occurring disorder treatment called Maintaining Independence and Sobriety Through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking-Veterans Edition (MISSION-Vet) in HUD-VASH using an implementation strategy called Getting To Outcomes (GTO). In three large VA Medical Centers, this Hybrid Type III trial will randomize case managers and their clients by HUD-VASH sub-teams to receive either MISSION-Vet Implementation as Usual (IU-standard training and access to the MISSION-Vet treatment manuals) or MISSION-Vet implementation augmented by GTO. In addition to testing GTO, effectiveness of the treatment (MISSION-Vet) will be assessed using existing Veteran-level data from the HUD-VASH data monitoring system. This project will compare GTO and IU case managers and their clients on the following variables: (1) fidelity to the MISSION-Vet intervention; (2) proportion of time the Veteran is housed; (3) mental health, substance use, and functional outcomes among Veterans; and (4) factors key to the successful deployment of a new treatment as specified by the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) model. This project is an important step for developing an implementation strategy to increase adoption of evidence-based practice use in VA homeless programs, and to further examine efficacy of MISSION-Vet in HUD-VASH. This project has important implications for program managers, policy makers, and researchers within the homelessness field. VA Central IRB approval
Chao, Linda L
Although not a "signature injury" of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (i.e., Gulf War, GW), some GW veterans have a history traumatic brain injury (TBI). For example, a previous study found that 12.2% of the GW veterans from the Fort Devens Cohort Study had self-reported TBIs. The present study sought to build upon this finding by examining the relationship between TBI and chronic symptomatic illness in a different sample of GW veterans. Participants were 202 GW veterans recruited from 2014 to 2018 at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center as part of a VA-funded study on the effects of predicted exposure to low levels of sarin and cyclosarin on brain structure and function. The Ohio State University TBI identification method was used to determine lifetime history of TBI. The Kansas Gulf War Military History and Health Questionnaire was used to assess symptoms and to determine cases of Kansas Gulf War Illness (GWI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chronic Multisymptom Illness (CMI). Nearly half (47%) the sample had a history of TBI, but only 7% of the TBIs were sustained in injuries that occurred during the GW. Most of the TBIs were sustained in injuries that occurred prior to (73%) or after (34%) the GW. History of TBI was not associated with higher rates of symptomatic illness when it was narrowly defined (i.e., Kansas GWI cases or cases of severe CMI). History of TBI was only associated with higher rates of symptomatic illness when it is broadly defined (i.e., CDC CMI or mild-moderate CMI). There was suggestive evidence that veterans who sustained TBIs during the GW (only seven in the present sample) have poorer functional outcomes compared with GW veterans with non-GW related TBIs. While TBIs were uncommon during the GW, many GW veterans sustained TBIs prior or after the GW. Because TBI and GWI/CMI share some overlapping symptoms, history of TBI may appear to be associated with increased rates of chronic symptomatic illness in
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...
Poteet, Stephen; Tarpley, Margaret; Tarpley, John L; Pearson, A Scott
In a time of increasing specialization, academic training institutions provide a compartmentalized learning environment that often does not reflect the broad clinical experience of general surgery practice. This study aimed to evaluate the contribution of the Veterans Affairs (VA) general surgery surgical experience to both index Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements and as a unique integrated model in which residents provide concurrent care of multiple specialty patients. Institutional review board approval was obtained for retrospective analysis of electronic medical records involving all surgical cases performed by the general surgery service from 2005 to 2009 at the Nashville VA. Over a 5-year span general surgery residents spent an average of 5 months on the VA general surgery service, which includes a postgraduate year (PGY)-5, PGY-3, and 2 PGY-1 residents. Surgeries involved the following specialties: surgical oncology, endocrine, colorectal, hepatobiliary, transplant, gastrointestinal laparoscopy, and elective and emergency general surgery. The surgeries were categorized according to ACGME index requirements. A total of 2,956 surgeries were performed during the 5-year period from 2005 through 2009. Residents participated in an average of 246 surgeries during their experience at the VA; approximately 50 cases are completed during the chief year. On the VA surgery service alone, 100% of the ACGME requirement was met for the following categories: endocrine (8 cases); skin, soft tissue, and breast (33 cases); alimentary tract (78 cases); and abdominal (88 cases). Approximately 50% of the ACGME requirement was met for liver, pancreas, and basic laparoscopic categories. The VA hospital provides an authentic, broad-based, general surgery training experience that integrates complex surgical patients simultaneously. Opportunities for this level of comprehensive care are decreasing or absent in many general surgery training
Houston, Thomas K; Fix, Gemmae M; Shimada, Stephanie L; Long, Judith A; Gordon, Howard S; Pope, Charlene; Volkman, Julie; Allison, Jeroan J; DeLaughter, Kathryn; Orner, Michelle; Bokhour, Barbara G
Disparities in hypertension control persist for African American Veterans. To enhance cultural relevance of hypertension control self-management education, in a multisite, stratified randomized trial, we tested an interactive Veteran-to-Veteran storytelling digital video disk (DVD) intervention created with Veteran partners, versus an education-only DVD comparison. At 3 VA facilities, African American Veterans with uncontrolled hypertension were randomized to storytelling DVD intervention or didactic comparison DVD and followed for 6 months. We hypothesized that follow-up blood pressure (BP) would be lower among Veterans in the intervention group. African American Veterans (N=619) were 92% male, 39% over age 65, most had a high-school education, over 50% of both the intervention and comparison group reported a household income of 0.3). Site differences were large; at one, the intervention group improved while the comparison groups deteriorated, resulting in 6.3 and 3.9 mm Hg more improvement for the intervention group in SBP and diastolic BP (P=0.06 and 0.04), respectively; at the other 2 sites, there were positive and negative changes, all small, in the 2 measures, with minimal differences-one site favored the comparison group and the other, the intervention (these comparisons did not approach statistical significance (all P>0.20). In a secondary analysis stratified by baseline BP, there was no intervention effect among those with uncontrolled BP, but intervention patients who were in control at baseline were more likely to stay in control, compared with comparison [SBP increase by 6.3 mm Hg (SD=14.4) among intervention, and by 10.9 mm Hg (SD=16.9) in comparison, P=0.02]. In this multisite trial, we did not find a significant overall storytelling intervention effect (Clinicaltrials.gov Reg. #NCT01276197).
..., Application for Furnishing Nursing Home Care to Beneficiaries of VA. 853.215-70 Section 853.215-70 Federal... 853.215-70 VA Form 10-1170, Application for Furnishing Nursing Home Care to Beneficiaries of VA. VA Form 10-1170, Application for Furnishing Nursing Home Care to Beneficiaries of VA, will be used for...
Full Text Available This paper presents a fonts converter that was developed as a part of the Freiburg project on historical corpus linguistics. The tool named SlaVaComp-Konvertierer converts Church Slavonic texts digitized with non-Unicode fonts into the Unicode format without any loss of information contained in the original file and without damage to the original formatting. It is suitable for the conversion of all idiosyncratic fonts—not only Church Slavonic—and therefore can be used not only in Palaeoslavistic, but also in all historical and philological studies.
Schult, Tamara M; Schmunk, Sandra K; Awosika, Ebi R
The aim of this study was to describe a comprehensive approach to decrease physical inactivity in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee population. The approach included (1) initiatives to decrease physical inactivity in the workplace; (2) two operational surveys to assess system-wide service provision; and (3) two national employee surveys. From 2010 to 2012, 86 employee fitness centers were completed in VA medical centers. A grants program (2010 to 2015) funded smaller projects designed to decrease physical inactivity in the workplace. Projects involved the provision of equipment to decrease sedentary behaviors, including stability balls, treadmill and sit-to-stand desks, stairwell projects, and funding for on-site fitness classes, bicycle racks, and outdoor par courses and walking paths among others. A comprehensive approach to decrease physical inactivity in VHA employees was successful. Overall, self-reported, age-adjusted physical inactivity in VHA employees decreased from 25.3% in 2010 to 16.1% in 2015.
Choi, Namkee G; DiNitto, Diana M; Marti, C Nathan
To examine self-rated health (SRH) and its association with social participation, along with physical and mental health indicators, among USA male veterans and non-veterans aged ≥65 years. The two waves of the National Health and Aging Trend Study provided data (n = 2845 at wave 1; n = 2235 at wave 2). Multilevel mixed effects generalized linear models were fit to test the hypotheses. Despite their older age, veterans did not differ from non-veterans in their physical, mental and cognitive health, and they had better SRH. However, black and Hispanic veterans had lower SRH than non-Hispanic white veterans. Formal group activities and outings for enjoyment were positively associated with better SRH for veterans, non-veterans and all veteran cohorts. Aging veterans, especially black and Hispanic veterans, require programs and services that will help increase their social connectedness. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2016; 16: 920-927. © 2015 Japan Geriatrics Society.
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Reiber, Gayle E; Raugi, Gregory J; Rowberg, Donald
Delivering and documenting evidence-based treatment to all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) foot ulcer patients has wide appeal. However, primary and secondary care medical centers where 52% of these patients receive care are at a disadvantage given the frequent absence of trained specialists to manage diabetic foot ulcers. A retrospective review of diabetic foot ulcer patient records and a provider survey were conducted to document the foot ulcer problem and to assess practitioner needs. Results showed of the 125 persons with foot ulcers identified through administrative data, only, 21% of diabetic foot patients were correctly coded. Chronic Care and Microsystem models were used to prepare a tailored intervention in a VA primary care medical center. The site Principal Investigators, a multidisciplinary site wound care team, and study investigators jointly implemented a diabetic foot ulcer program. Intervention components include wound care team education and training, standardized good wound care practices based on strong scientific evidence, and a wound care template embedded in the electronic medical record to facilitate data collection, clinical decision making, patient ordering, and coding. A strategy for delivering offloading pressure devices, regular case management support, and 24/7 emergency assistance also was developed. It took 9 months to implement the model. Patients were enrolled and followed for 1 year. Process and outcome evaluations are on-going.
Bastawrous, Sarah; Carney, Benjamin
In the current digital and filmless age of radiology, rates of unread radiology exams remain low, however, may still exist in unique environments. Veterans Affairs (VA) health care systems may experience higher rates of unread exams due to coexistence of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) imaging and commercial picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). The purpose of this patient safety initiative was to identify any unread exams and causes leading to unread exams. Following approval by departmental quality assurance committee, a comprehensive review was performed of all radiology exams within VistA imaging from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2014 to identify unread radiology exams. Over the 5-year period, the total unread exam rate was calculated to be 0.17%, with the highest yearly unread exam rate of 0.25%. The leading majority of unread exam type was plain radiographs. Analysis revealed unfinished dictations, unassociated accession numbers, technologist errors, and inefficient radiologist work lists as top contributors to unread exams. Once unread radiology exams were discovered and the causes identified, valuable process changes were implemented within our department to ensure simultaneous tracking of all unread exams in VistA imaging as well as the commercial PACS.
Krouse, Robert S; Mohler, M Jane; Wendel, Christopher S; Grant, Marcia; Baldwin, Carol M; Rawl, Susan M; McCorkle, Ruth; Rosenfeld, Kenneth E; Ko, Clifford Y; Schmidt, C Max; Coons, Stephen Joel
To present the design and methods of a multisite study of health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) in veterans living with ostomies. Veterans from Tucson, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles VA Medical Centers were surveyed using the validated City of Hope ostomy-specific tool (mCOH-QOL-Ostomy) and the SF-36V. Cases (ostomates) had a major gastrointestinal procedure that required an intestinal stoma, while controls had similar procedures for which an ostomy was not required. Ostomy subjects were recruited for four focus groups in each of two sites divided by ostomy type (colostomy versus ileostomy) and overall mCOH-QOL-Ostomy HR-QOL score (highest versus lowest quartile). The focus groups further evaluated barriers, concerns, and adaptation methods and skills. This report presents recruitment results, reliability of survey instruments, and demographic characteristics of the sample. The overall response (i.e., recruitment) rate across all sites was 48% and by site was 53%, 57%, and 37%, respectively (p ostomies had significantly longer time since surgery than controls (p ostomies is an illustration of a successful mixed methods approach to HR-QOL research. We collected meaningful quantitative and qualitative data that will be used in the development of new approaches to care that will lead to improved functioning and well-being in persons living with ostomies. Subsequent reports will provide the results of this research project.
Koo, Kelly H; Hebenstreit, Claire L; Madden, Erin; Seal, Karen H; Maguen, Shira
Veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; predominantly in Afghanistan) and Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn (OIF and OND; predominantly in Iraq) and are enrolled in the VA are comprised of a growing cohort of women and higher proportions of racial/ethnic minorities than civilians. To compare rates of mental health disorders by race/ethnicity and gender for this diverse cohort, we conducted a retrospective analysis of existing records from OEF/OIF/OND veterans who were seen at the VA 10/7/01-8/1/2013 (N=792,663). We found that race/ethnicity was related to diagnoses of mental health disorders. Asian/Pacific Islanders (A/PIs) were diagnosed with all disorders at lower rates than whites, and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) males were diagnosed with most disorders at higher rates than white males. Research is needed to identify contributing factors to differential rates of diagnoses based on race/ethnicity and gender. A/PIs and AI/ANs have unique patterns of mental health diagnoses indicating they should be considered separately to present a comprehensive picture of veteran mental health. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Cox, Robyn M; Alexander, Genevieve C; Gray, Ginger A
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
Winter, Laraine; Moriarty, Helene J; Robinson, Keith; Piersol, Catherine V; Vause-Earland, Tracey; Newhart, Brian; Iacovone, Delores Blazer; Hodgson, Nancy; Gitlin, Laura N
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often undermines community re-integration, impairs functioning and produces other symptoms. This study tested an innovative programme for veterans with TBI, the Veterans' In-home Programme (VIP), delivered in veterans' homes, involving a family member and targeting the environment (social and physical) to promote community re-integration, mitigate difficulty with the most troubling TBI symptoms and facilitate daily functioning. Interviews and intervention sessions were conducted in homes or by telephone. Eighty-one veterans with TBI at a VA polytrauma programme and a key family member. This was a 2-group randomized controlled trial. Control-group participants received usual-care enhanced by two attention-control telephone calls. Follow-up interviews occurred up to 4 months after baseline interview. VIP's efficacy was evaluated using measures of community re-integration, target outcomes reflecting veterans' self-identified problems and self-rated functional competence. At follow-up, VIP participants had significantly higher community re-integration scores and less difficulty managing targeted outcomes, compared to controls. Self-rated functional competence did not differ between groups. In addition, VIP's acceptability was high. A home-based, family-inclusive service for veterans with TBI shows promise for improving meaningful outcomes and warrants further research and clinical application.
Weinberger, Andrea H; Esan, Hannah; Hunt, Marcia G; Hoff, Rani A
Veterans comprise a large segment of the U.S. population and smoke at high rates. One significant way to reduce healthcare costs and improve the health of veterans is to reduce smoking-related illnesses for smokers who have high smoking rates and/or face disproportionate smoking consequences (e.g. women, racial/ethnic minorities, sexual orientation minorities). We reviewed published studies of smoking behavior in three demographic subgroups of veterans - women, racial/ethnic minorities, and sexual orientation minorities - to synthesize current knowledge and identify areas in need of more research. A MEDLINE search identified papers on smoking and veterans published through 31 December 2014. Twenty-five studies were identified that focused on gender (n = 17), race/ethnicity (n = 6), or sexual orientation (n = 2). Female and sexual orientation minority veterans reported higher rates of smoking than non-veteran women and sexual orientation majority veterans, respectively. Veterans appeared to be offered VA smoking cessation services equally by gender and race. Few studies examined smoking behavior by race/ethnicity or sexual orientation. Little information was identified examining the outcomes of specific smoking treatments for any group. There is a need for more research on all aspects of smoking and quit behavior for women, racial/ethnic minorities, and sexual orientation minority veterans. The high rates of smoking by these groups of veterans suggest that they may benefit from motivational interventions aimed at increasing quit attempts and longer and more intense treatments to maximize outcomes. Learning more about these veterans can help reduce costs for those who experience greater consequences of smoking.
Hunt, N; Robbins, I
People use many different coping strategies to deal with their traumatic recollections. Twenty-five British World War II veterans were interviewed regarding the ways they used social support both during the war and in the years afterwards. The findings demonstrate that social support is used in fundamentally different ways. During the war comradeship was particularly important and even fifty years after the war comrades are still a valuable resource for discussing war experiences, and dealing with the emotional content of traumatic recollections. Veterans rely on wives and families to help deal with the more physical and practical elements of coping, but tend not to discuss their traumatic memories with them. The findings show that social support is an important lifelong coping strategy for World War II veterans.
Yano, Elizabeth M; Goldzweig, Caroline; Canelo, Ismelda; Washington, Donna L
In response to concerns about the availability and quality of women's health services in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers in the early 1990s, Congress approved landmark legislation earmarking funds to enhance women's health services. A portion of the appropriation was used to launch Comprehensive Women's Health Centers as exemplars for the development of VA women's health care throughout the system. We report on the diffusion and characteristics of VA women's health clinics (WHCs) 10 years later. In 2001, we surveyed the senior women's health clinician at each VA medical center serving > or =400 women veterans (83% response rate) regarding their internal organizational characteristics in relation to factors associated with organizational innovation (centralization, complexity, formalization, interconnectedness, organizational slack, size). We evaluated the comparability of WHCs (n = 66) with characteristics of the original comprehensive women's health centers (CWHCs; n = 8). Gender-specific service availability in WHCs was comparable to that of CWHCs with important exceptions in mental health, mammography and osteoporosis management. WHCs were less likely to have same-gender providers (p business case for managers faced with small female patient caseloads.
Basoglu, B.; Bentley, C.; Dunn, M.
The KENO V.a codes is a widely used Monte carlo codes that is part of the SCALE modular codes system for performing standardized computer analysis of nuclear systems for licensing evaluation. In the past few years, attempts have been made to speed up KENO V.a using new generation computers. In this paper we report on the initial development of a parallel version of KENO V.a for the Kendall Square Research supercomputer (KSRI) at ORNL. Investigations thus far have shown that the parallel code provides accurate results with significantly reduced computation times relative to the conventional KENO V.a code
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...
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... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Claim of widow not living with veteran at time of veteran's death. 10.37 Section 10.37 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUSTED COMPENSATION Adjusted Compensation; General § 10.37 Claim of widow not living with veteran at time of...
Rosenberg, Jack M; Bilka, Brandon M; Wilson, Sara M; Spevak, Christopher
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and US Department of Defense (DoD) revised the 2010 clinical practice guideline (CPG) for the management of opioid therapy for chronic pain, considering the specific needs of the VA and DoD and new evidence regarding prescribing opioid medication for non-end-of-life-related chronic pain. This paper summarizes the major recommendations and compares them with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline for prescribing opioids. This Opioid Therapy CPG was developed for VA-DoD service members, veterans, and their families. The VA/DoD Evidence-Based Practice Work Group convened a VA/DoD guideline renewal development effort and conformed to the guidelines established by the VA/DoD Joint Executive Council (JEC) and VA/DoD Health Executive Council (HEC). The panel developed questions, searched and evaluated the literature, developed recommendations using GRADE methodology, and developed algorithms. Passage of the CARA Act by Congress compelled consideration and comparison with the CDC opioid therapy guideline mid-development. There were 18 recommendations made. This article focuses on guideline development and key recommendations with CDC comparisons taken from four major areas, including: initiation and continuation of opioids;type, dose, follow-up, and taper of opioids;risk mitigation;acute pain. Guideline development and recommendations are presented. There was substantial overlap with the CDC opioid guideline. Additionally, there were items particularly relevant to the VA-DoD, including risk mitigation, suicide prevention, and preventing opioid use disorder in young patients. Our guideline highlights avoiding opioid therapy longer than 90 days as a critical juncture.
Chavez, Laura J; Williams, Emily C; Lapham, Gwen T; Rubinsky, Anna D; Kivlahan, Daniel R; Bradley, Katharine A
Brief alcohol interventions are recommended for primary care patients who screen positive for alcohol misuse, but implementation is challenging. The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (Veterans Affairs [VA]) implemented brief interventions for patients with alcohol misuse in 2008, and rates of brief interventions documented in the electronic medical record increased from 24% to 78% (2008-2011). This study examined whether an independent measure of brief interventions-patient-reported alcohol-related advice-also increased among VA outpatients who screened positive for alcohol misuse on a mailed survey. This retrospective cross-sectional study included VA outpatient respondents to the VA's Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP; 2007-2011) who reported past-year alcohol use and answered a question about alcohol-related advice. Alcohol-related advice was defined as a report of past-year advice from a VA clinician to abstain from or reduce drinking. The adjusted prevalence of alcoholrelated advice among patients who screened positive for alcohol misuse (SHEP AUDIT-C ≥ 5) was estimated for each year. Among patients with alcohol misuse (n = 61,843), the adjusted prevalence of alcohol-related advice increased from 40.4% (95% CI [39.3%, 41.5%]) in 2007 to 55.5% (95% CI [53.3%, 57.8%]) in 2011. Rates of alcoholrelated advice increased significantly each year except the last. The VA's efforts to implement brief interventions were associated with increased patient-reported alcohol-related advice over time, with a majority of patients with alcohol misuse reporting its receipt. Other systems considering similar approaches to implementation may benefit from collecting patient-reported measures of brief interventions for an additional perspective on implementation.
1 - Description of program or function: The KENO3D Visualization Tool for KENO Geometry Models is a powerful state-of-the-art visualization tool that enables KENO V.a users and KENO-VI to interactively display their three-dimensional geometry models. The KENO3D interactive options include: - Shaded or wire-frame images ; - Standard views such as top view, side view, front view, and isometric(3-D) view; - Rotating the model ; - Zooming in on selected locations ; - Selecting parts of the model to display ; - Editing colors and displaying legends ; - Displaying properties of any unit in the model ; - Creating cut-away views ; - Removing units from the model; - Printing image or saving image to a common graphics formats. KENO3D was developed for use by criticality safety specialists that use the KENO three-dimensional Monte Carlo criticality computer code. KENO V.a and KENO-VI are part of the SCALE (Standardized Computer Analyses for Licensing Evaluations) computer software system developed at Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that is widely used and accepted around the world for criticality safety analyses. 2 - Methods: KENO3D reads CSAS, KENO V.a, or KENO-VI input files. It attempts to verify that the KENO geometry input is 'legal', i.e., it conforms to the code input guidelines. KENO3D prints a warning message for illegal geometry input, and if possible, it displays the illegal KENO geometry to facilitate debugging of the input. Problems with more than 300,000 KENO V.a bodies have been successfully tested and displayed. KENO3D has the look and feel of a typical PC Windows application. Toolbar buttons are included for all major menu options. There is a setup dialog that allows the user to specify toolbars that should be displayed
Libin, Alexander V; Schladen, Manon Maitland; Danford, Ellen; Cichon, Samantha; Bruner, Dwan; Scholten, Joel; Llorente, Maria; Zapata, Slavomir; Dromerick, Alexander W; Blackman, Marc R; Magruder, Kathryn M
For veterans separated from the military as a result of acquired mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), the transition from a military identity to a civilian one is complicated by health, cognitive, and psychosocial factors. We conducted in-depth interviews with 8 veterans with mTBI to understand how they perceived the experience of departure from the military, rehabilitation services provided at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma Network Site, and reentry into civilian life. Two distinct patterns of thinking about community reintegration emerged. The first pattern was characterized by the perception of a need to fade one's military identity. The second pattern, conversely, advanced the perception of a need to maintain the integrity of one's military identity though living in a civilian world. These perceptions may be linked to individuals' roles while in the military and whether violent acts were committed in carrying out the mission of service, acts not consonant with positive self-appraisal in the civilian world. The crisis of unplanned, involuntary separation from the military was universally perceived as a crisis equal to that of the precipitating injury itself. The perception that civilians lacked understanding of veterans' military past and their current transition set up expectations for interactions with health care providers, as well as greatly impacting relationships with friend and family. Our veterans' shared perceptions support existing mandates for greater dissemination of military culture training to health care providers serving veterans both at VA and military facilities as well as in the civilian community at large. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Walker, Michael J.
The Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) administered by the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration arranges training and placement for disabled veterans in local job service offices. These employees then assist in placing other disabled veterans on jobs. Some typical DVOP success stories are described. (MF)
Nathan, Robert R.
Focuses on the unemployment problem among Vietnam veterans and on the various Federal and private employment programs open to these veterans. Discussion also covers labor force statistics, readjustment to civilian life, changes in the American economy, and the role of the Department of Defense and civilian employers in helping veterans to find…
.... Funding Opportunity Description: Section 2021 of Title 38 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) reauthorizes the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) through fiscal year (FY) 2012 and indicates: ``the... DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program AGENCY: Veterans' Employment and...
McCormick, Carmen Stein; Osborn, Debra S.; Hayden, Seth C. W.; Van Hoose, Dan
The purpose of this book is to increase career practitioners' awareness of the transition issues and resources specific to veterans and to provide several examples of how a practitioner might walk a veteran through the career planning process. Case studies based on interviews with real veterans by the authors and military consultants (Thomas…
Vick, Brandon; Fontanella, Gabrielle
This paper analyzes earnings outcomes of Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans. We utilize the 2009-2013 American Community Survey and a worker-matching methodology to decompose wage differences between veteran and non-veteran workers. Among fully-employed, 25-40 year-olds, veteran workers make 3% less than non-veteran workers. While male veterans make 9% less than non-veterans, female and black veterans experience a wage premium (2% and 7% respectively). Decomposition of the earnings gap identifies some of its sources. Relatively higher rates of disability and lower rates of educational attainment serve to increase the overall wage penalty against veterans. However, veterans work less in low-paying occupations than non-veterans, serving to reduce the wage penalty. Finally, among male and white subgroups, non-veterans earn more in the top quintile due largely to having higher educational attainment and greater representation in higher-paying occupations, such as management. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.