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  1. 78 FR 48543 - Veterans Health Administration Fund Availability Under the VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-08

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

  2. Veterans Health Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Peterson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beder, Joan; Postiglione, Paul

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Veterans Administration Databases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. VA administrators breahe a sigh of relief

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-06-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-11-01

    transfer their benefits to dependents. VAVeterans Benefit Administration ( VBA ) Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Centers Disability; Physical...who are temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member to help adapt the home to meet his or her special needs. VA - VBA Yellow Ribbon...member and Veteran X X Allowance for Aid and Attendance for Housebound Veterans VA/ VBA Veteran X X X Appendix III

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-29

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

  19. 78 FR 77204 - Proposed Information Collection (VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Event Surveys...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-20

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

  20. Quality control circles in the Veterans Administration hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canel, Cem; Kadipasaoglu, Sukran

    2002-01-01

    In response to residents' reports of inefficiencies in the Veterans Administration (VA) system, a temporary task force of quality control circles was implemented at a VA hospital. A total of 25 internal medicine residents, on rotation at the VA, were subdivided into four groups. Each group was presented with a different problem, given the components and constraints of the problem, and asked to identify possible solutions. Program results were submitted to the hospital administration. Efforts are now being made to improve the working environment for medical residents.

  1. Physical and Mental Health and Access to Care among Nonmetropolitan Veterans Health Administration Patients Younger than 65 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Alan; Weeks, William B.

    2006-01-01

    Context: The 4.5 million military veterans treated by the Veterans Health Administration (VA) are believed to experience poorer physical and mental health than nonveterans. Furthermore, nonmetropolitan residents have less access to medical services, whether or not they are veterans in VA care. A direct comparison of metropolitan and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. Use of Veterans Health Administration Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment After Exiting Prison: The Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, Andrea K; Stimmel, Matthew; Blue-Howells, Jessica; Rosenthal, Joel; McGuire, Jim; Binswanger, Ingrid; Smelson, David; Harris, Alex H S; Frayne, Susan M; Bowe, Tom; Timko, Christine

    2017-03-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) program links veterans exiting prison with treatment. Among veterans served by HCRV, national VA clinical data were used to describe contact with VA health care, and mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses and treatment use. Of veterans seen for an HCRV outreach visit, 56 % had contact with VA health care. Prevalence of mental health disorders was 57 %; of whom 77 % entered mental health treatment within a month of diagnosis. Prevalence of substance use disorders was 49 %; of whom 37 % entered substance use disorder treatment within a month of diagnosis. For veterans exiting prison, increasing access to VA health care, especially for rural veterans, and for substance use disorder treatment, are important quality improvement targets.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  5. Veterans Affairs Suicide Prevention Synthetic Dataset

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-13

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

  7. 77 FR 56709 - Proposed Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-Owned...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-13

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

  8. 77 FR 70210 - Agency Information Collection (VA Subcontracting Report for Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  11. Health Programs for Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Nationwide dissemination of contingency management: the Veterans Administration initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petry, Nancy M; DePhilippis, Dominick; Rash, Carla J; Drapkin, Michelle; McKay, James R

    2014-01-01

    Contingency management (CM) is an empirically validated intervention but one not often applied in practice settings in the US. The aim of this article is to describe the Veterans Administration (VA) nationwide implementation of CM treatment. In 2011, the VA called for integration of CM in its intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment clinics. As part of this initiative, the VA funded training and ongoing implementation support, and it provided direct funds for reinforcers and other intervention costs. Over 100 clinics received this funding in 2011, and CM has been implemented in over 70 substance abuse treatment clinics since August 2011. This training and implementation experience has been highly successful and represents the largest scale training in evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders in the VA health care system to date. This program may serve as a model for training in evidence-based treatments. © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  14. Burnout among psychiatrists in the Veterans Health Administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hector A. Garcia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Research suggests that mental health workers are at high risk for burnout, and that burnout can increase staff turnover and reduce quality of care. The Veterans Administration (VA employs over 3000 psychiatrists across the United States, but little is known about burnout in this population. This study was conducted to examine predictors of burnout and intent to leave the VA among a national sample of VA psychiatrists. Participants (N = 125 responded to an anonymous online survey. Regression analyses were used to examine relationships between workplace variables, patient characteristics, and burnout as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey – which includes sub-scales for cynicism, exhaustion, and professional efficacy – as well as intent to leave the VA. Based on established cut-off scores, 90% of the sample reported high cynicism, 86% reported high exhaustion, and 74% reported high professional efficacy. High cynicism predicted the intent to leave the VA (p = .004. Not feeling part of a coherent team predicted greater cynicism (p = .01, and patient characteristics such as suspected malingering showed a positive trend with cynicism (p = .05. Workplace characteristics such as unfair treatment by supervisors (p = .03 and insufficient resources (p = .001 predicted greater exhaustion. The current findings suggest that burnout is prevalent in the VA psychiatry workforce. Specific administrative measures to reduce burnout may have potential to improve the emotional health of that workforce and ensure high quality of care for the veteran population it serves. The size of both the VA psychiatry workforce and patient population underscores the importance of greater understanding of burnout as it occurs in the VA.

  15. Non-VA Hospital System (NVH)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 78 FR 55777 - Proposed Information Collection (VA, National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events, Event...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Barriers and facilitators to Veterans Administration collaboration with community providers: the Lodge Project for homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cretzmeyer, Margaret; Moeckli, Jane; Liu, William Ming

    2014-01-01

    Since 2009, the U.S. Veterans Administration has made concentrated efforts to end homelessness among veterans. As part of these efforts, the Iowa City, Iowa, VA Health Care System in collaboration with local community providers deployed a supportive housing program aimed at homeless veterans. Called the Lodge program, it is intended to serve a Mid-Western mid-size city and its surrounding rural communities. This article presents qualitative findings from a mixed-method, two-year formative evaluation of the Lodge's implementation. Primary barriers to the effectiveness of the Lodge program were regulations hindering cooperation between service programs, followed by problems regarding information sharing and client substance abuse. Facilitators included personal communication and cooperation between individuals within and among service groups. The feasibility of implementing a Lodge program in a more rural community than Iowa City was also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  2. 78 FR 59769 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-27

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

  3. 76 FR 20823 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2013-04-01

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

  8. 78 FR 59861 - VA Acquisition Regulation: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Status...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. VA Outpatient Visits by Administrative Parent, FY2010-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — Outpatient visits by Administrative Parent. A visit is counted as a visit to one or more clinics or units within 1 calendar day at the site of care level. A patient...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  13. Modeling veterans healthcare administration disclosure processes :

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beyeler, Walter E; DeMenno, Mercy B.; Finley, Patrick D.

    2013-09-01

    As with other large healthcare organizations, medical adverse events at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities can expose patients to unforeseen negative risks. VHA leadership recognizes that properly handled disclosure of adverse events can minimize potential harm to patients and negative consequences for the effective functioning of the organization. The work documented here seeks to help improve the disclosure process by situating it within the broader theoretical framework of issues management, and to identify opportunities for process improvement through modeling disclosure and reactions to disclosure. The computational model will allow a variety of disclosure actions to be tested across a range of incident scenarios. Our conceptual model will be refined in collaboration with domain experts, especially by continuing to draw on insights from VA Study of the Communication of Adverse Large-Scale Events (SCALE) project researchers.

  14. 78 FR 27882 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 76 FR 4152 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-24

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

  17. 78 FR 37278 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran (VOV...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. 32 CFR 644.405 - Transfers to Veterans Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Transfers to Veterans Administration. 38 U.S.C. 5003 authorizes the Secretaries of the military departments to transfer, without reimbursement, to the Veterans Administration, facilities, supplies, equipment... 32 National Defense 4 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Transfers to Veterans Administration. 644.405...

  20. 75 FR 41577 - VBA/VHA Musculoskeletal Forum: Improving VA's Disability Evaluation Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-16

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

  1. Human Papillomavirus Testing by Veterans Administration Women's Health Providers: Are They Adhering to Guidelines?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallett, Laura D; Gerber, Megan R

    2017-09-08

    Evidence-based guidelines have been created by professional societies, including the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), for use of human papillomavirus (HPV) cotesting in cervical cancer screening. We investigated whether Veterans Health Administration (VA) providers at one VA medical center follow these guidelines. Retrospective chart review of women aged 21-65 who had an HPV test ordered with pap testing in fiscal year 2014 at one Veterans Administration (VA) medical center to evaluate concordance of HPV ordering with screening (USPSTF) and management (ASCCP) guidelines. We collected data on patient characteristics and gynecologic history and documented the reason, if given, for HPV testing. Of the 210 eligible HPV tests evaluated, 142 tests (68%) were determined to be guideline discordant. Of the 142 guideline-discordant tests, 90 had no documented reason for HPV testing in the chart. Site of care was not significant. This study demonstrates potential overuse of HPV testing among women's health providers at one VA medical center. This may indicate that VA providers lack an understanding of HPV cotesting guidelines. Further studies are needed to characterize VA provider adherence to HPV testing guidelines nationally. Implementation of educational interventions and decision aids may improve VA providers' adherence to guidelines.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

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

  3. 76 FR 36955 - West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998; Master Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-23

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

  4. A prism of excellence: The Charleston Veterans Administration Nursing Academic Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coxe, D Nicole; Conner, Brian T; Lauerer, Joy; Skipper, Janice; York, Janet; Fraggos, Mary; Stuart, Gail W

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  10. 76 FR 61150 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property at the VA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

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

  11. Caring with Honor: A Grounded Theory of Caring for Veterans within the Veterans Health Administration

    OpenAIRE

    Alvita K. Nathaniel; Lisa Hardman

    2017-01-01

    Veterans comprise a unique culture. Through their military experience, Veterans become ingrained with shared values, beliefs and attitudes that characterize their everyday existence. Health care providers must take into consideration that culture impacts health care seeking behaviors. The theory of Caring with Honor is emerging through the classic GT method. A team of investigators within the VA health care system gathered data from 19 health care professionals via one-on-one interviews. T...

  12. Honoring our Nation's Veterans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  15. Caring with Honor: A Grounded Theory of Caring for Veterans within the Veterans Health Administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvita K. Nathaniel

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Veterans comprise a unique culture. Through their military experience, Veterans become ingrained with shared values, beliefs and attitudes that characterize their everyday existence. Health care providers must take into consideration that culture impacts health care seeking behaviors. The theory of Caring with Honor is emerging through the classic GT method. A team of investigators within the VA health care system gathered data from 19 health care professionals via one-on-one interviews. The emerging theory, Caring with Honor, represents an amplifying process whereby health care professionals engage with Veterans through a process of enculturating, witnessing, connecting, honoring, and caring with purpose.

  16. The transformation experience of the Veterans Health Administration and its relevance to Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fooks, Cathy; Decter, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Over the past few years, there has been a steady stream of visitors to Canada from the US Veterans Health Administration (VA). Led by the former Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Ken Kizer, they come to tell the remarkable story of how the VA transformed itself from a hospital-based bureaucracy described as "dangerous, dirty and scandal-ridden" to a healthcare system for veterans recognized for its high-quality, patient-centred care. It is a fascinating story of how a publicly funded healthcare service changed its entire approach to patient care with a quality improvement lens at its core. Fifteen years ago, critics of the VA called for its complete privatization as the only solution to fixing its problems. A team of quality champions set out to prove otherwise. Canada has some lessons to learn. The VA is a compelling role model for Canadian reformers, in large measure, due to its public sector character.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-01

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

  18. 75 FR 7648 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Department of Veterans Affairs...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-22

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

  19. Veterans Health Administration: Actions Needed to Better Recruit and Retain Clinical and Administrative Staff

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-03-22

    VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION Actions Needed to Better Recruit and Retain Clinical and Administrative Staff Statement of...the Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, House of Representatives. March 22, 2017 VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION Actions...Needed to Better Recruit and Retain Clinical and Administrative Staff What GAO Found Challenges in recruiting and retaining both clinical and human

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  1. 38 CFR 17.101 - Collection or recovery by VA for medical care or services provided or furnished to a veteran for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  5. Gender disparities in Veterans Health Administration care: importance of accounting for veteran status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frayne, Susan M; Yano, Elizabeth M; Nguyen, Vu Q; Yu, Wei; Ananth, Lakshmi; Chiu, Victor Y; Phibbs, Ciaran S

    2008-05-01

    In an effort to assess and reduce gender-related quality gaps, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has promoted gender-based research. Historically, such appraisals have often relied on secondary databases, with little attention to methodological implications of the fact that VHA provides care to some nonveteran patients. To determine whether conclusions about gender differences in utilization and cost of VHA care change after accounting for veteran status. Cross-sectional. All users of VHA in 2002 (N = 4,429,414). Veteran status, outpatient/inpatient utilization and cost, from centralized 2002 administrative files. Nonveterans accounted for 50.7% of women (the majority employees) but only 3.0% of men. Among all users, outpatient and inpatient utilization and cost were far lower in women than in men, but in the veteran subgroup these differences decreased substantially or, in the case of use and cost of outpatient care, reversed. Utilization and cost were very low among women employees; women spouses of fully disabled veterans had utilization and costs similar to those of women veterans. By gender, nonveterans represent a higher proportion of women than of men in VHA, and some large nonveteran groups have low utilization and costs; therefore, conclusions about gender disparities change substantially when veteran status is taken into account. Researchers seeking to characterize gender disparities in VHA care should address this methodological issue, to minimize risk of underestimating health care needs of women veterans and other women eligible for primary care services.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  8. Outcome by Gender in the Veterans Health Administration Motivating Overweight/Obese Veterans Everywhere Weight Management Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batch, Bryan C; Goldstein, Karen; Yancy, William S; Sanders, Linda L; Danus, Susanne; Grambow, Steven C; Bosworth, Hayden B

    2017-07-21

    Few evaluations of the Veterans Health Administration Motivating Overweight/Obese Veterans Everywhere (MOVE!) weight management program have assessed 6-month weight change or factors associated with weight change by gender. Analysis of administrative data from a national sample of veterans in the VA MOVE! A total of 62,882 participants were included, 14.6% were women. Compared with men, women were younger (49.6 years [standard deviation, SD, 10.8] vs. 59.3 years [SD, 9.8], p stress disorder (26.0% vs. 22.4%, p women was lower than men (5.6 [SD, 5.3] vs. 6.0 [SD, 5.9], p Women, compared with men, reported lower rates of being able to rely on family or friends (35.7% vs. 40.8%, p women was -1.5% (SD, 5.2) and for men was -1.9% (SD, 4.8, p women (body-mass index [BMI] >25 kg/m(2)) compared with men (BMI >25 kg/m(2); odds ratio, 1.05 [95% confidence interval, 0.99-1.11; p = 0.13]). Women veterans lost less weight overall compared with men. There was no difference in the odds of achieving clinically significant weight loss by gender. The majority of women and men enrolled lost <5% weight despite being enrolled in a lifestyle intervention. Future studies should focus on identifying program- and participant-level barriers to weight loss.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephen Schey; Jim Francfort

    2014-10-01

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

  10. Gender-specific mental health care needs of women veterans treated for psychiatric disorders in a Veterans Administration Women's Health Clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Laura J; Ghadiali, Nafisa Y

    2015-04-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  12. Root cause analysis of serious adverse events among older patients in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Alexandra; Mills, Peter D; Neily, Julia; Hemphill, Robin R

    2014-06-01

    Preventable adverse events are more likely to occur among older patients because of the clinical complexity of their care. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) stores data about serious adverse events when a root cause analysis (RCA) has been performed. A primary objective of this study was to describe the types of adverse events occurring among older patients (age > or = 65 years) in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Secondary objectives were to determine the underlying reasons for the occurrence of these events and report on effective action plans that have been implemented in VA hospitals. In a retrospective, cross-sectional review, RCA reports were reviewed and outcomes reported using descriptive statistics for all VA hospitals that conducted an RCA for a serious geriatric adverse event from January 2010 to January 2011 that resulted in sustained injury or death. The search produced 325 RCA reports on VA patients (age > or = 65 years). Falls (34.8%), delays in diagnosis and/or treatment (11.7%), unexpected death (9.9%), and medication errors (9.0%) were the most commonly reported adverse events among older VA patients. Communication was the most common underlying reason for these events, representing 43.9% of reported root causes. Approximately 40% of implemented action plans were judged by local staff to be effective. The RCA process identified falls and communication as important themes in serious adverse events. Concrete actions, such as process standardization and changes to communication, were reported by teams to yield some improvement. However, fewer than half of the action plans were reported to be effective. Further research is needed to guide development and implementation of effective action plans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 75 FR 3541 - Agency Information Collection (Verification of VA Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-21

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

  15. Relationship of hospital organizational culture to patient safety climate in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Christine W; Meterko, Mark; Rosen, Amy K; Shibei Zhao; Shokeen, Priti; Singer, Sara; Gaba, David M

    2009-06-01

    Improving safety climate could enhance patient safety, yet little evidence exists regarding the relationship between hospital characteristics and safety climate. This study assessed the relationship between hospitals' organizational culture and safety climate in Veterans Health Administration (VA) hospitals nationally. Data were collected from a sample of employees in a stratified random sample of 30 VA hospitals over a 6-month period (response rate = 50%; n = 4,625). The Patient Safety Climate in Healthcare Organizations (PSCHO) and the Zammuto and Krakower surveys were used to measure safety climate and organizational culture, respectively. Higher levels of safety climate were significantly associated with higher levels of group and entrepreneurial cultures, while lower levels of safety climate were associated with higher levels of hierarchical culture. Hospitals could use these results to design specific interventions aimed at improving safety climate.

  16. 75 FR 78807 - Agency Information Collection (Notice to Department of Veterans Affairs of Veteran or Beneficiary...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-16

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

  17. Gender and the use of Veterans Health Administration homeless services programs among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackstock, Oni J; Haskell, Sally G; Brandt, Cynthia A; Desai, Rani A

    2012-04-01

    Female Veterans comprise 12% of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans, the largest proportion of women to serve of any prior cohort. We sought to determine the sex-specific risk of using a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless program among OEF/OIF Veterans and to identify factors associated with increased risk of program use for women compared with men. We included OEF/OIF Veterans with at least 1 VHA clinical visit between October 1, 2001, and September 30, 2009. The study's outcome was the time to first use of a VHA homeless program. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to estimate the relative risk of using a homeless program by sex, adjusting for relevant sociodemographic and clinical variables. Exploratory analyses examined interactions between sex and all covariates. Of 445,319 Veterans, 7431 (1.7%) used a VHA homeless program, of which 961 were females (1.8%), and 6470 were males (1.7%) during a median follow-up period of 3.20 years. Women were as likely as men to use a homeless program (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.95-1.09); median time to first use was similar for female and male Veterans (1.88 vs. 1.88 y, respectively, P=0.53). In exploratory analyses, we found increased risk of program use for women compared with men for the following subgroups: ages 26-35 years, 100% service-connected disability rating, posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis, and northeast location. Overall, there was no substantial difference in the sex-specific risk of using a VHA homeless program. In light of this finding, VHA homeless programs must be prepared to recognize and address the unique needs of female OEF/OIF Veterans.

  18. Veterans health administration vocational services for operation iraqi freedom/operation enduring freedom veterans with mental health conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth W. Twamley, PhD; Dewleen G. Baker, MD; Sonya B. Norman, PhD; James O. E. Pittman, MSW; James B. Lohr, MD; Sandra G. Resnick, PhD

    2013-01-01

    High rates of mental health conditions and unemployment are significant problems facing Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF). We examined two national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) databases from fiscal years 2008–2009: a larger database (n = 75,607) of OIF/OEF Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, substance use disorder, or traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a smaller subset (n = 1,010) of those Veterans whose employment was tracked...

  19. A study to reduce readmissions after surgery in the Veterans Health Administration: design and methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copeland, Laurel A; Graham, Laura A; Richman, Joshua S; Rosen, Amy K; Mull, Hillary J; Burns, Edith A; Whittle, Jeff; Itani, Kamal M F; Hawn, Mary T

    2017-03-14

    Hospital readmissions are associated with higher resource utilization and worse patient outcomes. Causes of unplanned readmission to the hospital are multiple with some being better targets for intervention than others. To understand risk factors for surgical readmission and their incremental contribution to current Veterans Health Administration (VA) surgical quality assessment, the study, Improving Surgical Quality: Readmission (ISQ-R), is being conducted to develop a readmission risk prediction tool, explore predisposing and enabling factors, and identify and rank reasons for readmission in terms of salience and mutability. Harnessing the rich VA enterprise data, predictive readmission models are being developed in data from patients who underwent surgical procedures within the VA 2007-2012. Prospective assessment of psychosocial determinants of readmission including patient self-efficacy, cognitive, affective and caregiver status are being obtained from a cohort having colorectal, thoracic or vascular procedures at four VA hospitals in 2015-2017. Using these two data sources, ISQ-R will develop readmission categories and validate the readmission risk prediction model. A modified Delphi process will convene surgeons, non-surgeon clinicians and quality improvement nurses to rank proposed readmission categories vis-à-vis potential preventability. ISQ-R will identify promising avenues for interventions to facilitate improvements in surgical quality, informing specifications for surgical workflow managers seeking to improve care and reduce cost. ISQ-R will work with Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) to recommend potential new elements VASQIP might collect to monitor surgical complications and readmissions which might be preventable and ultimately improve surgical care.

  20. Disparities in initial presentation and treatment outcomes of diabetic foot ulcers in a public, private, and Veterans Administration hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, Sheila N; Warren, Stephen M

    2014-01-01

    Disparities in diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) treatment outcomes are well described, although few studies identify risk factors contributing to disparate healing and amputation rates. In a unique academic center serving urban public, private, and veteran patients, we investigated amputation and healing rates and specific risk factors for disparate treatment outcomes. A retrospective chart review of diabetic patients with a new diagnosis of a foot ulcer at geographically adjacent, but independent public, private, and Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals was conducted. Healing and lower extremity amputation outcomes were assessed. Across the three hospitals, 234 patients met the inclusion criteria. Patients at the VA hospital were older (mean 72.5 years; P race (OR 2.42; P = 0.004) increased the risk of amputation on multivariate analysis. Osteomyelitis (P = 0.0371) and gangrene (P < 0.001) are independent risk factors for amputation. Across all three hospitals, 42.3% of patients were treated by amputation (6.8% private, 12% public and 23.5% VA; P < 0.001). In a single triumvirate health care system where the patient population is stratified primarily by insurance, VA patients have significantly higher amputation rates compared with patients at adjacent private and public hospitals. The VA patients are largely racial minorities with advanced DFU progression to gangrenous ulcers. © 2013 Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  1. The effect of health information technology implementation in Veterans Health Administration hospitals on patient outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spetz, Joanne; Burgess, James F; Phibbs, Ciaran S

    2014-03-01

    The impact of health information technology (HIT) in hospitals is dependent in large part on how it is used by nurses. This study examines the impact of HIT on the quality of care in hospitals in the Veterans Health Administration (VA), focusing on nurse-sensitive outcomes from 1995 to 2005. Data were obtained from VA databases and original data collection. Fixed-effects Poisson regression was used, with the dependent variables measured using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Inpatient Quality Indicators and Patient Safety Indicators software. Dummy variables indicated when each facility began and completed implementation of each type of HIT. Other explanatory variables included hospital volume, patient characteristics, nurse characteristics, and a quadratic time trend. The start of computerized patient record implementation was associated with significantly lower mortality for two diagnoses but significantly higher pressure ulcer rates, and full implementation was associated with significantly more hospital-acquired infections. The start of bar-code medication administration implementation was linked to significantly lower mortality for one diagnosis, but full implementation was not linked to any change in patient outcomes. The commencement of HIT implementation had mixed effects on patient outcomes, and the completion of implementation had little or no effect on outcomes. This longitudinal study provides little support for the perception of VA staff and leaders that HIT has improved mortality rates or nurse-sensitive patient outcomes. Future research should examine patient outcomes associated with specific care processes affected by HIT. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Development of the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) Ophthalmic Surgical Outcome Database (OSOD) project and the role of ophthalmic nurse reviewers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara-Smalling, Agueda; Cakiner-Egilmez, Tulay; Miller, Dawn; Redshirt, Ella; Williams, Dale

    2011-01-01

    Currently, ophthalmic surgical cases are not included in the Veterans Administration Surgical Quality Improvement Project data collection. Furthermore, there is no comprehensive protocol in the health system for prospectively measuring outcomes for eye surgery in terms of safety and quality. There are 400,000 operative cases in the system per year. Of those, 48,000 (12%) are ophthalmic surgical cases, with 85% (41,000) of those being cataract cases. The Ophthalmic Surgical Outcome Database Pilot Project was developed to incorporate ophthalmology into VASQIP, thus evaluating risk factors and improving cataract surgical outcomes. Nurse reviewers facilitate the monitoring and measuring of these outcomes. Since its inception in 1778, the Veterans Administration (VA) Health System has provided comprehensive healthcare to millions of deserving veterans throughout the U.S. and its territories. Historically, the quality of healthcare provided by the VA has been the main focus of discussion because it did not meet a standard of care comparable to that of the private sector. Information regarding quality of healthcare services and outcomes data had been unavailable until 1986, when Congress mandated the VA to compare its surgical outcomes to those of the private sector (PL-99-166). 1 Risk adjustment of VA surgical outcomes began in 1987 with the Continuous Improvement in Cardiac Surgery Program (CICSP) in which cardiac surgical outcomes were reported and evaluated. 2 Between 1991 and 1993, the National VA Surgical Risk Study (NVASRS) initiated a validated risk-adjustment model for predicting surgical outcomes and comparative assessment of the quality of surgical care in 44 VA medical centers. 3 The success of NVASRS encouraged the VA to establish an ongoing program for monitoring and improving the quality of surgical care, thus developing the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) in 1994. 4 According to a prospective study conducted between 1991-1997 in 123

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  4. 75 FR 6098 - VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-08

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Connecting the dots: interprofessional health education and delivery system redesign at the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilman, Stuart C; Chokshi, Dave A; Bowen, Judith L; Rugen, Kathryn Wirtz; Cox, Malcolm

    2014-08-01

    Health systems around the United States are embracing new models of primary care using interprofessional team-based approaches in pursuit of better patient outcomes, higher levels of satisfaction among patients and providers, and improved overall value. Less often discussed are the implications of new models of care for health professions education, including education for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other professions engaged in primary care. Described here is the interaction between care transformation and redesign of health professions education at the largest integrated delivery system in the United States: the Veterans Health Administration (VA). Challenges and lessons learned are discussed in the context of a demonstration initiative, the VA Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education. Five sites, involving VA medical centers and their academic affiliates in Boise, Cleveland, San Francisco, Seattle, and West Haven, introduced interprofessional primary care curricula for resident physicians and nurse practitioner students beginning in 2011. Implementation struggles largely revolved around the operational logistics and cultural disruption of integrating educational redesign for medicine and nursing and facilitating the interface between educational and clinical activities. To realize new models for interprofessional teaching, faculty, staff, and trainees must understand the histories, traditions, and program requirements across professions and experiment with new approaches to achieving a common goal. Key recommendations for redesign of health professions education revolve around strengthening the union between interprofessional learning, team-based practice, and high-value care.

  7. Infrastructure for quality transformation: measurement and reporting in veterans administration intensive care units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Render, Marta L; Freyberg, Ron W; Hasselbeck, Rachael; Hofer, Timothy P; Sales, Anne E; Deddens, James; Levesque, Odette; Almenoff, Peter L

    2011-06-01

    BACKGROUND Veterans Health Administration (VA) intensive care units (ICUs) develop an infrastructure for quality improvement using information technology and recruiting leadership. METHODS Setting Participation by the 183 ICUs in the quality improvement program is required. Infrastructure includes measurement (electronic data extraction, analysis), quarterly web-based reporting and implementation support of evidence-based practices. Leaders prioritise measures based on quality improvement objectives. The electronic extraction is validated manually against the medical record, selecting hospitals whose data elements and measures fall at the extremes (10th, 90th percentile). results are depicted in graphic, narrative and tabular reports benchmarked by type and complexity of ICU. RESULTS The VA admits 103 689±1156 ICU patients/year. Variation in electronic business practices, data location and normal range of some laboratory tests affects data quality. A data management website captures data elements important to ICU performance and not available electronically. A dashboard manages the data overload (quarterly reports ranged 106-299 pages). More than 85% of ICU directors and nurse managers review their reports. Leadership interest is sustained by including ICU targets in executive performance contracts, identification of local improvement opportunities with analytic software, and focused reviews. CONCLUSION Lessons relevant to non-VA institutions include the: (1) need for ongoing data validation, (2) essential involvement of leadership at multiple levels, (3) supplementation of electronic data when key elements are absent, (4) utility of a good but not perfect electronic indicator to move practice while improving data elements and (5) value of a dashboard.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byrne John M

    2011-05-01

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

  10. 76 FR 61151 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

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

  11. Mortality and Revascularization following Admission for Acute Myocardial Infarction: Implication for Rural Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Thad E.; Vaughan-Sarrazin, Mary; Kaboli, Peter J.

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: Annually, over 3,000 rural veterans are admitted to Veterans Health Administration (VA) hospitals for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), yet no studies of AMI have utilized the VA rural definition. Methods: This retrospective cohort study identified 15,870 patients admitted for AMI to all VA hospitals. Rural residence was identified…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  13. Factors affecting the use of patient survey data for quality improvement in the Veterans Health Administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davies Elizabeth A

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about how to use patient feedback to improve experiences of health care. The Veterans Health Administration (VA conducts regular patient surveys that have indicated improved care experiences over the past decade. The goal of this study was to assess factors that were barriers to, or promoters of, efforts to improve care experiences in VA facilities. Methods We conducted case studies at two VA facilities, one with stable high scores on inpatient reports of emotional support between 2002 and 2006, and one with stable low scores over the same period. A semi-structured interview was used to gather information from staff who worked with patient survey data at the study facilities. Data were analyzed using a previously developed qualitative framework describing organizational, professional and data-related barriers and promoters to data use. Results Respondents reported more promoters than barriers to using survey data, and particularly support for improvement efforts. Themes included developing patient-centered cultures, quality improvement structures such as regular data review, and training staff in patient-centered behaviors. The influence of incentives, the role of nursing leadership, and triangulating survey data with other data on patients' views also emerged as important. It was easier to collect data on current organization and practice than those in the past and this made it difficult to deduce which factors might influence differing facility performance. Conclusions Interviews with VA staff provided promising examples of how systematic processes for using survey data can be implemented as part of wider quality improvement efforts. However, prospective studies are needed to identify the most effective strategies for using patient feedback to improve specific aspects of patient-centered care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Universal screening for homelessness and risk for homelessness in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Fargo, Jamison D; Byrne, Thomas H; Kane, Vincent R; Culhane, Dennis P

    2013-12-01

    We examined data for all veterans who completed the Veterans Health Administration's national homelessness screening instrument between October 1, 2012, and January 10, 2013. Among veterans who were not engaged with the US Department of Veterans Affairs homeless system and presented for primary care services, the prevalence of recent housing instability or homelessness was 0.9% and homelessness risk was 1.2%. Future research will refine outreach strategies, targeting of prevention resources, and development of novel interventions.

  18. Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence among Women Veterans who Utilize Veterans Health Administration Primary Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimerling, Rachel; Iverson, Katherine M; Dichter, Melissa E; Rodriguez, Allison L; Wong, Ava; Pavao, Joanne

    2016-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to identify the prevalence of past-year intimate partner violence (IPV) among women Veterans utilizing Veterans Health Administration (VHA) primary care, and to document associated demographic, military, and primary care characteristics. This was a retrospective cohort design, where participants completed a telephone survey in 2012 (84% participation rate); responses were linked to VHA administrative data for utilization in the year prior to the survey. A national stratified random sample of 6,287 women Veteran VHA primary care users participated in the study. Past-year IPV was assessed using the HARK screening tool. Self-report items and scales assessed demographic and military characteristics. Primary care characteristics were assessed via self-report and VHA administrative data. The prevalence of past-year IPV among women Veterans was 18.5% (se = 0.5%), with higher rates (22.2% - 25.5%) among women up to age 55. Other demographic correlates included indicators of economic hardship, lesbian or bisexual orientation, and being a parent/guardian of a child less than 18 years old. Military correlates included service during Vietnam to post-Vietnam eras, less than 10 years of service, and experiences of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Most (77.3%, se = 1.2%) women who experienced IPV identified a VHA provider as their usual provider. Compared with women who did not report past-year IPV, women who reported IPV had more primary care visits, yet experienced lower continuity of care across providers. The high prevalence of past-year IPV among women beyond childbearing years, the majority of whom primarily rely on VHA as a source of health care, reinforces the importance of screening all women for IPV in VHA primary care settings. Key considerations for service implementation include sensitivity with respect to sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and other aspects of diversity, as well as care coordination and linkages with social

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  1. Observational Comparative Effectiveness of Pharmaceutical Treatments for Obesity within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabarczyk, Ted R

    2018-01-01

    To compare the effectiveness of weight-management medications used to assist with weight loss in real-world clinical practice in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Retrospective, multicenter, observational cohort study. National VA Corporate Data Warehouse. A total of 66,035 VA patients aged 18 years or older with a body mass index of 25 kg/m 2 or greater who had an initial fill for a study medication (orlistat [6153 patients], phentermine [304 patients], lorcaserin [298 patients], or phentermine-topiramate extended release [233 patients]) or participation in the VA's MOVE! weight-management program with at least three total visits in a clinic coded as a MOVE clinic in the subsequent 24 weeks (59,047 patients) between January 1, 2012, and July 1, 2016. The primary outcome was the percentage change in weight from baseline to at least 20 weeks or later (i.e., closest weight to 6 months). Secondary outcomes were difference in the percentage of weight loss at 12 and 36 weeks; changes in blood pressure, hemoglobin A 1c , high-density and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and percentage of patients who achieved at least a 5% and 10% weight loss at 6 months from baseline in each group after at least 20 weeks. For the primary outcome, the percentage decrease in weight from baseline after at least 20 weeks in the lorcaserin, phentermine-topiramate, phentermine, orlistat, and MOVE! groups were 3.6%, 4.1%, 3.6%, 2.1%, and 1.6%, respectively (phentermine-topiramate group vs. MOVE! group, pweight loss after at least 20 weeks differed significantly among groups, ranging from 26.2% for the MOVE! Program only group to 40.3% for patients in the phentermine-topiramate group. In the VA population, the effectiveness of four available weight-management medications was similar. Patients receiving phentermine-topiramate had a greater proportion of weight loss after at least 20 weeks compared with those solely enrolled in the VA's MOVE! weight

  2. Ensuring Appropriate Care for LGBT Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Virginia Ashby; Uchendu, Uchenna S

    2014-09-01

    Within health care systems, negative perceptions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons have often translated into denial of services, denial of visitation rights to same-sex partners, reluctance on the part of LGBT patients to share personal information, and failure of workers to assess and recognize the unique health care needs of these patients. Other bureaucratic forms of exclusion have included documents, forms, and policies that fail to acknowledge a patient's valued relationships because of, for example, a narrow definition of "spouse," "parent," or "family." Bureaucratic exclusion has taken a particularly prominent form in the U.S. military. Until its repeal and termination in 2011, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy had for eighteen years barred openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military. Among the effects of DADT is a dearth of information about the number and needs of LGBT service members who transition to the Veterans Health Administration for health care at the end of their military service. The long-standing social stigma against LGBT persons, the silence mandated by DADT, and the often unrecognized bias built into the fabric of bureaucratic systems make the task of creating a welcoming culture in the VHA urgent and challenging. The VHA has accepted a commitment to that task. Its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2013 through 2018 stipulates that "[v]eterans will receive timely, high quality, personalized, safe, effective and equitable health care irrespective of geography, gender, race, age, culture or sexual orientation." To achieve this goal, the VHA undertook a number of coordinated initiatives to create an environment and culture that is informed, welcoming, positive, and empowering for the LGBT veterans and families whom the agency serves. © 2014 by The Hastings Center.

  3. Women Veterans’ Healthcare Delivery Preferences and Use by Military Service Era: Findings from the National Survey of Women Veterans

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Washington, Donna L; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Hamilton, Alison B; Cordasco, Kristina M; Yano, Elizabeth M

    2013-01-01

    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...

  4. 77 FR 43639 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (Social Security Administration (SSA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-25

    ...)/Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA))--Match Number 1008 AGENCY: SSA... of an existing computer matching program that we are currently conducting with VA/VBA. DATES: We will... Benefits Administration (VBA) A. Participating Agencies SSA and VA/VBA. B. Purpose of the Matching Program...

  5. 77 FR 54943 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (Social Security Administration (SSA...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-06

    ...)/Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA))--Match Number 1309 AGENCY: SSA... of an existing computer matching program that we are currently conducting with VA/VBA. DATES: We will... Benefits Administration (VBA). A. Participating Agencies SSA and VA/VBA. B. Purpose of the Matching Program...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. 76 FR 5432 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property at the Charlie...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-31

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

  8. 76 FR 60965 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

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

  9. Leadership Tenets of Military Veterans Working as School Administrators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolles, Elliot; Patrizio, Kami

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the leadership tenets informing veterans' work as school leaders. Drawing on 15 interviews and surveys with military veterans working as educational leaders, the study relies on Stake's (2006) case study method to substantiate assertions that veterans: 1) come into education without the support of a transitional program, 2)…

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. 20 CFR 404.1362 - Treatment of social security benefits or payments where Veterans Administration pension or...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... payments where Veterans Administration pension or compensation payable. 404.1362 Section 404.1362 Employees... Administration pension or compensation payable. (a) Before we receive notice from the Veterans Administration. If... status provisions in § 404.1350 before we receive notice from the Veterans Administration that a pension...

  12. 76 FR 71441 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  13. 76 FR 71442 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  14. 76 FR 67023 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

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

  15. 76 FR 72047 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

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

  16. 75 FR 72871 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. For Homeless Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  19. 76 FR 71439 - Amendment to an Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  20. Psychological safety and error reporting within Veterans Health Administration hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derickson, Ryan; Fishman, Jonathan; Osatuke, Katerine; Teclaw, Robert; Ramsel, Dee

    2015-03-01

    In psychologically safe workplaces, employees feel comfortable taking interpersonal risks, such as pointing out errors. Previous research suggested that psychologically safe climate optimizes organizational outcomes. We evaluated psychological safety levels in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals and assessed their relationship to employee willingness of reporting medical errors. We conducted an ANOVA on psychological safety scores from a VHA employees census survey (n = 185,879), assessing variability of means across racial and supervisory levels. We examined organizational climate assessment interviews (n = 374) evaluating how many employees asserted willingness to report errors (or not) and their stated reasons. Finally, based on survey data, we identified 2 (psychologically safe versus unsafe) hospitals and compared their number of employees who would be willing/unwilling to report an error. Psychological safety increased with supervisory level (P report an error; retaliation fear was the most commonly mentioned deterrent. Furthermore, employees at the psychologically unsafe hospital (71% would report, 13% would not) were less willing to report an error than at the psychologically safe hospital (91% would, 0% would not). A substantial minority would not report an error and were willing to admit so in a private interview setting. Their stated reasons as well as higher psychological safety means for supervisory employees both suggest power as an important determinant. Intentions to report were associated with psychological safety, strongly suggesting this climate aspect as instrumental to improving patient safety and reducing costs.

  1. Communication and psychological safety in veterans health administration work environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanchus, Nancy J; Derickson, Ryan; Moore, Scott C; Bologna, Daniele; Osatuke, Katerine

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to explore employee perceptions of communication in psychologically safe and unsafe clinical care environments. Clinical providers at the USA Veterans Health Administration were interviewed as part of planning organizational interventions. They discussed strengths, weaknesses, and desired changes in their workplaces. A subset of respondents also discussed workplace psychological safety (i.e. employee perceptions of being able to speak up or report errors without retaliation or ostracism--Edmondson, 1999). Two trained coders analysed the interview data using a grounded theory-based method. They excerpted passages that discussed job-related communication and summarized specific themes. Subsequent analyses compared frequencies of themes across workgroups defined as having psychologically safe vs unsafe climate based upon an independently administered employee survey. Perceptions of work-related communication differed across clinical provider groups with high vs low psychological safety. The differences in frequencies of communication-related themes across the compared groups matched the expected pattern of problem-laden communication characterizing psychologically unsafe workplaces. Previous research implied the existence of a connection between communication and psychological safety whereas this study offers substantive evidence of it. The paper summarized the differences in perceptions of communication in high vs low psychological safety environments drawing from qualitative data that reflected clinical providers' direct experience on the job. The paper also illustrated the conclusions with multiple specific examples. The findings are informative to health care providers seeking to improve communication within care delivery teams.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Janice D; Tsai, Jack

    2017-12-04

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

  3. How Veterans Health Administration Suicide Prevention Coordinators Assess Suicide Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pease, James L; Forster, Jeri E; Davidson, Collin L; Holliman, Brooke Dorsey; Genco, Emma; Brenner, Lisa A

    2017-03-01

    This cross-sectional study was designed to examine the suicide risk assessment practices of Suicide Prevention Coordinators (SPCs) within the Veterans Health Administration. Specifically, this study sought to (1) identify factors SPCs consider most important in assessing risk and patient priority; (2) measure the level of consistency and agreement between SPCs in assessing suicide risk and prioritizing cases; and (3) measure individual SPC consistency between cases. SPCs (n = 63) responded to online survey questions about imminent and prolonged risk for suicide in response to 30 fictional vignettes. Combinations of 12 acute and chronic suicide risk factors were systematically distributed throughout the 30 vignettes using the Fedorov () procedure. The SPCs were also asked to identify the level of priority for further assessment both disregarding and assuming current caseloads. Data were analysed using clinical judgement analysis. Suicidal plan, β = 1.64; 95% CI (1.45, 1.82), and preparatory behaviour, β = 1.40; 95% CI (1.23, 1.57), were considered the most important acute or imminent risk factors by the SPCs. There was less variability across clinicians in the assessment of risk when alcohol use (p = 0.02) and hopelessness (p = 0.03) were present. When considering acute or imminent risk factors, there was considerable variability between clinicians on a vignette-by-vignette basis, median SD = 0.86 (range = 0.47, 1.13), and within individual clinicians across vignettes, median R2  = 0.80 (0.49, 0.95). These findings provide insight into how this group of providers think about acute and chronic risk factors contributing to imminent suicide risk in Veterans. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Identifies factors that practitioners consider most important in suicide risk assessment Discusses how to distinguish between chronic and acute risk for suicide Identifies factors that lead to more consistent clinical judgments. Copyright

  4. Beyond the Iron Triangle: Implications for the Veterans Health Administration in an Uncertain Policy Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-04

    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...89 Impersonal groups with anonymous memberships traditionally afford their members few opportunities for entrepreneurship or grass roots action90...republicans.veterans.house.gov/files/documents/FINAL%20113th %20Congress%20Oversight%20Agenda%2001152013. pdf . 116 Ibid. 27

  5. Partnering to improve care: the case of the Veterans' Health Administration's Quality Enhancement Research Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Alicia A; Delevan, Deborah M; Miake-Lye, Isomi M; Rubenstein, Lisa V; Ganz, David A

    2017-01-01

    Background Within many large health care organizations, researchers and operations partners (i.e., policymakers, managers, clinical leaders) join to conduct studies to improve the quality of patient care. Yet optimal approaches to conducting partnership research and evaluation are only beginning to be clearly defined. The Veterans' Health Administration (VA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI), funded by operations leaders and administered by the VA's research service, now has nearly two decades of experience in fostering research-operations partnerships for improving quality of VA care. The work reported here is part of a national evaluation of QUERI. Because individuals in research and operations often have differing backgrounds and perspectives, we aim to identify the main sources of tension in research-operations partnerships and strategies for maximizing partnership success, through the eyes of QUERI participants. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with 116 researchers and operations partners chosen randomly from within pre-identified key participant groups. We conducted inductive qualitative analysis of verbatim interview transcripts, limited to the 89 interviews of individuals reporting at least some familiarity with QUERI. Results Tensions in research-operations partnerships were primarily related to diverging incentives and to differing values placed on scientific rigor or integrity versus quick timelines. To alleviate these tensions, operations' partners highlighted the importance of 'perspective-taking' (i.e., putting themselves into the shoes of the researchers) to ensure a mutually beneficial and attractive partnership, whereas researchers identified the importance of overcoming the need for recognition to be apportioned between either research or operations for achieved results. Both researchers and operations participants identified jointly designing each partnership from the beginning, minimizing research bureaucracy burdens

  6. Veterans Health Administration Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — A list of VHA hospitals with inpatient experience of care survey data. The VA SHEP uses the same questions as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers...

  7. VBA SSA Acc To Fed Rec Online (SAFRO) - Also known as Veterans Benefit Administration Query (VBAQ).

    Data.gov (United States)

    Social Security Administration — The purpose of this query is to provide SSA field office personnel with real-time access to military discharge data from the VA BIRLS database. This information is...

  8. Characterizing Primary Care Visit Activities at Veterans Health Administration Clinics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Jennifer C; Terwiesch, Christian; Pelak, Mary; Pettit, Amy R; Marcus, Steven C

    2015-01-01

    Medical home models seek to increase efficiency and maximize the use of resources by ensuring that all care team members work at the top of their licenses. We sought to break down primary care office visits into measurable activities to better under stand how primary care providers (PCPs) currently spend visit time and to provide insight into potential opportunities for revision or redistribution of healthcare tasks. We videotaped 27 PCPs during office visits with 121 patients at four Veterans Health Administration medical centers. Based on patterns emerging from the data, we identified a taxonomy of 12 provider activity categories that enabled us to quantify the frequency and duration of activities occurring during routine primary care visits. We conducted descriptive and multivariate analyses to examine associations between visit characteristics and provider and clinic characteristics. We found that PCPs spent the greatest percentage of their visit time discussing existing conditions (20%), discussing new conditions (18%), record keeping (13%), and examining patients (13%). Providers spent the smallest percentage of time on preventive care and coordination of care. Mean visit length was 22.9 minutes (range 7.9-58.0 minutes). Site-level ratings of medical home implementation were not associated with differences in how visit time was spent. These data provide a window into how PCPs are spending face-to-face time with patients. The methodology and taxonomy presented here may prove useful for future quality improvement and research endeavors, particularly those focused on opportunities to increase nonappointment care and to ensure that team members work at the top of their skill level.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Moving From Discovery to System-Wide Change: The Role of Research in a Learning Health Care System: Experience from Three Decades of Health Systems Research in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkins, David; Kilbourne, Amy M; Shulkin, David

    2017-03-20

    The Veterans Health Administration is unique, functioning as an integrated health care system that provides care to more than six million veterans annually and as a home to an established scientific enterprise that conducts more than $1 billion of research each year. The presence of research, spanning the continuum from basic health services to translational research, has helped the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) realize the potential of a learning health care system and has contributed to significant improvements in clinical quality over the past two decades. It has also illustrated distinct pathways by which research influences clinical care and policy and has provided lessons on challenges in translating research into practice on a national scale. These lessons are increasingly relevant to other health care systems, as the issues confronting the VA-the need to provide timely access, coordination of care, and consistent high quality across a diverse system-mirror those of the larger US health care system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, George A.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 76 FR 72045 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

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

  16. Processes and outcomes of the veterans health administration safe patient handling program: study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugs, Deborah; Toyinbo, Peter; Patel, Nitin; Powell-Cope, Gail; Hahm, Bridget; Elnitsky, Christine; Besterman-Dahan, Karen; Campbell, Robert; Sutton, Bryce

    2013-11-18

    Health care workers, such as nurses, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants, who manually move patients, are consistently listed in the top professions for musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These MSIs are typically caused by high-risk patient caregiving activities. In 2008, a safe patient handling (SPH) program was implemented in all 153 Veterans Administration Medical Centers (VAMCs) throughout the United States to reduce patient handling injuries. The goal of the present study is to evaluate the effects associated with the national implementation of a comprehensive SPH program. The primary objectives of the research were to determine the effectiveness of the SPH program in improving direct care nursing outcomes and to provide a context for understanding variations in program results across sites over time. Secondary objectives of the present research were to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in reducing direct and indirect costs associated with patient handling, to explore the potential mediating and moderating mechanisms, and to identify unintended consequences of implementing the program. This 3-year longitudinal study used mixed methods of data collection at 6- to 9-month intervals. The analyses will include data from surveys, administrative databases, individual and focus group interviews, and nonparticipant observations. For this study, a 3-tiered measurement plan was used. For Tier 1, the unit of analysis was the facility, the data source was the facility coordinator or administrative data, and all 153 VAMCs participated. For Tier 2, frontline caregivers and program peer leaders at 17 facilities each completed different surveys. For Tier 3, six facilities completed qualitative site visits, which included individual interviews, focus groups, and nonparticipant observations. Multiple regression models were proposed to test the effects of SPH components on nursing outcomes related to patient handling. Content analysis

  17. Pain research using Veterans Health Administration electronic and administrative data sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abel, Erica A; Brandt, Cynthia A; Czlapinski, Rebecca; Goulet, Joseph L

    2016-01-01

    Health services researchers are using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic health record (EHR) data sources to examine the prevalence, treatment, and outcomes of pain among Veterans in VHA care. Little guidance currently exists on using these data; thus, findings may vary depending on the methods, data sources, and definitions used. We sought to identify current practices in order to provide guidance to future pain researchers. We conducted an anonymous survey of VHA-affiliated researchers participating in a monthly national pain research teleconference. Thirty-two researchers (89%) responded: 75% conducted pain-focused research, 78% used pain intensity numeric rating screening scale (NRS) scores to identify pain, 41% used International Classification of Diseases-9th Revision codes, and 57% distinguished between chronic and acute pain using either NRS scores or pharmacy data. The NRS and pharmacy data were rated as the most valid pain data sources. Of respondents, 48% reported the EHR data sources were adequate for pain research, while 45% had published peer-reviewed articles based on the data. Despite limitations, VHA researchers are increasingly using EHR data for pain research, and several common methods were identified. More information on the performance characteristics of these data sources and definitions is needed.

  18. Implementation of Lung Cancer Screening in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsinger, Linda S; Anderson, Charles; Kim, Jane; Larson, Martha; Chan, Stephanie H; King, Heather A; Rice, Kathryn L; Slatore, Christopher G; Tanner, Nichole T; Pittman, Kathleen; Monte, Robert J; McNeil, Rebecca B; Grubber, Janet M; Kelley, Michael J; Provenzale, Dawn; Datta, Santanu K; Sperber, Nina S; Barnes, Lottie K; Abbott, David H; Sims, Kellie J; Whitley, Richard L; Wu, R Ryanne; Jackson, George L

    2017-03-01

    The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual lung cancer screening (LCS) with low-dose computed tomography for current and former heavy smokers aged 55 to 80 years. There is little published experience regarding implementing this recommendation in clinical practice. To describe organizational- and patient-level experiences with implementing an LCS program in selected Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals and to estimate the number of VHA patients who may be candidates for LCS. This clinical demonstration project was conducted at 8 academic VHA hospitals among 93 033 primary care patients who were assessed on screening criteria; 2106 patients underwent LCS between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2015. Implementation Guide and support, full-time LCS coordinators, electronic tools, tracking database, patient education materials, and radiologic and nodule follow-up guidelines. Description of implementation processes; percentages of patients who agreed to undergo LCS, had positive findings on results of low-dose computed tomographic scans (nodules to be tracked or suspicious findings), were found to have lung cancer, or had incidental findings; and estimated number of VHA patients who met the criteria for LCS. Of the 4246 patients who met the criteria for LCS, 2452 (57.7%) agreed to undergo screening and 2106 (2028 men and 78 women; mean [SD] age, 64.9 [5.1] years) underwent LCS. Wide variation in processes and patient experiences occurred among the 8 sites. Of the 2106 patients screened, 1257 (59.7%) had nodules; 1184 of these patients (56.2%) required tracking, 42 (2.0%) required further evaluation but the findings were not cancer, and 31 (1.5%) had lung cancer. A variety of incidental findings, such as emphysema, other pulmonary abnormalities, and coronary artery calcification, were noted on the scans of 857 patients (40.7%). It is estimated that nearly 900 000 of a population of 6.7 million VHA patients met the criteria for LCS. Implementation of

  19. The Clinical Nurse Leader: impact on practice outcomes in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Karen M; Haddock, K Sue; Fox, Sandra E; Shinn, Julie K; Walters, Sandra E; Hardin, James W; Durand, Kerri; Harris, James L

    2009-01-01

    The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role was designed to meet an identified need for expert clinical leadership at the point of care. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) became early adopters of the CNL role, foreseeing the value of this pivotal clinical leader at the point of care to meet the complex health care needs of America's veterans and shape health care delivery. Impact data were collected and assimilated from seven Veterans Administration Medical Centers to support how CNLs impact the delivery of quality and safe patient care and how practice changes could be sustained. Data collection and analyses resulted in many lessons learned. The new CNL role was implemented in a variety of settings in the VHA system. Integration of the CNL role in all areas of practice in every care setting has the promise of streamlining coordination of care for veterans across all spectrums in the provision of care.

  20. The patient-centered medical home in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosland, Ann-Marie; Nelson, Karin; Sun, Haili; Dolan, Emily D; Maynard, Charles; Bryson, Christopher; Stark, Richard; Shear, Joanne M; Kerr, Eve; Fihn, Stephan D; Schectman, Gordon

    2013-07-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated US health system to implement the patient-centered medical home. The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) initiative (implemented 2010-2014) aims to achieve team based care, improved access, and care management for more than 5 million primary care patients nationwide. To describe PACT and evaluate interim changes in PACT-related care processes. Data from the VHA Corporate Data Warehouse were obtained from April 2009 (pre- PACT) to September 2012. All patients assigned to a primary care provider (PCP) at all VHA facilities were included. Nonparametric tests of trend across time points. VHA increased primary care staff levels from April 2010 to December 2011 (2.3 to 3.0 staff per PCP full-time equivalent). In-person PCP visit rates slightly decreased from April 2009 to April 2012 (53 to 43 per 100 patients per calendar quarter; P < .01), while in-person nurse encounter rates remained steady. Large increases were seen in phone encounters (2.7 to 28.8 per 100 patients per quarter; P < .01), enhanced personal health record use (3% to 13% of patients enrolled), and electronic messaging to providers (0.01% to 2.3% of patients per quarter). Post hospitalization follow-up improved (6.6% to 61% of VA hospital discharges), but home telemonitoring (0.8% to 1.4% of patients) and group visits (0.2 to 0.65 per 100 patients per quarter; P < .01) grew slowly. Thirty months into PACT, primary care staff levels and phone and electronic encounters have greatly increased; other changes have been positive but slower.

  1. 76 FR 72046 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

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

  2. 76 FR 61150 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-03

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

  3. 76 FR 71443 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  4. 76 FR 71439 - Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

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

  5. 78 FR 6849 - Agency Information Collection (Verification of VA Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Veterans health administration hepatitis B testing and treatment with anti-CD20 antibody administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Christine M; Beste, Lauren A; Lowy, Elliott; Suzuki, Ayako; Moylan, Cynthia A; Tillmann, Hans L; Ioannou, George N; Lim, Joseph K; Kelley, Michael J; Provenzale, Dawn

    2016-05-21

    To evaluate pretreatment hepatitis B virus (HBV) testing, vaccination, and antiviral treatment rates in Veterans Affairs patients receiving anti-CD20 Ab for quality improvement. We performed a retrospective cohort study using a national repository of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) electronic health record data. We identified all patients receiving anti-CD20 Ab treatment (2002-2014). We ascertained patient demographics, laboratory results, HBV vaccination status (from vaccination records), pharmacy data, and vital status. The high risk period for HBV reactivation is during anti-CD20 Ab treatment and 12 mo follow up. Therefore, we analyzed those who were followed to death or for at least 12 mo after completing anti-CD20 Ab. Pretreatment serologic tests were used to categorize chronic HBV (hepatitis B surface antigen positive or HBsAg+), past HBV (HBsAg-, hepatitis B core antibody positive or HBcAb+), resolved HBV (HBsAg-, HBcAb+, hepatitis B surface antibody positive or HBsAb+), likely prior vaccination (isolated HBsAb+), HBV negative (HBsAg-, HBcAb-), or unknown. Acute hepatitis B was defined by the appearance of HBsAg+ in the high risk period in patients who were pretreatment HBV negative. We assessed HBV antiviral treatment and the incidence of hepatitis, liver failure, and death during the high risk period. Cumulative hepatitis, liver failure, and death after anti-CD20 Ab initiation were compared by HBV disease categories and differences compared using the χ(2) test. Mean time to hepatitis peak alanine aminotransferase, liver failure, and death relative to anti-CD20 Ab administration and follow-up were also compared by HBV disease group. Among 19304 VHA patients who received anti-CD20 Ab, 10224 (53%) had pretreatment HBsAg testing during the study period, with 49% and 43% tested for HBsAg and HBcAb, respectively within 6 mo pretreatment in 2014. Of those tested, 2% (167/10224) had chronic HBV, 4% (326/7903) past HBV, 5% (427/8110) resolved HBV, 8% (628

  8. Measuring sustainability within the Veterans Administration Mental Health System Redesign initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, James H; Krahn, Dean; Wise, Meg; Oliver, Karen Anderson

    2011-01-01

    To examine how attributes affecting sustainability differ across Veterans Health Administration organizational components and by staff characteristics. Surveys of 870 change team members and 50 staff interviews within the Veterans Affairs' Mental Health System Redesign initiative. A 1-way ANOVA with a Tukey post hoc test examined differences in sustainability by Veteran Integrated Service Networks, job classification, and tenure from staff survey data of the Sustainability Index. Qualitative interviews used an iterative process to identify "a priori" and "in vivo" themes. A simple stepwise linear regression explored predictors of sustainability. Sustainability differed across Veteran Integrated Service Networks and staff tenure. Job classification differences existed for the following: (1) benefits and credibility of the change and (2) staff involvement and attitudes toward change. Sustainability barriers were staff and institutional resistance and nonsupportive leadership. Facilitators were commitment to veterans, strong leadership, and use of quality improvement tools. Sustainability predictors were outcomes tracking, regular reporting, and use of Plan, Do, Study, Adjust cycles. Creating homogeneous implementation and sustainability processes across a national health system is difficult. Despite the Veterans Affairs' best evidence-based implementation efforts, there was significant variance. Locally tailored interventions might better support sustainability than "one-size-fits-all" approaches. Further research is needed to understand how participation in a quality improvement collaborative affects sustainability.

  9. 75 FR 61621 - Charges Billed to Third Parties for Prescription Drugs Furnished by VA to a Veteran for a...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

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

  10. Access to Care Among Nonelderly Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Didem M; Selden, Thomas M

    2016-03-01

    Veteran access to care is an important policy issue that has not previously been examined with population-based survey data. This study compares access to care for nonelderly adult Veterans versus comparable non-Veterans, overall and within subgroups defined by simulated eligibility for health care from the Veterans Health Administration and by insurance status. We use household survey data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2006 to 2011. We use iterative proportional fitting to standardize (control for) differences in age, sex, income, medical conditions, disability, Census region, and Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nonelderly Veterans and comparable non-Veterans. For medical, dental, and prescription medicine treatments, we use 4 access measures: delaying care, inability to obtain care, perceiving delay as a big problem, and perceiving inability to obtain care as a big problem. We also examine having a usual source of care. Frequencies of access barriers are similar for nonelderly Veterans and comparable non-Veterans for dental and prescription medicine treatments. For medical treatment, we find that Veterans eligible for VA health care and Veterans with VA use who are uninsured report fewer access problems than the comparable non-Veteran populations for 2 measures: inability to obtain care and reporting inability to obtain care as a big problem. Our results show that uninsured Veterans, the most policy-relevant group, have better access to care than comparable non-Veterans. Our results highlight the importance of adjusting Veteran and non-Veteran comparisons to account for the higher than average health care needs of Veterans.

  11. Building capacity for the conduct of nursing research at a Veterans Administration hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phelan, Cynthia H; Schumacher, Sandra; Roiland, Rachel; Royer, Heather; Roberts, Tonya

    2015-05-01

    Evidence is the bedrock of nursing practice, and nursing research is the key source for this evidence. In this article, we draw distinctions between the use and the conduct of nursing research and provide a perspective for how the conduct of nursing research in a Veterans Administration hospital can build an organization's capacity for nursing research.

  12. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures Report FY2015

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, George R; Jones, Kenneth T

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. A failure of oversight at the VA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. On September 8, 2014 the Washington Examiner reported that the Central Office of the VA was allowed to change language in the VA Office of Inspector General (VAOIG report on delays in patient care at the Phoenix VA Medical Center (1. Crucial language that the VAOIG could not “conclusively” prove that delays in care caused patient deaths at a Phoenix hospital was added to its final report after a draft version was sent to agency administrators for comment. Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House veterans' committee, said "there are significant differences between the final IG report and the draft version ...". The following day Richard Griffin, the acting VAOIG, vigorously defended the independence of his office and bristled at the allegations that the VA was allowed to alter his office's report. However, his denials and indignance seem disingenuous. To understand why, we need to go back a few years. ...

  19. Transgender Veterans' Satisfaction With Care and Unmet Health Needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehavot, Keren; Katon, Jodie G; Simpson, Tracy L; Shipherd, Jillian C

    2017-09-01

    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.

  20. Characteristics of veterans receiving buprenorphine vs. methadone for opioid use disorder nationally in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manhapra, Ajay; Quinones, Lantie; Rosenheck, Robert

    2016-03-01

    The advent of buprenorphine as an alternative to methadone has dramatically shifted the landscape of opioid agonist therapy (OAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD). However, there is limited US national level data describing thedifferences between patients who are prescribed these two OAT options. From veterans with OUD diagnosis who used Veterans Health Administration services in 2012, we identified 3 mutually exclusive groups: those who received (1) buprenorphine only (n=5,670); (2) methadone only (n=6,252); or (3) both buprenorphine and methadone in the same year (n=2513). We calculated the bi-varate effect size differences (risk ratios and Cohen's d) forcharacteristics that differentiated these groups. Logistic regression analysis was then used to identify factors independently differentiating the groups. Ten year increment in age (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.64-0.70), urban residence (OR 0.26; 95% CI 0.25-0.33), and black race (OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.35-0.43) were strongly and negatively associated with odds of receiving buprenorphine compared to methadone, while medical and psychiatric comorbidities or receipt of other psychiatric medications did not demonstrate substantial differences between groups. Differences between veterans receiving buprenorphine or methadone based OAT seems to be largely shaped by demographic characteristics rather than medical or psychiatric or service use characteristics. A clearer understanding of the reasons for racial differences could be helpful in assuring that black OUD patients are not denied the opportunity to receive buprenorphine if that is their preference. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  1. Primary Care Tasks Associated with Provider Burnout: Findings from a Veterans Health Administration Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Linda Y; Rose, Danielle E; Soban, Lynn M; Stockdale, Susan E; Meredith, Lisa S; Edwards, Samuel T; Helfrich, Christian D; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2017-09-25

    The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is a primary care delivery model predicated on shared responsibility for patient care among members of an interprofessional team. Effective task sharing may reduce burnout among primary care providers (PCPs). However, little is known about the extent to which PCPs share these responsibilities, and which, if any, of the primary care tasks performed independently by the PCPs (vs. shared with the team) are particularly associated with PCP burnout. A better understanding of the relationship between these tasks and their effects on PCP burnout may help guide focused efforts aimed at reducing burnout. To investigate (1) the extent to which PCPs share responsibility for 14 discrete primary care tasks with other team members, and (2) which, if any, of the primary care tasks performed by the PCPs (without reliance on team members) are associated with PCP burnout. Secondary data analysis of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) survey data from two time periods. 327 providers from 23 VA primary care practices within one VHA regional network. The dependent variable was PCP report of burnout. Independent variables included PCP report of the extent to which they performed 14 discrete primary care tasks without reliance on team members; team functioning; and PCP-, clinic-, and system-level variables. In adjusted models, PCP reports of intervening on patient lifestyle factors and educating patients about disease-specific self-care activities, without reliance on their teams, were significantly associated with burnout (intervening on lifestyle: b = 4.11, 95% CI = 0.39, 7.83, p = 0.03; educating patients: b = 3.83, 95% CI = 0.33, 7.32, p = 0.03). Performing behavioral counseling and self-management education tasks without relying on other team members for assistance was associated with PCP burnout. Expanding the roles of nurses and other healthcare professionals to assume responsibility for these tasks may ease PCP burden and

  2. Military and VA General Dentistry Training: A National Resource.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atchison, Kathryn A.; Bachand, William; Buchanan, C. Richard; Lefever, Karen H.; Lin, Sylvia; Engelhardt, Rita

    2002-01-01

    Compared the program characteristics of the postgraduate general dentistry (PGD) training programs sponsored by the military and the Veterans Health Administration (VA). Gathered information on program infrastructure and emphasis, resident preparation prior to entering the program, and patients served and types of services provided. Programs…

  3. The VA's affiliation with academic medicine: an emergency post-war strategy becomes a permanent partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronvall, J A

    1989-02-01

    The creation of a cabinet-level department for veterans' programs is an occasion to review medical care of American military veterans, which dates back to colonial times. To meet the medical care crisis caused by large numbers of returning World War II veterans, the Veterans Administration (VA) entered into affiliations with U.S. medical schools, a partnership that provided physicians for veterans and allowed residents to complete graduate medical education. Increasing medical care needs of veterans of World War II and successive conflicts, and legislatively expanded entitlements, have contributed to sustained growth of the VA workload--which in turn has led to an expanded partnership with schools of medicine and allied health sciences. The affiliations continue to serve both partners well and to contribute substantively to society at large by fostering the production of medical manpower and advances in biomedical research.

  4. Veterans and Homelessness

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Perl, Libby

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Master Veteran Index (MVI)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. The Decline in Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen Prescriptions in Emergency Departments in the Veterans Health Administration Between 2009 to 2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A. Grasso

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The purpose of the study was to measure national prescribing patterns for hydrocodone/acetaminophen among veterans seeking emergency medical care, and to see if patterns have changed since this medication became a Schedule II controlled substance. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of emergency department (ED visits within the Veterans Health Administration (VA between January 2009 and June 2015. We looked at demographics, comorbidities, utilization measures, diagnoses, and prescriptions. Results: During the study period, 1,709,545 individuals participated in 6,270,742 ED visits and received 471,221 prescriptions for hydrocodone/acetaminophen (7.5% of all visits. The most common diagnosis associated with a prescription was back pain. Prescriptions peaked at 80,776 in 2011 (8.7% of visits, and declined to 35,031 (5.6% during the first half of 2015 (r=‒0.99, p<0.001. The percentage of hydrocodone/acetaminophen prescriptions limited to 12 pills increased from 22% (13,949 in 2009 to 31% (11,026 in the first half of 2015. A prescription was more likely written for patients with a pain score≥7 (OR 3.199, CI [3.192‒3.205], a musculoskeletal (OR 1.622, CI [1.615‒1.630] or soft tissue (OR 1.656, CI [1.649‒1.664] diagnosis, and those below the first quartile for total ED visits (OR 1.282, CI [1.271‒1.293] and total outpatient ICD 9 codes (OR 1.843, CI [1.833‒1.853]. Conclusion: Hydrocodone/acetaminophen is the most frequently prescribed ED medication in the VA. The rate of prescribing has decreased since 2011, with the rate of decline remaining unchanged after it was classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. The proportion of prescriptions falling within designated guidelines has increased but is not at goal. [West J Emerg Med. 2016;17(4:396-403.

  7. Correlates of major depressive disorder with and without comorbid alcohol use disorder nationally in the veterans health administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Gihyun; Petrakis, Ismene L; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2015-08-01

    This study assesses medical and psychiatric comorbidities, service utilization, and psychotropic medication prescriptions in veterans with comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) relative to veterans with MDD alone. Using cross-sectional administrative data (fiscal year [FY]2012: October 1, 2011-September 30, 2012) from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), we identified veterans with a diagnosis of current (12-month) MDD nationally (N = 309,374), 18.8% of whom were also diagnosed with current (12-month) AUD. Veterans with both MDD and AUD were compared to those with MDD alone on sociodemographic characteristics, current (12-month) medical and psychiatric disorders, service utilization, and psychotropic prescriptions. We then used logistic regression analyses to calculate odds ratio and 95% confidence interval of characteristics that were independently different between the groups. Dually diagnosed veterans with MDD and AUD, relative to veterans with MDD alone, had a greater number of comorbid health conditions, such as liver disease, drug use disorders, and bipolar disorder as well as greater likelihood of homelessness and higher service utilization. Dually diagnosed veterans with MDD and AUD had more frequent medical and psychiatric comorbidities and more frequently had been homeless. These data suggest the importance of assessing the presence of comorbid medical/psychiatric disorders and potential homelessness in order to provide appropriately comprehensive treatment to dually diagnosed veterans with MDD and AUD and indicate a need to develop more effective treatments for combined disorders. © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

  8. VA Personal Health Record Sample Data

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. Report of VA Medical Training Programs

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. 76 FR 75509 - Autopsies at VA Expense

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-02

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

  11. Dual use of Medicare and the Veterans Health Administration: are there adverse health outcomes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brezinski Paul R

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Millions of veterans are eligible to use the Veterans Health Administration (VHA and Medicare because of their military service and age. This article examines whether an indirect measure of dual use based on inpatient services is associated with increased mortality risk. Methods Data on 1,566 self-responding men (weighted N = 1,522 from the Survey of Assets and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old (AHEAD were linked to Medicare claims and the National Death Index. Dual use was indirectly indicated when the self-reported number of hospital episodes in the 12 months prior to baseline was greater than that observed in the Medicare claims. The independent association of dual use with mortality was estimated using proportional hazards regression. Results 96 (11% of the veterans were classified as dual users. 766 men (50.3% had died by December 31, 2002, including 64.9% of the dual users and 49.3% of all others, for an attributable mortality risk of 15.6% (p Conclusion An indirect measure of veterans' dual use of the VHA and Medicare systems, based on inpatient services, was associated with an increased risk of death. Further examination of dual use, especially in the outpatient setting, is needed, because dual inpatient and dual outpatient use may be different phenomena.

  12. OneVA EA Vision and Strategy

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2012

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  14. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2007

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY1999

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2008

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2004

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2000

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2005

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2003

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY 2016

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2009

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  3. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2006

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2011

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2013

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY1997

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY2010

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures FY1996

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Treatment-seeking veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan: comparison with veterans of previous wars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert

    2008-07-01

    Differences in the characteristics and mental health needs of veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan war when compared with those of veterans who served in the Persian Gulf war and in the Vietnam war may have important implications for Veterans Affairs (VA) program and treatment planning. Subjects were drawn from administrative data bases of veterans who sought treatment from specialized VA programs for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Current Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were compared with 4 samples of outpatient and inpatient Persian Gulf and Vietnam veterans whose admission to treatment was either contemporaneous or noncontemporaneous with their admission. A series of analyses of covariance was used hierachically to control for program site and age. In analyses of contemporaneous veterans uncontrolled for age, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans differed most notably from Vietnam veterans by being younger, more likely to be female, less likely to be either married or separated/divorced, more often working, less likely to have ever been incarcerated, and less likely to report exposure to atrocities in the military. Regarding clinical status, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were less often diagnosed with substance abuse disorders, manifested more violent behavior, and had lower rates of VA disability compensation because of PTSD. Differences are more muted in comparisons with Persian Gulf veterans, particularly in those involving noncontemporaneous samples, or those that controlled for age differences. Among recent war veterans with PTSD, social functioning has largely been left intact. There is a window of opportunity, therefore, for developing and focusing on treatment interventions that emphasize the preservation of these social assets.

  11. Screening for Food Insecurity in Six Veterans Administration Clinics for the Homeless, June-December 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Toole, Thomas P; Roberts, Christopher B; Johnson, Erin E

    2017-01-12

    We assessed findings from a food-insecurity screening of a national sample of Veterans Administration clinics for homeless and formerly homeless veterans. We reviewed results from initial screenings administered at 6 Veterans Administration primary care clinics for the homeless and responses from clinic staff members interviewed about the screening program. A total of 270 patients were screened. The average age was 53 years, and most were male (93.1%). Screening showed a high prevalence of food insecurity. Of the 270, 48.5% reported they experienced food insecurity in the previous 3 months, 55.0% reported averaging 2 meals a day, and 27.3% averaged 1 meal a day. Eighty-seven percent prepared their own meals, relying on food they bought (54.2%), help from friends and family (19.1%), and soup kitchens and food pantries (22%); 47.3% received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (food stamps). Additionally, of those who screened positive for food insecurity 19.8% had diabetes or prediabetes, and 43.5% reported hypoglycemia symptoms when without food. Clinic staff members responded positively to the screening program and described it as a good rapport builder with patients. Integrating screening for food insecurity among patients in clinical settings was well received by both patients and health care providers. Addressing these positive findings of food insecurity requires a multidisciplinary health care approach.

  12. Sustainability in primary care and Mental Health Integration projects in Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, James H; Krahn, Dean; Oliver, Karen Anderson; Kirchner, JoAnn

    2012-01-01

    To explore staff perceptions about sustainability, commitment to change, participation in change process, and information received about the change project within the Veterans Administration Primary Care and Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) initiative and to examine differences from the Veterans Health Administration Mental Health Systems Redesign (MHSR) initiative. Surveys of change team members involved in the Veterans Affairs PC-MHI and MHSR initiatives. One-way analysis of variance examined the relationship between commitment, participation and information, and sustainability. Differences in PC-MHI sustainability were explored by location and job classification. Staff sustainability perceptions were compared with MHSR results. Sustainability differed by staff discipline. Difference between MHSR and PC-MHI existed by job function and perceptions about the change benefits. Participation in the change process and information received about the change process were positively correlated with sustainability. Staff commitment to change was positively associated with staff perceptions about the benefits of change and staff attitudes toward change. Sustainability is an important part of organizational change efforts. Change complexity seems to influence perception about sustainability and impacts staff perceptions about the benefits of change. These perceptions seem to be driven by the information received and opportunities to participate in the change process. Further research is needed to understand how information and participation influence sustainability and affect employee commitment to change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  15. VA National Bed Control System

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Research on rural veterans: an analysis of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, William B; Wallace, Amy E; West, Alan N; Heady, Hilda R; Hawthorne, Kara

    2008-01-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VA) provides comprehensive health care services to veterans across the United States. Recently, the VA established an Office of Rural Health to address the health care needs of rural veterans. To review the literature on rural veterans' health care needs in order to identify areas for future research. We conducted a literature review of articles listed in the Medline, CINAHL, and BIOSIS datasets since 1950. We reviewed and summarized the findings of 50 articles that specifically examined rural veterans. The literature on rural veterans included 4 articles examining access to care, 7 evaluating distance technology, 4 examining new models of care delivery, 11 studying rural veterans' patient characteristics, 10 evaluating programs provided in a rural setting, 6 examining rural health care settings, and 8 exploring rural veterans' health services utilization patterns. Most studies were small, based on data obtained before 2000, and consisted of uncontrolled, retrospective, descriptive studies of health care provided in rural VA settings. Definitions of rural were inconsistent, and in 20% of the articles examined the rural aspect of the setting was incidental to the study. The literature on rural veterans' health care needs warrants expansion and investment so that policy makers can make informed decisions in an environment of limited resources and competing interests.

  17. Quality management and federal workers' compensation: the Veterans Health Administration workers' compensation program model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Michael J; Mohr, David C; Lipkowitz-Eaton, Jennifer; Rodrigues, Dianne; Moreau, Sarah; McPhaul, Kate

    2015-03-01

    The federal workers' compensation program includes under a single employer five commonly encountered roles and responsibilities-injured patient, clinical provider, third-party administrator, adjudicator, and insurer. Data within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provide a unique opportunity to apply a simple model of health care quality improvement, exploring interactions between structures, processes, and outcomes. A facility survey identified reporting structures, levels of education and training, policies and processes, tool availability and use, and perceptions of role adherence. Administrative data included process and outcome metrics, including short-term disability, long-term disability, and lost time cases. Improved collaboration between clinical and administrative staff within VHA and with the Department of Labor was associated with improved performance. Applying a clinical quality improvement model clarifies roles, expectations, and likely relationships for improved program management.

  18. Time for the VA to clean up its act

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Treatment of Veterans with depression who died by suicide: timing and quality of care at last Veterans Health Administration visit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Eric G; Craig, Thomas J; Ganoczy, Dara; Walters, Heather M; Valenstein, Marcia

    2011-05-01

    To examine the recency and quality of the last Veterans Health Administration (VHA) visit for patients with depression who died by suicide. We obtained services and pharmacy data for all 1,843 VHA patients with diagnosed depressive disorders (DSM-IV criteria) who died by suicide from April 1999 through September 2004. We ascertained the location and timing of their final VHA visit. For visits occurring within 30 days of suicide, we examined 3 quality indicators: (1) evidence that mental illness was a focus of the final visit, (2) adequacy of antidepressant dosage, and (3) recent receipt of mental health services. Just over half of the patients (51%) with depression diagnoses had a VHA visit within 30 days of suicide. A minority of these patients (43%) died by suicide within 30 days of a final visit with mental health services, although 64% had received such services within 91 days of their suicide. Among the 57% of patients who died by suicide within 30 days and who were seen in non-mental health settings for their final visit, only 34% had a mental health condition coded at the final visit, and only 41% were receiving adequate dosages of antidepressant (versus 55% for those last seen by mental health services) (P Health Administration patients with depression who died by suicide within 30 days of their final visit received relatively high rates of mental health services, but most final visits still occurred in non-mental health settings. Increased referrals to mental health services, attention to mental health issues in non-mental health settings, and focus on antidepressant treatment adequacy by all providers might have reduced suicide risks for these patients. © Copyright 2011 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

  20. 78 FR 76412 - Agency Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, William B; Mills, Peter D

    2003-12-01

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

  2. Suicide Mortality Among Patients Treated by the Veterans Health Administration From 2000 to 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohnert, Amy S. B.; Ilgen, Mark A.; Ignacio, Rosalinda; McCarthy, John F.; Valenstein, Marcia M.; Knox, Kerry L.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives. We sought to examine rates of suicide among individuals receiving health care services in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities over an 8-year period. Methods. We included annual cohorts of all individuals who received VHA health care services from fiscal year (FY) 2000 through FY 2007 (October 1, 1999–September 30, 2007; N = 8 855 655). Vital status and cause of death were obtained from the National Death Index. Results. Suicide was more common among VHA patients than members of the general US population. The overall rates of suicide among VHA patients decreased slightly but significantly from 2000 to 2007 (P < .001). Male veterans between the ages of 30 and 64 years were at the highest risk of suicide. Conclusions. VHA health care system patients are at elevated risk for suicide and are appropriate for suicide reduction services, although the rate of suicide has decreased in recent years for this group. Comprehensive approaches to suicide prevention in the VHA focus not only on recent returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan but also on middle-aged and older Veterans. PMID:22390612

  3. A Health Services Research Agenda for Bariatric Surgery Within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, L M; Gunnar, W; Dominitz, J A; Eisenberg, D; Frayne, S; Maggard-Gibbons, M; Kalarchian, M A; Livingston, E; Sanchez, V; Smith, B R; Weidenbacher, H; Maciejewski, Matthew L

    2017-04-01

    In 2016, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) held a Weight Management State of the Art conference to identify evidence gaps and develop a research agenda for population-based weight management for veterans. Included were behavioral, pharmacologic, and bariatric surgery workgroups. This article summarizes the bariatric surgery workgroup (BSWG) findings and recommendations for future research. The BSWG agreed that there is evidence from randomized trials and large observational studies suggesting that bariatric surgery is superior to medical therapy for short- and intermediate-term remission of type 2 diabetes, long-term weight loss, and long-term survival. Priority evidence gaps include long-term comorbidity remission, mental health, substance abuse, and health care costs. Evidence of the role of endoscopic weight loss options is also lacking. The BSWG also noted the limited evidence regarding optimal timing for bariatric surgery referral, barriers to bariatric surgery itself, and management of high-risk bariatric surgery patients. Clinical trials of pre- and post-surgery interventions may help to optimize patient outcomes. A registry of overweight and obese veterans and a workforce assessment to determine the VHA's capacity to increase bariatric surgery access were recommended. These will help inform policy modifications and focus the research agenda to improve the ability of the VHA to deliver population-based weight management.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-28

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

  6. Implementation findings from a hybrid III implementation-effectiveness trial of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschroder, Laura J; Reardon, Caitlin M; AuYoung, Mona; Moin, Tannaz; Datta, Santanu K; Sparks, Jordan B; Maciejewski, Matthew L; Steinle, Nanette I; Weinreb, Jane E; Hughes, Maria; Pinault, Lillian F; Xiang, Xinran M; Billington, Charles; Richardson, Caroline R

    2017-07-26

    The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is an effective lifestyle intervention to reduce incidence of type 2 diabetes. However, there are gaps in knowledge about how to implement DPP. The aim of this study was to evaluate implementation of DPP via assessment of a clinical demonstration in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). A 12-month pragmatic clinical trial compared weight outcomes between the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Prevention Program (VA-DPP) and the usual care MOVE!® weight management program (MOVE!). Eligible participants had a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2 (or BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 with one obesity-related condition), prediabetes (glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) 5.7-6.5% or fasting plasma glucose (FPG) 100-125 mg/dL), lived within 60 min of their VA site, and had not participated in a weight management program within the last year. Established evaluation and implementation frameworks were used to guide the implementation evaluation. Implementation barriers and facilitators, delivery fidelity, participant satisfaction, and implementation costs were assessed. Using micro-costing methods, costs for assessment of eligibility and scheduling and maintaining adherence per participant, as well as cost of delivery per session, were also assessed. Several barriers and facilitators to Reach, Adoption, Implementation, Effectiveness and Maintenance were identified; barriers related to Reach were the largest challenge encountered by site teams. Fidelity was higher for VA-DPP delivery compared to MOVE! for five of seven domains assessed. Participant satisfaction was high in both programs, but higher in VA-DPP for most items. Based on micro-costing methods, cost of assessment for eligibility was $68/individual assessed, cost of scheduling and maintaining adherence was $328/participant, and cost of delivery was $101/session. Multi-faceted strategies are needed to reach targeted participants and successfully implement DPP. Costs for assessing patients for

  7. 2001 National Survey of Veterans (NSV)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Diabetes guidelines: a summary and comparison of the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, Veterans Health Administration, and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, M J; Sterrett, J J; Carson, D S

    2000-08-01

    This paper summarizes and compares 3 major organizations' guidelines for the management of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that affects >16 million Americans. A decrease in adverse events has been demonstrated when hyperglycemia and comorbid conditions such as hypertension and dyslipidemia are controlled in patients with diabetes. Although each patient with diabetes is unique and medical care should be tailored to his or her individual needs, clinical evidence and expert opinion have established a baseline level of care for all patients with diabetes. Guidelines have been created to guide practitioners in selecting appropriate care, but their length and complexity may serve as barriers to their use. The diabetes management guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Veterans Health Administration (VA), and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) are summarized and compared in both text and tabular form. Although the guidelines published by the ADA, VA, and AACE vary slightly, all of them can be used to ensure that patients with diabetes receive appropriate care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  11. 76 FR 27384 - Agency Information Collection Activity (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-11

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

  12. 76 FR 9637 - Proposed Information Collection (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-18

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

  13. Patient engagement in the process of planning and designing outpatient care improvements at the Veterans Administration Health-care System: findings from an online expert panel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodyakov, Dmitry; Stockdale, Susan E; Smith, Nina; Booth, Marika; Altman, Lisa; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2017-02-01

    There is a strong interest in the Veterans Administration (VA) Health-care System in promoting patient engagement to improve patient care. We solicited expert opinion using an online expert panel system with a modified Delphi structure called ExpertLens™ . Experts reviewed, rated and discussed eight scenarios, representing four patient engagement roles in designing and improving VA outpatient care (consultant, implementation advisor, equal stakeholder and lead stakeholder) and two VA levels (local and regional). Rating criteria included desirability, feasibility, patient ability, physician/staff acceptance and impact on patient-centredness and care quality. Data were analysed using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method for determining consensus. Experts rated consulting with patients at the local level as the most desirable and feasible patient engagement approach. Engagement at the local level was considered more desirable than engagement at the regional level. Being an equal stakeholder at the local level received the highest ratings on the patient-centredness and health-care quality criteria. Our findings illustrate expert opinion about different approaches to patient engagement and highlight the benefits and challenges posed by each. Although experts rated local consultations with patients on an as-needed basis as most desirable and feasible, they rated being an equal stakeholder at the local level as having the highest potential impact on patient-centredness and care quality. This result highlights a perceived discrepancy between what is most desirable and what is potentially most effective, but suggests that routine local engagement of patients as equal stakeholders may be a desirable first step for promoting high-quality, patient-centred care. © 2016 The Authors. Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Results from the Veterans Health Administration ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weems, Shelley; Heller, Pamela; Fenton, Susan H

    2015-01-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the US Department of Veterans Affairs has been preparing for the October 1, 2015, conversion to the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification and Procedural Coding System (ICD-10-CM/PCS) for more than four years. The VHA's Office of Informatics and Analytics ICD-10 Program Management Office established an ICD-10 Learning Lab to explore expected operational challenges. This study was conducted to determine the effects of the classification system conversion on coding productivity. ICD codes are integral to VHA business processes and are used for purposes such as clinical studies, performance measurement, workload capture, cost determination, Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation (VERA) determination, morbidity and mortality classification, indexing of hospital records by disease and operations, data storage and retrieval, research purposes, and reimbursement. The data collection for this study occurred in multiple VHA sites across several months using standardized methods. It is commonly accepted that coding productivity will decrease with the implementation of ICD-10-CM/PCS. The findings of this study suggest that the decrease will be more significant for inpatient coding productivity (64.5 percent productivity decrease) than for ambulatory care coding productivity (6.7 percent productivity decrease). This study reveals the following important points regarding ICD-10-CM/PCS coding productivity: 1. Ambulatory care ICD-10-CM coding productivity is not expected to decrease as significantly as inpatient ICD-10-CM/PCS coding productivity. 2. Coder training and type of record (inpatient versus outpatient) affect coding productivity. 3. Inpatient coding productivity is decreased when a procedure requiring ICD-10-PCS coding is present. It is highly recommended that organizations perform their own analyses to determine the effects of ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation on coding productivity.

  15. Results from the Veterans Health Administration ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weems, Shelley; Heller, Pamela; Fenton, Susan H.

    2015-01-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the US Department of Veterans Affairs has been preparing for the October 1, 2015, conversion to the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification and Procedural Coding System (ICD-10-CM/PCS) for more than four years. The VHA's Office of Informatics and Analytics ICD-10 Program Management Office established an ICD-10 Learning Lab to explore expected operational challenges. This study was conducted to determine the effects of the classification system conversion on coding productivity. ICD codes are integral to VHA business processes and are used for purposes such as clinical studies, performance measurement, workload capture, cost determination, Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation (VERA) determination, morbidity and mortality classification, indexing of hospital records by disease and operations, data storage and retrieval, research purposes, and reimbursement. The data collection for this study occurred in multiple VHA sites across several months using standardized methods. It is commonly accepted that coding productivity will decrease with the implementation of ICD-10-CM/PCS. The findings of this study suggest that the decrease will be more significant for inpatient coding productivity (64.5 percent productivity decrease) than for ambulatory care coding productivity (6.7 percent productivity decrease). This study reveals the following important points regarding ICD-10-CM/PCS coding productivity: Ambulatory care ICD-10-CM coding productivity is not expected to decrease as significantly as inpatient ICD-10-CM/PCS coding productivity.Coder training and type of record (inpatient versus outpatient) affect coding productivity.Inpatient coding productivity is decreased when a procedure requiring ICD-10-PCS coding is present. It is highly recommended that organizations perform their own analyses to determine the effects of ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation on coding productivity. PMID:26396553

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  17. Using a framework for spread: The case of patient access in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Kevin; Schall, Marie W; Erb, Fabiane; Nolan, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    Experience indicates that an effective operational system will spread much more slowly than, for example, a new antinausea drug. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) used a Framework for Spread to spread improvements in access to more than 1800 outpatient clinics between April 2001 and December 2003. The framework identifies strategies and methods for planning and guiding the spread of new ideas or new operational systems, including the responsibilities of leadership, packaging the new ideas, communication, strengthening the social system, measurement and feedback, and knowledge management. APPLYING THE FRAMEWORK FOR SPREAD: Following a collaborative for reducing waiting times for patients without the large-scale addition of resources, each of the participating 22 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) used the framework to expand improvements in access to care to six additional targeted clinics (for example, primary care, eye care, cardiology). During the VHAs spread initiative, waiting time for a primary care appointment decreased from 60.4 days at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2000 to 28.4 at the end of FY 2002. Results were sustained. Waiting time was <25 days at the end of FY 2004. The Framework for Spread suggests areas that organizations should consider when developing and executing a strategy for a spread initiative. Further study is needed to determine the specific activities that should be emphasized to accelerate spread.

  18. Alcohol and drug misuse, abuse, and dependence in women veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoggatt, Katherine J; Jamison, Andrea L; Lehavot, Keren; Cucciare, Michael A; Timko, Christine; Simpson, Tracy L

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. Risk Factors and Predictive Model Development of Thirty-Day Post-Operative Surgical Site Infection in the Veterans Administration Surgical Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinli; Nylander, William; Smith, Tracy; Han, Soonhee; Gunnar, William

    2018-02-01

    Surgical site infection (SSI) complicates approximately 2% of surgeries in the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. Surgical site infections are responsible for increased morbidity, length of hospital stay, cost, and mortality. Surgical site infection can be minimized by modifying risk factors. In this study, we identified risk factors and developed accurate predictive surgical specialty-specific SSI risk prediction models for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) surgery population. In a retrospective observation study, surgical patients who underwent surgery from October 2013 to September 2016 from 136 VA hospitals were included. The Veteran Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) database was used for the pre-operative demographic and clinical characteristics, intra-operative characteristics, and 30-day post-operative outcomes. The study population represents 11 surgical specialties: neurosurgery, urology, podiatry, otolaryngology, general, orthopedic, plastic, thoracic, vascular, cardiac coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), and cardiac valve/other surgery. Multivariable logistic regression models were developed for the 30-day post-operative SSIs. Among 354,528 surgical procedures, 6,538 (1.8%) had SSIs within 30 days. Surgical site infection rates varied among surgical specialty (0.7%-3.0%). Surgical site infection rates were higher in emergency procedures, procedures with long operative duration, greater complexity, and higher relative value units. Other factors associated with increased SSI risk were high level of American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification (level 4 and 5), dyspnea, open wound/infection, wound classification, ascites, bleeding disorder, chemotherapy, smoking, history of severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), radiotherapy, steroid use for chronic conditions, and weight loss. Each surgical specialty had a distinct combination of risk factors. Accurate SSI risk-predictive surgery specialty

  20. State of the VA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. Earlier this week, President Obama gave his last State of the Union Address. Although this usually is a speech giving the President the opportunity of flaunt his accomplishments, no mention was made of the VA (1. Given the troubles at the VA, there seems little to tout. Over 70% of the VA medical centers were discovered to have falsified wait times (2. Because of the wait scandal, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned and VA undersecretary, Robert Petzel MD, retired under pressure. Ironically, Shinseki, a retired Army general and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was viewed in a favorable light by the current administration because of a spat with the Bush administration's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, over the number of troops needed to secure Iran and Afghanistan (3. However, during Shinseki's tenure the number of VA "medical troops", doctors and nurses, was insufficient to care for the number …

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  2. Health care for homeless veterans. Final rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-23

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

  3. Veterans Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-18

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

  4. Mental Health Productivity Monitoring in the Veterans Health Administration: Challenges and Lessons Learned.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, Lisa K; Smith, Clifford; Kivlahan, Daniel R; Gresen, Robert C; Moran, Eileen; Schohn, Mary; Trafton, Jodie; Zeiss, Antonette M

    2017-07-17

    Achieving quality outcomes and cost efficiency within mental health are overarching objectives of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The mental health care workforce has long been oriented toward the goal of high quality outcomes; however, cost efficiency has only recently been elevated into this important value equation. With increased demand for access to mental health services within the VHA, leadership sought to advance methods of determining and improving mental health provider productivity. Monitoring of productivity data may also provide data signaling the potential need for additional staffing to keep up with demand for services. This article outlines VHA's development and specification of mental health productivity policy, implementation strategies, and a discussion of challenges and lessons learned for other systems to consider in implementing productivity monitoring. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Evaluating the Veterans Health Administration's Staffing Methodology Model: A Reliable Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Beth; Yankey, Nicholas; Robinson, Claire; Annis, Ann; Haddock, Kathleen S; Alt-White, Anna; Krein, Sarah L; Sales, Anne

    2015-01-01

    All Veterans Health Administration facilities have been mandated to use a standardized method of determining appropriate direct-care staffing by nursing personnel. A multi-step process was designed to lead to projection of full-time equivalent employees required for safe and effective care across all inpatient units. These projections were intended to develop appropriate budgets for each facility. While staffing levels can be increased, even in facilities subject to budget and personnel caps, doing so requires considerable commitment at all levels of the facility. This commitment must come from front-line nursing personnel to senior leadership, not only in nursing and patient care services, but throughout the hospital. Learning to interpret and rely on data requires a considerable shift in thinking for many facilities, which have relied on historical levels to budget for staffing, but which does not take into account the dynamic character of nursing units and patient need.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  7. Bisphosphonates and hip and nontraumatic subtrochanteric femoral fractures in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safford, Monika M; Barasch, Andrei; Curtis, Jeffrey R; Outman, Ryan; Saag, Kenneth

    2014-10-01

    Subtrochanteric femoral shaft fractures after little or no trauma have been reported in long-term users of bisphosphonates, but risks relative to hip fracture protective effects and among men are not clear. We examined associations between bisphosphonate use and nontraumatic subtrochanteric (NTST) femoral fractures and hip fractures in the Veterans Health Administration. This retrospective cohort study was conducted using 1998-2007 Veterans Health Administration electronic medical records data on 78,155 individuals who had a fragility fracture at age 45 years or older. Time-to-event analysis examined associations of bisphosphonates with risk of NTST femoral fracture and, separately, hip fracture, controlling for sociodemographics, medications, and comorbid medical conditions. The cohort had a mean age 66.5 years (32.5% were ≥75 years old) at the time of their first fracture, and 69.3% were observed for 6 or more years; only 11.8% were prescribed bisphosphonates during observation. During follow-up, 408 had an NTST femoral second fracture, and 1584 had a hip second fracture. Compared with those never on bisphosphonates, the adjusted hazard ratio for NTST femoral second fracture among patients on 4 years of therapy or longer was 0.40 (95% confidence interval, 0.16-0.97) and for hip second fracture was 0.38 (95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.61). Bisphosphonate treatment in this high-risk cohort was infrequent with few long-term users, limiting power to assess long-term effects. Nontraumatic subtrochanteric femoral fractures were uncommon, and longer bisphosphonate use was associated with lower (not higher) risk. In men, risks of NTST femoral fractures associated with bisphosphonate treatment may be low in contrast to substantial protective benefits for hip fracture.

  8. The Role of Organizational Factors in the Provision of Comprehensive Women's Health in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Shivani M; Rose, Danielle E; Burgess, James F; Charns, Martin P; Yano, Elizabeth M

    Increasing numbers of women veterans present an organizational challenge to a health care system that historically has served men. Women veterans require comprehensive women's health services traditionally not provided by the Veterans Health Administration. Examine the association of organizational factors and adoption of comprehensive women's health care. Cross-sectional analysis of the 2007 Veterans Health Administration National Survey of Women Veterans Health Programs and Practices. Dependent measures included a) model of women's health care: separate women's health clinic (WHC), designated women's health provider in primary care (DWHP), both (WHC+DWHP), or neither and b) the availability of five women's health services: cervical cancer screening and evaluation and management of vaginitis, menstrual disorders, contraception, and menopause. Exposure variables were organizational factors drawn from the Greenhalgh model of diffusion of innovations including measures of structure, absorptive capacity, and system readiness for innovation. The organizational factors of a gynecology clinic, an academic affiliation with a medical school, a women's health representative on one or more high-impact committees, and a greater caseload of women veterans were more common at sites with WHCs and WHC+DWHPs, compared with sites relying on general primary care with or without a DWHP. Academic affiliation and high-impact committee involvement remained significant in multivariable analysis. Sites with WHCs or WHC+DWHPs were more likely to offer all five women's health services. Facilities with greater apparent absorptive capacity (academic affiliation and women's health representation on high-impact committees) are more likely to adopt WHCs. Facilities with separate WHCs are more likely to deliver a package of women's health services, promoting comprehensive care for women veterans. Copyright © 2016 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. All rights reserved.

  9. The Veterans Health Administration’s Treatment of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Among Recent Combat Veterans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-01

    mitigate effects of unrepresentative samples may not be wholly successful. Because of those factors, the samples analyzed may either understate or...VHA’s Health Care Provided to OCO Polytrauma Patients 22D-1. Sample Sizes 38D-2. Alternative Calculation of Average Costs for All of VHA’s Health Care...and the subgroups they sample . The percentage of OCO veterans whom VHA clinicians have diagnosed with PTSD (26 percent) is at the top of the range

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  12. Evaluation of a national telemedicine initiative in the Veterans Health Administration: Factors associated with successful implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Lauren; Ball, Sherry; Haverhals, Leah M; Aron, David C; Lowery, Julie

    2016-11-30

    The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to evaluate implementation facilitators and barriers of Specialty Care Access Network-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (SCAN-ECHO) within the Veterans Health Administration. SCAN-ECHO is a video teleconferencing-based programme where specialist teams train and mentor remotely-located primary care providers in providing routine speciality care for common chronic illnesses. The goal of SCAN-ECHO was to improve access to speciality care for Veterans. The aim of this study was to provide guidance and support for the implementation and spread of SCAN-ECHO. Semi-structured telephone interviews with 55 key informants (primary care providers, specialists and support staff) were conducted post-implementation with nine sites and analysed using Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research constructs. Data were analysed to distinguish sites based on level of implementation measured by the numbers of SCAN-ECHO sessions. Surveys with all SCAN-ECHO sites further explored implementation information. Analysis of the interviews revealed three of 14 Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research constructs that distinguished between low and high implementation sites: design quality and packaging; compatibility; and reflecting and evaluating. The survey data generally supported these findings, while also revealing a fourth distinguishing construct - leadership engagement. All sites expressed positive attitudes toward SCAN-ECHO, despite struggling with the complexity of programme implementation. Recommendations based on the findings include: (a) expend more effort in developing and distributing educational materials; (b) restructure the delivery process to improve programme compatibility; (c) establish an audit and feedback mechanism for monitoring and improving the programme; (d) engage in more upfront planning to reduce complexity; and (e) obtain local leadership support for providing primary care

  13. Chikungunya Fever Cases Identified in the Veterans Health Administration System, 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perti, Tara; Lucero-Obusan, Cynthia A; Schirmer, Patricia L; Winters, Mark A; Holodniy, Mark

    2016-05-01

    During December 2013, the first locally transmitted chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections in the Americas were reported in the Caribbean. Although CHIKV infection is rarely fatal, risk for severe disease increases with age and medical comorbidities. Herein we describe characteristics of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients with CHIKV infection and, among those with infections diagnosed in Puerto Rico, investigated risk factors for hospitalization. We queried VHA's national electronic medical records to identify patients with CHIKV testing during 2014. Demographics, clinical history, laboratory results, and outcomes were abstracted. We investigated risk factors for hospitalization among patients with laboratory-confirmed CHIKV infection in Puerto Rico. We identified 180 laboratory-confirmed CHIKV infections; 148 (82.2%) were diagnosed in Puerto Rico, and 32 (17.8%) were diagnosed among returning travelers elsewhere in the United States. In Puerto Rico, where more patients were hospitalized (55.4% versus 20.0%) and died (4.1% versus 0%), risk for hospitalization increased with age (relative risk [RR]/each 10-year increase, 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.32) and, adjusted for age, increased among patients with congestive heart failure (RR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.25-1.99), chronic kidney disease (RR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.19-1.94), diabetes mellitus (RR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.06-1.84), or chronic lung disease (RR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.03-1.82). CHIKV infection is an emerging problem among Veterans residing in or visiting areas with CHIKV transmission. Although overall mortality rates are low, clinicians in affected areas should be aware that older patients and patients with comorbidities may be at increased risk for severe disease.

  14. Key components of external facilitation in an acute stroke quality improvement collaborative in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidassie, Balmatee; Williams, Linda S; Woodward-Hagg, Heather; Matthias, Marianne S; Damush, Teresa M

    2015-05-14

    Facilitation is a key component for successful implementation in several implementation frameworks; however, there is a paucity of research specifying this component. As part of a stroke quality improvement intervention in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), facilitation plus data feedback was compared to data feedback alone in 11 VA medical facilities. The objective of this study was to elucidate upon the facilitation components of the stroke quality improvement. We conducted a secondary evaluation of external facilitation using semi-structured interviews. Five facilitators and two program directors were interviewed. Qualitative analysis was performed on transcribed interviews to gain an understanding of the role and activities of external facilitators during the on-site and telephone facilitation. Quantitative frequencies were calculated from the self-reported time spent in facilitation tasks by facilitators. The external facilitators saw their role as empowering the clinical teams to take ownership of the process changes at the clinical sites to improve their performance quality. To fulfill this role, they reported engaging in a number of core tasks during telephone and on-site visits including: assessing the context in which the teams were currently operating, guiding the clinical teams through their planned changes and use of process improvement tools, identifying resources and making referrals, holding teams accountable for plan implementation with on-site visits, and providing support and encouragement to the teams. Time spent in facilitation activities changed across time from guiding change (early) to supporting efforts made by the clinical teams (later). Facilitation activity transitioned to more monitoring, problem solving, and intentional work to hand over the clinical improvement process to the site teams with the coach's role being increasingly that of a more distant consultant. Overall, this study demonstrated that external facilitation is not

  15. Extracting a stroke phenotype risk factor from Veteran Health Administration clinical reports: an information content analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowery, Danielle L; Chapman, Brian E; Conway, Mike; South, Brett R; Madden, Erin; Keyhani, Salomeh; Chapman, Wendy W

    2016-01-01

    In the United States, 795,000 people suffer strokes each year; 10-15 % of these strokes can be attributed to stenosis caused by plaque in the carotid artery, a major stroke phenotype risk factor. Studies comparing treatments for the management of asymptomatic carotid stenosis are challenging for at least two reasons: 1) administrative billing codes (i.e., Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes) that identify carotid images do not denote which neurovascular arteries are affected and 2) the majority of the image reports are negative for carotid stenosis. Studies that rely on manual chart abstraction can be labor-intensive, expensive, and time-consuming. Natural Language Processing (NLP) can expedite the process of manual chart abstraction by automatically filtering reports with no/insignificant carotid stenosis findings and flagging reports with significant carotid stenosis findings; thus, potentially reducing effort, costs, and time. In this pilot study, we conducted an information content analysis of carotid stenosis mentions in terms of their report location (Sections), report formats (structures) and linguistic descriptions (expressions) from Veteran Health Administration free-text reports. We assessed an NLP algorithm, pyConText's, ability to discern reports with significant carotid stenosis findings from reports with no/insignificant carotid stenosis findings given these three document composition factors for two report types: radiology (RAD) and text integration utility (TIU) notes. We observed that most carotid mentions are recorded in prose using categorical expressions, within the Findings and Impression sections for RAD reports and within neither of these designated sections for TIU notes. For RAD reports, pyConText performed with high sensitivity (88 %), specificity (84 %), and negative predictive value (95 %) and reasonable positive predictive value (70 %). For TIU notes, pyConText performed with high specificity (87 %) and negative predictive

  16. Rural and urban supported employment programs in the Veterans Health Administration: Comparison of barriers and facilitators to vocational achievement for veterans experiencing mental illnesses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukla, Marina; McGuire, Alan B; Salyers, Michelle P

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to compare urban and rural supported employment programs on barriers and facilitators with employment for veterans experiencing mental illnesses. A national sample of 114 supported employment staff, supervisors, and upper level managers employed by the Veteran's Health Administration were recruited. Participants completed an online survey of work barriers and facilitators, including open-ended questions regarding additional factors that impact the work success of veterans. Survey responses were compared between participants from rural (n = 28) and urban (n = 86) programs using independent groups t tests. Open-ended questions were analyzed using content analysis. Supported employment personnel from rural programs perceived significantly more barriers to work success compared with urban personnel, particularly in the areas of access to services and a range of job-related factors, including job match and interpersonal relationships at the work site. In contrast, participants from urban programs reported greater facilitators in the domain of mental health services. Qualitative findings add depth to the quantitative findings and highlight challenges in rural supported employment programs impacting job development and job fit. Both urban and rural programs experienced unique barriers related to geography and transportation. Findings from this nationwide mixed-methods survey provide a comprehensive picture of the obstacles to employment success for veterans living with mental illnesses and receiving supported employment services in rural areas. Suggestions for changes in policy related to services and resource allocation are presented to address these unique barriers, particularly in rural areas. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. 75 FR 25321 - Agency Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-07

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

  18. Veterans Choice Program

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. The rise of concurrent care for veterans with advanced cancer at the end of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mor, Vincent; Joyce, Nina R; Coté, Danielle L; Gidwani, Risha A; Ersek, Mary; Levy, Cari R; Faricy-Anderson, Katherine E; Miller, Susan C; Wagner, Todd H; Kinosian, Bruce P; Lorenz, Karl A; Shreve, Scott T

    2016-03-01

    Unlike Medicare, the Veterans Health Administration (VA) health care system does not require veterans with cancer to make the "terrible choice" between receipt of hospice services or disease-modifying chemotherapy/radiation therapy. For this report, the authors characterized the VA's provision of concurrent care, defined as days in the last 6 months of life during which veterans simultaneously received hospice services and chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This retrospective cohort study included veteran decedents with cancer during 2006 through 2012 who were identified from claims with cancer diagnoses. Hospice and cancer treatment were identified using VA and Medicare administrative data. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the changes in concurrent care, hospice, palliative care, and chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The proportion of veterans receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy remained stable at approximately 45%, whereas the proportion of veterans who received hospice increased from 55% to 68%. The receipt of concurrent care also increased during this time from 16.2% to 24.5%. The median time between hospice initiation and death remained stable at around 21 days. Among veterans who received chemotherapy or radiation therapy in their last 6 months of life, the median time between treatment termination and death ranged from 35 to 40 days. There was considerable variation between VA medical centers in the use of concurrent care (interquartile range, 16%-34% in 2012). Concurrent receipt of hospice and chemotherapy or radiation therapy increased among veterans dying from cancer without reductions in the receipt of cancer therapy. This approach reflects the expansion of hospice services in the VA with VA policy allowing the concurrent receipt of hospice and antineoplastic therapies. Cancer 2016;122:782-790. © 2015 American Cancer Society. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  20. Elements of the Veterans Health Administration Patient-Centered Medical Home are Associated with Greater Adherence to Oral Hypoglycemic Agents in Patients with Diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meo, Nicholas; Wong, Edwin; Sun, Haili; Curtis, Idamay; Batten, Adam; Fihn, Stephan D; Nelson, Karin

    2017-07-05

    In 2010, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) primary care clinics adopted a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. This study sought to examine the association between the organizational features related to adoption of PCMH and the level of adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) among patients with diabetes. This retrospective cohort study involved 757 VA clinics that provide primary care to 440,971 patients with diabetes who were taking OHAs in fiscal year 2012. One-year refill-based medication possession ratios (MPRs) were calculated at the patient level. Clinic-level adherence was defined as the proportion of clinics with MPR ≥80%. Risk adjustment of adherence was performed using logistic regression to account for differences in patient populations at clinics. Eight domains of the PCMH model (ie, access, continuity, coordination, teamwork, comprehensive care, self-management, communication, shared decision making) were assessed using items from a previously validated index. Multivariate linear regression was applied to identify PCMH components associated with clinic-level adherence. Patients with diabetes per clinic ranged from 100 to 5011. The average level of adherence to OHAs among clinics ranged from 52.8% to 61.9% (interquartile range = 57.9% to 59.4%). In multivariate analysis, organizational features associated with higher clinic-level adherence included access to routine care (standardized beta [Sβ] = .21, P = .004), having a respectful office staff (Sβ = 0.21, P = .002), and utilization of telephone encounters (Sβ = 0.23, P < .001). Among a national cohort of veterans with diabetes, overall PCMH implementation did not significantly increase adherence to oral hypoglycemic agents, although aspects of implementation were associated with increased adherence. Measures of access to care appear the most significant.

  1. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... listen? see more videos from Veterans Health Administration 1 Act see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ... videos from Veterans Health Administration The Power of 1 PSA see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ...

  2. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... listen? see more videos from Veterans Health Administration 1 Act see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ... from Veterans Health Administration Lost: The Power of One Connection see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ...

  3. Reflections of the Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System Regional Nurse Practitioner Residency Forum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kameka; Poppe, Anne; Kaminetzky, Catherine P; Wipf, Joyce A; Woods, Nancy Fugate

    2016-01-01

    There is a proliferation of advanced practice residency programs. However, there is no uniform model of developing and evaluating program success. An information forum was convened by Veterans Health Administration Puget Sound Health Care System's Center for Primary Care Education on September 17, 2013, in Seattle, Washington, to explore critical aspects of residency models. The three objectives of this forum were to develop a shared understanding of key elements needed to support nurse practitioner residencies; define the unique needs of nurse practitioner trainees who are interested in applying for a residency; and examine the viability of designing a replicable nurse practitioner residency model benchmarking stakeholder best practices. This article describes the organization of the forum and summarizes the presentations during the program. The companion article explores key recommendations from the forum related to future development of residency "toolkits" to aid in future evaluation and accreditation. As nurse practitioner residencies continue to develop and evolve, more is needed in the area of structure and alignment. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  4. Emergency management program operational responses to weapons of mass destruction: Veterans Health Administration, 2001-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Michael J; Bierenbaum, Arnold; Mather, Susan; Brown, Mark A; Beatty, John; Scott, Margie; Brewster, Peter

    2004-11-01

    Despite the recognition of chemical emergencies, terrorist events, and ongoing threats, little practical guidance exists for healthcare facilities. An approach and materials developed by the Veterans Health Administration in a five-element program over the last 2 years to enhance the existing emergency management program is outlined. Nine steps to the development of a comprehensive all-hazards, emergency plan and program, with auditing and improvement tools are offered. Cognitive aids for clinical use are available on-line and in hard copy. A hazard assessment modeled patients as emission sources documenting the operations strategies under which level C personal protective equipment will protect healthcare workers. The development of this response program appears to support a broader, long-standing VHA approach to problem solving. This involves bringing together individual talented field staff, representing specific skills, geographic regions, and work styles; investing in face-to-face consensus development; and developing programs with extensive internal peer-review ("field-based," "bottom-up and top-down," and external reviews). Comprehensive and effective programs can be constructed at low cost with reasonable speed within large systems with a public mandate, leading to responsible use of public funds internally, and as models for private sector programs. It is the long-term operational cost implications, under budget constraints in health care, which often present the true challenge. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Health Hazard Evaluation Report HETA 91-395-2244, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Los Angeles, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelly, J.E.; Miller, A.

    1992-08-01

    In response to a request from an employee of the Veterans Administration Medical Center (SIC-8062), Los Angeles, California, an investigation was undertaken of exposures to chemicals in the laboratory department, excessive heat and humidity in the kitchen area of the dietetics department, and carbon-monoxide (630080) exposures inside the building. In three of five personal breathing zone samples taken in the histopathology laboratory, formaldehyde (50000) was detected at concentrations up to 0.17 part per million (ppm) and it was also present in all four of the area air samples at concentrations up to 1.1ppm. The predominant symptoms associated with work in the laboratory included occasional headaches and nose/throat irritation. Mild episodes of dermal irritation and rash were also reported. All carbon-monoxide levels were less than 5ppm. In the kitchens, relative humidity levels were below the recommended range. Temperatures were above the range of temperatures recommended for a medium level of work. The authors conclude that a potential carcinogenic risk existed for workers in laboratories which use formaldehyde. The authors recommend specific measures to lower the risk of formaldehyde exposures in the laboratory.

  6. Experience of the Veterans Health Administration in Massachusetts after state health care reform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Stephanie H; Burgess, James F; Clark, Jack A; Mayo-Smith, Michael F

    2014-11-01

    Starting in 2006, Massachusetts enacted a series of health insurance reforms that successfully led to 96.6% of its population being covered by 2011. As the rest of the nation undertakes similar reforms, it is unknown how the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), one of many important Federal health care programs, will be affected. Our state-level study approach assessed the effects of health reform on utilization of VHA services in Massachusetts from 2005 to 2011. Models were adjusted for state-level demographic and economic characteristics, including health insurance rates, unemployment rates, median household income, poverty rates, and percent of population 65 years and older. No statistically significant associative change was observed in Massachusetts relative to other states over this time period. The findings raise important questions about the continuing role of VHA in American health care as health insurance coverage is one of many factors that influence decisions on where to seek health care. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  7. Organization Complexity and Primary Care Providers' Perceptions of Quality Improvement Culture Within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korom-Djakovic, Danijela; Canamucio, Anne; Lempa, Michele; Yano, Elizabeth M; Long, Judith A

    2016-01-01

    This study examined how aspects of quality improvement (QI) culture changed during the introduction of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patient-centered medical home initiative and how they were influenced by existing organizational factors, including VHA facility complexity and practice location. A voluntary survey, measuring primary care providers' (PCPs') perspectives on QI culture at their primary care clinics, was administered in 2010 and 2012. Participants were 320 PCPs from hospital- and community-based primary care practices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. PCPs in community-based outpatient clinics reported an improvement in established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation from 2010 to 2012. However, their peers in hospital-based clinics did not report any significant improvements in QI culture. In both years, compared with high-complexity facilities, medium- and low-complexity facilities had better scores on the scales assessing established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation. © The Author(s) 2014.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  9. Central implementation strategies outperform local ones in improving HIV testing in Veterans Healthcare Administration facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, Matthew Bidwell; Hoang, Tuyen; Knapp, Herschel; Burgess, Jane; Fletcher, Michael D; Gifford, Allen L; Asch, Steven M

    2013-10-01

    Pilot data suggest that a multifaceted approach may increase HIV testing rates, but the scalability of this approach and the level of support needed for successful implementation remain unknown. To evaluate the effectiveness of a scaled-up multi-component intervention in increasing the rate of risk-based and routine HIV diagnostic testing in primary care clinics and the impact of differing levels of program support. Three arm, quasi-experimental implementation research study. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. Persons receiving primary care between June 2009 and September 2011 INTERVENTION: A multimodal program, including a real-time electronic clinical reminder to facilitate HIV testing, provider feedback reports and provider education, was implemented in Central and Local Arm Sites; sites in the Central Arm also received ongoing programmatic support. Control Arm sites had no intervention Frequency of performing HIV testing during the 6 months before and after implementation of a risk-based clinical reminder (phase I) or routine clinical reminder (phase II). The adjusted rate of risk-based testing increased by 0.4 %, 5.6 % and 10.1 % in the Control, Local and Central Arms, respectively (all comparisons, p marketing significantly increased the frequency at which HIV testing is offered and performed in VHA facilities. These findings support a multimodal approach toward achieving the goal of having every American know their HIV status as a matter of routine clinical practice.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietert, Michelle; Dentice, Dianne; Keig, Zander

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Risk factors for ED use among homeless veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A

    2013-05-01

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

  12. 77 FR 70210 - Agency Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-23

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

  13. Opioid medication use in patients with gastrointestinal diagnoses vs unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms in the US Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayuk, G S; Kanuri, N; Gyawali, C P; Gott, B M; Nix, B D; Rosenheck, R A

    2018-03-01

    While opioid prescriptions have increased alarmingly in the United States (US), their use for unexplained chronic gastrointestinal (GI) pain (eg, irritable bowel syndrome) carries an especially high risk for adverse effects and questionable benefit. To compare opioid use among US veterans with structural GI diagnoses (SGID) and those with unexplained GI symptoms or functional GI diagnoses (FGID), a group for whom opioids have no accepted role. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative data from fiscal year 2012 were used to identify veterans with diagnostic codes recorded for SGID and FGID. This cohort study examined VHA pharmacy data to compare groups receiving ≥ 1 opioid prescription during the year and number of prescriptions filled. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses adjusted for potential confounding factors (demographics, medical diagnoses, social factors) and identified potential mediators (service use, psychiatric comorbidity) of opioid use in these groups. A greater proportion of veterans with FGID received an opioid prescription during fiscal year 2012 (36.0% of 272 431) compared to only 28.9% of 1 223 744 in the SGID group (Relative Risk [RR] = 1.25). In multivariate logistic regression, personality disorders and drug abuse (OR 1.23 for each group), recent homelessness (OR 1.22), psychotropic medication fills (OR 1.55) and emergency department encounters (OR 1.21) were independently associated with opioid prescription use. Despite the potential for adverse consequences, opioids more often are prescribed for veterans with chronic, unexplained GI symptoms compared to those with structural diagnoses. Psychiatric comorbidities and frequent healthcare encounters mediate some of the opioid use risk. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Risk factors for serious prescription opioid-related toxicity or overdose among Veterans Health Administration patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zedler, Barbara; Xie, Lin; Wang, Li; Joyce, Andrew; Vick, Catherine; Kariburyo, Furaha; Rajan, Pradeep; Baser, Onur; Murrelle, Lenn

    2014-11-01

    Prescription opioid use and deaths related to serious toxicity, including overdose, have increased dramatically in the United States since 1999. However, factors associated with serious opioid-related respiratory or central nervous system (CNS) depression or overdose in medical users are not well characterized. The objective of this study was to examine the factors associated with serious toxicity in medical users of prescription opioids. Retrospective, nested, case-control analysis of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical, pharmacy, and health care resource utilization administrative data. Patients dispensed an opioid by VHA between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2012 (N=8,987). Cases (N=817) experienced life-threatening opioid-related respiratory/CNS depression or overdose. Ten controls were randomly assigned to each case (N=8,170). Logistic regression was used to examine associations with the outcome. The strongest associations were maximum prescribed daily morphine equivalent dose (MED)≥ 100 mg (odds ratio [OR]=4.1, 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.6-6.5), history of opioid dependence (OR=3.9, 95% CI, 2.6-5.8), and hospitalization during the 6 months before the serious toxicity or overdose event (OR=2.9, 95% CI, 2.3-3.6). Liver disease, extended-release or long-acting opioids, and daily MED of 20 mg or more were also significantly associated. Substantial risk for serious opioid-related toxicity and overdose exists at even relatively low maximum prescribed daily MED, especially in patients already vulnerable due to underlying demographic factors, comorbid conditions, and concomitant use of CNS depressant medications or substances. Screening patients for risk, providing education, and coprescribing naloxone for those at elevated risk may be effective at reducing serious opioid-related respiratory/CNS depression and overdose in medical users of prescription opioids. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Tailoring Care to Vulnerable Populations by Incorporating Social Determinants of Health: the Veterans Health Administration?s ?Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team? Program

    OpenAIRE

    O?Toole, Thomas P.; Johnson, Erin E.; Aiello, Riccardo; Kane, Vincent; Pape, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Although the clinical consequences of homelessness are well described, less is known about the role for health care systems in improving clinical and social outcomes for the homeless. We described the national implementation of a ?homeless medical home? initiative in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and correlated patient health outcomes with characteristics of high-performing sites. Methods We conducted an observational study of 33 VHA facilities with homeless medical ho...

  17. CKD screening and management in the Veterans Health Administration: the impact of system organization and an innovative electronic record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Thakor G; Pogach, Leonard M; Barth, Robert H

    2009-03-01

    At the beginning of this decade, Healthy People 2010 issued a series of objectives to "reduce the incidence, morbidity, mortality and health care costs of chronic kidney disease." A necessary feature of any program to reduce the burden of kidney disease in the US population must include mechanisms to screen populations at risk and institute early the aspects of management, such as control of blood pressure, management of diabetes, and, in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), preparation for dialysis therapy and proper vascular access management, that can retard CKD progression and improve long-term outcome. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Health Administration is a broad-based national health care system that is almost uniquely situated to address these issues and has developed a number of effective approaches using evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, performance measures, innovative use of a robust electronic medical record system, and system oversight during the past decade. In this report, we describe the application of this systems approach to the prevention of CKD in veterans through the treatment of risk factors, identification of CKD in veterans, and oversight of predialysis and dialysis care. The lessons learned and applicability to the private sector are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  19. Mortality Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups in the Veterans Health Administration: An Evidence Review and Map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Kim; Anderson, Johanna; Boundy, Erin; Ferguson, Lauren; McCleery, Ellen; Waldrip, Kallie

    2018-03-01

    Continued racial/ethnic health disparities were recently described as "the most serious and shameful health care issue of our time." Although the 2014 US Affordable Care Act-mandated national insurance coverage expansion has led to significant improvements in health care coverage and access, its effects on life expectancy are not yet known. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest US integrated health care system, has a sustained commitment to health equity that addresses all 3 stages of health disparities research: detection, understanding determinants, and reduction or elimination. Despite this, racial disparities still exist in the VHA across a wide range of clinical areas and service types. To inform the health equity research agenda, we synthesized evidence on racial/ethnic mortality disparities in the VHA. Our research librarian searched MEDLINE and Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials from October 2006 through February 2017 using terms for racial groups and disparities. We included studies if they compared mortality between any racial/ethnic minority and nonminority veteran groups or between different minority groups in the VHA (PROSPERO# CRD42015015974). We made study selection decisions on the basis of prespecified eligibility criteria. They were first made by 1 reviewer and checked by a second and disagreements were resolved by consensus (sequential review). Two reviewers sequentially abstracted data on prespecified population, outcome, setting, and study design characteristics. Two reviewers sequentially graded the strength of evidence using prespecified criteria on the basis of 5 key domains: study limitations (study design and internal validity), consistency, directness, precision of the evidence, and reporting biases. We synthesized the evidence qualitatively by grouping studies first by racial/ethnic minority group and then by clinical area. For areas with multiple studies in the same population and outcome, we pooled their

  20. 76 FR 21107 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-14

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

  1. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... from Veterans Health Administration Be There: Help Save a Life see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ... more videos from Veterans Health Administration I am A Veteran Family/Friend Active Duty/Reserve and Guard ...

  2. Teamwork and delegation in medical homes: primary care staff perspectives in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    True, Gala; Stewart, Greg L; Lampman, Michelle; Pelak, Mary; Solimeo, Samantha L

    2014-07-01

    The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) relies on a team approach to patient care. For organizations engaged in transitioning to a PCMH model, identifying and providing the resources needed to promote team functioning is essential. To describe team-level resources required to support PCMH team functioning within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and provide insight into how the presence or absence of these resources facilitates or impedes within-team delegation. Semi-structured interviews with members of pilot teams engaged in PCMH implementation in 77 primary care clinics serving over 300,000 patients across two VHA regions covering the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest United States. A purposive sample of 101 core members of pilot teams, including 32 primary care providers, 42 registered nurse care managers, 15 clinical associates, and 12 clerical associates. Investigators from two evaluation sites interviewed frontline primary care staff separately, and then collaborated on joint analysis of parallel data to develop a broad, comprehensive understanding of global themes impacting team functioning and within-team delegation. We describe four themes key to understanding how resources at the team level supported ability of primary care staff to work as effective, engaged teams. Team-based task delegation was facilitated by demarcated boundaries and collective identity; shared goals and sense of purpose; mature and open communication characterized by psychological safety; and ongoing, intentional role negotiation. Our findings provide a framework for organizations to identify assets already in place to support team functioning, as well as areas in need of improvement. For teams struggling to make practice changes, our results indicate key areas where they may benefit from future support. In addition, this research sheds light on how variation in medical home implementation and outcomes may be associated with variation in team-based task delegation.

  3. Opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution: Development of the Veterans Health Administration's national program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Elizabeth M; Christopher, Melissa L D; Wells, Daina; Bounthavong, Mark; Harvey, Michael; Himstreet, Julianne; Emmendorfer, Thomas; Valentino, Michael; Franchi, Mariano; Goodman, Francine; Trafton, Jodie A

    To prevent opioid-related mortality, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) developed a national Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) program. VHA's OEND program sought national implementation of OEND across all medical facilities (n = 142). This paper describes VHA's efforts to facilitate nationwide health care system-based OEND implementation, including the critical roles of VHA's national pharmacy services and academic detailing services. VHA is the first large health care system in the United States to implement OEND nationwide. Launching the national program required VHA to translate a primarily community-based public health approach to OEND into a health care system-based approach that distributed naloxone to patients with opioid use disorders as well as to patients prescribed opioid analgesics. Key innovations included developing steps to implement OEND, pharmacy developing standard naloxone rescue kits, adding those kits to the VHA National Formulary, centralizing kit distribution, developing clinical guidance for issuing naloxone kits, and supporting OEND as a focal campaign of academic detailing. Other innovations included the development of patient and provider education resources (e.g., brochures, videos, accredited training) and implementation and evaluation resources (e.g., technical assistance, clinical decision support tools). Clinical decision support tools that leverage VHA national data are available to clinical staff with appropriate permissions. These tools allow staff and leaders to evaluate OEND implementation and provide actionable next steps to help them identify patients who could benefit from OEND. Through fiscal year 2016, VHA dispensed 45,178 naloxone prescriptions written by 5693 prescribers to 39,328 patients who were primarily prescribed opioids or had opioid use disorder. As of February 2, 2016, there were 172 spontaneously reported opioid overdose reversals with the use of VHA naloxone prescriptions. VHA

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    Chou, PhD Org : Modus Health LLC Award Amount: $465,470 Study/Product Aim(s) •  To determine the magnitude of clinically relevant change in...Rating scale for determining small and substantial meaningful change . Data will be analyzed to determine each metrics small and substantial change ...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0522 TITLE: Determining Clinically Relevant Changes in Community Walking Metrics to Be Tracked by the VA as Part of

  5. Another Phoenix VA director leaves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. The Arizona Republic reports that the director at the Phoenix VA Medical Center, Deborah Amdur, will retire after only 9 months for health reasons (1. Amdur will be replaced by Barbara Fallen, director of the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. Fallen will be interim director until a permanent replacement for Amdur can be found. This is the fifth hospital director since former Director Sharon Helman was removed in mid-2014 amid the nationwide veterans health-care scandal that was first exposed at the Phoenix VA. The Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN in Gilbert, which oversees the VA Medical Center in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas has also been through a series of 4 directors since Susan Bowers retired under pressure in the wake of the VA scandal. Marie Weldon, current acting regional director, also oversees the Los Angeles-based VA Desert Pacific Healthcare System. Weldon described Fallen as “an experienced leader who ...

  6. 77 FR 18307 - Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-27

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

  7. 38 CFR 21.272 - Veteran-student services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Veteran-student services.... Chapter 31 Monetary Assistance Services § 21.272 Veteran-student services. (a) Eligibility. Veterans who.... Veteran-student services may be utilized in connection with: (1) VA outreach service program as carried...

  8. Evaluating current automatic de-identification methods with Veteran's health administration clinical documents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrández, Oscar; South, Brett R; Shen, Shuying; Friedlin, F Jeffrey; Samore, Matthew H; Meystre, Stéphane M

    2012-07-27

    The increased use and adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) causes a tremendous growth in digital information useful for clinicians, researchers and many other operational purposes. However, this information is rich in Protected Health Information (PHI), which severely restricts its access and possible uses. A number of investigators have developed methods for automatically de-identifying EHR documents by removing PHI, as specified in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act "Safe Harbor" method.This study focuses on the evaluation of existing automated text de-identification methods and tools, as applied to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinical documents, to assess which methods perform better with each category of PHI found in our clinical notes; and when new methods are needed to improve performance. We installed and evaluated five text de-identification systems "out-of-the-box" using a corpus of VHA clinical documents. The systems based on machine learning methods were trained with the 2006 i2b2 de-identification corpora and evaluated with our VHA corpus, and also evaluated with a ten-fold cross-validation experiment using our VHA corpus. We counted exact, partial, and fully contained matches with reference annotations, considering each PHI type separately, or only one unique 'PHI' category. Performance of the systems was assessed using recall (equivalent to sensitivity) and precision (equivalent to positive predictive value) metrics, as well as the F(2)-measure. Overall, systems based on rules and pattern matching achieved better recall, and precision was always better with systems based on machine learning approaches. The highest "out-of-the-box" F(2)-measure was 67% for partial matches; the best precision and recall were 95% and 78%, respectively. Finally, the ten-fold cross validation experiment allowed for an increase of the F(2)-measure to 79% with partial matches. The "out-of-the-box" evaluation of text de

  9. Patient Perception of Enough Time Spent With Provider Is a Mechanism for Improving Women Veterans' Experiences With VA Outpatient Health Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    We postulated that associations between two specific provider characteristics, class (nurse practitioner relative to physician) and primary care providers who are proficient and interested in women's health (designated women's provider relative to nondesignated) and overall satisfaction with provider, were mediated through women veterans' perception of enough time spent with the provider. A national patient experience survey was administered to 7,620 women veterans. Multivariable models of overall patient satisfaction with provider were compared with and without the proposed mediator. A structural equation model (SEM) of the mediation of the two provider characteristics was also evaluated. Without the mediator, associations of provider class and designation with overall patient satisfaction were significant. With the proposed mediator, these associations became nonsignificant. An SEM showed that the majority (>80%) of the positive associations between provider class and designation and the outcome were exerted through patient perception of enough time spent with provider. Higher ratings of overall satisfaction with provider exhibited by nurse practitioners and designated women's health providers were exerted through patient perception of enough time spent with provider. Future research should examine what elements of provider training can be developed to improve provider-patient communication and patient satisfaction with their health care. © The Author(s) 2016.

  10. Developing a practical suicide risk prediction model for targeting high-risk patients in the Veterans health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Ronald C; Hwang, Irving; Hoffmire, Claire A; McCarthy, John F; Petukhova, Maria V; Rosellini, Anthony J; Sampson, Nancy A; Schneider, Alexandra L; Bradley, Paul A; Katz, Ira R; Thompson, Caitlin; Bossarte, Robert M

    2017-09-01

    The US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has begun using predictive modeling to identify Veterans at high suicide risk to target care. Initial analyses are reported here. A penalized logistic regression model was compared with an earlier proof-of-concept logistic model. Exploratory analyses then considered commonly-used machine learning algorithms. Analyses were based on electronic medical records for all 6,360 individuals classified in the National Death Index as having died by suicide in fiscal years 2009-2011 who used VHA services the year of their death or prior year and a 1% probability sample of time-matched VHA service users alive at the index date (n = 2,112,008). A penalized logistic model with 61 predictors had sensitivity comparable to the proof-of-concept model (which had 381 predictors) at target thresholds. The machine learning algorithms had relatively similar sensitivities, the highest being for Bayesian additive regression trees, with 10.7% of suicides occurred among the 1.0% of Veterans with highest predicted risk and 28.1% among the 5.0% of with highest predicted risk. Based on these results, VHA is using penalized logistic regression in initial intervention implementation. The paper concludes with a discussion of other practical issues that might be explored to increase model performance. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Principals Learning from Veteran Teachers Serving Impoverished Students: Social Justice Implications for Professors of Educational Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosine, Dale

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative study of ten elementary veteran teachers used Hargrove's single, double, and triple-loop thinking to understand their perceptions regarding knowledge new principals need to be social justice leaders working in impoverished schools. Findings in three categories revealed the importance of principals learning to identify their…

  12. 77 FR 63424 - Announcement of Competition Under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2011: Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-16

    ... administer: 152 hospitals, sometimes known as VA Medical Centers or VAMCs, 971 outpatient clinics--most of... additional clinics in Guam and the Philippines. Veterans are administratively aligned with the hospital of... ability to technically integrate its products with Open Source VistA. Test environment: Analyses for the...

  13. 38 CFR 58.16 - VA Form 10-0144-Certification Regarding Lobbying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  14. Factors affecting implementation of an evidence-based practice in the Veterans Health Administration: Illness management and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Alan B; Salyers, Michelle P; White, Dominique A; Gilbride, Daniel J; White, Laura M; Kean, Jacob; Kukla, Marina

    2015-12-01

    Illness management and recovery (IMR) is an evidence-based practice that assists consumers in managing their illnesses and pursuing personal recovery goals. Although research has examined factors affecting IMR implementation facilitated by multifaceted, active roll-outs, the current study attempted to elucidate factors affecting IMR implementation outside the context of a research-driven implementation. Semi-structured interviews with 20 local recovery coordinators and 18 local IMR experts were conducted at 23 VA medical centers. Interviews examined perceived and experienced barriers and facilitators to IMR implementation. Data were analyzed via thematic inductive/deductive analysis in the form of crystallization/immersion. Six factors differed between sites implementing IMR from those not providing IMR: awareness of IMR, importer-champions, autonomy-supporting leadership, veteran-centered care, presence of a sensitive period, and presence of a psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery center. Four factors were common in both groups: recovery orientation, evidence-based practices orientation, perceived IMR fit within program structure, and availability of staff time. IMR can be adopted in lieu of active implementation support; however, knowledge dissemination appears to be key. Future research should examine factors affecting the quality of implementation. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Developing a Peer Support Protocol for Improving Veterans' Engagement to Computer-Delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, John M; Kemp, Lakiesha L; Hubbard, Amanda; Cucciare, Michael A

    2017-05-01

    Computer-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) is an effective alternative to provider-delivered treatment for depression and anxiety, but high attrition poses a significant challenge to its use. Peer support is a feasible approach to improving cCBT engagement, but less is known about its acceptability among Veterans. To obtain feedback from Veterans (n = 24) with depression and/or anxiety on their preferences for (a) activities of Veterans Administration Peer Support Specialists (VA PSS) in helping Veterans use Moving Forward, a cCBT-based protocol developed by VA, and (b) methods for delivering support to Veterans using this programme. Four focus groups (5-7 Veterans per group) provided feedback to be used in the development of a peer-supported engagement intervention to help Veterans with depression and anxiety use Moving Forward. Content areas included roles that a VA PSS might play in supporting the use of and engagement in Moving Forward, as well as methods of delivering that support. Veteran preferences for PSS activity focused on practical aspects of using Moving Forward, including orientation to the programme, technical support, and monitoring progress. Feedback also suggested that Veterans preferred more personal roles for the PSS, including emotional support, as well as application of Moving Forward to 'real life' problems. The findings extend the literature on online, patient-facing mental health protocols by identifying emotional support and 'real life' skills application as Veteran-preferred components of a peer-support protocol designed to enhance use of and engagement in cCBT for depression and anxiety.

  17. 75 FR 61574 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Administration I'm Good. But are you ready to listen? see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ... videos from Veterans Health Administration Vet Centers: Here to Help see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-13

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

  1. Association Between Mental Health Burden and Coronary Artery Disease in U.S. Women Veterans Over 45: A National Cross-Sectional Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Megan R; King, Matthew W; Iverson, Katherine M; Pineles, Suzanne L; Haskell, Sally G

    2017-10-05

    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.

  2. Suicide risk assessment received prior to suicide death by Veterans Health Administration patients with a history of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Eric G; Kim, Hyungjin Myra; Ganoczy, Dara; Stano, Claire; Pfeiffer, Paul N; Valenstein, Marcia

    2013-03-01

    To examine the quality of suicide risk assessment provided to veterans with a history of depression who died by suicide between 1999 and 2004. We conducted a case-control study of suicide risk assessment information recorded in 488 medical charts of veterans previously diagnosed with major depression, depression not otherwise specified, dysthymia, or other, less common ICD-9-CM depression codes. Patients dying by suicide from April 1999 through September 2004 or comparison patients (n = 244 pairs) were matched for age, sex, entry year, and region. Seventy-four percent of patients with a history of depression received a documented assessment of suicidal ideation within the past year, and 59% received more than 1 assessment. However, 70% of those who died of suicide did not have a documented assessment for suicidal ideation at their final Veterans Health Administration (VHA) visit, even if that visit occurred within 0 through 7 days prior to suicide death. Most patients dying by suicide denied suicidal ideation when assessed (85%; 95% CI, 75%-92%), even just 0 through 7 days prior to suicide death (73%; 95% CI, 39%-94%). Suicidal ideation was assessed more frequently during outpatient final visits with mental health providers (60%) than during outpatient final visits with primary care (13%) or other non-mental health providers (10%, P risk assessment within the past year, but suicide risk assessments were infrequently administered at the final visit of patients who eventually died by suicide. Among patients who had assessments, denial of suicidal ideation appeared to be of limited value. Practice changes are needed to improve suicide risk assessment among patients with histories of depression, including the development of assessment and prevention strategies that are less dependent on the presence or disclosure of suicidal ideation at scheduled medical visits. © Copyright 2013 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

  3. 76 FR 72243 - Proposed Information Collection (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-22

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

  4. VA office of inspector general releases scathing report of Phoenix VA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-08-01

    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 ...

  5. 78 FR 18425 - Proposed Information Collection VA Police Officer Pre-Employment Screening Checklist); Comment...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-26

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

  6. 78 FR 38452 - Agency Information Collection (VA Police Officer Pre-Employment Screening Checklist) Activities...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-26

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

  7. Development of a Risk Index for Serious Prescription Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression or Overdose in Veterans' Health Administration Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zedler, Barbara; Xie, Lin; Wang, Li; Joyce, Andrew; Vick, Catherine; Brigham, Janet; Kariburyo, Furaha; Baser, Onur; Murrelle, Lenn

    2015-08-01

    Develop a risk index to estimate the likelihood of life-threatening respiratory depression or overdose among medical users of prescription opioids. A case-control analysis of administrative health care data from the Veterans' Health Administration identified 1,877,841 patients with a pharmacy record for an opioid prescription between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2012. Overdose or serious opioid-induced respiratory depression (OSORD) occurred in 817. Ten controls were selected per case (n = 8,170). Items for an OSORD risk index (RIOSORD) were selected through logistic regression modeling, with point values assigned to each predictor. Modeling of risk index scores produced predicted probabilities of OSORD; risk classes were defined by the predicted probability distribution. Fifteen variables most highly associated with OSORD were retained as items, including mental health disorders and pharmacotherapy; impaired drug metabolism or excretion; pulmonary disorders; specific opioid characteristics; and recent hospital visits. The average predicted probability of experiencing OSORD ranged from 3% in the lowest risk decile to 94% in the highest, with excellent agreement between predicted and observed incidence across risk classes. The model's C-statistic was 0.88 and Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit statistic 10.8 (P > 0.05). RIOSORD performed well in identifying medical users of prescription opioids within the Veterans' Health Administration at elevated risk of overdose or life-threatening respiratory depression, those most likely to benefit from preventive interventions. This novel, clinically practical, risk index is intended to provide clinical decision support for safer pain management. It should be assessed, and refined as necessary, in a more generalizable population, and prospectively evaluated. © 2015 The Authors Pain Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Academy of Pain Medicine.

  8. Implementing the MOVE! weight-management program in the Veterans Health Administration, 2007-2010: a qualitative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiner, Bryan J; Haynes-Maslow, Lindsey; Kahwati, Leila C; Kinsinger, Linda S; Campbell, Marci K

    2012-01-01

    One-third of US veterans receiving care at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical facilities are obese and, therefore, at higher risk for developing multiple chronic diseases. To address this problem, the VHA designed and nationally disseminated an evidence-based weight-management program (MOVE!). The objective of this study was to examine the organizational factors that aided or inhibited the implementation of MOVE! in 10 VHA medical facilities. Using a multiple, holistic case study design, we conducted 68 interviews with medical center program coordinators, physicians formally appointed as program champions, managers directly responsible for overseeing the program, clinicians from the program's multidisciplinary team, and primary care physicians identified by program coordinators as local opinion leaders. Qualitative data analysis involved coding, memorandum writing, and construction of data displays. Organizational readiness for change and having an innovation champion were most consistently the 2 factors associated with MOVE! implementation. Other organizational factors, such as management support and resource availability, were barriers to implementation or exerted mixed effects on implementation. Barriers did not prevent facilities from implementing MOVE! However, they were obstacles that had to be overcome, worked around, or accepted as limits on the program's scope or scale. Policy-directed implementation of clinical weight-management programs in health care facilities is challenging, especially when no new resources are available. Instituting powerful, mutually reinforcing organizational policies and practices may be necessary for consistent, high-quality implementation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Higher Education Military and Veteran Student Program Success: A Qualitative Study of Program Administration Best Practice Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murillo, Rose L.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine how Southern California community colleges have implemented best practices based on the 8 Keys to Veterans' Success as identified by the U.S. Departments of Education, Defense, and Veterans Affairs to effectively support and retain military and veteran students in higher education programs. The…

  11. 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer: A veteran administration registry study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhoul, Issam; Yacoub, Abdulraheem; Siegel, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The etiology of pancreatic cancer remains elusive. Several studies have suggested a role for diabetes mellitus, but the magnitude of its contribution remains controversial. Utilizing a large administrative database, this retrospective cohort study was designed to investigate the relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer. Using the Veterans Integrated Services Network 16 database, 322,614 subjects were enrolled in the study, including 110,919 with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 211,695 diabetes-free controls matched by gender, year of birth and healthcare facility. A significantly higher incidence of pancreatic cancer was observed in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, with an adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of 2.17 (1.70-2.77) for type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to controls (p type 2 diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer was statistically significant and may, in part, explain the rising incidence of pancreatic cancer.

  13. The Necessity and Desirability of Including Recipients of Federal Grants Other Than from the Veterans Administration in the 85-15 Ratio Computation. (Prepared in Compliance With Section 305, Public Law 95-202). House Committee Print No. 168.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veterans Administration, Washington, DC.

    This report presents the findings and recommendations of a study by the Veterans Administration concerning the necessity for including in the computation of the 85-15 ratio those students in receipt of grants from federal agencies other than the Veterans Administration. The problems incurred by educational institutions in the implementation of the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  16. Food insecurity and health: data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Emily A; McGinnis, Kathleen A; Goulet, Joseph; Bryant, Kendall; Gibert, Cynthia; Leaf, David A; Mattocks, Kristin; Fiellin, Lynn E; Vogenthaler, Nicholas; Justice, Amy C; Fiellin, David A

    2015-01-01

    Food insecurity may be a modifiable and independent risk factor for worse control of medical conditions, but it has not been explored among veterans. We determined the prevalence of, and factors independently associated with, food insecurity among veterans in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS). Using data from VACS from 2002-2008, we determined the prevalence of food insecurity among veterans who have accessed health care in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) as defined by "concern about having enough food for you or your family in the past month." We used multivariable logistic regression to determine factors independently associated with food insecurity and tests of trend to measure the association between food insecurity and control of hypertension, diabetes, HIV, and depression. Of the 6,709 veterans enrolled in VACS, 1,624 (24%) reported being food insecure. Food insecurity was independently associated with being African American, earning food insecure was also associated with worse control of hypertension, diabetes, HIV, and depression (pFood insecurity is prevalent and associated with worse control of medical conditions among veterans who have accessed care in the VA.

  17. Prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Aging Vietnam-Era Veterans: Veterans Administration Cooperative Study 569: Course and Consequences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Vietnam-Era Veteran Twins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Jack; Magruder, Kathryn M; Forsberg, Christopher W; Friedman, Matthew J; Litz, Brett T; Vaccarino, Viola; Heagerty, Patrick J; Gleason, Theresa C; Huang, Grant D; Smith, Nicholas L

    2016-03-01

    The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among aging Vietnam-era veterans is not well characterized. In a cross-sectional study, 5,598 male Vietnam-era veterans and members of the Vietnam Era Twin Registry were assessed for PTSD using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Current symptoms were measured with the PTSD Checklist (PCL). PTSD was estimated according to age (aged at least 60 years was 16.9% (95% CI: 13.9%-20.5%) and higher than the 5.5% (95% CI: 4.3%-7.0%) among nontheater veterans. Among veterans younger than 60 years, the comparable prevalence was 22.0% for theater (95% CI: 16.7%-28.4%) and 15.7% for nontheater (95% CI: 13.4%-18.2%) veterans. Similar results were found for theater service and current PTSD prevalence (past 12 months). PCL scores were significantly higher in theater compared with nontheater veterans in both younger and older cohorts. In both the younger and older cohorts significant differences in lifetime and current PTSD prevalence and PCL scores persisted in theater service discordant twin pairs. Vietnam service is related to elevated PTSD prevalence and current symptom burden in aging veterans. More than 30 years after the end of the Vietnam conflict, many veterans continue to suffer from PTSD, which highlights the need for continuing outreach throughout the life course. Copyright © 2016 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. All rights reserved.

  18. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... listen? see more videos from Veterans Health Administration 1 Act see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Lost: The Power of One Connection see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ...

  19. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... videos about getting help. Be There: Help Save a Life see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ... listen? see more videos from Veterans Health Administration 1 Act see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Help see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Suicide Prevention PSA for Military Families see more videos ... About About the Veterans Crisis Line FAQs Veteran Suicide The Veterans Crisis Line text-messaging service does ...

  3. REACH VA: Moving from Translation to System Implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Linda O; Martindale-Adams, Jennifer; Burns, Robert; Zuber, Jeffrey; Graney, Marshall J

    2016-02-01

    Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs (REACH VA) has been implemented in the VA system as a national program for caregivers. We describe the trajectory of REACH VA from national randomized clinical trial through translation to national implementation. The implementation is examined through the six stages of the Fixsen and Blasé implementation process model: exploration and adoption, program installation, initial implementation, full operation, innovation, and sustainability. Different drivers that move the implementation process forward are important at each stage, including staff selection, staff training, consultation and coaching, staff evaluation, administrative support, program evaluation/fidelity, and systems interventions. Caregivers in the REACH VA 4 session intervention currently implemented in the VA had similar outcomes to longer REACH interventions, including Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregivers Health (REACH II). Caregivers experienced significant decreases in burden, depression, anxiety, number of troubling patient behaviors reported, caregiving frustrations, stress symptoms (feeling overwhelmed, feeling like crying, being frustrated as a result of caregiving, being lonely), and general stress. Effect sizes (Cohen's d) for these significant variables were between small and medium ranging from .24 to .46. The implementation of REACH VA provides a road map for implementation of other behavioral interventions in health care delivery settings. Lessons learned include the importance of implementing a proven, needed intervention, support from both leadership and clinical staff, willingness to respond to staff and organization needs and modify the intervention while preserving its integrity, and fitting the intervention into ongoing routines and practices. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Gerontological Society of America 2014.

  4. Disclosing large scale adverse events in the US Veterans Health Administration: lessons from media responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, E M; Bokhour, B G; Asch, S M; Wagner, T H; Gifford, A L; Gallagher, T H; Durfee, J M; Martinello, R A; Elwy, A R

    2016-06-01

    We examined print, broadcast and social media reports about health care systems' disclosures of large scale adverse events to develop future effective messaging. Directed content analysis. We systematically searched four communication databases, YouTube and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds relating to six disclosures of lapses in infection control practices in the Department of Veterans Affairs occurring between 2009 and 2012. We assessed these with a coding frame derived from effective crisis and risk communication models. We identified 148 unique media reports. Some components of effective communication (discussion of cause, reassurance, self-efficacy) were more present than others (apology, lessons learned). Media about 'promoting secrecy' and 'slow response' appeared in reports when time from event discovery to patient notification was over 75 days. Elected officials' quotes (n = 115) were often negative (83%). Hospital officials' comments (n = 165) were predominantly neutral (92%), and focused on information sharing. Health care systems should work to ensure that they develop clear messages focused on what is not well covered by the media, including authentic apologies, remedial actions taken, and shorten the timeframe between event identification and disclosure to patients. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Cognitive-behavioral treatments for criminogenic thinking: Barriers and facilitators to implementation within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blonigen, Daniel M; Rodriguez, Allison L; Manfredi, Luisa; Nevedal, Andrea; Rosenthal, Joel; McGuire, James F; Smelson, David; Timko, Christine

    2018-02-01

    Cognitive-behavioral treatments for criminogenic thinking (i.e., antisocial cognitions, attitudes, and traits) are regarded as best practices for reducing criminal recidivism among justice-involved adults. However, the barriers and facilitators to implementation of these treatments within large health care systems such as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) are largely unknown. To address this gap, we conducted qualitative interviews with 22 Specialists from the VHA's Veterans Justice Programs who had been trained in a cognitive-behavioral treatment for criminogenic thinking (i.e., Moral Reconation Therapy [MRT], Thinking for a Change [T4C]). The time-intensiveness of these treatments emerged as a barrier to implementation. Potential solutions identified were patient incentives for treatment engagement, streamlining the curriculum, and implementing the treatments within long-term/residential programs. At the program level, providers' stigma/bias toward patients with antisocial tendencies was seen as a barrier to implementation, as were time/resource constraints on providers. To address the latter, use of peer providers to deliver the treatments and partnerships between justice programs and behavioral health services were suggested. At the system level, lack of recognition of criminogenic treatments as evidence based, and uncertainty of sustained funds to support ongoing costs of these treatments emerged as implementation barriers. To address the latter, a train-the-trainers model was suggested. Our findings serve as a guide for implementation of criminogenic treatments for providers and policymakers in VHA and other large health care systems, which are increasingly called upon to provide care to justice-involved adults in the community. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Inpatient Mental Health Recaptre using Dod/VA Sharing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-03

    Center. Although no diagnostic categories are excluded, common diagnosis include, adjustment disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychoses ... definition of acute psychiatry. Staffing The Waco VA has nurse managers who determine the number of RN’s and other support staff based on patient...Enrollment Priority Groups Priority Group Definition 1 • Veterans with VA-rated service-connected disabilities 50% or more disabling • Veterans

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. A Qualitative Evaluation of Web-Based Cancer Care Quality Improvement Toolkit Use in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, Candice; Luck, Jeff; Gale, Randall C; Smith, Nina; York, Laura S; Asch, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Disease severity, complexity, and patient burden highlight cancer care as a target for quality improvement (QI) interventions. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) implemented a series of disease-specific online cancer care QI toolkits. To describe characteristics of the toolkits, target users, and VHA cancer care facilities that influenced toolkit access and use and assess whether such resources were beneficial for users. Deductive content analysis of detailed notes from 94 telephone interviews with individuals from 48 VHA facilities. We evaluated toolkit access and use across cancer types, participation in learning collaboratives, and affiliation with VHA cancer care facilities. The presence of champions was identified as a strong facilitator of toolkit use, and learning collaboratives were important for spreading information about toolkit availability. Identified barriers included lack of personnel and financial resources and complicated approval processes to support tool use. Online cancer care toolkits are well received across cancer specialties and provider types. Clinicians, administrators, and QI staff may benefit from the availability of toolkits as they become more reliant on rapid access to strategies that support comprehensive delivery of evidence-based care. Toolkits should be considered as a complement to other QI approaches.

  9. Clinical information seeking in traumatic brain injury: a survey of Veterans Health Administration polytrauma care team members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Timothy; Martinez, Rachael; Evans, Charlesnika; Saban, Karen; Proescher, Eric; Steiner, Monica; Smith, Bridget

    2017-12-12

    The polytraumatic nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI) makes diagnosis and treatment difficult. To (1) characterise information needs among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) polytrauma care team members engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of TBI; (2) identify sources used for TBI related information; and (3) identify barriers to accessing TBI related information. Cross-sectional online survey of 236 VHA polytrauma care team members. Most respondents (95.8%) keep at least somewhat current regarding TBI, but 31.5% need more knowledge on diagnosing TBI and 51.3% need more knowledge on treating TBI. Respondents use VHA affiliated sources for information, including local colleagues (81.7%), VHA offsite conferences/meetings (78.3%) and onsite VHA educational offerings (73.6%); however, limited time due to administrative responsibilities (50.9%), limited financial resources (50.4%) and patient care (50.4%) were prominent barriers. Medical librarians are in a unique position to develop information services, resources and other electronic tools that reflect the clinical context in which polytrauma care team members practice, and the different tasks they perform. Polytrauma care team members could benefit from additional information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of TBI. Addressing their information needs and supporting their information seeking requires a mulit-pronged approach to time and financial constraints. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  10. Reasons for underuse of recommended therapies for colorectal and lung cancer in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landrum, Mary Beth; Keating, Nancy L; Lamont, Elizabeth B; Bozeman, Samuel R; McNeil, Barbara J

    2012-07-01

    Many studies have documented low rates of effective cancer therapies, particularly in older or minority populations. However, little is known about why effective therapies are underused in these populations. The authors examined medical records of 584 patients with cancer diagnosed or treated in Department of Veterans Affairs facilities to assess reasons for lack of 1) surgery for stage I/II nonsmall cell lung cancer, 2) surgery for stage I/II/III rectal cancer, 3) adjuvant radiation therapy for stage II/III rectal cancer, and 4) adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer. They also assessed differences in reasons for underuse by patient age and race. Across the 4 guideline-recommended treatments, 92% to 99% of eligible patients were referred to the appropriate cancer specialist; however, therapy was recommended in only 74% to 92% of eligible cases. Poor health was cited in the medical record as the reason for lack of therapy in 15% to 61% of underuse cases; patient refusal explained 26% to 58% of underuse cases. African American patients were more likely to refuse surgery. Older patients were more likely to refuse treatments. Recommendation against therapy was a primary factor in underuse of effective therapies in older and sicker patients. Patients' refusal of therapy contributed to age and racial disparities in care. Improved data on the effectiveness of cancer therapies in community populations and interventions aimed at improved communication of known risks and benefits of therapy to cancer patients could be effective tools to reduce underuse and lingering disparities in care. Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  12. Interdisciplinary Quality Improvement Conference: Using a Revised Morbidity and Mortality Format to Focus on Systems-Based Patient Safety Issues in a VA Hospital: Design and Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerstein, Wendy H; Ledford, Judith; Cooper, Jacqueline; Lloyd, Melissa G; Moore, Timothy; Harji, Farzana; Twitty, Vivian; Brooks, Annette; Oliver, Rosalinda C; Goff, James M

    2016-01-01

    The Veterans Healthcare Administration (VA) has embraced patient safety and quality improvement in the quest to improve care for veterans. The New Mexico VA Health Care System introduced a new morbidity and mortality conference, called the Interdisciplinary Quality Improvement Conference (IQIC), using patient case presentations to focus on underlying systems in the clinical care environment. The revised conference design also effectively teaches the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core requirements for resident education. A formal process was established for case selection, presentation, systems issue identification, tracking, and follow-up. The IQIC has enabled the identification of more than 20 system issues at the study institution. Outcome data show lasting improvement in system issues that were addressed by this mechanism. The VA IQIC is an effective method to both identify and correct systems issues that affect patient care and is an effective method for teaching residents the 6 ACGME requirements for residency education. © The Author(s) 2014.

  13. 77 FR 52135 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-28

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

  14. 77 FR 70893 - Authorization for Non-VA Medical Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    ..., Mental health programs, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Veterans. Dated... authority to provide needed non- VA care using community resources, such as private physicians or community... such medical services for a veteran who has been furnished hospital care, nursing home care...

  15. 77 FR 70967 - Authorization for Non-VA Medical Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    ..., Mental health programs, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Veterans. Dated... may use this authority to provide needed non- VA care using community resources, such as private physicians or community hospitals. Care provided under VA's authority in 38 U.S.C. 1703 is usually referred...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezold, C; Mayer, E; Dighe, A

    1997-01-01

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

  18. Geographic access and use of infectious diseases specialty and general primary care services by veterans with HIV infection: implications for telehealth and shared care programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohl, Michael E; Richardson, Kelly; Kaboli, Peter J; Perencevich, Eli N; Vaughan-Sarrazin, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Rural-dwelling persons with HIV infection often have limited access to HIV specialty care, and they may instead use more nearby primary care. This study described use of infectious disease (ID) specialty and general primary care services among rural compared with urban veterans with HIV in the United States and determined associations between geographic access to ID and primary care and use of care. The sample included all veterans in the national Veterans Administration (VA) HIV clinical case registry in 2009 (N = 23,669, 10.2% rural). Geographic access was measured by calculating travel times to the nearest VA primary care and ID specialty clinic. Rural veterans were less likely than urban to use ID clinics (82% of rural vs 87% of urban, P shared care" relationships with distant primary care providers. © 2014 National Rural Health Association.

  19. 75 FR 9277 - Proposed Information Collection (VA National Rehabilitation Special Events, Event Registration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... period, comments may be viewed online through FDMS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Bristol at (202... Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924--233 hours. b. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Application, VA...

  20. Patient-centered medical home initiative produced modest economic results for Veterans Health Administration, 2010-12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert, Paul L; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Wong, Edwin S; Hernandez, Susan E; Batten, Adam; Lo, Sophie; Lemon, Jaclyn M; Conrad, Douglas A; Grembowski, David; Nelson, Karin; Fihn, Stephan D

    2014-06-01

    In 2010 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) began a nationwide initiative called Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) that reorganized care at all VHA primary care clinics in accordance with the patient-centered medical home model. We analyzed data for fiscal years 2003-12 to assess how trends in health care use and costs changed after the implementation of PACT. We found that PACT was associated with modest increases in primary care visits and with modest decreases in both hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions and outpatient visits with mental health specialists. We estimated that these changes avoided $596 million in costs, compared to the investment in PACT of $774 million, for a potential net loss of $178 million in the study period. Although PACT has not generated a positive return, it is still maturing, and trends in costs and use are favorable. Adopting patient-centered care does not appear to have been a major financial risk for the VHA. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  1. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer: A veteran administration registry study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Issam Makhoul

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: The etiology of pancreatic cancer remains elusive. Several studies have suggested a role for diabetes mellitus, but the magnitude of its contribution remains controversial. Objectives: Utilizing a large administrative database, this retrospective cohort study was designed to investigate the relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer. Patients and design: Using the Veterans Integrated Services Network 16 database, 322,614 subjects were enrolled in the study, including 110,919 with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 211,695 diabetes-free controls matched by gender, year of birth and healthcare facility. Results: A significantly higher incidence of pancreatic cancer was observed in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, with an adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval of 2.17 (1.70–2.77 for type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to controls (p < 10−9 after controlling for the matching factors. Conclusion: The association between type 2 diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer was statistically significant and may, in part, explain the rising incidence of pancreatic cancer.

  2. Remote eye care screening for rural veterans with Technology-based Eye Care Services: a quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maa, April Y; Wojciechowski, Barbara; Hunt, Kelly; Dismuke, Clara; Janjua, Rabeea; Lynch, Mary G

    2017-01-01

    Veterans are at high risk for eye disease because of age and comorbid conditions. Access to eye care is challenging within the entire Veterans Hospital Administration's network of hospitals and clinics in the USA because it is the third busiest outpatient clinical service and growing at a rate of 9% per year. Rural and highly rural veterans face many more barriers to accessing eye care because of distance, cost to travel, and difficulty finding care in the community as many live in medically underserved areas. Also, rural veterans may be diagnosed in later stages of eye disease than their non-rural counterparts due to lack of access to specialty care. In March 2015, Technology-based Eye Care Services (TECS) was launched from the Atlanta Veterans Affairs (VA) as a quality improvement project to provide eye screening services for rural veterans. By tracking multiple measures including demographic and access to care metrics, data shows that TECS significantly improved access to care, with 33% of veterans receiving same-day access and >98% of veterans receiving an appointment within 30 days of request. TECS also provided care to a significant percentage of homeless veterans, 10.6% of the patients screened. Finally, TECS reduced healthcare costs, saving the VA up to US$148 per visit and approximately US$52 per patient in round trip travel reimbursements when compared to completing a face-to-face exam at the medical center. Overall savings to the VA system in this early phase of TECS totaled US$288,400, about US$41,200 per month. Other healthcare facilities may be able to use a similar protocol to extend care to at-risk patients.

  3. Voluntary and involuntary childlessness in female veterans: associations with sexual assault.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Ginny L; Mengeling, Michelle A; Booth, Brenda M; Torner, James C; Syrop, Craig H; Sadler, Anne G

    2014-08-01

    To assess associations between lifetime sexual assault and childlessness in female veterans. Cross-sectional, computer-assisted telephone interview study. Two Midwestern Veterans Administration (VA) medical centers. A total of 1,004 women aged ≤52 years, VA-enrolled between 2000 and 2008. None. Sociodemographic variables, reproductive history and care utilization, and mental health. A total of 620 veterans (62%) reported at least one attempted or completed sexual assault in their lifetime (LSA). Veterans with LSA more often self-reported a history of pregnancy termination (31% vs. 19%) and infertility (23% vs. 12%), as well as sexually transmitted infection (42% vs. 27%), posttraumatic stress disorder (32% vs. 10%), and postpartum dysphoria (62% vs. 44%). Lifetime sexual assault was independently associated with termination and infertility in multivariate models; sexually transmitted infection, posttraumatic stress disorder, and postpartum dysphoria were not. The LSA by period of life was as follows: 41% of participants in childhood, 15% in adulthood before the military, 33% in military, and 13% after the military (not mutually exclusive). Among the 511 who experienced a completed LSA, 23% self-reported delaying or foregoing pregnancy because of their assault. This study demonstrated associations between sexual assault history and pregnancy termination, delay or avoidance (voluntary childlessness), and infertility (involuntary childlessness) among female veterans. Improved gender-specific veteran medical care must attend to these reproductive complexities. Copyright © 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. All rights reserved.

  4. The Department of Veterans Health Administration Office of Nursing Service, "transforming nursing in a national healthcare system: an example of transformation in action".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertenberger, Sydney; Chapman, Kathleen M; Wright-Brown, Salena

    2011-01-01

    The Department of Veterans Health Administration Office of Nursing Service has embarked on a multiyear transformational process, an example of which is the development of an organization-wide nursing handbook. The development of this handbook offered the opportunity to improve collaboration, redefine expectations and behavior, as well as prepare for the future of Nursing within the Veterans Health Administration. The lessons learned from this process have revolved around the themes of leadership skills for managing high-level change often in a virtual environment; constant collaboration; that the practice of nursing will continue to evolve on the basis of new evidence, technology, customer expectations, and resources; and that the process to accomplish this goal is powerful.

  5. Implementing electronic clinical reminders for lipid management in patients with ischemic heart disease in the veterans health administration: QUERI Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Plomondon Mary E

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ischemic heart disease (IHD affects at least 150,000 veterans annually in the United States. Lowering serum cholesterol has been shown to reduce coronary events, cardiac death, and total mortality among high risk patients. Electronic clinical reminders available at the point of care delivery have been developed to improve lipid measurement and management in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA. Our objective was to report on a hospital-level intervention to implement and encourage use of the electronic clinical reminders. Methods The implementation used a quasi-experimental design with a comparison group of hospitals. In the intervention hospitals (N = 3, we used a multi-faceted intervention to encourage use of the electronic clinical reminders. We evaluated the degree of reminder use and how patient-level outcomes varied at the intervention and comparison sites (N = 3, with and without adjusting for self-reported reminder use. Results The national electronic clinical reminders were implemented in all of the intervention sites during the intervention period. A total of 5,438 patients with prior diagnosis of ischemic heart disease received care in the six hospitals (3 intervention and 3 comparison throughout the 12-month intervention. The process evaluation showed variation in use of reminders at each site. Without controlling for provider self-report of use of the reminders, there appeared to be a significant improvement in lipid measurement in the intervention sites (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.34, 2.88. Controlling for use of reminders, the amount of improvement in lipid measurement in the intervention sites was even greater (OR 2.35, CI 1.96, 2.81. Adjusting for reminder use demonstrated that only one of the intervention hospitals had a significant effect of the intervention. There was no significant change in management of hyperlipidemia associated with the intervention. Conclusion There may be some benefit to focused effort to

  6. Role of "external facilitation" in implementation of research findings: a qualitative evaluation of facilitation experiences in the Veterans Health Administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hagedorn Hildi

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Facilitation has been identified in the literature as a potentially key component of successful implementation. It has not, however, either been well-defined or well-studied. Significant questions remain about the operational definition of facilitation and about the relationship of facilitation to other interventions, especially to other change agent roles when used in multi-faceted implementation projects. Researchers who are part of the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI are actively exploring various approaches and processes, including facilitation, to enable implementation of best practices in the Veterans Health Administration health care system – the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. This paper describes a systematic, retrospective evaluation of implementation-related facilitation experiences within QUERI, a quality improvement program developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Methods A post-hoc evaluation was conducted through a series of semi-structured interviews to examine the concept of facilitation across several multi-site QUERI implementation studies. The interview process is based on a technique developed in the field of education, which systematically enhances learning through experience by stimulating recall and reflection regarding past complex activities. An iterative content analysis approach relative to a set of conceptually-based interview questions was used for data analysis. Findings Findings suggest that facilitation, within an implementation study initiated by a central change agency, is a deliberate and valued process of interactive problem solving and support that occurs in the context of a recognized need for improvement and a supportive interpersonal relationship. Facilitation was described primarily as a distinct role with a number of potentially crucial behaviors and activities. Data further suggest that external facilitators were likely to use

  7. Role of "external facilitation" in implementation of research findings: a qualitative evaluation of facilitation experiences in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stetler, Cheryl B; Legro, Marcia W; Rycroft-Malone, Joanne; Bowman, Candice; Curran, Geoffrey; Guihan, Marylou; Hagedorn, Hildi; Pineros, Sandra; Wallace, Carolyn M

    2006-10-18

    Facilitation has been identified in the literature as a potentially key component of successful implementation. It has not, however, either been well-defined or well-studied. Significant questions remain about the operational definition of facilitation and about the relationship of facilitation to other interventions, especially to other change agent roles when used in multi-faceted implementation projects. Researchers who are part of the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) are actively exploring various approaches and processes, including facilitation, to enable implementation of best practices in the Veterans Health Administration health care system - the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. This paper describes a systematic, retrospective evaluation of implementation-related facilitation experiences within QUERI, a quality improvement program developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. A post-hoc evaluation was conducted through a series of semi-structured interviews to examine the concept of facilitation across several multi-site QUERI implementation studies. The interview process is based on a technique developed in the field of education, which systematically enhances learning through experience by stimulating recall and reflection regarding past complex activities. An iterative content analysis approach relative to a set of conceptually-based interview questions was used for data analysis. Findings suggest that facilitation, within an implementation study initiated by a central change agency, is a deliberate and valued process of interactive problem solving and support that occurs in the context of a recognized need for improvement and a supportive interpersonal relationship. Facilitation was described primarily as a distinct role with a number of potentially crucial behaviors and activities. Data further suggest that external facilitators were likely to use or integrate other implementation interventions, while

  8. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Call see more videos from Veterans Health Administration I'm Good. But are you ready to listen? ... PSA see more videos from Veterans Health Administration I am A Veteran Family/Friend Active Duty/Reserve ...

  9. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... videos about getting help. Be There: Help Save a Life see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ... more videos from Veterans Health Administration I am A Veteran Family/Friend Active Duty/Reserve and Guard ...

  10. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... After the Call see more videos from Veterans Health Administration I'm Good. But are you ready to listen? see more videos from Veterans Health Administration 1 Act see more videos from Veterans ...

  11. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

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    Full Text Available ... from Veterans Health Administration Suicide Prevention PSA for Military Families see more videos from Blue Star Families These ... from Veterans Health Administration I am A ... Veterans Live Chat Military Live Chat Deaf - Hard of Hearing Contact Us ...

  12. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

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    Full Text Available ... in crisis, find a facility near you. Spread the Word Download logos, Web ads, and materials and ... from Veterans Health Administration Veterans Crisis Line -- After the Call see more videos from Veterans Health Administration ...

  13. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

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    Full Text Available ... for help. Bittersweet More Videos from Veterans Health Administration Watch additional videos about getting help. Be There: ... a Life see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Veterans Crisis Line -- After the Call see more ...

  14. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... out for help. Bittersweet More Videos from Veterans Health Administration Watch additional videos about getting help. Be ... Save a Life see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Veterans Crisis Line -- After the Call see ...

  15. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

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    Full Text Available ... More Videos from Veterans Health Administration Watch additional videos about getting help. Be There: Help Save a Life see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Veterans Crisis Line -- After ...

  16. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... more videos from Veterans Health Administration Lost: The Power of One Connection see more videos from Veterans Health Administration The Power of 1 PSA see more videos from Veterans ...

  17. Age-Related Concerns of Male Veteran Callers to a Suicide Crisis Line

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Deborah A.; O’Riley, Alisa A.; Thompson, Caitlin; Conwell, Yeates; He, Hua; Kemp, Janet

    2015-01-01

    In July 2007, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) to create the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) in order to meet the unique needs of Veterans in distress. The current study utilized a mixed methods design to examine characteristics of male callers to the VCL. Results from qualitative analyses demonstrated that the majority of callers between April 1 and August 31, 2008 contacted the VCL with concerns related to mental health issues, suicide ideation, and substance abuse issues. Quantitative analyses demonstrated age differences associated with concerns presented by callers such that middle-aged and older callers were more likely to present with loneliness and younger callers were more likely to present with mental health concerns. The results of this study will help to inform future research designed to optimize the effectiveness of the VCL for suicide prevention in Veterans. PMID:24810270

  18. Validating Domains of Patient Contextual Factors Essential to Preventing Contextual Errors: A Qualitative Study Conducted at Chicago Area Veterans Health Administration Sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binns-Calvey, Amy E; Malhiot, Alex; Kostovich, Carol T; LaVela, Sherri L; Stroupe, Kevin; Gerber, Ben S; Burkhart, Lisa; Weiner, Saul J; Weaver, Frances M

    2017-09-01

    "Patient context" indicates patient circumstances and characteristics or states that are essential to address when planning patient care. Specific patient "contextual factors," if overlooked, result in an inappropriate plan of care, a medical error termed a "contextual error." The myriad contextual factors that constitute patient context have been grouped into broad domains to create a taxonomy of challenges to consider when planning care. This study sought to validate a previously identified list of contextual domains. This qualitative study used directed content analysis. In 2014, 19 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) providers (84% female) and 49 patients (86% male) from two VA medical centers and four outpatient clinics in the Chicago area participated in semistructured interviews and focus groups. Topics included patient-specific, community, and resource-related factors that affect patients' abilities to manage their care. Transcripts were analyzed with a previously identified list of contextual domains as a framework. Analysis of responses revealed that patients and providers identified the same 10 domains previously published, plus 3 additional ones. Based on comments made by patients and providers, the authors created a revised list of 12 domains from themes that emerged. Six pertain to patient circumstances such as access to care and financial situation, and 6 to patient characteristics/states including skills, abilities, and knowledge. Contextual factors in patients' lives may be essential to address for effective care planning. The rubric developed can serve as a "contextual differential" for clinicians to consider when addressing challenges patients face when planning their care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mark Duggan; Robert Rosenheck; Perry Singleton

    2006-01-01

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

  2. 76 FR 40455 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Inquiry) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-08

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

  3. 38 CFR 59.5 - Submissions of information and documents to VA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  4. Organization of nursing and quality of care for veterans at the end of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutney-Lee, Ann; Brennan, Caitlin W; Meterko, Mark; Ersek, Mary

    2015-03-01

    The Veterans Health Administration (VA) has improved the quality of end-of-life (EOL) care over the past several years. Several structural and process variables are associated with better outcomes. Little is known, however, about the relationship between the organization of nursing care and EOL outcomes. To examine the association between the organization of nursing care, including the nurse work environment and nurse staffing levels, and quality of EOL care in VA acute care facilities. Secondary analysis of linked data from the Bereaved Family Survey (BFS), electronic medical record, administrative data, and the VA Nursing Outcomes Database. The sample included 4908 veterans who died in one of 116 VA acute care facilities nationally between October 2010 and September 2011. Unadjusted and adjusted generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations between nursing and BFS outcomes. BFS respondents were 17% more likely to give an excellent overall rating of the quality of EOL care received by the veteran in facilities with better nurse work environments (P ≤ 0.05). The nurse work environment also was a significant predictor of providers listening to concerns and providing desired treatments. Nurse staffing was significantly associated with an excellent overall rating, alerting of the family before death, attention to personal care needs, and the provision of emotional support after the patient's death. Improvement of the nurse work environment and nurse staffing in VA acute care facilities may result in enhanced quality of care received by hospitalized veterans at the EOL. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-12

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

  7. Regional variations in fluoroquinolone non-susceptibility among Escherichia coli bloodstream infections within the Veterans Healthcare Administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J. Livorsi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objectives We sought to define regional variations in fluoroquinolone non-susceptibility (FQ-NS among bloodstream isolates of Escherichia coli across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA in the United States. Methods We analyzed a retrospective cohort of patients managed at 136 VHA hospitals who had a blood culture positive for E.coli between 2003 and 2013. Hospitals were classified based on US Census Divisions, and regional variations in FQ-NS were analyzed. Results Twenty-four thousand five hundred twenty-three unique E.coli bloodstream infections (BSIs were identified between 2003 and 2013. 53.9 % of these were community-acquired, 30.7 % were healthcare-associated, and 15.4 % were hospital-onset BSIs. The proportion of E.coli BSIs with FQ-NS significantly varied across US Census Divisions (p < 0.001. During 2003–2013, the proportion of E.coli BSIs with FQ-NS was highest in the West South-Central Division (32.7 % and lowest in the Mountain Division (20.0 %. Multivariable analysis showed that there were universal secular trends towards higher FQ-NS rates (p < 0.001 with significant variability of slopes across US Census Divisions (p < 0.001. Conclusion There has been a universal increase in FQ-NS among E.coli BSIs within VHA, but the rate of increase has significantly varied across Census Divisions. The reasons for this variability are unclear. These findings reinforce the importance of using local data to develop and update local antibiograms and antibiotic-prescribing guidelines.

  8. From profession-based leadership to service line management in the Veterans Health Administration: impact on mental health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Greg A; Rosenheck, Robert A; Charns, Martin P

    2003-09-01

    To investigate the impact of implementing service line organization on the delivery of mental health services. Survey data on the implementation of service lines and facility-level administrative data on the delivery of mental health services at 139 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs), over a 6-year period, were used to examine the relationship between service line implementation and subsequent performance in 4 areas: 1) continuity of care (COC), 2) readmission after inpatient discharge, 3) emphasis on community-based mental health care (as contrasted with inpatient care), and 4) maintenance of proportionate funding for mental health care. Models were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling techniques to control for potential autocorrelation. Of 6 COC measures, 1 strongly improved in all years following service line implementation, and 3 of the 5 other measures demonstrated improvement in the first year. One of 2 readmission measures showed a decline in the first year after service line implementation. Service line implementation was associated with only 1 indicator of increased emphasis on community-based mental health care (and only in the first year), whereas 3 of the 4 other measures suggested a decline in such emphasis. Lastly, although there were increases in per capita mental health expenditures 3 or more years after service line implementation, 2 related measures indicated that service line implementation was associated with a decline in mental health expenditures relative to nonmental health services. Service line implementation was associated with significant, although predominantly short-term, improvement in patient level variables such as continuity of care and hospital readmission, but less so with regard to institutional measures addressing emphasis on outpatient care and maintaining proportionate funding of mental health services.

  9. Adapting a weight management tool for Latina women: a usability study of the Veteran Health Administration's MOVE!23 tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Hector R; Nick, Michael W; Mateo, Katrina F; Squires, Allison; Sherman, Scott E; Kalet, Adina; Jay, Melanie

    2016-10-05

    Obesity disproportionately affects Latina women, but few targeted, technology-assisted interventions that incorporate tailored health information exist for this population. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) uses an online weight management tool (MOVE!23) which is publicly available, but was not designed for use in non-VHA populations. We conducted a qualitative study to determine how interactions between the tool and other contextual elements impacted task performance when the target Latina users interacted with MOVE!23. We sought to identify and classify specific facilitators and barriers that might inform design changes to the tool and its context of use, and in turn promote usability. Six English-speaking, adult Latinas were recruited from an inner city primary care clinic and a nursing program at a local university in the United States to engage in a "Think-Aloud" protocol while using MOVE!23. Sessions were recorded, transcribed, and coded to identify interactions between four factors that contribute to usability (Tool, Task, User, Context). Five themes influencing usability were identified: Technical Ability and Technology Preferences; Language Confusion and Ambiguity; Supportive Tool Design and Facilitator Guidance; Relevant Examples; and Personal Experience. Features of the tool, task, and other contextual factors failed to fully support participants at times, impeding task completion. Participants interacted with the tool more readily when its language was familiar and content was personally relevant. When faced with ambiguity and uncertainty, they relied on the tool's visual cues and examples, actively sought relevant personal experiences, and/or requested facilitator support. The ability of our participants to successfully use the tool was influenced by the interaction of individual characteristics with those of the tool and other contextual factors. We identified both tool-specific and context-related changes that could overcome barriers to the

  10. PTSD risk and mental health care engagement in a multi-war era community sample of women veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Washington, Donna L; Davis, Teri D; Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Yano, Elizabeth M

    2013-07-01

    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 (p<0.001). Among those screening positive, 48.7 % (95 % CI 35.9-61.6) used MHC services (66.3 % of VA-users, 40.8 % of VA-nonusers; p<0.001). Having a diagnosis of depression (OR=8.6; 95 % CI 1.5-48.9) and VA healthcare use (OR=2.7; 95 % CI 1.1-7.0) predicted MHC use, whereas lacking a regular provider for health 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  12. Epilepsy Among Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans - United States, 2002-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugh, Mary Jo; Van Cott, Anne C; Amuan, Megan; Baca, Christine; Rutecki, Paul; Zack, Matthew M; Kobau, Rosemarie

    2016-11-11

    The age-adjusted prevalence of seizure disorder in United States veterans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts (IAV) is 6.1 per 1,000 persons (1), compared with 7.1 to 10 per 1,000 persons in the general population (2,3). Persons with epilepsy are at risk of excess mortality in part because of comorbidity (4). Although patterns of comorbidity have been associated with mortality in IAV (5), the unique contribution of epilepsy to excess mortality in IAV is unknown. A cohort study was developed using inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VA) to identify epilepsy, demographic characteristics, and baseline comorbidity for IAV who received VA care in 2010 and 2011. The VA's vital status records were used to identify 5-year mortality (2011-2015). The unadjusted Kaplan-Meier estimator and adjusted proportional hazards regression models tested the hypothesis that excess mortality is associated with epilepsy. IAV with epilepsy were more likely than those without epilepsy to have mental and physical comorbidity, and significantly higher mortality, even after controlling for demographic characteristics and other comorbid conditions (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1-3.2). IAV with epilepsy could benefit from evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs to reduce physical and psychiatric comorbidity, and linkages to VA clinical and other community health and social service providers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Healthcare system-wide implementation of opioid-safety guideline recommendations: the case of urine drug screening and opioid-patient suicide- and overdose-related events in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Penny L; Del Re, Aaron C; Henderson, Patricia T; Trafton, Jodie A

    2016-12-01

    This study provides an example of how healthcare system-wide progress in implementation of opioid-therapy guideline recommendations can be longitudinally assessed and then related to subsequent opioid-prescribed patient health and safety outcomes. Using longitudinal linear mixed effects analyses, we determined that in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system (n = 141 facilities), over the 4-year interval from 2010 to 2013, a key opioid therapy guideline recommendation, urine drug screening (UDS), increased from 29 to 42 %, with an average within-facility increase rate of 4.5 % per year. Higher levels of UDS implementation from 2010 to 2013 were associated with lower risk of suicide and drug overdose events among VA opioid-prescribed patients in 2013, even after adjusting for patients' 2012 demographic characteristics and medical and mental health comorbidities. Findings suggest that VA clinicians and healthcare policymakers have been responsive to the 2010 VA/Department of Defense (DOD) UDS treatment guideline recommendation, resulting in improved patient safety for VA opioid-prescribed patients.

  15. Impact of Patient-Centered Care Innovations on Access to Providers, Ambulatory Care Utilization, and Patient Clinical Indicators in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhart, Lisa; Sohn, Min-Woong; Jordan, Neil; Tarlov, Elizabeth; Gampetro, Pamela; LaVela, Sherri L

    2016-01-01

    The Veterans Health Administration piloted patient-centered care (PCC) innovations beginning in 2010 to improve patient and provider experience and environment in ambulatory care. We use secondary data to look at longitudinal trends, evaluate system redesign, and identify areas for further quality improvement. This was a retrospective, observational study using existing secondary data from multiple US Department of Veteran Affairs sources to evaluate changes in veteran and facility outcomes associated with PCC innovations at 2 innovation and matched comparison sites between FY 2008-2010 (pre-PCC innovations) and FY 2011-2012 (post-PCC innovations). Outcomes included access to primary care providers (PCPs); primary, specialty, and emergency care use; and clinical indicators for chronic disease. Longitudinal trends revealed a different story at each site. One site demonstrated better PCP access, decrease in emergency and primary care use, increase in specialty care use, and improvement in diabetic glucose control. The other site demonstrated a decrease in PCP access and primary care use, no change in specialty care use, and an increase in diastolic blood pressure in relation to the comparison site. Secondary data analysis can reveal longitudinal trends associated with system changes, thereby informing program evaluation and identifying opportunities for quality improvement.

  16. Identifying and overcoming implementation challenges: Experience of 59 noninstitutional long-term services and support pilot programs in the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Jennifer L; Adjognon, Omonyêlé L; Engle, Ryann L; Shin, Marlena H; Afable, Melissa K; Rudin, Whitney; White, Bert; Shay, Kenneth; Lukas, Carol VanDeusen

    2017-01-25

    From 2010 to 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funded a large pilot initiative to implement noninstitutional long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs to support aging Veterans. Our team evaluated implementation of 59 VA noninstitutional LTSS programs. The specific objectives of this study are to (a) examine the challenges influencing program implementation comparing active sites that remained open and inactive sites that closed during the funding period and (b) identify ways that active sites overcame the challenges they experienced. Key informant semistructured interviews occurred between 2011 and 2013. We conducted 217 telephone interviews over four time points. Content analysis was used to identify emergent themes. The study team met regularly to define each challenge, review all codes, and discuss discrepancies. For each follow-up interview with the sites, the list of established challenges was used as a priori themes. Emergent data were also coded. The challenges affecting implementation included human resources and staffing issues, infrastructure, resources allocation and geography, referrals and marketing, leadership support, and team dynamics and processes. Programs were able to overcome challenges by communicating with team members and other areas in the organization, utilizing information technology solutions, creative use of staff and flexible schedules, and obtaining additional resources. This study highlights several common challenges programs can address during the program implementation. The most often mentioned strategy was effective communication. Strategies also targeted several components of the organization including organizational functions and processes (e.g., importance of coordination within a team and across disciplines to provide good care), infrastructure (e.g., information technology and human resources), and program fit with priorities in the organization (e.g., leadership support). Anticipating potential pitfalls of

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. 78 FR 6405 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-30

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

  6. 76 FR 56881 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-14

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

  7. 78 FR 53820 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-30

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

  8. 75 FR 4453 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-27

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

  9. 76 FR 24087 - Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-29

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

  10. 78 FR 58611 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-24

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

  11. 76 FR 30244 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-24

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

  12. 77 FR 13390 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-06

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

  13. 75 FR 39333 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-08

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

  14. 78 FR 26250 - Payment for Home Health Services and Hospice Care to Non-VA Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-06

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

  15. Running Head: Evaluation of Contract Versus VA-Staffed CBOCs. Evaluating Contract versus VA-Staffed Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) Using Patient Satisfaction and Access Measures in the Veterans Health Administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-06-01

    staffed CBOC, with dependent variables adjusting for SHEP scores and case mix factors. The equation for the null hypothesis is Hho = In (estimated...that the model can be further improved through combining several of the satisfaction scores. The equation for the null hypothesis is that Hho = In

  16. VA Enterprise Data Inventory

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dietert, Michelle; Dentice, Dianne; Keig, Zander

    2017-01-01

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

  18. 78 FR 65452 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans, Researchers, and IRB Members Experiences With...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-31

    ... understand Veterans' preferences on research recruitment methods. The data will be published in peer-review... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... Recruitment Restrictions); Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans...

  19. Residential treatment for dually diagnosed homeless veterans: a comparison of program types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasprow, W J; Rosenheck, R; Frisman, L; DiLella, D

    1999-01-01

    This study compared two types of residential programs that treat dually diagnosed homeless veterans. Programs specializing in the treatment of substance abuse disorders (SA) and those programs addressing both psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems within the same setting (DDX) were compared on (1) program characteristics, (2) clients' perceived environment, and (3) outcomes of treatment. The study was based on surveys and discharge reports from residential treatment facilities that were under contract to the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, a national outreach and case management program operating at 71 sites across the nation. Program characteristics surveys were completed by program administrators, perceived environment surveys were completed by veterans in treatment, and discharge reports were completed by VA case managers. DDX programs were characterized by lower expectations for functioning, more acceptance of problem behavior, and more accommodation for choice and privacy, relative to SA programs after adjusting for baseline differences. Dually diagnosed veterans in DDX programs perceived these programs as less controlling than SA programs, but also as having lower involvement and less practical and personal problem orientations. At discharge, a lower percentage of veterans from DDX than SA programs left without staff consultation. A higher percentage of veterans from DDX than SA programs were discharged to community housing rather than to further institutional treatment. Program effects were not different for psychotic and non-psychotic veterans. Although differences were modest, integration of substance abuse and psychiatric treatment may promote a faster return to community living for dually diagnosed homeless veterans. Such integration did not differentially benefit dually diagnosed veterans whose psychiatric problems included a psychotic disorder.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Charles; Boyko, Edward J

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veterans Crisis Line Skip to Main Content SuicidePreventionLifeline.org Get Help Materials Get Involved Crisis Centers About Be There ... see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Veterans Crisis Line -- After the Call see more videos from ...

  2. Lifetime Sexual Assault and Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Women Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Vinita; Mengeling, Michelle A; Booth, Brenda M; Torner, James C; Syrop, Craig H; Sadler, Anne G

    2017-07-01

    Women veterans report a high prevalence of sexual assault. Unfortunately, there are limited data on the reproductive health sequelae faced by these women. Our objective was to evaluate the association between completed lifetime sexual assault (LSA) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among a cohort of women veterans, adjusting for sexual risk behaviors. We conducted a retrospective study among women veterans aged 51 years or younger who enrolled for care at two Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare sites between 2000 and 2008. Participants completed a telephone interview assessing reproductive health and sexual violence history. We compared the frequencies of past STI diagnoses among those who had and had not experienced LSA. We used logistic regression to assess the effect of sexual assault with history of an STI diagnosis after adjusting for age, sexual risk behaviors, and substance abuse treatment. Among 996 women veterans, a history of STIs was reported by 32%, including a lifetime history of gonorrhea (5%), chlamydia (15%), genital herpes infection (8%), and human papillomavirus infection (15%), not mutually exclusive; 51% reported LSA. Women with a history of LSA were significantly more likely to report a history of STIs (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.45-2.50; adjusted OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.07-2.08). Women veterans who have experienced LSA are at increased risk for lifetime STI diagnoses. To adequately address the reproductive health needs of the growing population of women veterans, STI risk assessments should include queries of military service and LSA histories.

  3. 76 FR 71920 - Payment for Home Health Services and Hospice Care by Non-VA Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-21

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

  4. Veterans' Preferences for Remote Management of Chronic Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedlander, Erica; Barboza, Katherine C; Jensen, Ashley; Skursky, Nicole; Bennett, Katelyn; Sherman, Scott; Schwartz, Mark

    2017-07-26

    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.

  5. Evaluating the Effect of a Clostridium difficile Infection Prevention Initiative in Veterans Health Administration Long-Term Care Facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Maninder B; Evans, Martin E; Simbartl, Loretta A; Kralovic, Stephen M; Roselle, Gary A

    2018-03-01

    We evaluated rates of clinically confirmed long-term-care facility-onset Clostridium difficile infections from April 2014 through December 2016 in 132 Veterans Affairs facilities after the implementation of a prevention initiative. The quarterly pooled rate decreased 36.1% from the baseline (P<.0009 for trend) by the end of the analysis period. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018;39:343-345.

  6. 38 CFR 17.56 - Payment for non-VA physician and other health care professional services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  7. A VA medical center's PTSD residential recovery program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devaney, Donald E

    2010-01-01

    With the influx of military veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) increasingly affecting all healthcare facilities, including acute care and long term, learning from the experience of VA hospitals in treating those with PTSD may prove valuable. In this article, Tripler/VA Provost Marshal Donald E. Delaney describes a program that has been in operation since 1994. He may be contacted for further in formation at (808) 433-4465 or Donald.devaney@amedd.army .mil

  8. Implementation of the patient-centered medical home in the Veterans Health Administration: associations with patient satisfaction, quality of care, staff burnout, and hospital and emergency department use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Karin M; Helfrich, Christian; Sun, Haili; Hebert, Paul L; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Dolan, Emily; Taylor, Leslie; Wong, Edwin; Maynard, Charles; Hernandez, Susan E; Sanders, William; Randall, Ian; Curtis, Idamay; Schectman, Gordon; Stark, Richard; Fihn, Stephan D

    2014-08-01

    In 2010, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) began implementing the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) initiative aims to improve health outcomes through team-based care, improved access, and care management. To track progress and evaluate outcomes at all VHA primary care clinics, we developed and validated a method to assess PCMH implementation. To create an index that measures the extent of PCMH implementation, describe variation in implementation, and examine the association between the implementation index and key outcomes. We conducted an observational study using data on more than 5.6 million veterans who received care at 913 VHA hospital-based and community-based primary care clinics and 5404 primary care staff from (1) VHA clinical and administrative databases, (2) a national patient survey administered to a weighted random sample of veterans who received outpatient care from June 1 to December 31, 2012, and (3) a survey of all VHA primary care staff in June 2012. Composite scores were constructed for 8 core domains of PACT: access, continuity, care coordination, comprehensiveness, self-management support, patient-centered care and communication, shared decision making, and team-based care. Patient satisfaction, rates of hospitalization and emergency department use, quality of care, and staff burnout. Fifty-three items were included in the PACT Implementation Progress Index (Pi2). Compared with the 87 clinics in the lowest decile of the Pi2, the 77 sites in the top decile exhibited significantly higher patient satisfaction (9.33 vs 7.53; P burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory emotional exhaustion subscale, 2.29 vs 2.80; P = .02), lower hospitalization rates for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (4.42 vs 3.68 quarterly admissions for veterans 65 years or older per 1000 patients; P emergency department use (188 vs 245 visits per 1000 patients; P < .001). The extent of PCMH implementation, as

  9. VA Health Care: Further Action Needed to Address Weaknesses in Management and Oversight of Non-VA Medical Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-18

    medical care when a VA facility is unable to provide certain specialty care services, such as cardiology or orthopedics, or when a veteran would have...needing treatment in several specialties—including audiology, cardiology , and ophthalmology—were referred to non-VA providers for this reason...Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress , exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  11. Tailoring Care to Vulnerable Populations by Incorporating Social Determinants of Health: the Veterans Health Administration's "Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team" Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Toole, Thomas P; Johnson, Erin E; Aiello, Riccardo; Kane, Vincent; Pape, Lisa

    2016-03-31

    Although the clinical consequences of homelessness are well described, less is known about the role for health care systems in improving clinical and social outcomes for the homeless. We described the national implementation of a "homeless medical home" initiative in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and correlated patient health outcomes with characteristics of high-performing sites. We conducted an observational study of 33 VHA facilities with homeless medical homes and patient- aligned care teams that served more than 14,000 patients. We correlated site-specific health care performance data for the 3,543 homeless veterans enrolled in the program from October 2013 through March 2014, including those receiving ambulatory or acute health care services during the 6 months prior to enrollment in our study and 6 months post-enrollment with corresponding survey data on the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team (H-PACT) program implementation. We defined high performance as high rates of ambulatory care and reduced use of acute care services. More than 96% of VHA patients enrolled in these programs were concurrently receiving VHA homeless services. Of the 33 sites studied, 82% provided hygiene care (on-site showers, hygiene kits, and laundry), 76% provided transportation, and 55% had an on-site clothes pantry; 42% had a food pantry and provided on-site meals or other food assistance. Six-month patterns of acute-care use pre-enrollment and post-enrollment for 3,543 consecutively enrolled patients showed a 19.0% reduction in emergency department use and a 34.7% reduction in hospitalizations. Three features were significantly associated with high performance: 1) higher staffing ratios than other sites, 1) integration of social supports and social services into clinical care, and 3) outreach to and integration with community agencies. Integrating social determinants of health into clinical care can be effective for high-risk homeless veterans.

  12. Training in and implementation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression in the Veterans Health Administration: therapist and patient outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walser, Robyn D; Karlin, Bradley E; Trockel, Mickey; Mazina, Barbara; Barr Taylor, C

    2013-09-01

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented a national dissemination and training initiative to promote the availability of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression (ACT-D). This paper reports on therapist and patient outcomes associated with competency-based training in and implementation of ACT-D. Therapist and patient outcomes were assessed on eleven cohorts of therapists (n = 391) and their patients (n = 745). Three-hundred thirty four therapists successfully completed all requirements of the Training Program. Ninety-six percent of therapists achieved competency by the end of training, compared to 21% at the outset of training. Mixed effects model analysis indicated therapists' overall ACT-D competency scores increased from 76 to 112 (conditional SD = 6.6), p therapy. Mixed effects model analysis revealed that mean BDI-II scores decreased from 30 at baseline assessment to 19 (conditional SD = 5.6) at final assessment, t(367) = -20.3, p < 0.001. Quality of life scores also increased. Training in and implementation of ACT-D in the treatment of Veterans is associated with significant increases in therapist competency and robust improvements in patient outcomes. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan M Olson

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Jonathan M Olson1, Molly T Hogan2, Leonard M Pogach3, Mangala Rajan3, Gregory J Raugi4, Gayle E Reiber51University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Healthcare System, Center for Healthcare Knowledge Management, East Orange, NJ, USA; 4Division of Dermatology, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA, USA; 5Research and Development, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA, USAAbstract: The objective of this study was to examine differences in self-reported diabetes foot care education, self management behaviors, and barriers to good foot care among veterans with diabetes by race and ethnicity. Data was collected using the Veterans Health Administration Footcare Survey, a validated tool that assessed demographic, general health, diabetes and foot self-care information, barriers to foot self-care, receipt of professional foot care, and satisfaction with current care. We mailed surveys to a random sample of patients with diabetes from eight VA medical centers. Study participants were 81% White; 13% African American; 4% Asian, and 2% American Indian and Pacific Islanders. The majority of respondents felt that they did not know enough about foot self-care. There were large gaps between self-reported knowledge and actual foot care practices, even among those who reported “knowing enough” on a given topic. There were significant differences in self-reported foot care behaviors and education by race and ethnicity. These findings document the need for culturally-specific self-management education to address unique cultural preferences and barriers to care.Keywords: diabetes mellitus, diabetic foot, patient self-management, ethnic groups, education

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 77 FR 64386 - Agency Information Collection Activities (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-19

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

  16. 78 FR 46421 - Proposed Information Collection (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-31

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

  17. Persistent Serious Mental Illness Among Former Applicants for VA PTSD Disability Benefits and Long-Term Outcomes: Symptoms, Functioning, and Employment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, Maureen; Spoont, Michele Roxanne; Kehle-Forbes, Shannon Marie; Harwood, Eileen Mae; Sayer, Nina Aileen; Clothier, Barbara Ann; Bangerter, Ann Kay

    2017-02-01

    Millions of U.S. veterans have returned from military service with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for which a substantial number receive U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. Although PTSD is treatable, comorbid serious mental illness (defined here as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar spectrum disorders) could complicate these veterans' recovery. Using VA administrative data, we examined the burden of persistent serious mental illness in a nationally representative cohort of 1,067 men and 1,513 women who applied for VA PTSD disability benefits between 1994 and 1998 and served during or after the Vietnam conflict. Self-reported outcomes were restricted to the 713 men and 1,015 women who returned surveys at each of 3 collection points. More than 10.0% of men and 20.0% of women had persistent serious mental illness; of these, more than 80.0% also had persistent PTSD. On repeated measures modeling, those with persistent serious mental illness consistently reported more severe PTSD symptoms and poorer functioning in comparison to other participants (ps employment rate did not exceed 21.0%. Interactions between persistent serious mental illness and PTSD were significant only for employment (p = .002). Persistent serious mental illness in this population was almost 2 to 19 times higher than in the general U.S. The implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

  18. 77 FR 56710 - Proposed Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-13

    ... Information Collection (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension) Activity: Comment Request... applicable, for compensation and/or pension benefit sought. DATES: Written comments and recommendations on... Compensation and/or Pension, VA Form 21-526. b. Veteran's Supplemental Claim Application, VA Form 21-526b. c...

  19. 75 FR 8789 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

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

  20. Engagement in mental health treatment among veterans returning from Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy Stecker

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Tracy Stecker1,2, John Fortney3,4, Francis Hamilton1,2, Cathy D Sherbourne5, Icek Ajzen61Psychiatric Research Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH, USA; 2VA Health Services Research and Development, White River Junction Veterans Administration, White River Junction, VT, USA; 3VA Health Services Research and Development (HR S&D, Center for Mental Health and Outcomes Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, North Little Rock, AR, USA; 4Division of Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA; 5RAND, Santa Monica, CA, USA; 6Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USAObjectives: Many veterans return from combat experiencing a variety of mental health concerns. Previous research has documented a stigma associated with seeking treatment that interferes with the decision to seek treatment. This study, conceptualized using the theory of planned behavior, assessed beliefs about mental health treatment in order to understand mental health treatment seeking behavior among a group of returning National Guard soldiers who served in the war in Iraq.Methods: Participants were one hundred and fifty Operation Iraqi Freedom National Guard soldiers who screened positive for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder or alcohol abuse disorder on the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire assessing beliefs about mental health treatment and treatment-seeking behavior.Results: Beliefs related to symptom reduction and work were significantly related to mental health treatment-seeking behavior. Conclusions: Interventions developed to engage veterans into care must be directed toward cognitive factors that motivate treatment seeking in addition to traditionally targeted structural barriers.Keywords: treatment

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-20

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

  5. 48 CFR 852.219-9 - VA Small business subcontracting plan minimum requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Provisions and Clauses 852.219-9 VA Small business subcontracting plan minimum requirements. As prescribed in subpart 819.709, insert the following clause: VA Small Business Subcontracting Plan Minimum Requirements... plan, the minimum goals for award of subcontracts to service-disabled veteran-owned small business...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

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

  8. Suicide-related behaviors in older patients with new anti-epileptic drug use: data from the VA hospital system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dersh Jeffrey J

    2010-01-01

    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.

  9. Associations of mental illness and substance use disorders with prescription contraception use among women veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callegari, Lisa S; Zhao, Xinhua; Nelson, Karin M; Lehavot, Keren; Bradley, Katharine A; Borrero, Sonya

    2014-07-01

    To investigate whether mental illness and substance use disorder (SUD) are associated with having a prescription contraceptive method among women veterans. We conducted a retrospective analysis of National Veterans Administration (VA) administrative and clinical data for women veterans aged 18-45 years who made at least one primary care visit in 2008. We assessed associations between mental illness (depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and adjustment disorder) and SUD (drug/alcohol use disorder) with having a prescription contraceptive method from VA (pill, patch, ring, injection, implant and intrauterine device) using multivariable logistic regression with random effects for VA facility, adjusting for confounders. Among 94,115 reproductive aged women, 36.5% had mental illness only, 0.6% had SUD only, 5.3% had both mental illness and SUD and 57.7% had neither diagnosis. In these groups, 22.1%, 14.6%, 18.2% and 17.7% (pcontraception. After adjusting for potential confounders, women with mental illness only were as likely as women with neither diagnosis to have a prescription method and were more likely to use a highly effective prescription method (implant or intrauterine device) if using contraception [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08-1.27]. Women with SUD (with or without mental illness) were significantly less likely to have a prescription method than women with neither diagnosis (aOR 0.73, 95% CI = 0.57-0.95 and aOR 0.79, 95% CI = 0.73-0.86, respectively). Women veterans with SUD are less likely to have prescription contraception compared to other women, which may increase their risk of unintended pregnancy. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

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

  11. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... out for help. Bittersweet More Videos from Veterans Health Administration Watch additional videos about getting help. Behind the Scenes see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Be There: Help Save a Life see ...

  12. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... for help. Bittersweet More Videos from Veterans Health Administration Embedded YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/v/ ... the Scenes see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Be There: Help Save a Life see more ...

  13. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... for help. Bittersweet More Videos from Veterans Health Administration Watch additional videos about getting help. Behind the Scenes see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Be There: Help Save a Life see more ...

  14. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... out for help. Bittersweet More Videos from Veterans Health Administration Embedded YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/ ... Behind the Scenes see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Be There: Help Save a Life see ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  18. 75 FR 68975 - Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-10

    ..., National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans, Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Office... services pursuant to payments from the grantee be State-licensed because ``home run daycare and other... some jurisdictions, may include home run daycares. The commenter also requested that VA consider...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-09-01

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

  20. 77 FR 37839 - Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) No-Health Period Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-25

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

  1. 75 FR 68038 - Agency Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-04

    ... Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... Mortgage Life Insurance Statement, VA Form 29-8636. OMB Control Number: 2900-0212. Type of Review... Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) or to provide information upon which the insurance premium can be...

  2. 75 FR 52065 - Proposed Information Collection (Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance Statement) Activity: Comment...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-24

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

  3. 76 FR 82212 - Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-30

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

  4. 38 CFR 1.575 - Social security numbers in veterans' benefits matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Social security numbers... Affairs Records § 1.575 Social security numbers in veterans' benefits matters. (a) Except as provided in... because of refusal to disclose to the Department of Veterans Affairs a social security number. (b) VA...

  5. 77 FR 58913 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee, Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-24

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

  6. 76 FR 60965 - Veterans' Rural Health Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  8. Administrative Data Repository (ADR)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Administrative Data Repository (ADR) was established to provide support for the administrative data elements relative to multiple categories of a person entity...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Byrne, Thomas H

    2014-03-01

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

  10. Veterans Crisis Line: Videos About Reaching out for Help

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available Veterans Crisis Line Skip to Main Content SuicidePreventionLifeline.org Get Help Materials Get Involved Crisis Centers About Be There Show You ... more videos from Veterans Health Administration Veterans Crisis Line -- After the Call see more videos from Veterans ...

  11. Feasibility of a Skills-Based Group Reintegration Workshop for OEF/OIF Veterans: STEP-Home.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortier, Catherine Brawn; Kenna, Alexandra; Dams-OʼConnor, Kristen; Fonda, Jennifer; Levin, Laura K; Hursh, Colleen; Franz, Hannah; Milberg, William P; McGlinchey, Regina E

    2017-11-29

    To evaluate the feasibility of a newly developed reintegration workshop for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans that is based on an evidence-based rehabilitation program shown to be effective in treating mild traumatic brain injury-related symptoms in civilians. Underutilization and resistance to mental health treatment remain a significant problem for OEF/OIF Veterans. Innovative, integrative, transdiagnostic, and acceptable interventions are needed, particularly for this heterogeneous group. Eighty-four OEF/OIF/Operation New Dawn Veterans (74 male and 10 female)-mean age = 35; standard deviation = 7.4. VA Healthcare System. A 12-week, 2-hour/wk, group skills-based workshop with individual skill building to assist all OEF/OIF Veterans (with and without psychiatric and/or traumatic brain injury) in reintegration after military service. Primary outcomes were feasibility measures including treatment fidelity, acceptability, tolerability/adherence, and treatment-related skill acquisition. Secondary outcomes were interest and engagement in future treatment and reintegration status. Veterans' enrollment, adherence, and attrition data indicated that Short-Term Executive Plus adapted for Veteran civilian reintegration (STEP-Home) was acceptable and tolerable. Pre-/postintervention differences in attention, problem-solving, and emotional regulation skills demonstrated treatment-related skills acquisition. Secondary outcome data demonstrated Veterans who were hesitant to participate in mental health treatments before enrollment were more open to treatment engagement after STEP-Home, and reintegration status improved. This study demonstrated that the STEP-Home workshop is feasible in OEF/OIF Veterans and changes in treatment-related skill acquisition and reintegration status were observed. STEP-Home has potential to facilitate readjustment and serves as a gateway to additional, critically needed Veterans Administration services.

  12. Brief alcohol counseling improves mental health functioning in veterans with alcohol misuse: results from a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucciare, Michael A; Boden, Matthew Tyler; Weingardt, Kenneth R

    2013-05-01

    Alcohol misuse occurs at high rates among U.S. Military Veterans presenting to primary care and is linked to numerous negative social and health consequences. The Veterans Health Administration has recently implemented brief alcohol interventions (BAI) in VA primary care settings. An emerging literature suggests that BAIs that target alcohol consumption may also have secondary health benefits such as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety in civilian samples. The present study sought to examine whether secondary health benefits of BAIs observed in civilians generalize to a sample of alcohol misusing Veterans presenting to primary care. Veterans (N=167) screening positive for alcohol misuse during a routine primary care visit were randomized to receive treatment-as-usual (TAU) or TAU plus a web-delivered BAI. Assessment of overall mental health functioning, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression occurred at baseline, three- and six-month post-treatment. Veterans receiving both BAI protocols demonstrated significant improvements in mental health functioning, depressive symptoms, and use of approach coping from baseline to six-month follow-up. No differential treatment effects on these outcomes were observed. Findings are limited by the lack of a no-treatment control group, and the potential impact of regression to the mean and assessment effects on outcomes. Our findings replicate prior studies suggesting that a single-dose BAI may have some secondary mental health benefits for Veterans presenting to primary care with alcohol misuse. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-20

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Evaluation of the Veterans Health Administration's Specialty Care Transformational Initiatives to Promote Patient-Centered Delivery of Specialty Care: A Mixed-Methods Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Katherine M; Kirsh, Susan; Aron, David; Au, David; Helfrich, Christian; Lambert-Kerzner, Anne; Lowery, Julie; Battaglia, Catherine; Graham, Glenn D; Doukas, Michael; Jain, Rajiv; Ho, P Michael

    2017-07-01

    Veteran's Affairs Office of Specialty Care (OSC) launched four national initiatives (Electronic-Consults [e-Consults], Specialty Care Access Networks-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes [SCAN-ECHO], Mini-Residencies, and Specialty Care Neighborhood) to improve specialty care delivery and funded a center to evaluate the initiatives. The evaluation, guided by two implementation frameworks, provides formative (administrator/provider interviews and surveys) and summative data (quantitative data on patterns of use) about the initiatives to OSC. Evaluation of initiative implementation is assessed through CFIR (Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research)-grounded qualitative interviews to identify barriers/facilitators. Depending on high or low implementation, factors such as receiving workload credit, protected time, existing workflow/systems compatibility, leadership engagement, and access to information/resources were considered implementation barriers or facilitators. Findings were shared with OSC and used to further refine implementation at additional sites. Evaluation of other initiatives is ongoing. The mixed-methods approach has provided timely information to OSC about initiative effect and impacted OSC policies on implementation at additional sites.

  19. 77 FR 20886 - Agency Information Collection (Conversion From Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance to Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-27

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

  1. VA Suicide Prevention Applications Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Brady; Morley, Sybil; Thompson, Caitlin; Kemp, Janet; Bossarte, Robert M.

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Military Sexual Trauma Among Homeless Veterans

    OpenAIRE

    Pavao, Joanne; Turchik, Jessica A.; Hyun, Jenny K.; Karpenko, Julie; Saweikis, Meghan; McCutcheon, Susan; Kane, Vincent; Kimerling, Rachel

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT BACKGROUND Military sexual trauma (MST) is the Veteran Health Administration?s (VHA) term for sexual assault and/or sexual harassment that occurs during military service. The experience of MST is associated with a variety of mental health conditions. Preliminary research suggests that MST may be associated with homelessness among female Veterans, although to date MST has not been examined in a national study of both female and male homeless Veterans. OBJECTIVE To estimate the prevale...

  3. Veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease achieve clinically relevant improvements in respiratory health after pulmonary rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, Stephen; Moreno, Marcella; Shelton, John; Panos, Ralph J

    2014-01-01

    To measure respiratory health and respiratory-related (RR) health care utilization in veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease referred to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) at the Cincinnati Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center. We reviewed the records of 430 patients referred for PR from 2008 to 2010: 78 met inclusion criteria and completed PR (PR group); 92 qualified for PR but declined participation (referral group). All PR participants completed the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), BODE index, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (UCSDSOBQ), Pulmonary Disease Knowledge Test, and self-reported use of short-acting bronchodilators before and after PR. All VA health care encounters during the 12 months before and after PR (PR group) or referral (referral group) were reviewed. Respiratory health improved after PR: SGRQ (60.6 ± 15.1, 51.1 ± 16.7), BODE (4.65 ± 1.93, 3.41 ± 1.84), 6MWT (497 ± 367 m, 572 ± 397 m), UCSDSOBQ (68.3 ± 21.1, 61.0 ± 20.9), Pulmonary Disease Knowledge Test (75.9 ± 12.4%, 85.9 ± 11.1%), short-acting bronchodilator (22.5 ± 25.3, 12.8 ± 15.6 inhalations per week) (before, after PR; P rehabilitation improves respiratory health in veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and decreases RR health care utilization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  5. Provider practices in the primary care behavioral health (PCBH) model: an initial examination in the Veterans Health Administration and United States Air Force.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funderburk, Jennifer S; Dobmeyer, Anne C; Hunter, Christopher L; Walsh, Christine O; Maisto, Stephen A

    2013-12-01

    The goals of this study were to identify characteristics of both behavioral health providers (BHPs) and the patients seen in a primary care behavioral health (PCBH) model of service delivery using prospective data obtained from BHPs. A secondary objective was to explore similarities and differences between these variables within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and United States Air Force (USAF) primary care clinics. A total of 159 VHA and 23 USAF BHPs, representing almost every state in the United States, completed the study, yielding data from 403 patient appointments. BHPs completed a web-based questionnaire that assessed BHP and setting characteristics, and a separate questionnaire after each patient seen on one day of clinical service. Data demonstrated that there are many similarities between the VHA and USAF BHPs and practices. Both systems tend to use well-trained psychologists as BHPs, had systems that support the BHP being in close proximity to the primary care providers, and have seamless operational elements (i.e., shared record, one waiting room, same-day appointments, and administrative support for BHPs). Comorbid anxiety and depression was the most common presenting problem in both systems, but overall rates were higher in VHA clinics, and patients were significantly more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for mental health conditions. This study provides the first systematic, prospective examination of BHPs and practices within a PCBH model of service delivery in two large health systems with well over 5 years of experience with behavioral health integration. Many elements of the PCBH model were implemented in a manner consistent with the model, although some variability exists within both settings. These data can help guide future implementation and training efforts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. A descriptive analysis of medical health services utilization of Veterans living in Ontario: a retrospective cohort study using administrative healthcare data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiken, Alice B; Mahar, Alyson L; Kurdyak, Paul; Whitehead, Marlo; Groome, Patti A

    2016-08-04

    Health services utilization by Veterans following release may be different than the general population as the result of occupational conditions, requirements and injuries. This study provides the first longitudinal overview of Canadian Veteran healthcare utilization in the Ontario public health system. This is a retrospective cohort study designed to use Ontario's provincial healthcare data to study the demographics and healthcare utilization of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) & RCMP Veterans living in Ontario. Veterans were eligible for the study if they released between January 1, 1990 and March 31, 2013. Databases at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences were linked by a unique identifier to study non-mental health related hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and physician visits. Overall and age-stratified descriptive statistics were calculated in five-year intervals following the date of release. The cohort is comprised of 23, 818 CAF or RCMP Veterans. Following entry into the provincial healthcare system, 82.6 % (95 % CI 82.1-83.1) of Veterans saw their family physician at least once over the first five years following release, 60.7 % (95 % CI 60.0-61.3) saw a non-mental health specialist, 40.8 % (95 % CI 40.2-41.5) went to the emergency department in that same time period and 9.9 % (9.5-10.3) were hospitalized for non-mental health related complaints. Patterns of non-mental health services utilization appeared to be time and service dependant. Stratifying health services utilization by age of the Veteran at entry into the provincial healthcare system revealed significant differences in service use and intensity. This study provides the first description of health services utilization by Veterans, following release from the CAF or RCMP. This work will inform the planning and delivery of support to Veterans in Ontario.

  8. Veterans' homecomings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Birgitte Refslund

    2015-01-01

    social identity and find a meaningful life in the civilian world. When doing so, they need to navigate an ambiguous political environment and emergent public imaginaries of the veteran while also wrestling with their own military socialization and personal experiences of war. The certainty previously...... experiences, present conditions, and future ambitions are embedded in webs of concealment, disclosure, exposure, deception, lying, silence, and so forth, only partially controlled by the veterans themselves. The intricacies and anxieties associated with secrecy work are discussed in relation to three veteran...

  9. Comparison of Grouping Methods for Template Extraction from VA Medical Record Text.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redd, Andrew M; Gundlapalli, Adi V; Divita, Guy; Tran, Le-Thuy; Pettey, Warren B P; Samore, Matthew H

    2017-01-01

    We investigate options for grouping templates for the purpose of template identification and extraction from electronic medical records. We sampled a corpus of 1000 documents originating from Veterans Health Administration (VA) electronic medical record. We grouped documents through hashing and binning tokens (Hashed) as well as by the top 5% of tokens identified as important through the term frequency inverse document frequency metric (TF-IDF). We then compared the approaches on the number of groups with 3 or more and the resulting longest common subsequences (LCSs) common to all documents in the group. We found that the Hashed method had a higher success rate for finding LCSs, and longer LCSs than the TF-IDF method, however the TF-IDF approach found more groups than the Hashed and subsequently more long sequences, however the average length of LCSs were lower. In conclusion, each algorithm appears to have areas where it appears to be superior.

  10. Extracting Concepts Related to Homelessness from the Free Text of VA Electronic Medical Records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gundlapalli, Adi V; Carter, Marjorie E; Divita, Guy; Shen, Shuying; Palmer, Miland; South, Brett; Durgahee, B S Begum; Redd, Andrew; Samore, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Mining the free text of electronic medical records (EMR) using natural language processing (NLP) is an effective method of extracting information not always captured in administrative data. We sought to determine if concepts related to homelessness, a non-medical condition, were amenable to extraction from the EMR of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical records. As there were no off-the-shelf products, a lexicon of terms related to homelessness was created. A corpus of free text documents from outpatient encounters was reviewed to create the reference standard for NLP training and testing. V3NLP Framework was used to detect instances of lexical terms and was compared to the reference standard. With a positive predictive value of 77% for extracting relevant concepts, this study demonstrates the feasibility of extracting positively asserted concepts related to homelessness from the free text of medical records.

  11. Troubles continue for the Phoenix VA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2014-10-01

    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 ...

  12. Tailoring Care to Vulnerable Populations by Incorporating Social Determinants of Health: the Veterans Health Administration's "Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team" Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    O'Toole, Thomas P; Johnson, Erin E; Aiello, Riccardo; Kane, Vincent; Pape, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    .... We correlated site-specific health care performance data for the 3,543 homeless veterans enrolled in the program from October 2013 through March 2014, including those receiving ambulatory or acute...

  13. 76 FR 78732 - FY 2011 Discretionary Funding Opportunity; Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facilities Veterans...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-19

    ... Administration's priority of supporting America's veterans and military families, as well as the objectives of... Federal Transit Administration FY 2011 Discretionary Funding Opportunity; Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facilities Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration...

  14. 78 FR 68364 - Payment for Home Health Services and Hospice Care to Non-VA Providers; Delay of Effective Date

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-14

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

  15. 76 FR 52230 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Forest, VA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-22

    ... Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 Establishment of Class E Airspace; Forest, VA AGENCY... Airspace at Forest, VA, to accommodate the new Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Positioning System (GPS... published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish Class E airspace at Forest...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE, 2011

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-12

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

  19. Women Veteran Report

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. A Study of Veterans Administration/Department of Defense Health Care Resources Sharing at Keller Army Community Hospital West Point, New York 10996

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-04-01

    inventory FEAR Fear Inventory FES Family Environment Scale PDS 163 MEDH Medical History PAIN Pain Questionnaire PROB Problem List SEXH Sexual Experiences...Comnmunity Health Nursing (1) Nurse Anesthetists (2) Inhalation Therapy IPPB Treatments Humidity Aerosol Chest Physiotherapy Arterial Blood Samples OB...find its wyto VA ficilte a mokre often the rlta of political pressure from. individual Sth Pain ethafuconierted action by the VA. In truth,~ tratic

  1. Addressing the Health Concerns of VA Women with Sexual Trauma

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0368 TITLE: Addressing the Health Concerns of VA Women with Sexual Trauma PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Caron Zlotnick, PhD...develop and assess a computer-delivered intervention (Safety and Health Experiences Program; SHE) that will provide a screening and brief behavior...intervention for women veterans with any lifetime ST. More specifically, the intervention, SHE, will address interrelated health concerns for women

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  3. Development and applications of the Veterans Health Administration's Stratification Tool for Opioid Risk Mitigation (STORM) to improve opioid safety and prevent overdose and suicide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Elizabeth M; Bowe, Thomas; Tavakoli, Sara; Martins, Susana; Lewis, Eleanor T; Paik, Meenah; Wiechers, Ilse; Henderson, Patricia; Harvey, Michael; Avoundjian, Tigran; Medhanie, Amanuel; Trafton, Jodie A

    2017-02-01

    Concerns about opioid-related adverse events, including overdose, prompted the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to launch an Opioid Safety Initiative and Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program. To mitigate risks associated with opioid prescribing, a holistic approach that takes into consideration both risk factors (e.g., dose, substance use disorders) and risk mitigation interventions (e.g., urine drug screening, psychosocial treatment) is needed. This article describes the Stratification Tool for Opioid Risk Mitigation (STORM), a tool developed in VHA that reflects this holistic approach and facilitates patient identification and monitoring. STORM prioritizes patients for review and intervention according to their modeled risk for overdose/suicide-related events and displays risk factors and risk mitigation interventions obtained from VHA electronic medical record (EMR)-data extracts. Patients' estimated risk is based on a predictive risk model developed using fiscal year 2010 (FY2010: 10/1/2009-9/30/2010) EMR-data extracts and mortality data among 1,135,601 VHA patients prescribed opioid analgesics to predict risk for an overdose/suicide-related event in FY2011 (2.1% experienced an event). Cross-validation was used to validate the model, with receiver operating characteristic curves for the training and test data sets performing well (>.80 area under the curve). The predictive risk model distinguished patients based on risk for overdose/suicide-related adverse events, allowing for identification of high-risk patients and enrichment of target populations of patients with greater safety concerns for proactive monitoring and application of risk mitigation interventions. Results suggest that clinical informatics can leverage EMR-extracted data to identify patients at-risk for overdose/suicide-related events and provide clinicians with actionable information to mitigate risk. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Consistency of Self-Reported Neurocognitive Symptoms, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, and Concussive Events From End of First Deployment to Veteran Health Administration Comprehensive Traumatic Brain Injury Evaluation by Operations Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn Veterans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Arthur C; Fingerhut, Esther C

    2017-03-01

    This study examined the consistency of self-reported symptoms and concussive events in combat veterans who reported experiencing concussive events. One hundred and forty, single deployed, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn combat veterans with Veteran Health Administration (VHA) Comprehensive Traumatic Brain Injury Evaluations (CTBIE) and no post-deployment head injury were examined to assess consistency of self-reported (a) traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related symptoms, (b) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related symptoms, and (c) TBI-related concussive events from soon after deployment to time of VHA CTBIE. Compared to their self-report of symptoms and traumatic events at the time of their Post-Deployment Health Assessment, at the time of their comprehensive VHA evaluation, subjects reported significantly greater impairment in concentration, decision making, memory, headache, and sleep. In addition, although half the subjects denied any PTSD symptoms post-deployment, approximately three quarters reported experiencing all four PTSD screening symptoms near the time of the VHA CTBIEs. At the latter time, subjects also reported significantly more TBI-related concussive events, as well as more post-concussive sequelae such as loss of consciousness immediately following these concussive events. Finally, although 84% reported a level of impairment so severe as to render all but the simplest activity doable, the vast majority simultaneously reported working and/or attending college. These findings raise questions regarding the accuracy of veteran self-report of both near and distant traumatic events, and argue for the inclusion of contemporaneous Department of Defense (DOD) records in veteran assessment and treatment planning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Veterans and Homelessness

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-29

    health care and rehabilitation services for homeless veterans (the Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans...Health Care for Homeless Veterans ................................................................................... 19 Domiciliary Care for Homeless...for Homeless Veterans (HCHV), Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV), the Compensated Work Therapy/Therapeutic Residences Program, and the

  7. Implementation and dissemination of a transition of care program for rural veterans: a controlled before and after study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea Leonard

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adapting promising health care interventions to local settings is a critical component in the dissemination and implementation process. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA rural transitions nurse program (TNP is a nurse-led, Veteran-centered intervention designed to improve transitional care for rural Veterans funded by VA national offices for dissemination to other VA sites serving a predominantly rural Veteran population. Here, we describe our novel approach to the implementation and evaluation = the TNP. Methods This is a controlled before and after study that assesses both implementation and intervention outcomes. During pre-implementation, we assessed site context using a mixed method approach with data from diverse sources including facility-level quantitative data, key informant and Veteran interviews, observations of the discharge process, and a group brainstorming activity. We used the Practical Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM to inform our inquiries, to integrate data from all sources, and to identify factors that may affect implementation. In the implementation phase, we will use internal and external facilitation, paired with audit and feedback, to encourage appropriate contextual adaptations. We will use a modified Stirman framework to document adaptations. During the evaluation phase, we will measure intervention and implementation outcomes at each site using the RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance. We will conduct a difference-in-differences analysis with propensity-matched Veterans and VA facilities as a control. Our primary intervention outcome is 30-day readmission and Emergency Department visit rates. We will use our findings to develop an implementation toolkit that will inform the larger scale-up of the TNP across the VA. Discussion The use of PRISM to inform pre-implementation evaluation and synthesize data from multiple sources

  8. Implementation and dissemination of a transition of care program for rural veterans: a controlled before and after study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Chelsea; Lawrence, Emily; McCreight, Marina; Lippmann, Brandi; Kelley, Lynette; Mayberry, Ashlea; Ladebue, Amy; Gilmartin, Heather; Côté, Murray J; Jones, Jacqueline; Rabin, Borsika A; Ho, P Michael; Burke, Robert

    2017-10-23

    Adapting promising health care interventions to local settings is a critical component in the dissemination and implementation process. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) rural transitions nurse program (TNP) is a nurse-led, Veteran-centered intervention designed to improve transitional care for rural Veterans funded by VA national offices for dissemination to other VA sites serving a predominantly rural Veteran population. Here, we describe our novel approach to the implementation and evaluation = the TNP. This is a controlled before and after study that assesses both implementation and intervention outcomes. During pre-implementation, we assessed site context using a mixed method approach with data from diverse sources including facility-level quantitative data, key informant and Veteran interviews, observations of the discharge process, and a group brainstorming activity. We used the Practical Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM) to inform our inquiries, to integrate data from all sources, and to identify factors that may affect implementation. In the implementation phase, we will use internal and external facilitation, paired with audit and feedback, to encourage appropriate contextual adaptations. We will use a modified Stirman framework to document adaptations. During the evaluation phase, we will measure intervention and implementation outcomes at each site using the RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance). We will conduct a difference-in-differences analysis with propensity-matched Veterans and VA facilities as a control. Our primary intervention outcome is 30-day readmission and Emergency Department visit rates. We will use our findings to develop an implementation toolkit that will inform the larger scale-up of the TNP across the VA. The use of PRISM to inform pre-implementation evaluation and synthesize data from multiple sources, coupled with internal and external facilitation, is a

  9. VA Health Care Facilities Locator

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... map [a-z] More VA More VA Health Health Care Information A-Z Health Topic Finder My Health ... General QUICK LIST Apply for Benefits Apply for Health Care Prescriptions My Health e Vet eBenefits Life Insurance ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-30

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

  11. Multimethod evaluation of the VA's peer-to-peer Toolkit for patient-centered medical home implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luck, Jeff; Bowman, Candice; York, Laura; Midboe, Amanda; Taylor, Thomas; Gale, Randall; Asch, Steven

    2014-07-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. 78 FR 62441 - VA Dental Insurance Program-Federalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-22

    ... and their corresponding regulatory paragraphs. Subsection of Paragraph of Sec. Topic section 510 17.... Administrative Procedure Act VA believes this regulatory amendment is non-controversial and anticipates that this...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Evaluating the impact of dental care on housing intervention program outcomes among homeless veterans

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nunez, Elizabeth; Gibson, Gretchen; Jones, Judith A; Schinka, John A

    2013-01-01

    ...) transitional housing intervention program. Our sample consisted of 9870 veterans who were admitted into a VA homeless intervention program during 2008 and 2009, 4482 of whom received dental care during treatment and 5388 of whom did...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. 76 FR 13022 - Agency Information Collection (Application for Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance) Activity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-09

    ... review and comment. The PRA submission describes the nature of the information collection and its.... Veterans completing VA Form 29-4364c do not need to provide medical information to qualify for this...