Department of Veterans Affairs — At the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), our most important mission is to provide the high quality health care and benefits Veterans have earned and deserve —...
Peterson, Rachel; Gundlapalli, Adi V.; Metraux, Stephen; Carter, Marjorie E.; Palmer, Miland; Redd, Andrew; Samore, Matthew H.; Fargo, Jamison D.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have used administrative criteria to identify homelessness among U.S. Veterans. Our objective was to explore the use of these codes in VA health care facilities. We examined VA health records (2002-2012) of Veterans recently separated from the military and identified as homeless using VA conventional identification criteria (ICD-9-CM code V60.0, VA specific codes for homeless services), plus closely allied V60 codes indicating housing instability. Logistic regression analyses examined differences between Veterans who received these codes. Health care services and co-morbidities were analyzed in the 90 days post-identification of homelessness. VA conventional criteria identified 21,021 homeless Veterans from Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (rate 2.5%). Adding allied V60 codes increased that to 31,260 (rate 3.3%). While certain demographic differences were noted, Veterans identified as homeless using conventional or allied codes were similar with regards to utilization of homeless, mental health, and substance abuse services, as well as co-morbidities. Differences were noted in the pattern of usage of homelessness-related diagnostic codes in VA facilities nation-wide. Creating an official VA case definition for homelessness, which would include additional ICD-9-CM and other administrative codes for VA homeless services, would likely allow improved identification of homeless and at-risk Veterans. This also presents an opportunity for encouraging uniformity in applying these codes in VA facilities nationwide as well as in other large health care organizations. PMID:26172386
Full Text Available Researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA have used administrative criteria to identify homelessness among U.S. Veterans. Our objective was to explore the use of these codes in VA health care facilities. We examined VA health records (2002-2012 of Veterans recently separated from the military and identified as homeless using VA conventional identification criteria (ICD-9-CM code V60.0, VA specific codes for homeless services, plus closely allied V60 codes indicating housing instability. Logistic regression analyses examined differences between Veterans who received these codes. Health care services and co-morbidities were analyzed in the 90 days post-identification of homelessness. VA conventional criteria identified 21,021 homeless Veterans from Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (rate 2.5%. Adding allied V60 codes increased that to 31,260 (rate 3.3%. While certain demographic differences were noted, Veterans identified as homeless using conventional or allied codes were similar with regards to utilization of homeless, mental health, and substance abuse services, as well as co-morbidities. Differences were noted in the pattern of usage of homelessness-related diagnostic codes in VA facilities nation-wide. Creating an official VA case definition for homelessness, which would include additional ICD-9-CM and other administrative codes for VA homeless services, would likely allow improved identification of homeless and at-risk Veterans. This also presents an opportunity for encouraging uniformity in applying these codes in VA facilities nationwide as well as in other large health care organizations.
Beder, Joan; Postiglione, Paul
For the social worker in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) System, numerous challenges are faced and met while serving the nation's Veterans. As part of the multidisciplinary team, social workers perform a variety of tasks and function in diverse roles. The qualitative survey research reported in this article sought to detail what social workers identified about the impact and rewards of their work and what they saw as the challenges and frustrations. In addition the social workers were asked to clarify their role with the patient and the family. Intervention strategies used in the course of the social workers interaction with the Veterans was also ascertained.
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.
Wang, Virginia; Maciejewski, Matthew L; Patel, Uptal D; Stechuchak, Karen M; Hynes, Denise M; Weinberger, Morris
Demand for dialysis treatment exceeds its supply within the Veterans Health Administration (VA), requiring VA to outsource dialysis care by purchasing private sector dialysis for veterans on a fee-for-service basis. It is unclear whether outcomes are similar for veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus non-VA providers. We assessed the extent of chronic dialysis treatment utilization and differences in all-cause hospitalizations and mortality between veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus VA-outsourced providers. We constructed a retrospective cohort of veterans in 2 VA regions who received chronic dialysis treatment financed by VA between January 2007 and December 2008. From VA administrative data, we identified veterans who received outpatient dialysis in (1) VA, (2) VA-outsourced settings, or (3) both ("dual") settings. In adjusted analyses, we used two-part and logistic regression to examine associations between dialysis setting and all-cause hospitalization and mortality one-year from veterans' baseline dialysis date. Of 1,388 veterans, 27% received dialysis exclusively in VA, 47% in VA-outsourced settings, and 25% in dual settings. Overall, half (48%) were hospitalized and 12% died. In adjusted analysis, veterans in VA-outsourced settings incurred fewer hospitalizations and shorter hospital stays than users of VA due to favorable selection. Dual-system dialysis patients had lower one-year mortality than veterans receiving VA dialysis. VA expenditures for "buying" outsourced dialysis are high and increasing relative to "making" dialysis treatment within its own system. Outcomes comparisons inform future make-or-buy decisions and suggest the need for VA to consider veterans' access to care, long-term VA savings, and optimal patient outcomes in its placement decisions for dialysis services.
.... 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...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Demand for dialysis treatment exceeds its supply within the Veterans Health Administration (VA, requiring VA to outsource dialysis care by purchasing private sector dialysis for veterans on a fee-for-service basis. It is unclear whether outcomes are similar for veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus non-VA providers. We assessed the extent of chronic dialysis treatment utilization and differences in all-cause hospitalizations and mortality between veterans receiving dialysis from VA versus VA-outsourced providers. Methods We constructed a retrospective cohort of veterans in 2 VA regions who received chronic dialysis treatment financed by VA between January 2007 and December 2008. From VA administrative data, we identified veterans who received outpatient dialysis in (1 VA, (2 VA-outsourced settings, or (3 both (“dual” settings. In adjusted analyses, we used two-part and logistic regression to examine associations between dialysis setting and all-cause hospitalization and mortality one-year from veterans’ baseline dialysis date. Results Of 1,388 veterans, 27% received dialysis exclusively in VA, 47% in VA-outsourced settings, and 25% in dual settings. Overall, half (48% were hospitalized and 12% died. In adjusted analysis, veterans in VA-outsourced settings incurred fewer hospitalizations and shorter hospital stays than users of VA due to favorable selection. Dual-system dialysis patients had lower one-year mortality than veterans receiving VA dialysis. Conclusions VA expenditures for “buying” outsourced dialysis are high and increasing relative to “making” dialysis treatment within its own system. Outcomes comparisons inform future make-or-buy decisions and suggest the need for VA to consider veterans’ access to care, long-term VA savings, and optimal patient outcomes in its placement decisions for dialysis services.
Democratic Society White House Leadership Development Program (WHLD) Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)–Senior Executive Fellows Program George......Nurse Leaders: An Exploration of Current Nurse Leadership Development in the Veterans Health Administration 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER
Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH; Su Sun, MPH; Mark Canning, BA
Most veteran research is conducted in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings, although most veterans obtain healthcare outside the VA. Our objective was to determine the adequacy and relative contributions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and Department of Defense (DOD) administrative databases for representing the U.S. veteran population, using as an example the creation of a sampling frame for the National Survey of Women Vete...
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...
... AGENCY: Office of Public & Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Office of Public Affairs (OPA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is announcing an... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-NEW] Proposed Information Collection (VA...
... AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: In... to VA's OMB Desk Officer, OMB Human Resources and Housing Branch, New Executive Office Building, Room... benefit claim within 30 days prior to the fielding period. The sample will be stratified as follows: (1...
Washington, Donna L; Sun, Su; Canning, Mark
Most veteran research is conducted in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings, although most veterans obtain healthcare outside the VA. Our objective was to determine the adequacy and relative contributions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and Department of Defense (DOD) administrative databases for representing the U.S. veteran population, using as an example the creation of a sampling frame for the National Survey of Women Veterans. In 2008, we merged the VHA, VBA, and DOD databases. We identified the number of unique records both overall and from each database. The combined databases yielded 925,946 unique records, representing 51% of the 1,802,000 U.S. women veteran population. The DOD database included 30% of the population (with 8% overlap with other databases). The VHA enrollment database contributed an additional 20% unique women veterans (with 6% overlap with VBA databases). VBA databases contributed an additional 2% unique women veterans (beyond 10% overlap with other databases). Use of VBA and DOD databases substantially expands access to the population of veterans beyond those in VHA databases, regardless of VA use. Adoption of these additional databases would enhance the value and generalizability of a wide range of studies of both male and female veterans.
Karel, Michele J; Teri, Linda; McConnell, Eleanor; Visnic, Stephanie; Karlin, Bradley E
Nonpharmacological, psychosocial approaches are first-line treatments for managing behavioral symptoms in dementia, but they can be challenging to implement in long-term care settings. The Veterans Health Administration implemented STAR-VA, an interdisciplinary behavioral approach for managing challenging dementia-related behaviors in its Community Living Center (CLCs, nursing home care) settings. This study describes how the program was implemented and provides an evaluation of Veteran clinical outcomes and staff feedback on the intervention. One mental health professional and registered nurse team from 17 CLCs completed STAR-VA training, which entailed an experiential workshop followed by 6 months of expert consultation as they worked with their teams to implement STAR-VA with Veterans identified to have challenging dementia-related behaviors. The frequency and severity of target behaviors and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation were evaluated at baseline and at intervention completion. Staff provided feedback regarding STAR-VA feasibility and impact. Seventy-one Veterans completed the intervention. Behaviors clustered into 6 types: care refusal or resistance, agitation, aggression, vocalization, wandering, and other. Frequency and severity of target behaviors and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and agitation all significantly decreased, with overall effect sizes of 1 or greater. Staff rated both benefits for Veterans and program feasibility favorably. This evaluation supports the feasibility and effectiveness of STAR-VA, an interdisciplinary, behavioral intervention for managing challenging behaviors among residents with dementia in CLCs. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Gerontological Society of America 2015.
Soroka, Mort; Crump, Trafford; Bennett, Amy
This study was designed to determine the use of optometrists with the Veterans Health Administration hospital system and to develop accurate statistics regarding the number and type of services these doctors provide. The findings help describe their responsibilities in the treatment and management of ocular diseases and their use of diagnostic and therapeutic drugs. The study also investigated what, if any, role optometrists play beyond care in the education and research practices of the hospital. A descriptive analysis was conducted through the use of surveys and interviews of department chiefs or medical directors. A survey was sent out to 149 Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospitals, located using the VA facility locator Web site. Data were tabulated, aggregated, and analyzed. A response rate of 81% was achieved (122 surveys returned), 98% of which (120 facilities) provide eye services to their patients in either an outpatient or inpatient capacity. One hundred seventeen (98%) of these had optometrists affiliated with their facility. These optometrists were responsible for providing a range of services, prescribing the use of diagnostic or therapeutic drugs, and participating in educational training of other health personnel. Optometry has developed a strong partnership with the Veterans Health Administration, and act as an integral part of its hospital services. The VA has developed a workforce mix that should serve as a model for managed care organizations.
Weeks, William B.; Lee, Richard E.; Wallace, Amy E.; West, Alan N.; Bagian, James P.
Context: Unplanned readmission within 30 days of discharge is an indicator of hospital quality. Purpose: We wanted to determine whether older rural veterans who were enrolled in the VA had different rates of unplanned readmission to VA or non-VA hospitals than their urban counterparts. Methods: We used the combined VA/Medicare dataset to examine…
Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani
Differences in the characteristics and mental health needs of female veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan war compared with those of veterans of other wars may have useful implications for VA program and treatment planning. Female veterans reporting service in the Iraq/Afghanistan war were compared with women reporting service in the Persian Gulf and Vietnam wars and to men reporting service in the Iraq/Afghanistan war. Subjects were drawn from VA administrative data on veterans who sought outpatient treatment from specialized posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment programs. A series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to control for program site and age. In general, Iraq/Afghanistan and Persian Gulf women had less severe psychopathology and more social supports than did Vietnam women. In turn, Iraq/Afghanistan women had less severe psychopathology than Persian Gulf women and were exposed to less sexual and noncombat nonsexual trauma than their Persian Gulf counterparts. Notable differences were also found between female and male veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan war. Women had fewer interpersonal and economic supports, had greater exposure to different types of trauma, and had different levels of diverse types of pathology than their male counterparts. There appear to be sufficient differences within women reporting service in different war eras and between women and men receiving treatment in VA specialized treatment programs for PTSD that consideration should be given to program planning and design efforts that address these differences in every program treating female veterans reporting war zone service.
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servicemembers to civilian life. For its part, VA’s agency priority goals are to (1) ensure access to VA benefits and services, (2) eliminate the disability...transfer their benefits to dependents. VA – Veterans Benefit Administration ( VBA ) Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Centers Disability; Physical...who are temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member to help adapt the home to meet his or her special needs. VA - VBA Yellow Ribbon
Van Houtven, Courtney Harold; Jeffreys, Amy S.; Coffman, Cynthia J.
Purpose: The Veterans Affairs or VA health care system is in the process of significantly expanding home health care (HOC) nationwide. We describe VA HHC use in 2003 for all VA HHC users from 2002; we examine whether VA utilization across a broad spectrum of services differed for a sample of VA HHC users and their propensity-score-matched…
... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Titles: a. National Disabled Veterans Winter... Form 0928h. m. Surfing Personnel Application, VA Form 0928i. n. Venue Personnel Application, VA Form... Creative Arts Festival, National Veterans TEE Tournament, National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic...
Finlay, Andrea K; Stimmel, Matthew; Blue-Howells, Jessica; Rosenthal, Joel; McGuire, Jim; Binswanger, Ingrid; Smelson, David; Harris, Alex H S; Frayne, Susan M; Bowe, Tom; Timko, Christine
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) program links veterans exiting prison with treatment. Among veterans served by HCRV, national VA clinical data were used to describe contact with VA health care, and mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses and treatment use. Of veterans seen for an HCRV outreach visit, 56 % had contact with VA health care. Prevalence of mental health disorders was 57 %; of whom 77 % entered mental health treatment within a month of diagnosis. Prevalence of substance use disorders was 49 %; of whom 37 % entered substance use disorder treatment within a month of diagnosis. For veterans exiting prison, increasing access to VA health care, especially for rural veterans, and for substance use disorder treatment, are important quality improvement targets.
... Verification Self-Assessment Tool that walks the veteran through the regulation and how it applies to the...) Verification Guidelines AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking... regulations governing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification...
VAMC VA Medical Center VBA Veterans Benefits Administration VFW Veterans of Foreign War of the United States VHA Veterans Health...System, August 26, 2014, accessed August 27, 2014, http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-14-02603-267.pdf. 2 Sloan D. Gibson, “Remarks of Acting Secretary...Sloan D. Gibson During VFW Annual Convention” (address at the 115th VFW Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, July 22, 2014), accessed July 27, 2014, http
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...
Finley, Erin P; Mader, Michael; Bollinger, Mary J; Haro, Elizabeth K; Garcia, Hector A; Huynh, Alexis K; Pugh, Jacqueline A; Pugh, Mary Jo
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects nearly one-fifth of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAV). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has invested in making evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD available at every VA facility nationwide; however, an unknown number of veterans opt to receive care in the community rather than with VA. We compared PTSD care utilization patterns among Texas IAV with PTSD, an ethnically, geographically, and economically diverse group. To identify IAV in Texas with service-connected disability for PTSD, we used a crosswalk of VA administrative data from the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Roster and service-connected disability data from the Veterans Benefits Administration. We then surveyed a random sample of 1,128 veterans from the cohort, stratified by sex, rurality, and past use/nonuse of any VA care. Respondents were classified into current utilization groups (VA only, non-VA only, dual care, and no professional PTSD treatment) on the basis of reported PTSD care in the prior 12 months. Responses were weighted to account for sample stratification and for response rate within each strata. Utilization group characteristics were compared to the population mean using the one sample Z-test for proportions, or the t-test for means. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to identify survey variables significantly associated with current utilization group. 249 IAV completed the survey (28.4% response rate). Respondents reported receiving PTSD care: in the VA only (58.3%); in military or community-based settings (including private practitioners) (non-VA only, 8.7%); and in both VA and non-VA settings (dual care, 14.5%). The remainder (18.5%) reported no professional PTSD care in the prior year. Veterans ineligible for Department of Defense care, uncomfortable talking about their problems, and opposed to medication were more likely to receive non-VA care only, whereas those with lower household income
Bangerter, Ann; Gravely, Amy; Cutting, Andrea; Clothier, Barb; Spoont, Michele; Sayer, Nina
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made treatment and care of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans a priority. Researchers face challenges identifying the OIF/OEF population because until fiscal year 2008, no indicator of OIF/OEF service was present in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative databases typically used for research. In this article, we compare an algorithm we developed to identify OIF/OEF veterans using the Austin Information Technology Center administrative data with the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster and veterans' self-report of military service. We drew data from two different institutional review board-approved funded studies. The positive predictive value of our algorithm compared with the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster and self-report was 92% and 98%, respectively. However, this method of identifying OIF/OEF veterans failed to identify a large proportion of OIF/OEF veterans listed in the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster. Demographic, diagnostic, and VA service use differences were found between veterans identified using our method and those we failed to identify but who were in the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster. Therefore, depending on the research objective, this method may not be a viable alternative to the VHA Support Service Center OIF/OEF Roster for identifying OIF/OEF veterans.
... a Self-Check Quiz Resources Spread the Word Videos Homeless Resources Additional Information Make the Connection Get Help When To Call What To Expect Resource Locator Veterans Live Chat Veterans Text Homeless Veterans Live Chat Military Live ...
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...
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
There has long been concern that public support payments are used to support addictive behaviors. This study examined the amount of money homeless veterans spend on alcohol and drugs and the association between public support income, including VA disability compensation, and expenditures on alcohol and drugs. Data were from 1,160 veterans from 19 sites on entry into the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. Descriptive statistics and nonparametric analyses were conducted. About 33% of veterans reported spending money on alcohol and 22% reported spending money on drugs in the past month. No significant association was found between public support income, VA disability compensation, and money spent on alcohol and drugs. A substantial proportion of homeless veterans spend some income on alcohol and drugs, but disability income, including VA compensation, does not seem to be related to substance use or money spent on addictive substances.
highest priorities: Veteran homelessness, “ VBA access ” to allow improved awareness of available VA services and benefits, and the backlog of benefits...Veterans by 2015. VBA access refers to improved Veteran awareness of the various VA benefits and services available, particularly through outreach and...claim completion time. While all three of these priorities impact VBA , the second two--increased access and decreased backlog--directly relate to
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…
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...
Pracht, Etienne E; Bass, Elizabeth
This paper explores the link between utilization of ambulatory care and the likelihood of rehospitalization for an avoidable reason in veterans served by the Veteran Health Administration (VA). The analysis used administrative data containing healthcare utilization and patient characteristics stored at the national VA data warehouse, the Corporate Franchise Data Center. The study sample consisted of 284 veterans residing in Florida who had been hospitalized at least once for an avoidable reason. A bivariate probit model with instrumental variables was used to estimate the probability of rehospitalization. Veterans who had at least 1 ambulatory care visit per month experienced a significant reduction in the probability of rehospitalization for the same avoidable hospitalization condition. The findings suggest that ambulatory care can serve as an important substitute for more expensive hospitalization for the conditions characterized as avoidable. © 2011 National Association for Healthcare Quality.
Beyeler, Walter E; DeMenno, Mercy B.; Finley, Patrick D.
As with other large healthcare organizations, medical adverse events at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities can expose patients to unforeseen negative risks. VHA leadership recognizes that properly handled disclosure of adverse events can minimize potential harm to patients and negative consequences for the effective functioning of the organization. The work documented here seeks to help improve the disclosure process by situating it within the broader theoretical framework of issues management, and to identify opportunities for process improvement through modeling disclosure and reactions to disclosure. The computational model will allow a variety of disclosure actions to be tested across a range of incident scenarios. Our conceptual model will be refined in collaboration with domain experts, especially by continuing to draw on insights from VA Study of the Communication of Adverse Large-Scale Events (SCALE) project researchers.
Congressional Requesters December 2016 GAO-17-52 United States Government Accountability Office United States Government Accountability Office...VHA officials said not all facilities require onsite gynecologists and facilities may authorize gynecological services from non-VA providers. They...including previously closed combat positions, which could contribute to the increase in the women veteran population. See GAO, Military Personnel: DOD Is
Carlson, Kathleen F; Taylor, Brent C; Hagel, Emily M; Cutting, Andrea; Kerns, Robert; Sayer, Nina A
To examine the prevalence and correlates of headache diagnoses, by gender, among Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans who use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care. Understanding the health care needs of recent Veterans, and how these needs differ between women and men, is a priority for the VA. The potential for a large burden of headache disorders among Veterans seeking VA services exists but has not been examined in a representative sample. We conducted a historical cohort study using national VA inpatient and outpatient data from fiscal year 2011. Participants were all (n = 470,215) Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran VA users in 2011; nearly 13% were women. We identified headache diagnoses using International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) diagnosis codes assigned during one or more VA inpatient or outpatient encounters. Descriptive analyses included frequencies of patient characteristics, prevalence and types of headache diagnoses, and prevalence of comorbid diagnoses. Prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to estimate associations between gender and headache diagnoses. Multivariate models adjusted for age and race. Additional models also adjusted for comorbid diagnoses. In 2011, 56,300 (11.9%) Veterans received a headache-related diagnosis. While controlling for age and race, headache diagnoses were 1.61 times more prevalent (95% CI = 1.58-1.64) among women (18%) than men (11%). Most of this difference was associated with migraine diagnoses, which were 2.66 times more prevalent (95% CI = 2.59-2.73) among women. Cluster and post-traumatic headache diagnoses were less prevalent in women than in men. These patterns remained the same when also controlling for comorbid diagnoses, which were common among both women and men with headache diagnoses. The most prevalent comorbid diagnoses examined were depression (46% of women with headache diagnoses vs 40% of men), post-traumatic stress disorder (38% vs 58%), and back
Valenstein, Paul N; Wang, Edward; O'Donohue, Tom
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) operates the largest integrated laboratory network in the United States. To assess whether the unique characteristics of VA laboratories impact efficiency of operations, we compared the productivity of VA and non-VA facilities. Financial and activity data were prospectively collected from 124 VA and 131 non-VA laboratories enrolled in the College of American Pathologists Laboratory Management Index Program (LMIP) during 2002. In addition, secular trends in 5 productivity ratios were calculated for VA and non-VA laboratories enrolled in LMIP from 1997 through 2002. Veterans Health Administration and non-VA facilities did not differ significantly in size. Inpatients accounted for a lower percentage of testing at VA facilities than non-VA facilities (21.7% vs 37.3%; P benefits; P depreciation, and maintenance than their non-VA counterparts (all P <.001), resulting in lower overall cost per on-site test result (2.64 dollars vs 3.40 dollars; P <.001). Cost per referred (sent-out) test did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Analysis of 6-year trends showed significant increases in both VA (P <.001) and non-VA (P =.02) labor productivity (on-site tests/total FTE). Expenses at VA laboratories for labor per test, consumables per test, overall expense per test, and overall laboratory expense per discharge decreased significantly during the 6-year period (P <.001), while in non-VA facilities the corresponding ratios showed no significant change. Overall productivity of VA laboratories is superior to that of non-VA facilities enrolled in LMIP. The principal advantages enjoyed by the VA are higher-than-average labor productivity (tests/FTE) and lower-than-average consumable expenses.
Johnson, Brenda Webb
Emotional intelligence (EI) has not been studied extensively within the Veterans' Health Administration (VHA). The VHA is the largest healthcare organization in America with over 360,000 employees and the organization invests heavily in competency development. The Tampa VA is a level 1 facility with over 5,000 employees in the Tampa Bay area. The…
Kimerling, Rachel; Pavao, Joanne; Greene, Liberty; Karpenko, Julie; Rodriguez, Allison; Saweikis, Meghan; Washington, Donna L
Patient-centered access to mental health describes the fit between patient needs and resources of the system. To date, little data are available to guide implementation of services to women veterans, an underrepresented minority within Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health care. The current study examines access to mental health care among women veterans, and identifies gender-related indicators of perceived access to mental health care. A population-based sample of 6287 women veterans using VA primary care services participated in a survey of past year perceived need for mental health care, mental health utilization, and gender-related mental health care experiences. Subjective rating of how well mental health care met their needs was used as an indicator of perceived access. Half of all women reported perceived mental health need; 84.3% of those women received care. Nearly all mental health users (90.9%) used VA services, although only about half (48.8%) reported that their mental health care met their needs completely or very well. Gender related experiences (availability of female providers, women-only treatment settings, women-only treatment groups, and gender-related comfort) were each associated with 2-fold increased odds of perceived access, and associations remained after adjusting for ease of getting care. Women VA users demonstrate very good objective access to mental health services. Desire for, and access to specialized mental health services for women varies across the population and are important aspects of shared decision making in referral and treatment planning for women using VA primary care.
There has been increasing concern in recent years about the availability of mental health services for people with serious mental illness in rural areas. To meet these needs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented the Rural Access Networks for Growth Enhancement (RANGE) program, in 2007, modeled on the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model. This study uses VA administrative data from the RANGE program (N = 343) to compare client characteristics at program entry, patterns of service delivery, and outcomes with those of Veterans who received services from the general VA ACT-like program (Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) (N = 3,077). Veterans in the rural program entered treatment with similar symptom severity, less likelihood of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and having had long-term hospitalization, but significantly higher suicidality index scores and greater likelihood of being dually diagnosed compared with those in the general program. RANGE Veterans live further away from their treatment teams but did not differ significantly in measures of face-to-face treatment intensity. Similar proportions of RANGE and MHICM Veterans were reported to have received rehabilitation services, crisis intervention and substance abuse treatment. The rural programs had higher scores on overall satisfaction with VA mental health care than general programs, slightly poorer outcomes on quality of life and on the suicidality index but no significant difference on other outcomes. These data demonstrate the clinical need, practical feasibility and potential effectiveness of providing intensive case management through small specialized case management teams in rural areas.
Coxe, D Nicole; Conner, Brian T; Lauerer, Joy; Skipper, Janice; York, Janet; Fraggos, Mary; Stuart, Gail W
The Veterans Administration (VA) has been committed to academic affiliate training partnerships for nearly 70 years in efforts to enhance veteran-centric health care. One such effort, the VA Nursing Academy (VANA) program, was developed in 2007 in response to the nationwide nursing shortage and began as a five-year pilot with funding competitively awarded to 15 partnerships between local VA medical centers and schools of nursing. The VANA program evolved into the VA Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP) program following the initial pilot. This article describes the development and evolution of the Charleston VANAP, which includes the Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center (RHJ VAMC) and the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing (MUSC CON). The VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) funded a large portion of the initial five years of the Charleston VANAP. Once the national funding source ceased, the RHJ VAMC and the MUSC CON entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to offer in-kind contributions to the partnership. The Charleston VANAP is the only program in the nation to offer three different nurse trainee programs and this article highlights some of the more notable achievements from each program. The Charleston VANAP is a comprehensive partnership between the RHJ VAMC and the MUSC CON that truly demonstrates a commitment to assure that the very best care be provided to Veterans, our Nation's heroes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
... (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA... Under the Montgomery GI Bill, VA Form 22-1990E. c. Application for VA Education Benefits Under the...
Schult, Tamara M; Schmunk, Sandra K; Awosika, Ebi R
The aim of this study was to describe a comprehensive approach to decrease physical inactivity in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee population. The approach included (1) initiatives to decrease physical inactivity in the workplace; (2) two operational surveys to assess system-wide service provision; and (3) two national employee surveys. From 2010 to 2012, 86 employee fitness centers were completed in VA medical centers. A grants program (2010 to 2015) funded smaller projects designed to decrease physical inactivity in the workplace. Projects involved the provision of equipment to decrease sedentary behaviors, including stability balls, treadmill and sit-to-stand desks, stairwell projects, and funding for on-site fitness classes, bicycle racks, and outdoor par courses and walking paths among others. A comprehensive approach to decrease physical inactivity in VHA employees was successful. Overall, self-reported, age-adjusted physical inactivity in VHA employees decreased from 25.3% in 2010 to 16.1% in 2015.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development of Space for Community Services and Parking in Memphis, TN AGENCY... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Housing in Grand Island, NE AGENCY: Department of... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contracts with state approving agencies (SAAs) to assess whether schools and training programs offer education of sufficient quality for veterans to receive VA education assistance benefits when attending them. The General Accounting Office examined the gatekeeping activities of the VA and the Department of…
Bukowski, Leigh A; Blosnich, John; Shipherd, Jillian C; Kauth, Michael R; Brown, George R; Gordon, Adam J
Research shows transgender individuals experience pronounced health disparities compared with their nontransgender peers. Yet, there remains insufficient research about health differences within transgender populations. This study seeks to fill this gap by exploring how current urban/rural status is associated with lifetime diagnosis of mood disorder, alcohol dependence disorder, illicit drug abuse disorder, tobacco use, posttraumatic stress disorder, human immunodeficiency virus, and suicidal ideation or attempt among veterans with transgender-related diagnoses. This study used a retrospective review of The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data for transgender patients who received VA care from 1997 through 2014. Transgender patients were defined as individuals that had a lifetime diagnosis of any of 4 International Classification of Diseases-9 diagnosis codes associated with transgender status. Independent multivariable logistic regression models were used to explore associations of rural status with medical conditions. Veterans with transgender-related diagnoses residing in small/isolated rural towns had increased odds of tobacco use disorder (adjusted odds ratio=1.39; 95% confidence intervals, 1.09-1.78) and posttraumatic stress disorder (adjusted odds ratio=1.33; 95% confidence intervals, 1.03-1.71) compared with their urban transgender peers. Urban/rural status was not significantly associated with other medical conditions of interest. This study contributes the first empirical investigations of how place of residence is associated with medical diagnoses among veterans with transgender-related diagnoses. The importance of place as a determinant of health is increasingly clear, but for veterans with transgender-related diagnoses this line of research is currently limited. The addition of self-reported sex identity data within VA electronic health records is one way to advance this line of research.
Forrester, M B
There is little information on poisonings managed at military and Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. This investigation described and compared poisonings reported to Texas poison centers that were managed at military and VA hospitals. Retrospective analysis of poison centre data. Cases were poisonings among patients aged 18 years or more reported to Texas poison centers during 2000-2015 where management occurred at a military or VA hospital. The distribution of exposures for various demographic and clinical factors was determined for military and veterans hospitals and comparisons were made between the two groups. There were 4353 and 1676 poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals, resepctively. Males accounted for 50.5% of the military hospital patients and 84.9% of the VA hospital patients. The mean age for military hospital patients was 31 years and for VA hospital patients was 50 years. The proportion of poisonings managed at military hospitals and VA hospitals, respectively, were intentional (70.0% vs 64.1%), particularly suspected attempted suicide (57.3% vs 47.7%), and unintentional (25.0% vs 30.5%). More than one substance was reported in 37.7% of military and 33.2% of VA hospital poisonings. The most commonly reported substance categories for poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals, respectively, were analgesics (28.4% vs 19.7%), sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics (24.7% vs 23.4%), antidepressants (18.7% vs 19.7%) and alcohol (11.3% vs 10.6%). A number of differences were observed between poisonings managed at military and VA hospitals. These differing patterns of poisonings may need to be taken into account in the education, prevention and treatment of poisonings at these hospitals and among the populations they serve. Copyright © 2016 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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 ...
... (Application for VA Education Benefits) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits Administration... Education Benefits, VA Form 22-1990. b. Application for Family Member to Use Transferred Benefits, VA Form 22-1990E. [[Page 40454
Eisenberg, Dan; Lohnberg, Jessica A; Kubat, Eric P; Bates, Cheryl C; Greenberg, Lauren M; Frayne, Susan M
Provision of bariatric surgery in the Veterans Health Administration must account for obese veterans' co-morbidity burden and the geographically dispersed location of patients relative to Veterans Affairs (VA) bariatric centers. To evaluate a collaborative, integrated, interdisciplinary bariatric team of surgeons, bariatricians, psychologists, dieticians, and physical therapists working in a hub-and-spokes care model, for pre- and post-bariatric surgery assessment and management. This is a description of an interdisciplinary clinic and bariatric program at a VA healthcare system and a report on program evaluation findings. Retrospective data of a prospective database was abstracted. For program evaluation, we abstracted charts to characterize patient data and conducted a patient survey. Since 2009, 181 veterans have undergone bariatric surgery. Referrals came from 7 western U.S. states. Mean preoperative body mass index was 46 kg/m 2 (maximum 71). Mean age was 53 years, with 33% aged>60 years; 79% were male. Medical co-morbidity included diabetes (70%), hypertension (85%), and lower back or extremity joint pain (84%). A psychiatric diagnosis was present in 58%. At 12 months, follow-up was 81% and percent excess body mass index loss was 50.5%. Among 54 sequential clinic patients completing anonymous surveys, overall satisfaction with the interdisciplinary team approach and improved quality of life were high (98% and 94%, respectively). The integrated, interdisciplinary team approach using a hub-and-spokes model is well suited to the VA bariatric surgery population, with its heavy burden of medical and mental health co-morbidity and its system of geographically dispersed patients receiving treatment at specialty centers. As the VA seeks to expand the use of bariatric surgery as an option for obese veterans, interdisciplinary models crafted to address case complexity, care coordination, and long-term outcomes should be part of policy planning efforts. Published by
www.va.gov/health/aboutVHA.asp. 24 Veterans Benefits Administration, “About VBA ,” last updated December 18, 2014, accessed May 10, 2015, http...Department of Veterans Affairs, 2014. Veterans Benefits Administration. “About VBA .” Last updated December 18, 2014. Accessed May 10, 2015. http...OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom VA Department of Veterans Affairs VA OIG Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General VBA Veterans Benefits
Heget, Jeffrey R; Bagian, James P; Lee, Caryl Z; Gosbee, John W
In 1998 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) created the National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) to lead the effort to reduce adverse events and close calls systemwide. NCPS's aim is to foster a culture of safety in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by developing and providing patient safety programs and delivering standardized tools, methods, and initiatives to the 163 VA facilities. To create a system-oriented approach to patient safety, NCPS looked for models in fields such as aviation, nuclear power, human factors, and safety engineering. Core concepts included a non-punitive approach to patient safety activities that emphasizes systems-based learning, the active seeking out of close calls, which are viewed as opportunities for learning and investigation, and the use of interdisciplinary teams to investigate close calls and adverse events through a root cause analysis (RCA) process. Participation by VA facilities and networks was voluntary. NCPS has always aimed to develop a program that would be applicable both within the VA and beyond. NCPS's full patient safety program was tested and implemented throughout the VA system from November 1999 to August 2000. Program components included an RCA system for use by caregivers at the front line, a system for the aggregate review of RCA results, information systems software, alerts and advisories, and cognitive acids. Following program implementation, NCPS saw a 900-fold increase in reporting of close calls of high-priority events, reflecting the level of commitment to the program by VHA leaders and staff.
that arise prior to making contact with veterans. Further, ongoing scheduling errors, such as incorrectly revising preferred dates when rescheduling ...primary care provider and support staff—a nurse care manager, clinical associate, and administrative clerk. Letter Page 2 GAO-16-328...appointments were canceled, and if so, whether and when they were rescheduled . We also obtained information on the dates
Assessing Risks Report to Congressional Requesters April 2016 GAO-16-393 United States Government Accountability Office United States...Government Accountability Office Highlights of GAO-16-393, a report to congressional requesters April 2016 VETERANS JUSTICE OUTREACH PROGRAM...quality, timeliness, efficiency, cost of service, and outcome. GAO, Tax Administration: IRS Needs to Further Refine Its Tax Filing Season
... of policy and administration which cannot be so resolved will be forwarded, through the normal chain... MTFs: (i) In the Trust Territory of the Pacific (Micronesia), VA Office, Honolulu, Hawaii. (ii) In the...
Frakt, Austin B; Pizer, Steven D; Hendricks, Ann M
Medicare and the Veterans Health Administration (VA) both finance large outpatient prescription drug programs, though in very different ways. In the ongoing debate on how to control Medicare spending, some suggest that Medicare should negotiate directly with drug manufacturers, as the VA does. In this article we relate the role of interest groups to policy differences between Medicare and the VA and, in doing so, explain why such a large change to the Medicare drug program is unlikely. We argue that key policy differences are attributable to stable differences in interest group involvement. While this stability makes major changes in Medicare unlikely, it suggests the possibility of leveraging VA drug purchasing to achieve savings in Medicare. This could be done through a VA-administered drug-only benefit for Medicare-enrolled veterans. Such a partnership could incorporate key elements of both programs: capacity to accept large numbers of enrollees (like Medicare) and leverage to negotiate prescription drug prices (like the VA). Moreover, it could be implemented at no cost to the VA while achieving savings for Medicare and beneficiaries.
Nelson, Richard E; Hicken, Bret; Cai, Beilei; Dahal, Arati; West, Alan; Rupper, Randall
To improve access to care, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) increased its patient travel reimbursement rate from 11 to 28.5 cents per mile on February 1, 2008, and again to 41.5 cents per mile on November 17, 2008. We identified characteristics of veterans more likely to receive travel reimbursements and evaluated the impact of these increases on utilization of the benefit. We examined the likelihood of receiving any reimbursement, number of reimbursements, and dollar amount of reimbursements for VHA patients before and after both reimbursement rate increases. Because of our data's longitudinal nature, we used multivariable generalized estimating equation models for analysis. Rurality and categorical distance from the nearest VHA facility were examined in separate regressions. Our cohort contained 214,376 veterans. During the study period, the average number of reimbursements per veteran was higher for rural patients compared to urban patients, and for those living 50-75 miles from the nearest VHA facility compared to those living closer. Higher reimbursement rates led to more veterans obtaining reimbursement regardless of urban-rural residence or distance traveled to the nearest VHA facility. However, after the rate increases, urban veterans and veterans living reimbursement utilization slightly more than other patients. Our findings suggest an inverted U-shaped relationship between veterans' utilization of the VHA travel reimbursement benefit and travel distance. Both urban and rural veterans responded in roughly equal manner to changes to this benefit. © 2013 National Rural Health Association.
Yoon, Jean; Lo, Jeanie; Gehlert, Elizabeth; Johnson, Erin E; O'Toole, Thomas P
The study compared health care utilization and costs among homeless veterans randomly assigned to peer mentors or usual care and described contacts with peer mentors. Homeless patients at four Department of Veterans Affairs clinics were randomly assigned to a peer mentor (N=195) or to usual care (N=180). Administrative data on utilization and costs over a six-month follow-up were combined with peer mentors' reports of patient contacts. Most patients (87%) in the peer mentor group had at least one peer contact. Patients in this group spent the largest proportions of time discussing housing and health issues with peer mentors and had more outpatient encounters than those in usual care, although differences were not significant. No other between-group differences were found in utilization or costs. Although significant impacts of peer mentors on health care patterns or costs were not detected, some patients had frequent contact with peer mentors.
Urosevich, Thomas G; Boscarino, Joseph J; Hoffman, Stuart N; Kirchner, H Lester; Figley, Charles R; Adams, Richard E; Withey, Carrie A; Boscarino, Joseph A
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder are considered the signature injuries of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. With the extensive use of improvised explosive devices by the enemy, the concussive effects from blast have a greater potential to cause mild TBI (mTBI) in military Service Members. These mTBI can be associated with other physical and psychological health problems, including mTBI-induced visual processing and eye movement dysfunctions. Our study assessed if any visual dysfunctions existed in those surveyed in non-Veterans Administration (VA) facilities who had suffered mTBI (concussive effect), in addition to the presence of concussion-related co-morbidities. As part of a larger study involving veterans from different service eras, we surveyed 235 Veterans who had served during the Iraq and/or Afghanistan conflict era. Data for the study were collected using diagnostic telephone interviews of these veterans who were outpatients of the Geisinger Health System. We assess visual dysfunction in this sample and compare visual dysfunctions of those who had suffered a mTBI (concussive effect), as well as co-morbidities, with those in the cohort who had not suffered concussion effects. Of those veterans who experienced visual dysfunctions, our results reflected that the visual symptoms were significant for concussion with the subjects surveyed, even though all had experienced a mTBI event greater than five years ago. Although we did find an association with concussion and visual symptoms, the association for concussion was strongest with the finding of greater than or equal to three current TBI symptoms, therefore we found this to be the best predictor of previous concussion among the veterans. Veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan era who had suffered concussive blast effects (mTBI) can present with covert visual dysfunction as well as additional physical and psychological health problems. The primary eye care providers, especially
Miller, Laura J; Ghadiali, Nafisa Y
This pilot study aims to ascertain the prevalence of self-reported premenstrual, perinatal, and perimenopausal influences on mental health, and of gynecologic conditions that could interact with psychiatric conditions, among women veterans receiving psychiatric care within a Veterans Administration (VA) Women's Health Clinic (WHC). Participants included all women veterans (N=68) who received psychiatric evaluations within a VA WHC over a 5-month period. This setting encompasses colocated and coordinated primary care, gynecologic and mental health services. Evaluations included a Women's Mental Health Questionnaire, a psychiatric interview, and medical record review. Deidentified data were extracted from a clinical data repository for this descriptive study. High proportions of study participants reported that their emotional problems intensified premenstrually (42.6%), during pregnancy (33.3%), in the postpartum period (33.3%), or during perimenopause (18.2%). Unintended pregnancy (70.0% of pregnancies) and pregnancy loss (63.5% of women who had been pregnant) were prominent sex-linked stressors. Dyspareunia (22.1% of participants) and pelvic pain (17.6% of participants) were frequent comorbidities. Among women veterans receiving psychiatric care within a VA WHC, there are high rates of self-reported premenstrual, perinatal, and perimenopausal influences on mental health. This population also has substantial comorbidity of psychiatric disorders with dyspareunia and pelvic pain. This underscores the importance of recognizing and addressing women veterans' sex-specific care needs, including interactions among reproductive cycle phases, gynecologic pain, and psychiatric symptoms. The findings support the need for greater awareness of the sex-specific mental health needs of women veterans, and for more definitive studies to further characterize these needs.
Department of Veterans Affairs — This comprehensive report chronicles the history of women in the military and as Veterans, profiles the characteristics of women Veterans in 2009, illustrates how...
Stephen Schey; Jim Francfort
This report focuses on the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Manhattan Campus (VA- Manhattan) fleet to identify the daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and report findings on vehicle and mission characterizations to support successful introduction of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) into the agency’s fleet. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to electric vehicle adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively called PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements.
Shay, Kenneth; Hyduke, Barbara; Burris, James F
The leaders of Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) undertook a strategic planning process that led to approval in 2009 of a multidisciplinary, evidence-guided strategic plan. This article reviews the four goals contained in that plan and describes VHA's progress in addressing them. The goals included transforming the healthcare system to a veteran-centric approach, achieving universal access to a panel of services, ensuring that the Veterans Affair's (VA) healthcare workforce was adequately prepared to manage the needs of the growing elderly veteran population, and integrating continuous improvement into all care enhancements. There has been substantial progress in addressing all four goals. All VHA health care has undergone an extensive transformation to patient-centered care, has enriched the services it can offer caregivers of dependent veterans, and has instituted models to better integrate VA and non-VA cares and services. A range of successful models of geriatric care described in the professional literature has been adapted to VA environments to gauge suitability for broader implementation. An executive-level task force developed a three-pronged approach for enhancing the VA's geriatric workforce. The VHA's performance measurement approaches increasingly include incentives to enhance the quality of management of vulnerable elderly adults in primary care. The GEC strategic plan was intended to serve as a road map for keeping VHA aligned with an ambitious but important long-term vision for GEC services. Although no discrete set of resources was appropriated for fulfillment of the plan's recommendations, this initial report reflects substantial progress in addressing most of its goals. © 2013, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2013, The American Geriatrics Society.
Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Pinnock, Laura; Dobalian, Aram
Natural disasters can lead to the closure of medical facilities including the Veterans Affairs (VA), thus impacting access to healthcare for U.S. military veteran VA users. We examined the characteristics of VA patients who reported having difficulty accessing care if their usual source of VA care was closed because of natural disasters. A total of 2,264 veteran VA users living in the U.S. northeast region participated in a 2015 cross-sectional representative survey. The study used VA administrative data in a complex stratified survey design with a multimode approach. A total of 36% of veteran VA users reported having difficulty accessing care elsewhere, negatively impacting the functionally impaired and lower income VA patients.
Hartmann, Christine W; Meterko, Mark; Rosen, Amy K; Shibei Zhao; Shokeen, Priti; Singer, Sara; Gaba, David M
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.
Casciato, Dennis A.
The implementation of a continuity of a care clinic in a highly subspecialized Veterans Administration internal medicine training program for postgraduate medical students is described, with focus on resolving problems created by the idiosyncratic administrative features and resource limitations of the hospital. (Author/JMD)
Dunn, Edward J; Mills, Peter D; Neily, Julia; Crittenden, Michael D; Carmack, Amy L; Bagian, James P
Communication failure, a leading source of adverse events in health care, was involved in approximately 75% of more than 7,000 root cause analysis reports to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS). The VA NCPS Medical Team Training (MTT) program, which is based on aviation principles of crew resource management (CRM), is intended to improve outcomes of patient care by enhancing communication between health care professionals. Unique features of MTT include a full-day interactive learning session (facilitated entirely by clinical peers in a health care context), administration of pre-and postintervention safety attitudes questionnaires, and follow-up semistructured interviews with reports of program activities and lessons learned. Examples of projects in these facilities include intensive care unit (ICU) teams' patient-centered multidisciplinary rounds, surgical teams' preoperative briefings and debriefings, an entire operating room (OR) unit's adoption of "Rules of Conduct" for expected staff behavior, and an ICU team's use of the model for daily administrative briefings. An MTT program based on applied CRM principles was successfully developed and implemented in 43 VA medical centers from September 2003 to May 2007.
Spetz, Joanne; Burgess, James F; Phibbs, Ciaran S
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.
Cleary, Paul D; Meterko, Mark; Wright, Steven M; Zaslavsky, Alan M
Surveys are increasingly used to assess patient experiences with health care. Comparisons of hospital scores based on patient experience surveys should be adjusted for patient characteristics that might affect survey results. Such characteristics are commonly drawn from patient surveys that collect little, if any, clinical information. Consequently some hospitals, especially those treating particularly complex patients, have been concerned that standard adjustment methods do not adequately reflect the challenges of treating their patients. To compare scores for different types of hospitals after making adjustments using only survey-reported patient characteristics and using more complete clinical and hospital information. We used clinical and survey data from a national sample of 1858 veterans hospitalized for an initial acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center during fiscal years 2003 and 2004. We used VA administrative data to characterize hospitals. The survey asked patients about their experiences with hospital care. The clinical data included 14 measures abstracted from medical records that are predictive of survival after an AMI. Comparisons of scores across hospitals adjusted only for patient-reported health status and sociodemographic characteristics were similar to those that also adjusted for patient clinical characteristics; the Spearman rank-order correlations between the 2 sets of adjusted scores were >0.97 across 9 dimensions of inpatient experience. This study did not support concerns that measures of patient care experiences are unfair because commonly used models do not adjust adequately for potentially confounding patient clinical characteristics.
Iverson, Katherine M; Huang, Kristin; Wells, Stephanie Y; Wright, Jason D; Gerber, Megan R; Wiltsey-Stirman, Shannon
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant health issue faced by women veterans, but little is known about their preferences for IPV-related care. Five focus groups were conducted with 24 women Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients with and without a lifetime history of IPV to understand their attitudes and preferences regarding IPV screening and responses within VHA. Women veterans wanted disclosure options, follow-up support, transparency in documentation, and VHA and community resources. They supported routine screening for IPV and articulated preferences for procedural aspects of screening. Women suggested that these procedures could be provided most effectively when delivered with sensitivity and connectedness. Findings can inform the development of IPV screening and response programs within VHA and other healthcare settings. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Render, Marta L; Freyberg, Ron W; Hasselbeck, Rachael; Hofer, Timothy P; Sales, Anne E; Deddens, James; Levesque, Odette; Almenoff, Peter L
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.
Gilman, Stuart C; Chokshi, Dave A; Bowen, Judith L; Rugen, Kathryn Wirtz; Cox, Malcolm
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.
... Administration (VBA), Department of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below... Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Abstract: VBA employees, non-VBA employees in VBA space and Veteran Service Organization employees who have access to VA's benefit records complete VA...
Sales, Mariscelle M; Cunningham, Francesca E; Glassman, Peter A; Valentino, Michael A; Good, Chester B
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Strategic Healthcare Group (VA PBM) oversees the formulary for the entire VA system, which serves more than 4 million veterans and provides more than 108 million prescriptions per year. Since its establishment in 1995, the VA PBM has managed pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical-related policies, including drug safety and efficacy evaluations, pharmacologic management algorithms, and criteria for drug use. These evidence-based practices promote, optimize, and assist VA providers with the safe and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals while allowing for formulary decisions that can result in substantial cost savings. The VA PBM also has utilized various contracting techniques to standardize generic agents as well as specific drugs and drug classes (eg, antihistamines, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, alpha-blockers, and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors [statins]). These methods have enabled the VA to save approximately dollar 1.5 billion since 1996 even as drug expenditures continued to rise from roughly dollar 1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1996 to more than dollar 3 billion in FY 2003. Furthermore, the VA PBM has established an outcomes research section to undertake quality-improvement and safety initiatives that ultimately monitor and determine the clinical impact of formulary decisions on the VA system nationwide. The experiences of this pharmacy benefits program, including clinical and contracting processes/procedures and their impact on the VA healthcare system, are described.
Bastian, Lori A; Trentalange, Mark; Murphy, Terrence E; Brandt, Cynthia; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Maisel, Natalya C; Wright, Steven M; Gaetano, Vera S; Allore, Heather; Skanderson, Melissa; Reyes-Harvey, Evelyn; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rose, Danielle; Haskell, Sally
Women veterans comprise a small percentage of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users. Prior research on women veterans' experiences with primary care has focused on VA site differences and not individual provider characteristics. In 2010, the VA established policy requiring the provision of comprehensive women's health care by designated women's health providers (DWHPs). Little is known about the quality of health care delivered by DWHPs and women veterans' experience with care from these providers. Secondary data were obtained from the VA Survey of Healthcare Experience of Patients (SHEP) using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) patient-centered medical home (PCMH) survey from March 2012 through February 2013, a survey designed to measure patient experience with care and the DWHPs Assessment of Workforce Capacity that discerns between DWHPs versus non-DWHPs. Of the 28,994 surveys mailed to women veterans, 24,789 were seen by primary care providers and 8,151 women responded to the survey (response rate, 32%). A total of 3,147 providers were evaluated by the SHEP-CAHPS-PCMH survey (40%; n = 1,267 were DWHPs). In a multivariable model, patients seen by DWHPs (relative risk, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04) reported higher overall experiences with care compared with patients seen by non-DWHPs. The main finding is that women veterans' overall experiences with outpatient health care are slightly better for those receiving care from DWHPs compared with those receiving care from non-DWHPs. Our findings have important policy implications for how to continue to improve women veterans' experiences. Our work provides support to increase access to DWHPs at VA primary care clinics. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Chavez, Laura J; Williams, Emily C; Lapham, Gwen T; Rubinsky, Anna D; Kivlahan, Daniel R; Bradley, Katharine A
Brief alcohol interventions are recommended for primary care patients who screen positive for alcohol misuse, but implementation is challenging. The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (Veterans Affairs [VA]) implemented brief interventions for patients with alcohol misuse in 2008, and rates of brief interventions documented in the electronic medical record increased from 24% to 78% (2008-2011). This study examined whether an independent measure of brief interventions-patient-reported alcohol-related advice-also increased among VA outpatients who screened positive for alcohol misuse on a mailed survey. This retrospective cross-sectional study included VA outpatient respondents to the VA's Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP; 2007-2011) who reported past-year alcohol use and answered a question about alcohol-related advice. Alcohol-related advice was defined as a report of past-year advice from a VA clinician to abstain from or reduce drinking. The adjusted prevalence of alcoholrelated advice among patients who screened positive for alcohol misuse (SHEP AUDIT-C ≥ 5) was estimated for each year. Among patients with alcohol misuse (n = 61,843), the adjusted prevalence of alcohol-related advice increased from 40.4% (95% CI [39.3%, 41.5%]) in 2007 to 55.5% (95% CI [53.3%, 57.8%]) in 2011. Rates of alcoholrelated advice increased significantly each year except the last. The VA's efforts to implement brief interventions were associated with increased patient-reported alcohol-related advice over time, with a majority of patients with alcohol misuse reporting its receipt. Other systems considering similar approaches to implementation may benefit from collecting patient-reported measures of brief interventions for an additional perspective on implementation.
Foglia, Mary Beth; Pearlman, Robert A; Bottrell, Melissa; Altemose, Jane K; Fox, Ellen
To promote ethical practices, healthcare managers must understand the ethical challenges encountered by key stakeholders. To characterize ethical challenges in Veterans Administration (VA) facilities from the perspectives of managers, clinicians, patients, and ethics consultants. We conducted focus groups with patients (n = 32) and managers (n = 38); semi-structured interviews with managers (n = 31), clinicians (n = 55), and ethics committee chairpersons (n = 21). Data were analyzed using content analysis. Managers reported that the greatest ethical challenge was fairly distributing resources across programs and services, whereas clinicians identified the effect of resource constraints on patient care. Ethics committee chairpersons identified end-of-life care as the greatest ethical challenge, whereas patients identified obtaining fair, respectful, and caring treatment. Perspectives on ethical challenges varied depending on the respondent's role. Understanding these differences can help managers take practical steps to address these challenges. Further, ethics committees seemingly, are not addressing the range of ethical challenges within their institutions.
Fihn, Stephan D; Francis, Joseph; Clancy, Carolyn; Nielson, Christopher; Nelson, Karin; Rumsfeld, John; Cullen, Theresa; Bates, Jack; Graham, Gail L
Health care has lagged behind other industries in its use of advanced analytics. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has three decades of experience collecting data about the veterans it serves nationwide through locally developed information systems that use a common electronic health record. In 2006 the VHA began to build its Corporate Data Warehouse, a repository for patient-level data aggregated from across the VHA's national health system. This article provides a high-level overview of the VHA's evolution toward "big data," defined as the rapid evolution of applying advanced tools and approaches to large, complex, and rapidly changing data sets. It illustrates how advanced analysis is already supporting the VHA's activities, which range from routine clinical care of individual patients--for example, monitoring medication administration and predicting risk of adverse outcomes--to evaluating a systemwide initiative to bring the principles of the patient-centered medical home to all veterans. The article also shares some of the challenges, concerns, insights, and responses that have emerged along the way, such as the need to smoothly integrate new functions into clinical workflow. While the VHA is unique in many ways, its experience may offer important insights for other health care systems nationwide as they venture into the realm of big data. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
Davies Elizabeth A
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.
Jakupcak, Matthew; Luterek, Jane; Hunt, Stephen; Conybeare, Daniel; McFall, Miles
The relationship between posttraumatic stress and physical health functioning was examined in a sample of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans seeking postdeployment VA care. Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans (N = 108) who presented for treatment to a specialty postdeployment care clinic completed self-report questionnaires that assessed symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chemical exposure, combat exposure, and physical health functioning. As predicted, PTSD symptom severity was significantly associated with poorer health functioning, even after accounting for demographic factors, combat and chemical exposure, and health risk behaviors. These results highlight the unique influence of PTSD on the physical health in treatment seeking Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.
Weeks, William B; Wallace, Tanner A; Wallace, Amy E
To determine whether the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Enhancement Act (the Act), which was designed to achieve VA physician salary parity with American Academy of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Associate Professors and enacted in 2006, had achieved its goal. Using VA human resources datasets and data from the AAMC, we calculated mean VA physician salaries, with 95 percent confidence intervals, for 15 different medical specialties. For each specialty, we compared VA salaries to the median, 25th, and 75th percentile of AAMC Associate Professors' incomes. The Act's passage resulted in a $20,000 annual increase in VA physicians' salaries. VA primary care physicians, medical subspecialists, and psychiatrists had salaries that were comparable to their AAMC counterparts prior to and after enactment of the Act. However, VA surgical specialists', anesthesiologists', and radiologists' salaries lagged their AAMC counterparts both before and after the Act's enactment. Income increases were negatively correlated with full-time workforce changes. VA does not appear to provide comparable salaries for physicians necessary for surgical care. In certain cases, VA should consider outsourcing surgical services.
... the entire Knoxville campus of the VA Central Iowa Healthcare System. The selected lessee will finance... that includes integrated residential, commercial, agricultural and technology components. The... Management (044), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461...
assess VHA’s employee performance management processes, we reviewed VA directives and handbooks , and procedures related to the performance...primary pay and classification system.30 VHA’s HR staff are classified as either an HR specialist, who manage , supervise, and deliver HR products ...Board. 815 C.F.R. § 430; Department of Veterans Affairs, Performance Management Systems, VA Handbook 5013, Part I. VHA Needs to Strengthen
Walker, Patricia Hinton; Pock, Arnyce; Ling, Catherine G; Kwon, Kyung Nancy; Vaughan, Megan
Battlefield acupuncture is a unique auricular acupuncture procedure which is being used in a number of military medical facilities throughout the Department of Defense (DoD). It has been used with anecdotal published positive impact with warriors experiencing polytrauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. It has also been effectively used to treat warriors with muscle and back pain from carrying heavy combat equipment in austere environments. This article highlights the history within the DoD related to the need for nonpharmacologic/opioid pain management across the continuum of care from combat situations, during evacuation, and throughout recovery and rehabilitation. The article describes the history of auricular acupuncture and details implementation procedures. Training is necessary and partially funded through DoD and Veteran's Administration (VA) internal Joint Incentive Funds grants between the DoD and the VA for multidisciplinary teams as part of a larger initiative related to the recommendations from the DoD Army Surgeon General's Pain Management Task Force. Finally, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine and Graduate School of Nursing faculty members present how this interdisciplinary training is currently being integrated into both schools for physicians and advanced practice nurses at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Current and future research challenges and progress related to the use of acupuncture are also presented. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Havnaer, Annika G; Greenberg, Paul B; Cockerham, Glenn C; Clark, Melissa A; Chomsky, Amy
To describe current cataract surgery practices within the United States Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Veterans Health Administration hospitals in the U.S. Retrospective data analysis. An initial e-mail containing a link to an anonymous 32-question survey of cataract surgery practices was sent to participants in May 2016. Two reminder e-mails were sent to nonresponders 1 week and 2 weeks after the initial survey was sent; the remaining nonresponders were called twice over a 2-week period. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The response rate was 75% (67/89). Cataract surgeons routinely ordered preoperative testing in 29 (45%) of 65 sections and preoperative consultations in 26 (39%) of 66 sections. In 22 (33%) of 66 sections, cataract surgeons administered intracameral antibiotics. In 61 (92%) of 66 sections, cataract surgeons used toric intraocular lenses (IOLs). In 20 (30%) of 66 sections, cataract surgeons used multifocal IOLs. Cataract surgeons in 6 (9%) of 66 sections performed femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. In 6 (9%) of 66 sections, cataract surgeons performed immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery. Forty-nine (74%) ophthalmology chiefs reported a high level of satisfaction with Veterans Affairs ophthalmology. The survey results indicate that in cataract surgery in the VHA, routine preoperative testing is commonly performed and emerging practices, such as femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery and immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery, have limited roles. The results of this survey could benchmark future trends in U.S. cataract surgery practices, especially in teaching hospital settings. Copyright © 2017 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
of the country. The Fair Market Rent is the cost of standard, non- luxury housing in the community. The payment standard is the maximum subsidy a...access that can be particularly beneficial for those located in high-rent markets . According to the VA’s Fiscal Year 2017 “EUL Consideration...during fiscal year 2017. The draft that VA shared with us requires an analysis of the local market , including current and anticipated supply and
Department of Veterans Affairs — The OneVA Pharmacy application design consists of 3 main components: VistA Medication Profile screen, Health Data Record Clinical Data Service (HDR/CDS), and OneVA...
Koo, Kelly H; Madden, Erin; Maguen, Shira
The purpose of this study was to compare health care utilization patterns by race-ethnicity and gender among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A retrospective analysis was conducted with records from U.S. service members and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who enrolled in health care through the Veterans Health Administration, who received a psychiatric diagnosis, and who had used primary or mental health outpatient care between October 7, 2001, and December 31, 2012 (N=309,050). Racial-ethnic minority groups were first collapsed together and compared with whites and then separated by racial-ethnic group. Gender was also tested as a moderator of utilization. Although rates of mental health outpatient care, primary care, and emergency service utilization were relatively similar for racial-ethnic minority groups and whites, minority groups were admitted to psychiatric inpatient care at lower rates than whites. When veterans were separately categorized by specific racial-ethnic groups, some differences in utilization rates emerged; most notably, only black and Hispanic men were admitted less frequently to psychiatric inpatient care, and male and female Asian/Pacific Islander veterans used emergency services less, than their white counterparts. Gender moderated the association between race-ethnicity and mental health outpatient use, such that American Indian and Hispanic women used mental health outpatient services less than white women, but American Indian and Hispanic men showed the opposite pattern. Furthermore, black men were more likely than white men to use mental health outpatient services, but there was no difference between these women. Although service utilization rates between minority groups and whites were similar when minority groups were combined, examination of utilization by racial-ethnic groups and by men and women separately yielded more robust findings.
Schnurr, Paula P; Chard, Kathleen M; Ruzek, Josef I; Chow, Bruce K; Shih, Mei-Chiung; Resick, Patricia A; Foa, Edna B; Marx, Brian P; Huang, Grant D; Lu, Ying
CERV-PTSD is a randomized controlled trial of two of the most effective treatments for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Despite solid evidence that both treatments are effective, there is limited evidence about their effectiveness relative to one another. The primary objective is to compare the effectiveness of PE and CPT for reducing PTSD symptom severity in a healthcare system that offers both treatments. The secondary objective is to compare the effectiveness of PE and CPT for reducing the severity of comorbid mental health problems and service utilization as well as improving functioning and quality of life. The tertiary objective is to examine whether discrepancy between patient preferences and treatment assignment reduces the effectiveness of each treatment. Exploratory analyses will examine whether demographic and clinical characteristics predict differential response to PE and CPT. The study is designed to randomize 900 male and female veterans with PTSD due to any traumatic military event to receive PE or CPT. The standard dose of treatment is 12 weekly sessions but veterans who improve more rapidly may finish in fewer sessions and veterans who improve more slowly may have additional sessions. The primary outcome is improvement in PTSD symptoms, measured during and after treatment and then 3 and 6 months later. As a large multi-site trial with men and women, CERV-PTSD is designed to advance the delivery of care for PTSD by providing conclusive information about whether one treatment is better than the other, overall, and for different types of patients. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Davis, Alan K; Bonar, Erin E; Goldstick, Jason E; Walton, Maureen A; Winters, Jamie; Chermack, Stephen T
Gambling is relatively under-assessed in Veterans Affairs (VA) substance use disorder (SUD) treatment settings, yet shared characteristics with substance addiction suggest the importance of understanding how gambling behaviors present in Veterans seeking SUD care. We evaluated substance use, mental health, and violence-related correlates of past 30-day gambling among 833 Veterans (93% male, M age 48years, 72% Caucasian) seeking treatment in VA outpatient mental health and SUD clinics who completed screening for a randomized clinical trial. A total of 288 (35%) Veterans reported past 30-day gambling. Among those who gambled, 79% had cravings/urges to gamble, whereas between 20%-27% of gamblers reported perceived relationship, legal, and daily life problems related to gambling, as well as difficulty controlling gambling. A logistic regression analysis revealed that age, recent binge-drinking, and non-partner physical aggression were associated with recent gambling. Gambling was associated with binge-drinking and non-partner physical aggression, supporting potential shared characteristics among these behaviors such as impulsivity and risk-taking, which may complicate SUD treatment engagement and effectiveness. Findings support the need to screen for gambling in the VA, and to adapt treatments to include gambling as a potential behavioral target or relapse trigger, particularly among heavy drinking patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Moran, Eileen A; Basa, Edesha; Gao, Jian; Woodmansee, Denni; Almenoff, Peter L; Hooker, Roderick S
This study assessed the 2014 clinical productivity of 5,959 physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in the US Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Total work relative value units divided by the direct clinical full-time equivalent measured annual productivity, and correlated factors were examined using weighted analysis of variance. PAs and NPs in adult primary care roles were more productive than those in other specialties. Both providers were more productive in rural than in nonrural settings and less productive in teaching than nonteaching hospitals. Men were slightly more productive than women but age and years of VHA employment were not correlates of productivity. PAs were more productive when their scope of practice allowed significant autonomy; NP productivity was unaffected by supervisory requirements. PAs and NPs are an important component of the VHA provider workforce, and their productivity correlates with a number of factors. More organizational research is necessary to better understand the contributing roles PAs and NPs provide in a rapidly evolving, vertically integrated, national health delivery system.
... that will enable VA/VBA leadership to identify opportunities for improvement and measure the impact of... enable VA/ VBA leadership to identify opportunities for improvement and measure the impact of improvement... enable VA/VBA leadership to identify opportunities for improvement and measure the impact of improvement...
Schey, Stephen [Intertek Testing Services, North America, Phoenix, AZ (United States); Francfort, Jim [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
This report focuses on the Department of Veterans Affairs, James J. Peters VA Medical Center (VA - Bronx) fleet to identify daily operational characteristics of select vehicles and report findings on vehicle and mission characterizations to support the successful introduction of PEVs into the agencies’ fleets. Individual observations of these selected vehicles provide the basis for recommendations related to electric vehicle adoption and whether a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (collectively referred to as PEVs) can fulfill the mission requirements.
... Uniformed Services Effect of Other Benefits on Payment of Social Security Benefits and Payments § 404.1361... Veterans Administration. 404.1361 Section 404.1361 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION... on the veteran's World War II or post-World War II active service before we determine and certify...
... 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...
Relevant Changes in Community Walking Metrics to Be Tracked by the VA as Part of Routine Care in Lower Limb Amputee Veterans 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT ... poster presentation at the Association of Academic Physiatrists annual conference in Las Vegas. They are receiving value research and technical...writing experience. How were the results disseminated to communities of interest? A poster presentation was presented at the Association of Academic
Weeks, William B; Wallace, Amy E
Gender-based, but not race-based, income disparities exist among general internists who practice medicine in the private sector. The aim of this study was to assess whether race- or gender-based income disparities existed among full-time white and Asian general internists who worked for the Veterans Health Administration of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) between fiscal years 2004 and 2007, and whether any disparities changed after the VA enacted physician pay reform in early 2006. A retrospective study was conducted of all nonsupervisory, board-certified, full-time white or Asian VA general internists who did not change their location of practice between fiscal years 2004 and 2007. A longitudinal cohort design and linear regression modeling, adjusted for physician characteristics, were used to compare race- and gender-specific incomes in fiscal years 2004-2007. A total of 176 physicians were included in the study: 82 white males, 33 Asian males, 30 white females, and 31 Asian females. In all fiscal years examined, white males had the highest mean annual incomes, though not statistically significantly so. Regression analyses for fiscal years 2004 through 2006 revealed that physician age and years of service were predictive of total income. After physician pay reform was enacted, Asian male VA primary care physicians had higher annual incomes than did physicians in all other race or gender categories, after adjustment for age and years of VA service, though these differences were not statistically significant. No significant gender-based income disparities were noted among these white and Asian VA physicians. Our findings for white and Asian general internists suggest that the VA' s goal of maintaining a racially diverse workforce may have been effected, in part, through use of market pay among primary care general internists. Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Monteith, Lindsey L; Bahraini, Nazanin H; Matarazzo, Bridget B; Gerber, Holly R; Soberay, Kelly A; Forster, Jeri E
No studies have examined whether military sexual trauma, as measured and defined within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), is associated with suicidal ideation among Veterans in VHA care, when taking prior suicide attempts into account. Research regarding the role of gender in this association is also limited. The present study examined: (1) whether military sexual trauma was associated with the presence of past-week suicidal ideation among 354 Veterans in VHA (310 men, 44 women); (2) whether gender moderated the association between military sexual trauma and suicidal ideation. Information regarding military sexual trauma, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and psychiatric diagnoses was obtained from self-report instruments and medical records. Adjusting for age, gender, combat, posttraumatic stress disorder, depressive disorders, negative affect, and lifetime suicide attempt, Veterans with military sexual trauma were significantly more likely to report suicidal ideation, compared to Veterans without military sexual trauma. Furthermore, the association between military sexual trauma and suicidal ideation was stronger for men compared to women. These results contribute to a growing literature identifying military sexual trauma as a risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviors among Veterans in VHA care and emphasize the importance of screening for suicidal ideation among survivors of military sexual trauma. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Derickson, Ryan; Fishman, Jonathan; Osatuke, Katerine; Teclaw, Robert; Ramsel, Dee
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 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.
Wade-Campbell, K N; Anderson, S C
This study investigated the relationship between work-related variables and perceived levels of burnout of therapeutic recreation personnel who work with long-term psychiatric patients in Veterans Administration hospitals. Subjects completed a three-part instrument composed of a demographic questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Work Environment Scale. Of the 511 subjects surveyed, 287 (56%) responded with usable questionnaires. The demographic, job- and profession-related variables were found to be significantly related to burnout. The eta values were somewhat low. The WES variables accounted for 20.9% of the variance in the burnout measures. The WES variables accounted for 20.9% of the variance in the burnout measures. The most salient relationships emerged between the emotional exhaustion and the depersonalization subscales and clarity, supervisor support, involvement, work pressure, autonomy, innovation, peer cohesion, task orientation and physical comfort. In comparison with other groups of human service professionals, therapeutic recreation personnel experienced low levels of emotional exhaustion, moderate levels of depersonalization, and somewhat lower levels of personal accomplishment.
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...
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...
Gitlin, Laura N; Mann, William C; Vogel, W Bruce; Arthur, Paul B
Behavioral symptoms accompanying dementia are associated with increased health care costs, reduced quality of life and daily functioning, heightened family caregiver burden, and nursing home placement. Standard care typically involves pharmacologic agents, but these are, at best, modestly effective, carry serious risks, including mortality, and do not address behavioral symptoms families consider most distressful and which may prompt nursing home placement. Given dementia's devastating effects and the absence of an imminent cure, the Veterans Administration has supported the development and testing of new approaches to manage challenging behaviors at home. The Tailored Activity Program - Veterans Administration is a Phase III efficacy trial designed to reduce behavioral symptoms in Veterans with dementia living with their caregivers in the community. The study uses a randomized two-group parallel design with 160 diverse Veterans and caregivers. The experimental group receives a transformative patient-centric intervention designed to reduce the burden of behavioral symptoms in Veterans with dementia. An occupational therapist conducts an assessment to identify a Veteran's preserved capabilities, deficit areas, previous roles, habits, and interests to develop activities tailored to the Veteran. Family caregivers are then trained to incorporate activities into daily care. The attention-control group receives bi-monthly telephone contact where education on topics relevant to dementia is provided to caregivers. Key outcomes include reduced frequency and severity of behavioral symptoms using the 12-item Neuropsychiatric Inventory (primary endpoint), reduced caregiver burden, enhanced skill acquisition, efficacy using activities, and time spent providing care at 4 months; and long-term effects (8 months) on the Veteran's quality of life and frequency and severity of behavioral symptoms, and caregiver use of activities. The programs' impact of Veterans Administration cost
Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The One VA Enterprise Architecture (OneVA EA) is a comprehensive picture of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) operations, capabilities and services and the...
Burgess, James F; Shwartz, Michael; Stolzmann, Kelly; Sullivan, Jennifer L
To examine the relationship between cost and quality in Veterans Health Administration (VA) nursing homes (called Community Living Centers, CLCs) using longitudinal data. One hundred and thirty CLCs over 13 quarters (from FY2009 to FY2012) were studied. Costs, resident days, and resident severity (RUGs score) were obtained from the VA Managerial Cost Accounting System. Clinical quality measures were obtained from the Minimum Data Set, and resident-centered care (RCC) was measured using the Artifacts of Culture Change Tool. We used a generalized estimating equation model with facilities included as fixed effects to examine the relationship between total cost and quality after controlling for resident days and severity. The model included linear and squared terms for all independent variables and interactions with resident days. With the exception of RCC, all other variables had a statistically significant relationship with total costs. For most poorer performing smaller facilities (lower size quartile), improvements in quality were associated with higher costs. For most larger facilities, improvements in quality were associated with lower costs. The relationship between cost and quality depends on facility size and current level of performance. © Published 2018. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Britton, Peter C; Bohnert, Kipling M; Ilgen, Mark A; Kane, Cathleen; Stephens, Brady; Pigeon, Wilfred R
The purpose of this study was to calculate suicide rates and identify correlates of risk in the year following discharge from acute Veterans Health Administration psychiatric inpatient units among male veterans discharged from 2005 to 2010 (fiscal years). Suicide rates and standardized mortality ratios were calculated. Descriptive analyses were used to describe suicides and non-suicides and provide base rates for interpretation, and unadjusted and adjusted proportional hazard models were used to identify correlates of suicide. From 2005 to 2010, 929 male veterans died by suicide in the year after discharge and the suicide rate was 297/100,000 person-years (py). The suicide rate significantly increased from 234/100,000 py (95% CI = 193-282) in 2005 to 340/100,000 py (95% CI = 292-393) in 2008, after which it plateaued. Living in a rural setting, HR (95% CI) = 1.20 (1.05, 1.36), and being diagnosed with a mood disorder such as major depression, HR (95% CI) = 1.60 (1.36, 1.87), or other anxiety disorder, HR (95% CI) = 1.52 (1.24, 1.87), were associated with increased risk for suicide. Among male veterans, the suicide rate in the year after discharge from acute psychiatric hospitalization increased from 2005 to 2008, after which it plateaued. Prevention efforts should target psychiatrically hospitalized veterans who live in rural settings and/or are diagnosed with mood or other anxiety disorders.
Kukla, Marina; McGuire, Alan B; Strasburger, Amy M; Belanger, Elizabeth; Bakken, Shana K
Veterans Health Administration vocational services assist veterans with mental illness to acquire jobs; one major component of these services is job development. The purpose of this study was to characterize the nature of effective job development practices and to examine perceptions and intensity of job development services. A national mixed-methods online survey of 233 Veterans Health Administration vocational providers collected data regarding frequency of employer contacts, perceptions of job development ease/difficulty, and effective job development practices when dealing with employers. Qualitative responses elucidating effective practices were analyzed using content analysis. Vocational providers had a modest number of job development employer contacts across 2 weeks (M = 11.0, SD = 10.6) and fewer were face-to-face (M = 7.6, SD = 8.4). Over 70% of participants perceived job development to be difficult. Six major themes emerged regarding effective job development practices with employers: using an employer-focused approach; utilizing a targeted marketing strategy; engaging in preparation and follow-up; going about the employer interaction with genuineness, resilience, and a strong interpersonal orientation; serving as an advocate for veterans and educator of employers; utilizing specific employer-tailored strategies, such as arranging a one-on-one meeting with a decision maker and touring the business, individualizing a prescripted sales pitch, connecting on a personal level, and engaging in ongoing communication to solidify the working relationship. Respondents highlight several potentially effective job development strategies; tools and resources may be developed around these strategies to bolster job development implementation and allow opportunities for fruitful employer interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
... potentially homeless individuals sleep in cars and other vehicles overnight in the lot. As that parking lot is... outdoor sports facilities for veterans, such as a fitness center and tennis courts, etc. The DMP addressed...
Coker, Kendell L; Stefanovics, Elina; Rosenheck, Robert
Substantial rates of substance use comorbidity have been observed among veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), highlighting the need to identify patient and program characteristics associated with improved outcomes for substance abuse. Data were drawn from 12,270 dually diagnosed veterans who sought treatment from specialized intensive Veterans Health Administration PTSD programs between 1993 and 2011. The magnitude of the improvement in Addiction Severity Index (ASI) alcohol and drug use composite scores from baseline was moderate, with effect sizes (ES) of -.269 and -.287, respectively. Multivariate analyses revealed that treatment in longer-term programs, being prescribed psychiatric medication, and planned participation in reunions were all associated with slightly improved outcomes. Reductions in substance use measures were associated with robust improvements in PTSD symptoms and violent behavior. These findings suggest not only synergistic treatment effects linking improvement in PTSD symptoms with substance use disorders among dually diagnosed veterans with PTSD, but also to reductions in violent behavior. Furthermore, the findings indicate that proper discharge planning in addition to intensity and duration of treatment for dually diagnosed veterans with severe PTSD may result in better outcomes. Further dissemination of evidence-based substance abuse treatment may benefit this population. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
... and engage with the community; (2) Facilitate reintegration with the community and provide services that may optimize reintegration such as life-skills education, recreational activities, and follow-up... relationships with family; (4) Ensure adequate supervision, including supervision of medication and monitoring...
Westover, Arthur N; Nakonezny, Paul A; Halm, Ethan A; Adinoff, Bryon
Non-medical use of prescribed stimulant medications is a growing concern. This study's aims were to ascertain the demographics of stimulant medication users compared with non-users, examine temporal trends of stimulant medication use and estimate risk factors for development of amphetamine use disorder (AUD) and mortality among new users of stimulant medications. Cox proportional hazards regression in a retrospective cohort adjusted by baseline covariates. United States, national administrative database of the Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care system. Adult incident users of stimulant medications (n = 78 829) from fiscal years (FY) 2001 to 2012. Primary outcomes were time-to-event: (1) occurrence of AUD diagnosis and (2) death. Baseline covariates included demographic information, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved indications for stimulant use, substance use disorders (SUD) and depression. Stimulant users compared with non-users were younger, more likely to be non-Hispanic white and female. Incident stimulant medication users increased threefold from FY2001-FY2012 and eightfold among adults aged 18-44 years. Nearly one in 10 incident users in FY2012 had a comorbid baseline SUD. Off-label use was common-nearly three of every five incident users in FY2012. Comorbid SUDs among incident stimulant medication users were risk factors for occurrence of AUD during follow-up, with adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) estimates ranging from 1.54 to 2.83 (Ps users in the Veterans Affairs health-care system, measured from fiscal years 2001 to 2012, comorbid substance use disorders were common and were risk factors for development of an amphetamine use disorder (AUD). Increased mortality risk among incident users of stimulant medications was observed among both those who developed an AUD later and those whose use was defined as off-label. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.
...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional Housing Facility on a 1-Acre Parcel at the George E... lessee will finance, design, develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Vancouver, WA AGENCY: Department..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional Housing Facility in Pineville, LA AGENCY..., construct, renovate, manage, operate and maintain the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Transitional and Permanent Housing Facility in Canandaigua, NY..., construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the lessees... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Senior Housing Facility in Kerrville, TX AGENCY: Department of..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Supportive Housing Facility in Lyons, NJ AGENCY..., develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Fort Harrison, MT AGENCY..., design, develop, construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of a Permanent Housing Facility in Menlo Park, CA AGENCY: Department..., construct, manage, maintain and operate the EUL development. As consideration for the lease, the lessee will... to eligible Veterans in the geographic service- delivery area within which the property is located...
...) Real Property for the Development of Permanent Housing in Augusta, GA AGENCY: Department of Veterans... lessee will be required to finance, design, develop, construct, maintain and operate the EUL development... property is located. This project meets this requirement. Approved: November 14, 2011. Eric K. Shinseki...
Phelan, Cynthia H; Schumacher, Sandra; Roiland, Rachel; Royer, Heather; Roberts, Tonya
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.
... Uniformed Services Effect of Other Benefits on Payment of Social Security Benefits and Payments § 404.1360... compensation payable. 404.1360 Section 404.1360 Employees' Benefits SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FEDERAL OLD... lump-sum death payment based on the death of the World War II veteran without using the wage credits...
Lehavot, Keren; Katon, Jodie G; Simpson, Tracy L; Shipherd, Jillian C
Transgender individuals are overrepresented among Veterans. However, little is known regarding their satisfaction with Veterans Administration (VA) care and unmet health needs. This study examined transgender Veterans' satisfaction with VA medical and mental health care, prevalence of delaying care, and correlates of these outcomes. We used data from transgender Veterans collected in 2014 through an online, national survey. In total, 298 transgender Veterans living in the United States. We assessed patient satisfaction with VA medical and mental health care and self-reported delays in seeking medical and mental health care in the past year. Potential correlates associated with these 4 outcomes included demographic, health, and health care variables. Over half of the sample used VA (56%) since their military discharge. Among transgender Veterans who had used VA, 79% were satisfied with medical care and 69% with mental health care. Lower income was associated with dissatisfaction with VA medical care, and being a transgender man was associated with dissatisfaction with VA mental health care. A substantial proportion reported delays in seeking medical (46%) or mental (38%) health care in the past year (not specific to VA). Screening positive for depression and/or posttraumatic stress disorder was associated with delays in seeking both types of care. Although the majority of transgender Veterans are satisfied with VA health care, certain subgroups are less likely to be satisfied with care. Further, many report delaying accessing care, particularly those with depression and/or posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Adapting health care settings to better engage these vulnerable Veterans may be necessary.
Edwards, Samuel T; Helfrich, Christian D; Grembowski, David; Hulen, Elizabeth; Clinton, Walter L; Wood, Gordon B; Kim, Linda; Rose, Danielle E; Stewart, Greg
Appropriate delegation of clinical tasks from primary care providers (PCPs) to other team members may reduce employee burnout in primary care. However, (1) the extent to which delegation occurs within multidisciplinary teams, (2) factors associated with greater delegation, and (3) whether delegation is associated with burnout are all unknown. We performed a national cross-sectional survey of Veterans Affairs (VA) PCP-nurse dyads in Department of VA primary care clinics, 4 years into the VA's patient-centered medical home initiative. PCPs reported the extent to which they relied on other team members to complete 15 common primary care tasks; paired nurses reported how much they were relied on to complete the same tasks. A composite score of task delegation/reliance was developed by taking the average of the responses to the 15 questions. We performed multivariable regression to explore predictors of task delegation and burnout. Among 777 PCP-nurse dyads, PCPs reported delegating tasks less than nurses reported being relied on (PCP mean ± standard deviation composite delegation score, 2.97± 0.64 [range, 1-4]; nurse composite reliance score, 3.26 ± 0.50 [range, 1-4]). Approximately 48% of PCPs and 35% of nurses reported burnout. PCPs who reported more task delegation reported less burnout (odds ratio [OR], 0.62 per unit of delegation; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49-0.78), whereas nurses who reported being relied on more reported more burnout (OR, 1.83 per unit of reliance; 95% CI, 1.33-2.5). Task delegation was associated with less burnout for PCPs, whereas task reliance was associated with greater burnout for nurses. Strategies to improve work life in primary care by increasing PCP task delegation must consider the impact on nurses. © Copyright 2018 by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Veterans Administration, Washington, DC.
The Conference Poceedings are divided into three broad topics: systems planning, audiovisuals in biomedical communication, and automation and networking. Speakers from within the Veterans Administration (VA), from the National Medical Audiovisual Center, and the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, National Library of…
.... The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that it has served approximately 300 returning veterans in its homeless programs and has identified over 1,000 more as being at risk of homelessness...
Department of Veterans Affairs — As of June 28, 2010, the Master Veteran Index (MVI) database based on the enhanced Master Patient Index (MPI) is the authoritative identity service within the VA,...
... (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.27 How will VA store information? VA... examination visits will be scanned onto portable media and fully secured in the Center for Veterans Enterprise...
Cordasco, Kristina M; Huynh, Alexis K; Zephyrin, Laurie; Hamilton, Alison B; Lau-Herzberg, Amy E; Kessler, Chad S; Yano, Elizabeth M
Visits to Veterans Administration (VA) emergency departments (EDs) are increasingly being made by women. A 2011 national inventory of VA emergency services for women revealed that many EDs have gaps in their resources and processes for gynecologic emergency care. To guide VA in addressing these gaps, we sought to understand factors acting as facilitators and/or barriers to improving VA ED capacity for, and quality of, emergency gynecology care. Semistructured interviews with VA emergency and women's health key informants. ED directors/providers (n=14), ED nurse managers (n=13), and Women Veteran Program Managers (n=13) in 13 VA facilities. Leadership, staff, space, demand, funding, policies, and community were noted as important factors influencing VA EDs building capacity and improving emergency gynecologic care for women Veterans. These factors are intertwined and cross multiple organizational levels so that each ED's capacity is a reflection not only of its own factors, but also those of its local medical center and non-VA community context as well as VA regional and national trends and policies. Policies and quality improvement initiatives aimed at building VA's emergency gynecologic services for women need to be multifactorial and aimed at multiple organizational levels. Policies need to be flexible to account for wide variations across EDs and their medical center and community contexts. Approaches that build and encourage local leadership engagement, such as evidence-based quality improvement methodology, are likely to be most effective.
... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...
... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...
Michael A. Grasso
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.
Davis, Alan K; Bonar, Erin E; Ilgen, Mark A; Walton, Maureen A; Perron, Brian E; Chermack, Stephen T
Psychiatric symptoms, somatic problems, and co-occurring substance use have been associated with medical marijuana consumption among civilian patients with substance use disorders. It is possible that these factors may impact Veterans' ability to engage in or adhere to mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Therefore, we examined whether psychiatric functioning, substance use, and somatic problems were associated with medical marijuana use among Veterans receiving substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment. Participants (n=841) completed screening measures for a randomized controlled trial and 67 (8%) reported that they had a current medical marijuana card. Most of these participants (78%) reported using marijuana to treat severe/chronic pain. Significant bivariate differences revealed that, compared to participants without a medical marijuana card, those with a card were more likely to be in a middle income bracket, unemployed, and they had a significantly higher number of recent days of marijuana use, synthetic marijuana use, and using sedatives prescribed to them. Additionally, a significantly higher proportion of participants with a medical marijuana card scored above the clinical cutoff for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, had significantly higher severity of sleep-related problems, and reported a higher level of pain. These findings highlight the co-occurrence of substance use, PTSD symptoms, sleep-related problems, and chronic pain among Veterans who use medical marijuana. Future research should investigate the inter-relationships among medical marijuana use and other clinical issues (e.g., PTSD symptoms, sleep, pain) over time, and potential implications of medical marijuana use on treatment engagement and response. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Yoon, Gihyun; Petrakis, Ismene L; Rosenheck, Robert A
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.
... Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 100-503), amended the Privacy... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA 2010-0006] Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/ Department of Veterans Affairs/Veterans Benefits Administration (VA/ VBA...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The 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...
Department of Veterans Affairs — My HealtheVet (www.myhealth.va.gov) is a Personal Health Record portal designed to improve the delivery of health care services to Veterans, to promote health and...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The outcomes/goals supported by effective use of an EA are: Improved Service Delivery, Functional Integration, Resource Optimization and Authoritative Reference. VA...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report details VA expenditures at the state, county, and Congressional District level. It includes categories such as Compensation and Pension, Construction,...
Fontana, Alan; Rosenheck, Robert
Differences in the characteristics and mental health needs of veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan war when compared with those of veterans who served in the Persian Gulf war and in the Vietnam war may have important implications for Veterans Affairs (VA) program and treatment planning. Subjects were drawn from administrative data bases of veterans who sought treatment from specialized VA programs for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Current Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were compared with 4 samples of outpatient and inpatient Persian Gulf and Vietnam veterans whose admission to treatment was either contemporaneous or noncontemporaneous with their admission. A series of analyses of covariance was used hierachically to control for program site and age. In analyses of contemporaneous veterans uncontrolled for age, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans differed most notably from Vietnam veterans by being younger, more likely to be female, less likely to be either married or separated/divorced, more often working, less likely to have ever been incarcerated, and less likely to report exposure to atrocities in the military. Regarding clinical status, Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were less often diagnosed with substance abuse disorders, manifested more violent behavior, and had lower rates of VA disability compensation because of PTSD. Differences are more muted in comparisons with Persian Gulf veterans, particularly in those involving noncontemporaneous samples, or those that controlled for age differences. Among recent war veterans with PTSD, social functioning has largely been left intact. There is a window of opportunity, therefore, for developing and focusing on treatment interventions that emphasize the preservation of these social assets.
This Study VHA’s ability to attract, hire, and retain top talent is critical to its mission to provide quality and timely care for our nation’s...States’ military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and the growing needs of an aging veteran population. Attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent ...police, and housekeepers.7 These employees are covered by three types of personnel systems:8 • Title 5 of the U.S. Code (Title 5): The majority of
... Andrew Ridgeway, Office of Workforce Investment, Room S-4203, Employment and Training Administration, U.S... include the total number of eligible veterans who participated, the associates degrees or certificates... VA approved community college or technical school. The VRAP provides the benefit to veterans who...
Rosen, Amy K; Loveland, Susan A; Romano, Patrick S; Itani, Kamal M F; Silber, Jeffrey H; Even-Shoshan, Orit O; Halenar, Michael J; Teng, Yun; Zhu, Jingsan; Volpp, Kevin G
Improving patient safety was a strong motivation behind duty hour regulations implemented by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education on July 1, 2003. We investigated whether rates of patient safety indicators (PSIs) changed after these reforms. Observational study of patients admitted to Veterans Health Administration (VA) (N = 826,047) and Medicare (N = 13,367,273) acute-care hospitals from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2005. We examined changes in patient safety events in more versus less teaching-intensive hospitals before (2000-2003) and after (2003-2005) duty hour reform, using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for patient age, gender, comorbidities, secular trends, baseline severity, and hospital site. Ten PSIs were aggregated into 3 composite measures based on factor analyses: "Continuity of Care," "Technical Care," and "Other" composites. Continuity of Care composite rates showed no significant changes postreform in hospitals of different teaching intensity in either VA or Medicare. In the VA, there were no significant changes postreform for the technical care composite. In Medicare, the odds of a Technical Care PSI event in more versus less teaching-intensive hospitals in postreform year 1 were 1.12 (95% CI; 1.01-1.25); there were no significant relative changes in postreform year 2. Other composite rates increased in VA in postreform year 2 in more versus less teaching-intensive hospitals (odds ratio, 1.63; 95% CI; 1.10-2.41), but not in Medicare in either postreform year. Duty hour reform had no systematic impact on PSI rates. In the few cases where there were statistically significant increases in the relative odds of developing a PSI, the magnitude of the absolute increases were too small to be clinically meaningful.
Oliva, Elizabeth M; Trafton, Jodie A; Harris, Alex H S; Gordon, Adam J
Opioid agonist therapy (OAT) through addiction specialty clinic settings (clinic-based OAT) using methadone or buprenorphine or office-based settings using buprenorphine (office-based OAT) is an evidence-based treatment for opioid dependence. The low number of clinic-based OATs available to veterans (N = 53) presents a barrier to OAT access; thus, the expansion in office-based OAT has been encouraged. To examine trends in office-based OAT utilization over time and whether availability of office-based OAT improved the proportion of veterans with opioid use disorders treated with OAT. We examined Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative data for evidence of buprenorphine prescribing and clinic-based OAT clinic stops from October 2003 through September 2010 [fiscal years (FY) 2004-2010]. The number of patients receiving buprenorphine increased from 300 at 27 facilities in FY2004 to 6147 at 118 facilities in FY2010. During this time, the number of patients diagnosed with an opioid use disorder increased by 45%; however, the proportion of opioid use disorder patients receiving OAT remained relatively stable, ranging from 25% to 27%. Office-based OAT utilization and the number of opioid use disorder veterans treated with OAT are increasing at the same rate over time, suggesting that office-based OAT is being used to meet the growing need for OAT care. Although office-based OAT is increasingly being used within the VHA and may be one way the VHA is keeping up with the demand for OAT, more research is needed to understand how to engage a greater proportion of opioid use disorder patients in treatment.
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....
Etingen, Bella; Martinez, Rachael N; Vallette, Marissa A; Dendinger, Ryan; Bidassie, Balmatee; Miskevics, Scott; Khan, Hira T; Cozart, Huberta T; Locatelli, Sara M; Weaver, Frances M
To assess patients' perceptions of environmental control units (ECUs) at Veterans Affairs Spinal Cord Injury Centers. A brief questionnaire was conducted with patients in real-time while they were hospitalised ("on-the-spot questionnaire"); a survey was mailed to patients who had recently been discharged from a hospital stay ("discharge survey"). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Seventy on-the-spot questionnaires and 80 discharge surveys were collected. ECU features used most frequently were comparable in responses from both surveys: watching TV/movies (81%, 85%), calling the nurse (68%, 61%), turning lights on/off (63%, 52%), adjusting the bed (53%, 33%), and playing games (39%, 24%). Many on-the-spot questionnaire respondents felt the ECU met their need for independence a great deal (42%). Most respondents to both surveys were satisfied with the ECU (71%, 57%). Areas for improvement included user training, improved functionality of the device and its features, and device design. ECUs were well-accepted by persons with spinal cord injuries/disorders (SCI/D) in the inpatient setting, and increased patients' perceptions of independence. To maximise usability and satisfaction, facilities should ensure that comprehensive training on ECU use and features available is offered to all patients, and resources are available for timely troubleshooting and maintenance. Implications for rehabilitation An environmental control unit (ECU) is a form of assistive technology that allows individuals with disabilities (such as spinal cord injuries and disorders [SCI/D]) to control functional and entertainment-related aspects of their environment. ECU use can increase functioning, independence and psychosocial well-being among individuals with SCI/D, by allowing users to reclaim control over day-to-day activities that are otherwise limited by their disability. Our study results indicate that, among persons with SCI/D, ECUs are well-accepted and increase perceptions of
... Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924--233 hours. b. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Application, VA.... National Veterans TEE Tournament Application, VA Form 0927--133 hours. e. National Veterans Summer Sports... Form 0929--67 hours. OMB Control Number: 2900-New (VA Form 0924). Type of Review: Existing collection...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false VA environmental decision making and documents. 26.7 Section 26.7 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA) ACTIONS § 26.7 VA environmental decision making and document...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides healthcare services to its veterans across the USA including territories and possessions. Healthcare services are...
Full Text Available Elizabeth Bass1,2, Etienne Pracht1,3, Philip Foulis4,51VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, Tampa, FL; 2School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; 3College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; 4James A Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, FL, USA; 5Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USAGoals: Recent findings suggest the prevalence of osteoporosis among men is under-recognized. The patient population of the Veterans Health Administration (VA is predominantly male and many elderly veterans may be at risk of osteoporosis. Given the lack of data on male osteoporosis, we provide initial insight into diagnostic procedures for patients at one VA medical center. Procedures: A review and descriptive analysis of patients undergoing radiological evaluation for osteoporosis at one VA medical center.Results: We identified 4,919 patients who had bone mineral density scans from 2001–2004. VA patients receiving bone mineral density scans were commonly white, male, over age 70 and taking medications with potential bone-loss side effects.Conclusions: While further research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that the VA screens the most vulnerable age groups in both genders. Heightened awareness among primary care providers of elderly male patients at risk of osteoporosis can lead to early intervention and improved management of this age-related condition.Keywords: bone mineral density scans, osteoporosis, veterans
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. David Shulkin MD, Secretary for Veterans Affairs (VA was finally fired by President Donald Trump ending long speculation (1. Trump nominated his personal physician, Ronny Jackson MD, to fill Shulkin’s post. The day after his firing, Shulkin criticized his firing in a NY Times op-ed claiming pro-privatization factions within the Trump administration led to his ouster (2. “They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed,” Dr. Shulkin wrote. “That is because I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans.” Former Secretary Shulkin’s tenure at the VA has had several controversies. First, as undersecretary of Veterans Healthcare and later as secretary money appropriated to the VA to obtain private care under the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Acts of 2014 and the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of …
make it more difficult for veterans with PTSD to seek or maintain treatment. VHA provides treatment for PTSD at VHA hospitals , outpatient clinics ...measured in days of inpatient hospital care and outpatient clinic visits. A veteran may have had several outpatient visits on a sin- gle day, each...reproduce the same results precisely. The DSS system takes clinical and financial information from other VHA databases and uses algorithms that merge
Collett, Garen A; Song, Kangwon; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Potter, Jennifer S; Finley, Erin P; Pugh, Mary Jo
The increase in the quantities of central nervous system (CNS)-acting medications prescribed has coincided with increases in overdose mortality, suicide-related behaviors, and unintentional deaths in military personnel deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Data on the extent and impact of prescribing multiple CNS drugs among Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAVs) are sparse. We sought to identify the characteristics of IAVs with CNS polypharmacy and examine the association of CNS polypharmacy with drug overdose and suicide-related behaviors controlling for known risk factors. This cross-sectional cohort study examined national data of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (N = 311,400) who used the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) during the fiscal year 2011. CNS polypharmacy was defined as five or more CNS-acting medications; drug/alcohol overdose and suicide-related behaviors were identified using ICD-9-CM codes. Demographic and clinical characteristics associated with CNS polypharmacy were identified using a multivariable logistic regression model. We found that 25,546 (8.4 %) of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans had CNS polypharmacy. Those with only post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.50, 99 % confidence interval (CI) 5.96-7.10), only depression (AOR 6.42, 99 % CI 5.86-7.04), co-morbid PTSD and depression (AOR 12.98, 99 % CI 11.97-14.07), and co-morbid traumatic brain injury (TBI), PTSD, and depression (AOR 15.30, 99 % CI 14.00-16.73) had the highest odds of CNS polypharmacy. After controlling for these co-morbid conditions, CNS polypharmacy was significantly associated with drug/alcohol overdose and suicide-related behavior. CNS polypharmacy was most strongly associated with PTSD, depression, and TBI, and independently associated with overdose and suicide-related behavior after controlling for known risk factors. These findings suggest that CNS polypharmacy may be used as an indicator of risk for adverse outcomes
Zubkoff, Lisa; Neily, Julia; King, Beth J; Dellefield, Mary Ellen; Krein, Sarah; Young-Xu, Yinong; Boar, Shoshana; Mills, Peter D
In 2014 the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented a Virtual Breakthrough Series (VBTS) collaborative to help VHA facilities prevent hospital-acquired conditions: catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs). During the prework phase, participating facilities assembled a multidisciplinary team, assessed their current system for CAUTI or HAPU prevention, and examined baseline data to set improvement aims. The action phase consisted of educational conference calls, coaching, and monthly team reports. Learning was conducted via phone, web-based options, and e-mail. The CAUTI bundle focused on four key principles: (1) avoidance of indwelling urinary catheters, (2) proper insertion technique, (3) proper catheter maintenance, and (4) timely removal of the indwelling catheter. The HAPU bundle focused on assessment and inspection, pressure-relieving surfaces, turning and repositioning, incontinence management, and nutrition/hydration assessment and intervention. For the 18 participating units, the mean aggregated CAUTI rate decreased from 2.37 during the prework phase to 1.06 per 1,000 catheter-days during the action (implementation) phase (p model for implementing a virtual model for improvement. Copyright 2016 The Joint Commission.
... reported to VA Police. 1.203 Section 1.203 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS... be reported to VA Police. Information about actual or possible violations of criminal laws related to... occurs on VA premises, will be reported by VA management officials to the VA police component with...
Brohet, C R; Richman, H G
Automated processing of electrocardiograms by the Veterans Administration program was evaluated for both agreement with physician interpretation and interpretative accuracy as assessed with nonelectrocardiographic criteria. One thousand unselected electrocardiograms were analyzed by two reviewer groups, one familiar and the other unfamiliar with the computer program. A significant number of measurement errors involving repolarization changes and left axis deviation occurred; however, interpretative disagreements related to statistical decision were largely language-related. Use of a printout with a more traditional format resulted in agreement with physician interpretation by both reviewer groups in more than 80 percent of cases. Overall sensitivity based on agreement with nonelectrocardiographic criteria was significantly greater with use of the computer program than with use of the conventional criteria utilized by the reviewers. This difference was particularly evident in the subgroup analysis of myocardial infarction and left ventricular hypertrophy. The degree of overdiagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy and posteroinferior infarction was initially unacceptable, but this difficulty was corrected by adjustment of probabilities. Clinical acceptability of the Veterans Administration program appears to require greater physician education than that needed for other computer programs of electrocardiographic analysis; the flexibility of interpretation by statistical decision offers the potential for better diagnostic accuracy.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force AGENCY: Department of... Veterans Affairs (VA) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA's approach to and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans...
Weems, Shelley; Heller, Pamela; Fenton, Susan H
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.
Ross, Joseph S.; Arling, Greg; Ofner, Susan; Roumie, Christianne L.; Keyhani, Salomeh; Williams, Linda S.; Ordin, Diana L.; Bravata, Dawn M.
Background Quality of care delivered in the inpatient and ambulatory settings may be correlated within an integrated health system such as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We examined the correlation between stroke care quality at hospital discharge and within 6 months post-discharge. Methods Cross-sectional hospital-level correlation analyses of chart-abstracted data for 3467 veterans discharged alive after an acute ischemic stroke from 108 VHA medical centers and 2380 veterans with post-discharge follow-up within 6 months, in fiscal year 2007. Four risk-standardized processes of care represented discharge care quality: prescription of anti-thrombotic and anti-lipidemic therapy, anti-coagulation for atrial fibrillation, and tobacco cessation counseling, along with a composite measure of defect-free care. Five risk-standardized intermediate outcomes represented post-discharge care quality: achievement of blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), international normalized ratio (INR), and glycosylated hemoglobin target levels, and delivery of appropriate treatment for post-stroke depression, along with a composite measure of achieved outcomes. Results Median risk-standardized composite rate of defect-free care at discharge was 79%. Median risk-standardized post-discharge rates of achieving goal were 56% for blood pressure, 36% for LDL, 41% for INR, 40% for glycosylated hemoglobin, and 39% for depression management and the median risk-standardized composite six-month outcome rate was 44%. The hospital composite rate of defect-free care at discharge was correlated with meeting the LDL goal (r=0.31; p=0.007) and depression management (r=0.27; p=0.03) goal, but was not correlated with blood pressure, INR, or glycosylated hemoglobin goals, nor with the composite measure of achieved post-discharge outcomes (p-values >0.15). Conclusions Hospital discharge care quality was not consistently correlated with ambulatory care quality. PMID:21719771
Hoggatt, Katherine J; Jamison, Andrea L; Lehavot, Keren; Cucciare, Michael A; Timko, Christine; Simpson, Tracy L
We conducted a systematic literature review on substance misuse, abuse, and dependence in women veterans, including National Guard/reserve members. We identified 837 articles published between 1980 and 2013. Of 56 included studies, 32 reported rates of alcohol misuse, binge drinking, or other unhealthy alcohol use not meeting diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence, and 33 reported rates of drug misuse or diagnosed alcohol or drug use disorders. Rates ranged from 4% to 37% for alcohol misuse and from 7% to 25% for binge drinking; among Veterans Health Administration (VA) health-care system outpatients, rates ranged from 3% to 16% for substance use disorder. Studies comparing women veterans and civilians reported no clear differences in binge or heavy drinking. Substance misuse rates were generally lower among women veterans than men veterans. Substance misuse was associated with higher rates of trauma, psychiatric and medical conditions, and increased mortality and suicide rates. Most studies included only VA patients, and many used only VA medical record data; therefore, the reported substance misuse rates likely do not reflect true prevalence. Rates also varied by assessment method, source of data, and the subgroups studied. Further efforts to develop epidemiologically valid prevalence estimates are needed to capture the true health burden of substance misuse in women veterans, particularly those not using VA care. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Petrakis, Ismene L; Rosenheck, Robert; Desai, Rani
There is considerable concern about the emergence of significant substance abuse among younger veterans of war in the Middle East, especially among those with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but little information exists on the magnitude of this problem. Using national administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (n = 1,001,996), we examined rates of diagnosed substance use disorders in Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with PTSD compared to other psychiatric disorders; and compared rates among veterans of other service eras. Of VA patients with a selected mental disorder, 21.0% had a comorbid substance diagnosis. Veterans who served in the post-Vietnam era (VET) (1973-1991) had the highest rates of comorbidity. Logistic regression models indicated that veterans with each selected psychiatric diagnosis were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed in comparison to veterans with PTSD; post-Vietnam veterans were significantly more likely to be dually diagnosed than veterans from other eras. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are most strongly associated with dual diagnosis in OEF/OIF (Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom) veterans. There are high rates of substance use disorders among veterans with mental illness. The highest rates of comorbidity occur among those with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia; and in post-VET veterans. © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking direct final action to amend its regulations related to the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a pilot program to offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans. Specifically, this rule will add language to clarify the limited preemptive effect of certain criteria in the VADIP regulations.
Li, Xinli; Nylander, William; Smith, Tracy; Han, Soonhee; Gunnar, William
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
Yehuda, Rachel; Harvey, Philip D; Buchsbaum, Monte; Tischler, Lisa; Schmeidler, James
Though both glucocorticoid alterations and memory impairments have been noted in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is not clear if these phenomena are causally linked. As there is emerging evidence that these domains become further altered in PTSD with increasing age, it is of interest to examine these relationships in an older cohort. Aging (mean age, 62.7+/-8.9; range, 52-81) combat veterans with (n=13) and without (n=17) PTSD received an intravenous bolus of 17.5 mg hydrocortisone (cortisol), a naturally occurring glucocorticoid, or placebo in a randomized, double-blind manner, on two mornings approximately 1-2 weeks apart. Neuropsychological testing to evaluate episodic and working memory performance was performed 75 min later. Cortisol enhanced episodic memory performance in both groups of subjects, but enhanced elements of working memory performance only in the PTSD+ group. The preferential effect of cortisol administration on working memory in PTSD may be related to the superimposition of PTSD and age, as cortisol had impairing effects on this task in a previously studied, younger cohort. The findings suggest that there may be opportunities for developing therapeutic strategies using glucocorticoids in the treatment of aging combat veterans.
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Wadia, Roxanne J; Yao, Xiaopan; Deng, Yanhong; Li, Jia; Maron, Steven; Connery, Donna; Gunduz-Bruce, Handan; Rose, Michal G
There are limited data on the impact of mental health comorbidities (MHC) on stage at diagnosis and timeliness of cancer care. Axis I MHC affect approximately 30% of Veterans receiving care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. The purpose of this study was to compare stage at diagnosis and timeliness of care of solid tumor malignancies among Veterans with and without MHC. We performed a retrospective analysis of 408 charts of Veterans with colorectal, urothelial, and head/neck cancer diagnosed and treated at VA Connecticut Health Care System (VACHS) between 2008 and 2011. We collected demographic data, stage at diagnosis, medical and mental health co-morbidities, treatments received, key time intervals, and number of appointments missed. The study was powered to assess for stage migration of 15–20% from Stage I/II to Stage III/IV. There was no significant change in stage distribution for patients with and without MHC in the entire study group (p = 0.9442) and in each individual tumor type. There were no significant differences in the time intervals from onset of symptoms to initiation of treatment between patients with and without MHC (p = 0.1135, 0.2042 and 0.2352, respectively). We conclude that at VACHS, stage at diagnosis for patients with colorectal, urothelial and head and neck cancers did not differ significantly between patients with and without MHC. Patients with MHC did not experience significant delays in care. Our study indicates that in a medical system in which mental health is integrated into routine care, patients with Axis I MHC do not experience delays in cancer care
Howell, Paul; Capehart, Bruce P; Hoenig, Helen
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides acute, subacute, and continuing rehabilitation for veterans using a hub-and-spoke system of hospitals and outpatient facilities. Using traumatic brain injury as an example, this commentary illustrates how this system provides interdisciplinary rehabilitative care to veterans throughout North Carolina.
Nambudiri, Vinod E; Landrum, Mary Beth; Lamont, Elizabeth B; McNeil, Barbara J; Bozeman, Samuel R; Freedland, Stephen J; Keating, Nancy L
To examine the variation in prostate cancer treatment in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)--a national, integrated delivery system. We also compared the care for older men in the VHA with that in fee-for-service Medicare. We used data from the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry linked with administrative data and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data to identify men with local or regional prostate cancer diagnosed during 2001 to 2004. We used multinomial logistic and hierarchical regression models to examine the patient, tumor, and facility characteristics associated with treatment in the VHA and, among older patients, used propensity score methods to compare primary therapy between the VHA and fee-for-service Medicare. The rates of radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy varied substantially across VHA facilities. Among the VHA patients, older age, black race/ethnicity, and greater comorbidity were associated with receiving neither radical prostatectomy nor radiotherapy. Facilities with more black patients with prostate cancer had lower rates of radical prostatectomy, and those with less availability of external beam radiotherapy had lower radiotherapy rates. The adjusted rates of radiotherapy (39.7% vs 52.0%) and radical prostatectomy (12.1% vs 15.8%) were lower and the rates of receiving neither treatment greater (48.2% vs 32.2%) in the VHA versus fee-for-service Medicare (P < .001). In the VHA, the treatment rates varied substantially across facilities, and black men received less aggressive prostate cancer treatment than white men, suggesting factors other than patient preferences influence the treatment decisions. Also, primary prostate cancer therapy for older men is less aggressive in the VHA than in fee-for-service Medicare. Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Siddharthan, Kris; Hodgson, Michael; Rosenberg, Deborah; Haiduven, Donna; Nelson, Audrey
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders following patient contact represent a major concern for health care workers. Unfortunately, research and prevention have been hampered by difficulties ascertaining true prevalence rates owing to under-reporting of these injuries. The purpose of this study is to determine the predictors for under-reporting work-related musculoskeletal injuries and their reasons. Multivariate analysis using data obtained in a survey of Veterans Administration employees in the USA was used to determine underreporting patterns among registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants. Focus groups among health care workers were conducted at one of the largest Veterans Administration hospitals to determine reasons for under-reporting. A significant number of workers reported work-related musculoskeletal pain, which was not reported as an injury but required rescheduling work such as changing shifts and taking sick leave to recuperate. The findings indicate that older health care workers and those with longer service were less likely to report as were those working in the evening and night shifts. Hispanic workers and personnel who had repetitive injuries were prone to under-reporting, as were workers in places that lack proper equipment to move and handle patients. Reasons for under-reporting include the time involved, peer pressure not to report and frustration with workers' compensation procedures. This study provides insights into under-reporting musculoskeletal injuries in a major US government organization. The research indicates that current reporting procedures appear to be overtly cumbersome in time and effort. More flexible work assignments are needed to cover staff shortfalls owing to injuries. Health education on the detrimental long-term effects of ergonomic injuries and the need for prompt attention to injuries should prove useful in improving rates of reporting.
Mattocks, Kristin M; Sullivan, J Cherry; Bertrand, Christina; Kinney, Rebecca L; Sherman, Michelle D; Gustason, Carolyn
Many lesbian women experience stigma and discrimination from their healthcare providers as a result of their sexual orientation. Additionally, others avoid disclosure of their sexual orientation to their providers for fear of mistreatment. With the increasing number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) veterans seeking care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), it is important to understand lesbian veterans' experiences with stigma, discrimination, and disclosure of sexual orientation. This article examines lesbian veterans' experiences with perceived stigma and discrimination in VHA healthcare, their perspectives on disclosure of sexual orientation to VHA providers, and their recommendations for improvements in VHA healthcare to create a welcoming environment for lesbian veterans. This is a mixed methods study of twenty lesbian veterans at four VHA facilities. The women veterans participated in a one-hour interview and then completed an anonymous survey. Ten percent of lesbian veterans had experienced mistreatment from VHA staff or providers, but nearly 50% feared that their Veterans Affairs (VA) providers would mistreat them if they knew about their sexual orientation. A majority of lesbian veterans (70%) believed that VHA providers should never ask about sexual orientation or should only ask if the veteran wanted to discuss it. A majority (80%) believed the VHA had taken steps to create a welcoming environment for LBGT veterans. Though many lesbian veterans have fears of stigma and discrimination in the context of VHA care, few have experienced this. Most lesbian veterans believed the VHA was trying to create a welcoming environment for its LGBT veterans. Future research should focus on expanding this study to include a larger and more diverse sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans receiving care at VA facilities across the country.
I examine whether individuals respond to monetary incentives to detect latent medical conditions. The effect is identified by a policy that deemed diabetes associated with herbicide exposure a compensable disability under the Veterans Benefits Administration's Disability Compensation program. Since a diagnosis is a requisite for benefit…
Mull, Hillary J; Borzecki, Ann M; Loveland, Susan; Hickson, Kathleen; Chen, Qi; MacDonald, Sally; Shin, Marlena H; Cevasco, Marisa; Itani, Kamal M F; Rosen, Amy K
The Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) use administrative data to screen for select adverse events (AEs). In this study, VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) chart review data were used as the gold standard to measure the criterion validity of 5 surgical PSIs. Independent chart review was also used to determine reasons for PSI errors. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of PSI software version 4.1a were calculated among Veterans Health Administration hospitalizations (2003-2007) reviewed by VASQIP (n = 268,771). Nurses re-reviewed a sample of hospitalizations for which PSI and VASQIP AE detection disagreed. Sensitivities ranged from 31% to 68%, specificities from 99.1% to 99.8%, and positive predictive values from 31% to 72%. Reviewers found that coding errors accounted for some PSI-VASQIP disagreement; some disagreement was also the result of differences in AE definitions. These results suggest that the PSIs have moderate criterion validity; however, some surgical PSIs detect different AEs than VASQIP. Future research should explore using both methods to evaluate surgical quality. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Spencer, Samantha H; Suda, Katie J; Smith, Bridget M; Huo, Zhiping; Bailey, Lauren; Stroupe, Kevin T
Erectile dysfunction (ED) medications are therapeutically effective and associated with satisfaction. Medicare Part D included ED medications on the formulary during 2006 and inadvertently in 2007-2008. To characterize phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE-5) medication use among veterans who were dually eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D benefits. Veterans aged > 66 years who received PDE-5 inhibitors between 2005 and 2009 were included. Veterans were categorized by PDE-5 inhibitor claims: VA-only, Part D-only, or dual users of VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies. T-tests and chi-square tests were applied as appropriate. From 2005 to 2009, the majority (85.2%) of veterans used VA benefits exclusively for their PDE-5 inhibitors; 11.4% used Medicare Part D exclusively; and 3.4% were dual users. The Part D-only group was older, more frequently not black, had a VA copay, and had a higher income (P filling prescriptions for PDE-5 inhibitors (-68%) and total number of PDE-5 inhibitor 30-day equivalents dispensed (-86.7%) from the VA decreased. Part D prescriptions increased through 2006 (full coverage period) and 2007 (accidental partial coverage) and decreased in 2008. While Part D accounted for only 10% of PDE-5 inhibitor 30-day equivalents, it equaled 29.2% of dispensed tablets. In October 2007, VA PDE-5 inhibitor use returned to 2005 levels. Implementation of Medicare Part D reduced VA PDE-5 inhibitor acquisition. However, after removal of PDE-5 inhibitors from the Part D formulary, use of VA pharmacies for PDE-5 inhibitors resumed. Medication policies outside the VA can affect medication use. Veterans with access to non-VA health care may obtain medications from the private sector because of VA restrictions. This may be especially true for nonformulary and lifestyle medications. The authors received funding support for this research project from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and
Chapman, Shawna L Carroll; Wu, Li-Tzy
The number of female veterans is increasing. Veterans Administration (VA) enrollment increased over 40% from past eras. However, little research has focused on their mental health. We reviewed literature to examine associations of substance use with suicide in female veterans, identify research gaps, and inform future studies. Google Scholar, Pub Med, and PsychINFO were searched using: substance use, female veteran, and suicide. Exclusion criteria (e.g., not discussing U.S. veterans) left 17 articles. Nine studies examined completed suicide among veterans. In most recent years, rates of deaths were greater for veterans than nonveterans, including females. Completed suicide was associated with past trauma, young age, and a mental disorder. Studies have often not addressed substance use. Three studies examined completed suicide among VA treated veterans without examining substance use as an associated factor. Rates of completed suicides were also higher among veterans than nonveterans, including females. A large proportion of females also had a mental diagnosis. Five studies examined substance use and attempted or completed suicide among VA treated veterans. Veterans in poor mental health had increased odds of suicide mortality; women with a substance use disorder (SUD) had a higher hazard ratio for completed suicide than men with a SUD. Engagement in substance abuse treatment decreased odds of suicide attempt among veterans. Available data suggest that suicide rates are higher among female veterans than women in the general population. Substance use may increase the likelihood of suicidal behaviors among female veterans, particularly those with a mental diagnosis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Pope, Charlene A.; Davis, Boyd H.; Wine, Leticia; Nemeth, Lynne S.; Axon, Robert N.
Among Veterans, heart failure (HF) contributes to frequent emergency department visits and hospitalization. Dual health care system use (dual use) occurs when Veterans Health Administration (VA) enrollees also receive care from non-VA sources. Mounting evidence suggests that dual use decreases efficiency and patient safety. This qualitative study used constructivist grounded theory and content analysis to examine decision making among 25 Veterans with HF, for similarities and differences between all-VA users and dual users. In general, all-VA users praised specific VA providers, called services helpful, and expressed positive capacity for managing HF. In addition, several Veterans who described inadvertent one-time non-VA health care utilization in emergent situations more closely mirrored all-VA users. By contrast, committed dual users more often reported unmet needs, nonresponse to VA requests, and faster services in non-VA facilities. However, a primary trigger for dual use was VA telephone referral for escalating symptoms, instead of care coordination or primary/specialty care problem-solving. PMID:29482411
Full Text Available 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.
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...
... women veterans with or without the care of dependent children. 2. Funding Priority 2--VA is offering the... homeless veterans (i.e., veterans who are not incarcerated but are involved in the criminal justice system...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN49 Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency..., authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to reimburse eligible veterans for costs related to non-VA.... Specifically, section 1725 authorizes reimbursement for emergency treatment for eligible veterans with...
Ilgen, Mark A.; McCarthy, John F.; Ignacio, Rosalinda V.; Bohnert, Amy S. B.; Valenstein, Marcia; Blow, Frederic C.; Katz, Ira R.
Objective: Despite concerns regarding elevated psychiatric morbidity and suicide among veterans returning from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), little is known about the impact of psychiatric conditions on the risk of suicide in these veterans. To inform tailored suicide prevention efforts, it is important to assess…
Scrivens, J J; Magalian, P; Crozier, G A
Services provided by a clinical pharmacist in a Veterans Administration outpatient clinic are described. Patients who come to the drop-in clinic for prescription refill authorization or medication-related problems are seen by a pharmacist rather than by a physician. The pharmacist interviews the patient, reviews the medical records and prescription and nonprescription drug profile, assesses appropriateness of current drug use, and records findings in the progress notes. The pharmacist may recommend presciption refill, change of medication or dosage, discontinuation, referral to a physician or nurse practitioner, follow-up appointments, or laboratory tests. The physician must countersign the pharmacist's prescriptions, referrals, and requests for laboratory tests. The clinical pharmacist's services reduced demand for physicians' time, allowed patients direct access to the health-care provider suited to deal with medication-related problems, and provided improved continuity of care. Potential benefits are cost savings from discontinuation of inappropriate drug therapy and from use of a pharmacist instead of a physician. The number of hospital admissions related to adverse drug reactions also may be reduced.
Garcia, Hector A.; McGeary, Cindy A.; McGeary, Donald D.; Finley, Erin P.; Peterson, Alan L.
The purpose of this study was to conduct the first assessment of burnout among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mental health clinicians providing evidence-based posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) care. This study consisted of 138 participants and the sample was mostly female (67%), Caucasian (non-Hispanic; 81%), and married (70%) with a mean age of 44.3 years (SD = 11.2). Recruitment was directed through VHA PTSD Clinical Teams (PCT) throughout the United States based on a nationwide mailing list of PCT Clinic Directors. Participants completed an electronic survey that assessed demographics, organizational work factors, absenteeism, and burnout (assessed through the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, MBI-GS). Twelve percent of the sample reported low Professional Efficacy, 50% reported high levels of Exhaustion, and 47% reported high levels of Cynicism as determined by the MBI-GS cut-off scores. Only workplace characteristics were significantly associated with provider scores on all 3 scales. Exhaustion and Cynicism were most impacted by perceptions of organizational politics/bureaucracy, increased clinical workload and control over how work is done. Organizational factors were also significantly associated with provider absenteeism and intent to leave his/her job. Findings suggest that providers in VHA specialty PTSD care settings may benefit from programs or supports aimed at preventing and/or ameliorating burnout. PMID:24564443
Schwartz, Miriam E; Welsh, Deborah E; Paull, Douglas E; Knowles, Regina S; DeLeeuw, Lori D; Hemphill, Robin R; Essen, Keith E; Sculli, Gary L
Communication failure is a significant source of adverse events in health care and a leading root cause of sentinel events reported to the Joint Commission. The Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety established Clinical Team Training (CTT) as a comprehensive program to enhance patient safety and to improve communication and teamwork among health care professionals. CTT is based on techniques used in aviation's Crew Resource Management (CRM) training. The aviation industry has reached a significant safety record in large part related to the culture change generated by CRM and sustained by its recurrent implementation. This article focuses on the improvement of communication, teamwork, and patient safety by utilizing a standardized, CRM-based, interprofessional, immersive training in diverse clinical areas. The Teamwork and Safety Climate Questionnaire was used to evaluate safety climate before and after CTT. The scores for all of the 27 questions on the questionnaire showed an increase from baseline to 12 months, and 11 of those increases were statistically significant. A recurrent training is recommended to maintain the positive outcomes. CTT enhances patient safety and reduces risk of patient harm by improving teamwork and facilitating clear, concise, specific and timely communication among health care professionals. © 2017 American Society for Healthcare Risk Management of the American Hospital Association.
Goetz, Matthew Bidwell; Hoang, Tuyen; Knapp, Herschel; Burgess, Jane; Fletcher, Michael D; Gifford, Allen L; Asch, Steven M
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 education and social 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.
Korom-Djakovic, Danijela; Canamucio, Anne; Lempa, Michele; Yano, Elizabeth M; Long, Judith A
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.
Mehta, Sanjay R; MacGruder, Cathy; Looney, David; Johns, Scott; Smith, Davey M
In response to a difference in pricing, the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center changed its tuberculin preparation from Tubersol to Aplisol in the fall of 2006. Following the change, an increased number of employee skin test conversions was noted. Employee tuberculin skin test converters from 2006 were screened with the QuantiFERON Gold (QFT-G) gamma interferon release assay. Those employees who tested negative by QFT-G were asked to repeat their skin test with both Tubersol and Aplisol tuberculin preparations. Of the new purified protein derivative converters, 12 of 14 returned for repeat testing with QFT-G, and the assay was negative for 83% (10/12), positive for 8% (1/12), and indeterminate for 8% (1/12) of the individuals. Nine of the individuals who were QFT-G negative agreed to repeat skin testing with both tuberculin preparations, and 7/8 (87.5%) demonstrated reactivity with the Aplisol preparation, while 0/8 (0%) reacted to the Tubersol preparation. A change from Tubersol to Aplisol resulted in elevated tuberculin skin test conversion rates that may be due to false-positive reactions. The differences in skin test reactivity between preparations support CDC guidelines that recommend that institutions should not change tuberculin preparations, as doing so may falsely increase the number of positive reactions.
Jameson, John Paul; Farmer, Mary Sue; Head, Katharine J.; Fortney, John; Teal, Cayla R.
Context: Mental health (MH) providers in community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) are important stakeholders in the development of the Veterans Health Administration (VA) telemental health (TMH) system, but their perceptions of these technologies have not been systematically examined. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the…
Desai, Karishma Rohanraj; Chewning, Betty; Wilcox, Andrew; Safdar, Nasia
The VA system is the largest single provider of healthcare in the United States and to individuals infected with HIV specifically. High quality medication management is particularly important since HIV is a chronic infectious condition which requires taking multiple medications with strict requirements for adherence to medication regimens. Veterans Administration (VA) patients are required to obtain all chronic medications using the VA mail-order pharmacy system. Drawing on Donabedian's Quality Improvement framework, this study sought to examine experiences that Veterans with HIV have with the Veterans Administration medication mail-order system, and to explore opportunities for quality improvement. A sequential, explanatory mixed-methods design was used to interview Veterans receiving care at a Midwestern Veterans Administration Hospital using a mail-order experience survey followed by in-depth interviews. All 57 Veterans, out of 72, who were successfully contacted consented to participate. Overall, Veterans evaluated the mail-order service positively and valued the accuracy (correct medication delivery). However, a notable problem emerged with respect to assuring access to HIV medications with about half (47%) indicating running out of HIV medication. Respondents identified structural issues with respect to days covered by mailed medications (90 versus current 30 days) and process issues with scheduling new refills. Veterans also indicated the information sheets were too long, complex and not helpful for their queries. Patients were open to pharmacists playing an active role during clinic visits and felt this would help manage their conditions better. Veterans generally reported that the VA Mail-order service was of high quality. However, some findings indicate there are opportunities to improve this service to be more patient-centered particularly for vulnerable HIV patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gradus, Jaimie L; Leatherman, Sarah; Curreri, Andrew; Myers, Lisa G; Ferguson, Ryan; Miller, Matthew
Epidemiologic studies have reported substance abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnoses as risk factors for suicide among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients. Research on risk factors for suicide may not generalize to our understanding of non-fatal intentional self-harm (ISH), given the evidence that these outcomes have unique risk factors. The aims of this study were to examine (1) gender-stratified rates of non-fatal ISH in VHA patients with alcohol abuse/dependence, drug abuse/dependence, and PTSD and (2) gender-stratified interaction between alcohol abuse and dependence and drug abuse and dependence and PTSD in predicting non-fatal ISH. Participants include all VHA care users who received a PTSD diagnosis in Massachusetts from 2000 to 2008 (n=16,004) and an age- and gender-matched comparison group (n=52,502). Data were obtained from the VHA administrative registries. We found evidence of stronger interactions between substance abuse diagnoses and PTSD in predicting non-fatal ISH for females than for males. The interaction contrast (IC) for alcohol abuse and dependence and PTSD in predicting non-fatal ISH among female VHA patients was 62.35/100,000 person-years; for male VHA patients the comparable IC was 21.49/100,000 person-years. For female VHA patients the IC for drug abuse and dependence and PTSD predicting ISH was 256.33/100,000 person-years; no interaction was observed for male VHA patients. This study contributes to the scant literature on gender differences in substance abuse and PTSD among VHA patients. The findings highlight comorbid diagnoses as particularly important risk factors for non-fatal ISH among female VHA patients. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Render, Marta L; Nowak, John; Hammond, Emmett K; Roselle, Gary
To estimate and compare Veterans Health Administration (VA) expenditures for outpatient pharmaceuticals for veterans at six VA facilities with hypothetical private sector costs. Using the VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Strategic Health Care Group (PBM) database, we extracted data for all dispensed outpatient prescriptions from the six study sites over federal fiscal year 1999. After extensive data validation, we converted prescriptions to the same units and merged relevant VA pricing information by National Drug Code to Redbook listed average wholesale price and the Medicaid maximal allowable charge, where available. We added total VA drug expenditures to personnel cost from the pharmacy portion of that medical center's cost distribution report. Hypothetical private sector payments were $200.8 million compared with an aggregate VA budget of $118.8 million. Using National Drug Code numbers, 97% of all items dispensed from the six facilities were matched to private sector price data. Nonmatched pharmaceuticals were largely generic over-the-counter pain relievers and commodities like alcohol swabs. The most commonly prescribed medications reflect the diseases and complaints of an older male population: pain, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and depression or other psychiatric disorders. Use of the VA PBM database permits researchers to merge expenditure and prescription data to patient diagnoses and sentinel events. A critical element in its use is creating similar units among the systems. Such data sets permit a deeper view of the variability in drug expenditures, an important sector of health care whose inflation has been disproportionate to that of the economy and even health care.
Makhoul, Issam; Yacoub, Abdulraheem; Siegel, Eric
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...
Patel, Thakor G; Pogach, Leonard M; Barth, Robert H
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.
...-connected disability incurred incident to the veteran's employment and covered under a worker's compensation... code. These charges apply in the situations set forth in paragraph (e)(1) of this section and are... Guidelines fee survey); see paragraph (a)(3) of this section for Data Sources. The 80th percentile charge for...
Millman, Andrea; And Others
Presents a model of outpatient interdisciplinary geriatric care provided at a veteran's hospital. Compares characteristics of patients served in this program with those in community-based geriatrics outpatient clinics described in the literature. (Author/ABB)
Military service and other socioecological factors influencing weight and health behavior change in overweight and obese Veterans: a qualitative study to inform intervention development within primary care at the United States Veterans Health Administration
Jay, Melanie; Mateo, Katrina F.; Squires, Allison P.; Kalet, Adina L.; Sherman, Scott E.
Background Obesity affects 37?% of patients at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers. The VHA offers an intensive weight management program (MOVE!) but less than 10?% of eligible patients ever attend. However, VHA patients see their primary care provider about 3.6 times per year, supporting the development of primary care-based weight management interventions. To address gaps in the literature regarding Veterans? experiences with weight management and determine whether and how ...
Damush, Teresa M; Miech, Edward J; Sico, Jason J; Phipps, Michael S; Arling, Greg; Ferguson, Jared; Austin, Charles; Myers, Laura; Baye, Fitsum; Luckhurst, Cherie; Keating, Ava B; Moran, Eileen; Bravata, Dawn M
To identify key barriers and facilitators to the delivery of guideline-based care of patients with TIA in the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We conducted a cross-sectional, observational study of 70 audiotaped interviews of multidisciplinary clinical staff involved in TIA care at 14 VHA hospitals. We de-identified and analyzed all transcribed interviews. We identified emergent themes and patterns of barriers to providing TIA care and of facilitators applied to overcome these barriers. Identified barriers to providing timely acute and follow-up TIA care included difficulties accessing brain imaging, a constantly rotating pool of housestaff, lack of care coordination, resource constraints, and inadequate staff education. Key informants revealed that both stroke nurse coordinators and system-level factors facilitated the provision of TIA care. Few facilities had specific TIA protocols. However, stroke nurse coordinators often expanded upon their role to include TIA. They facilitated TIA care by (1) coordinating patient care across services, communicating across service lines, and educating clinical staff about facility policies and evidence-based practices; (2) tracking individual patients from emergency departments to inpatient settings and to discharge for timely follow-up care; (3) providing and referring TIA patients to risk factor management programs; and (4) performing regular audit and feedback of quality performance data. System-level facilitators included clinical service leadership engagement and use of electronic tools for continuous care across services. The local organization within a health care facility may be targeted to cultivate internal facilitators and a systemic infrastructure to provide evidence-based TIA care. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology.
Larney, Sarah; Bohnert, Amy S B; Ganoczy, Dara; Ilgen, Mark A; Hickman, Matthew; Blow, Fred C; Degenhardt, Louisa
The population of people with opioid use disorders (OUD) is aging. There has been little research on the effects of aging on mortality rates and causes of death in this group. We aimed to compare mortality in older (≥ 50 years of age) adults with OUD to that in younger (OUD and older adults with no history of OUD. We also examined risk factors for specific causes of death in older adults with OUD. Using data from the Veteran's Health Administration National Patient Care Database (2000-2011), we compared all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates in older adults with OUD to those in younger adults with OUD and older adults without OUD. We then generated a Cox regression model with specific causes of death treated as competing risks. Older adults with OUD were more likely to die from any cause than younger adults with OUD. The drug-related mortality rate did not decline with age. HIV-related and liver-related deaths were higher among older OUD compared to same-age peers without OUD. There were very few clinically important predictors of specific causes of death. Considerable drug-related mortality in people with OUD suggests a need for greater access to overdose prevention and opioid substitution therapy across the lifespan. Elevated risk of liver-related death in older adults may be addressed through antiviral therapy for hepatitis C virus infection. There is an urgent need to explore models of care that address the complex health needs of older adults with OUD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
True, Gala; Stewart, Greg L; Lampman, Michelle; Pelak, Mary; Solimeo, Samantha L
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.
Radomski, Thomas R; Bixler, Felicia R; Zickmund, Susan L; Roman, KatieLynn M; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Hale, Jennifer A; Sileanu, Florentina E; Hausmann, Leslie R M; Thorpe, Joshua M; Suda, Katie J; Stroupe, Kevin T; Gordon, Adam J; Good, Chester B; Fine, Michael J; Gellad, Walid F
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented robust strategies to monitor prescription opioid dispensing, but these strategies have not accounted for opioids prescribed by non-VA providers. State-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are a potential tool to identify VA patients' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers, and recent legislation requires their use within VA. To evaluate VA physicians' perspectives and experiences regarding use of PDMPs to monitor Veterans' receipt of opioids from non-VA prescribers. Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Forty-two VA primary care physicians who prescribed opioids to 15 or more Veterans in 2015. We sampled physicians from two states with PDMPs (Massachusetts and Illinois) and one without prescriber access to a PDMP at the time of the interviews (Pennsylvania). From February to August 2016, we conducted semi-structured telephone interviews that addressed the following topics regarding PDMPs: overall experiences, barriers to optimal use, and facilitators to improve use. VA physicians broadly supported use of PDMPs or desired access to one, while exhibiting varying patterns of PDMP use dictated by state laws and their clinical judgment. Physicians noted administrative burdens and incomplete or unavailable prescribing data as key barriers to PDMP use. To facilitate use, physicians endorsed (1) linking PDMPs with the VA electronic health record, (2) using templated notes to document PDMP use, and (3) delegating routine PDMP queries to ancillary staff. Despite the time and administrative burdens associated with their use, VA physicians in our study broadly supported PDMPs. The application of our findings to ongoing PDMP implementation efforts may strengthen PDMP use both within and outside VA and improve the safe prescribing of opioids.
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Dichter, Melissa E; Thomasson, Arwin M; Fu, Xiaoying; Roberts, Christopher B
This study explored demographic influences on veterans' reports of homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness with a particular focus on gender. We analyzed data for a cohort of veterans who responded to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) universal screener for homelessness and risk during a 3-month period. Multinomial mixed effects models-stratified by gender-predicted veterans' reports of homelessness or risk based on age, race, marital status, and receipt of VA compensation. The proportion of positive screens-homelessness or risk-was 2.7% for females and 1.7% for males. Women more likely to report being at risk of homelessness were aged 35 to 54 years, Black, and unmarried; those more likely to experience homelessness were Black and unmarried. Among male veterans, the greatest predictors of both homelessness and risk were Black race and unmarried status. Among both genders, receiving VA disability compensation was associated with lesser odds of being homeless or at risk. The findings describe the current population of veterans using VHA health care services who may benefit from homelessness prevention or intervention services, identify racial differences in housing stability, and distinguish subpopulations who may be in particular need of intervention. Interventions to address these needs are described. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Dobalian, Aram; Stein, Judith A; Heslin, Kevin C; Riopelle, Deborah; Venkatesh, Brinda; Lanto, Andrew B; Simon, Barbara; Yano, Elizabeth M; Rubenstein, Lisa V
The 1994 earthquake that struck Northridge, California, led to the closure of the Veterans Health Administration Medical Center at Sepulveda. This article examines the earthquake's impact on the mental health of an existing cohort of veterans who had previously used the Sepulveda Veterans Health Administration Medical Center. From 1 to 3 months after the disaster, trained interviewers made repeated attempts to contact participants by telephone to administer a repeated measures follow-up design survey based on a survey that had been done preearthquake. Postearthquake data were obtained on 1144 of 1800 (64%) male veterans for whom there were previous data. We tested a predictive latent variable path model of the relations between sociodemographic characteristics, predisaster physical and emotional health measures, and postdisaster emotional health and perceived earthquake impact. Perceived earthquake impact was predicted by predisaster emotional distress, functional limitations, and number of health conditions. Postdisaster emotional distress was predicted by preexisting emotional distress and earthquake impact. The regression coefficient from earthquake impact to postearthquake emotional distress was larger than that of the stability coefficient from preearthquake emotional distress. Postearthquake emotional distress also was affected indirectly by preearthquake emotional distress, health conditions, younger age, and lower socioeconomic status. The postdisaster emotional health of veterans who experienced greater earthquake impact would have likely benefited from postdisaster intervention, regardless of their predisaster emotional health. Younger veterans and veterans with generally poor physical and emotional health were more vulnerable to greater postearthquake emotional distress. Veterans of lower socioeconomic status were disproportionately likely to experience more effects of the disaster because they had more predisaster emotional distress, more functional
Forbey, Johnathan D.; Ben-Porath, Yossef S.; Arbisi, Paul A.
The ability to screen quickly and thoroughly for psychological difficulties in existing and returning combat veterans who are seeking treatment for physical ailments would be of significant benefit. In the current study, item and time savings, as well as extratest correlations, associated with an audio-augmented version of the computerized…
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…
Arout, Caroline A; Sofuoglu, Mehmet; Bastian, Lori A; Rosenheck, Robert A
Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood, chronically disabling pain syndrome. While research has focused on its clinical presentation and treatment, less is known about fibromyalgia's clinical epidemiology in real-world healthcare systems. Gender differences have been difficult to study because relatively few males are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia nationwide in FY 2012 were compared to Veterans with other pain diagnoses on sociodemographic characteristics, medical and psychiatric diagnoses, health service use, and opioid and psychotropic prescription fills. Additional analyses compared characteristics of men and women diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Risk ratios and Cohen's d were used for bivariate comparisons, followed by logistic regression analyses to identify independent factors associated with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia in the VHA. Altogether, 77,087 of 2,216,621 Veterans with pain diagnoses (3.48%) were diagnosed with fibromyalgia. They were more likely to be female, younger than patients with other pain conditions, more likely to have multiple psychiatric comorbidities and other types of pain, and used more medical outpatient services. Women diagnosed with fibromyalgia were younger and more likely to have headaches, connective tissue diseases (CTD), and psychiatric comorbidities, while men had more comorbid medical conditions. In this large, predominantly older male sample of Veterans with pain diagnoses, those with fibromyalgia were far more likely to be women. Gender comparisons showed women with fibromyalgia were more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and CTD, while males were more likely to be diagnosed with medical conditions. Fibromyalgia shows a striking, gender-dependent picture of multimorbidity, which should be considered in treatment.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan AGENCY: Department of Veterans... Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of the FY 2014-2020 Draft VA Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan... Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) (Pub. L. 111-352). The Strategic Plan provides the Department's long-term...
... INFORMATION: Titles: a. National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924a, c, d and..., c, e. j. Voluntary Service Application, VA Form 0927f. k. National Veterans Summer sports Clinic... Festival Event Application, VA0929a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h. Type of Review: Revision of an already approved...
... Winter Sports Clinic Application, VA Form 0924a series. b. National Veterans Wheelchair Games Application.... National Veterans TEE Tournament Application, VA Form 0927a series. e. National Veterans Summer Sports... Form 0929a series. Type of Review: Existing collection in use without an OMB control number. Abstract...
... VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.26 What types of business information will VA collect? VA will examine a variety of business records. See § 74.12, “What is... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What types of business...
McGuire, Alan B; Salyers, Michelle P; White, Dominique A; Gilbride, Daniel J; White, Laura M; Kean, Jacob; Kukla, Marina
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).
Asztalos, Bela F.; Collins, Dorothea; Horvath, Katalin V.; Bloomfield, Hanna E.; Robins, Sander J.; Schaefer, Ernst J.
Objective The significant cardiovascular disease (CVD) event reduction in VA-HIT could not be fully explained by the 6% increase in HDL-C with the fibrate, gemfibrozil. We examined whether measurement of HDL subpopulations provided additional information relative to CVD-risk reduction. Methods and Results HDL subpopulations were characterized by 2-dimensional gel-electrophoresis in subjects who were treated with gemfibrozil (n=754) or placebo (n=741). In this study, samples obtained at the 3-month visit were used and data were analyzed prospectively using CVD events (CHD death, MI, or stroke) during the 5.1 years follow up. Analyses in the gemfibrozil arm showed that subjects with recurrent CVD events had significantly higher preβ-1 and had significantly lower α-1 and α-2 HDL levels than those without such events. Preβ-1 level was a significant positive predictor; α-1 and α-2 levels were significant negative risk factors for future CVD events. α-2 level was superior to HDL-C level in CVD-risk assessment after adjustment for established risk factors. Gemfibrozil treatment was associated with 3%-6% decreases in the small, lipid-poor preβ-1 HDL and in the large, lipid-rich α-1 and α-2 HDL and with increases in the small α-3 (3%) and preα-3 (16%) HDLs. Conclusions While the use of gemfibrozil has been associated with reduction in CVD events in VA-HIT, HDL subpopulation analysis indicates that gemfibrozil-mediated improvement in CVD risk might not be the result of its effects on HDL. It is quite possible that much of the cardiovascular benefits of gemfibrozil are due to a much wider spectrum of effects on metabolic processes that is not reflected by changes in blood lipids and HDL subpopulations. PMID:18078862
Evans, Elizabeth A; Glover, Dawn L; Washington, Donna L; Hamilton, Alison B
Women Veterans who use the Veterans Health Administration (VA) have high rates of substance abuse and poorer health than non-Veteran women. Less is known about the psychosocial needs of women Veterans who seek care in non-VA settings. We provide a grounded description of factors that impact substance abuse, mental health, and related quality of life of women Veterans who use non-VA community-based health and social services. Utilizing a mixed methods design, we conducted semi-structured in-person interviews with 22 women Veterans in Los Angeles in 2013-2015. The current health of these women Veterans was shaped by substance abuse and several other factors, including: histories of trauma (in childhood, during military service) and discrimination, and associated mental health conditions; post-military socio-economic stressors; shifting social roles and adverse social support; and lost personal identity after military service. Psychosocial factors collectively underscore areas in which delivery of health and social services to women Veterans being treated in non-VA settings could be improved: (1) diffuse, implement, and sustain evidence-based gender-sensitive substance abuse treatment; (2) address traumas contributing to poor health; (3) recognize stress proliferation processes erode women's capacity to access healthcare or cope with stressors in healthy ways; (4) champion women Veterans who embody resilience and thereby can help others to form empowered personal identities of health and wellness. Findings can inform interventions and services that ameliorate vulnerability to substance abuse and other health risks among women Veterans.
...'s Application for Compensation and/or Pension): Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... Application for Compensation and/or Pension, VA Form 21-526. b. Veteran's Supplemental Claim Application, VA.../or pension benefits. b. Veterans who previously filed a claim using VA Form 21-526, and who wish to...
Le, Karen T; Sawicki, Mark P; Wang, Marilene B; Hershman, Jerome M; Leung, Angela M
Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy and the most rapidly increasing cancer in the U.S. Little is known regarding the epidemiology and characteristics of patients with thyroid cancer within the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) integrated healthcare system. The aim of this study was to further understand the characteristics of thyroid cancer patients in the VHA population, particularly in relation to Agent Orange exposure. This is a descriptive analysis of the VA (Veterans Affairs) Corporate Data Warehouse database from all U.S. VHA healthcare sites from October1, 1999, to December 31, 2013. Information was extracted for all thyroid cancer patients based on International Classification of Diseases-ninth revision diagnosis codes; histologic subtypes of thyroid cancer were not available. There were 19,592 patients (86% men, 76% white, 58% married, 42% Vietnam-era Veteran) in the VHA system with a diagnosis of thyroid cancer within this 14-year study period. The gender-stratified prevalence rates of thyroid cancer among the Veteran population during the study period were 1:1,114 (women) and 1:1,023 (men), which were lower for women but similar for men, when compared to the U.S. general population in 2011 (1:350 for women and 1:1,219 for men). There was a significantly higher proportion of self-reported Agent Orange exposure among thyroid cancer patients (10.0%), compared to the general VHA population (6.2%) (PAgent Orange exposure compared to the overall national VA patient population. T4 = thyroxine TCDD = 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin TSH = thyroid-stimulating hormone VA = Veterans Affairs VHA = Veterans Health Administration.
An operations-partnered evaluation of care redesign for high-risk patients in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA): Study protocol for the PACT Intensive Management (PIM) randomized quality improvement evaluation.
Chang, Evelyn T; Zulman, Donna M; Asch, Steven M; Stockdale, Susan E; Yoon, Jean; Ong, Michael K; Lee, Martin; Simon, Alissa; Atkins, David; Schectman, Gordon; Kirsh, Susan R; Rubenstein, Lisa V
Patient-centered medical homes have made great strides providing comprehensive care for patients with chronic conditions, but may not provide sufficient support for patients at highest risk for acute care use. To address this, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) initiated a five-site demonstration project to evaluate the effectiveness of augmenting the VA's Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) medical home with PACT Intensive Management (PIM) teams for Veterans at highest risk for hospitalization. Researchers partnered with VHA leadership to design a mixed-methods prospective multi-site evaluation that met leadership's desire for a rigorous evaluation conducted as quality improvement rather than research. We conducted a randomized QI evaluation and assigned high-risk patients to participate in PIM and compared them with high-risk Veterans receiving usual care through PACT. The summative evaluation examines whether PIM: 1) decreases VHA emergency department and hospital use; 2) increases satisfaction with VHA care; 3) decreases provider burnout; and 4) generates positive returns on investment. The formative evaluation aims to support improved care for high-risk patients at demonstration sites and to inform future initiatives for high-risk patients. The evaluation was reviewed by representatives from the VHA Office of Research and Development and the Office of Research Oversight and met criteria for quality improvement. VHA aims to function as a learning organization by rapidly implementing and rigorously testing QI innovations prior to final program or policy development. We observed challenges and opportunities in designing an evaluation consistent with QI standards and operations priorities, while also maintaining scientific rigor. This trial was retrospectively registered at ClinicalTrials.gov on April 3, 2017: NCT03100526. Protocol v1, FY14-17. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kelly, Megan M; Reilly, Erin; Quiñones, Timothy; Desai, Nitigna; Rosenheck, Robert
Long acting intramuscular (IM) naltrexone is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), but rates and correlates of its use have not been studied. National administrative from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) from Fiscal Year 2012 identified only 16 VHA facilities that prescribed IM naltrexone to 5 or more veterans diagnosed with OUD. Data from these facilities were used to identify sociodemographic, diagnostic, and service use characteristics, including use of psychotropic medication, that were characteristic of veterans who filled prescriptions for IM naltrexone. This was in comparison to users of opiate agonist treatments (methadone or buprenorphine) or veterans with no pharmacologic treatment for OUD. Comparisons were made using both bi-variate analyses and multivariable logistic regression. Only 179 of 16,402 veterans with OUD (1%) at these 16 facilities filled a prescription for IM naltrexone and only 256 of 99,394 (0.26%) nationally. These veterans were characterized by past homelessness, co-morbid alcohol use disorder, multiple psychiatric disorders, and a greater likelihood of psychiatric hospitalization, as well as mental health outpatient and antidepressant medication use. IM naltrexone is rarely used for OUD and is primarily used for patients with multiple co-morbidities, especially alcohol use disorder and serious mental illness. The use of this treatment illustrates many of the principles identified by the emerging focus on multi-morbidity as a critical feature of clinical practice. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Gerber, Megan R; King, Matthew W; Iverson, Katherine M; Pineles, Suzanne L; Haskell, Sally G
The women Veteran population accessing Veterans Health Administration (VA) care has grown rapidly. Women Veterans exhibit high rates of mental health conditions that increase coronary artery disease (CAD) risk; however, the relationship between specific conditions and increasing mental health burden to CAD in this population is unknown. Using VA National Patient Care Data for 2009, we identified women Veterans over 45 (N = 157,195). Logistic regression models examined different mental health diagnoses and increasing mental health burden (number of diagnostic clusters) as predictors of CAD. CAD prevalence was 4.16%, and 36% of women Veterans were current smokers. Depression exhibited the strongest association with CAD (odds ratio [OR] 1.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.50-1.71]), similar to that of current smoking (OR 1.68 [1.58-1.78]). Controlling for demographic variables, smoking, diabetes, and obesity, each additional mental health diagnosis increased the odds of CAD by 44%. Women Veterans over age 45 accessing VA care exhibited a high degree of mental health burden, which is associated with elevated odds of CAD; those with depression alone had 60% higher odds of CAD. For women Veterans using VA, mental health diagnoses may act as CAD risk factors that are potentially modifiable. Novel interventions in primary care and mental health are needed to address heart disease in this growing and aging population.
Washington, Donna L; Davis, Teri D; Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Yano, Elizabeth M
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in women veterans (WVs), and associated with significant co-morbidity. Effective treatment is available; however, PTSD is often unrecognized. Identify PTSD prevalence and mental healthcare (MHC) use in a representative national WV sample. Cross-sectional, population-based 2008-2009 national survey of 3,611 WVs, weighted to the population. We screened for PTSD using a validated instrument, and also assessed demographic characteristics, health characteristics, and MHC use in the prior 12 months. Among those screening positive, we conducted multivariate logistic regression to identify independent predictors of MHC use. Overall, 13.0 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] 9.8-16.2) of WVs screened PTSD-positive. Veterans Health Administration (VA) healthcare was used by 31.1 % of PTSD-positives and 11.4 % of PTSD-negatives (phealth care (OR=0.2; 95 % CI 0.1-0.4) and household income below the federal poverty level (OR=0.2; 95 % CI 0.1-0.5) predicted nonuse. More than one in eight WVs screened positive for PTSD. Though a majority of VA-users received MHC, low income predicted nonuse. Only a minority of VA-nonusers received MHC. The majority of WVs use non-VA healthcare providers, who may be unaware of their veteran status and PTSD risk. VA outreach to educate VA-nonusers and their healthcare providers about WVs' PTSD risk and available evidence-based VA treatment options is one approach to extend the reach of VA MHC. Research to characterize barriers to VA MHC use for VA-nonusers and low income VA-users is warranted to better understand low service utilization, and to inform program development to engage more WVs in needed MHC.
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 ...
Zubkoff, Lisa; Neily, Julia; Mills, Peter D; Borzecki, Ann; Shin, Marlena; Lynn, Marilyn M; Gunnar, William; Rosen, Amy
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Virtual Breakthrough Series (VBTS) process was used in an eight-month (June 2011-January 2012) quality improvement (QI) project to improve care related to reducing postoperative respiratory failure. The VBTS collaborative drew on Patient Safety Indicator 11: Postoperative Respiratory Failure Rate to guide changes in care at the bedside. Sixteen Veterans Health Administration hospitals, each representing a regional Veterans Integrated Service Network, participated in the QI project. During the prework phase (initial two months), hospitals formed multidisciplinary teams, selected measures related to their goals, and collected baseline data. The six-month action phase included group conference calls in which the faculty presented clinical background on the topic, discussed evidence-based processes of care, and/or presented content regarding reducing postoperative respiratory failure. During a final, six-month continuous improvement and spread phase, teams were to continue implementing changes as part of their usual processes. The six most commonly reported interventions to reduce postoperative respiratory failure focused on improving incentive spirometer use, documenting implementation of targeted interventions, oral care, standardized orders, early ambulation, and provider education. A few teams reported reduced ICU readmissions for respiratory failure. The VBTS collaborative helped teams implement process changes to help reduce postoperative respiratory complications. Teams reported initial success at implementing site-specific improvements using real-time data. The VBTS model shows promise for knowledge sharing and efficient multifacility improvement efforts, although long-term sustainability and testing in these and other settings need to be examined.
Weiner, Bryan J; Haynes-Maslow, Lindsey; Kahwati, Leila C; Kinsinger, Linda S; Campbell, Marci K
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.
Lan, Chiao-Wen; Fiellin, David A.; Barry, Declan T.; Bryant, Kendall J.; Gordon, Adam J.; Edelman, E. Jennifer; Gaither, Julie R.; Maisto, Stephen A.; Marshall, Brandon D.L.
Background Substance use disorders (SUDs), which encompass alcohol and drug use disorders (AUDs, DUDs), constitute a major public health challenge among US veterans. SUDs are among the most common and costly of all health conditions among veterans. Objectives This study sought to examine the epidemiology of SUDs among US veterans, compare the prevalence of SUDs in studies using diagnostic and administrative criteria assessment methods, and summarize trends in the prevalence of SUDs reported in studies sampling US veterans over time. Methods Comprehensive electronic database searches were conducted. A total of 3,490 studies were identified. We analyzed studies sampling US veterans and reporting prevalence, distribution, and examining AUDs and DUDs. Results Of the studies identified, 72 met inclusion criteria. The studies were published between 1995 and 2013. Studies using diagnostic criteria reported higher prevalence of AUDs (32% vs. 10%) and DUDs (20% vs. 5%) than administrative criteria, respectively. Regardless of assessment method, both the lifetime and past year prevalence of AUDs in studies sampling US veterans has declined gradually over time. Conclusion The prevalence of SUDs reported in studies sampling US veterans are affected by assessment method. Given the significant public health problems of SUDs among US veterans, improved guidelines for clinical screening using validated diagnostic criteria to assess AUDs and DUDs in US veteran populations are needed. Scientific Significance These findings may inform VA and other healthcare systems in prevention, diagnosis, and intervention for SUDs among US veterans. PMID:26693830
... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA 2011-0090] Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (Social Security Administration (SSA)/Department of Veterans Affairs (VA.... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. General The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-503...
... SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA 2012-0016] Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (Social Security Administration (SSA)/Department of Veterans Affairs (VA.... SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. General The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-503...
... expressed that the organizational chart should indicate that the Director of the Center for Women Veterans..., about 30 percent of women Veterans surveyed did not think they were eligible for VA benefits.'' The...
Department of Veterans Affairs — Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning Value Model or SAIL, is a system for summarizing hospital system performance within Veterans Health Administration...
... Business with VA Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction Small & Veteran Business Programs VetBiz.gov Financial & Asset Enterprise Management Security Investigation Center/Background Clearances Freedom of Information ...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force Report AGENCY: Department...) established the Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses Task Force (GWVI-TF) in August 2009 to conduct a comprehensive review of VA policies and programs addressing 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans' illnesses. The GWVI-TF...
Full Text Available ... from Veterans Health Administration The Power of 1 PSA see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Commitments PSA see more videos from Veterans Health Administration The ...
Full Text Available ... videos from Veterans Health Administration Talking About It Matters see more videos from Veterans Health Administration Stand ... Health Administration I am A Veteran Family/Friend Active Duty/Reserve and Guard Signs of Crisis Identifying ...
post - traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) and...Veterans Affairs (VA) Intramural Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) Research Funding and VA’s Medical and Prosthetic Research Appropriation...Table 6: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Research Centers and Programs That Conduct or Support Post - Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) Research
Jia, Huanguang; Pei, Qinglin; Sullivan, Charles T; Cowper Ripley, Diane C; Wu, Samuel S; Bates, Barbara E; Vogel, W Bruce; Bidelspach, Douglas E; Wang, Xinping; Hoffman, Nannette
Effective poststroke rehabilitation care can speed patient recovery and minimize patient functional disabilities. Veterans affairs (VA) community living centers (CLCs) and VA-contracted community nursing homes (CNHs) are the 2 major sources of institutional long-term care for Veterans with stroke receiving care under VA auspices. This study compares rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care among Veterans residing in VA CLCs versus those Veterans in VA-contracted CNHs. Retrospective observational. All Veterans diagnosed with stroke, newly admitted to the CLCs or CNHs during the study period who completed at least 2 Minimum Data Set assessments postadmission. The outcomes were numbers of days for rehabilitation therapy and restorative nursing care received by the Veterans during their stays in CLCs or CNHs as documented in the Minimum Data Set databases. For rehabilitation therapy, the CLC Veterans had lower user rates (75.2% vs. 76.4%, P=0.078) and fewer observed therapy days (4.9 vs. 6.4, Pcare, CLC Veterans had higher user rates (33.5% vs. 30.6%, Pcare days (9.4 vs. 5.9, Pcare (coefficient=5.48±0.37, Pcare both before and after risk adjustment.
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. The February 2011 Pulmonary Journal Club reviews a study by Rice and colleagues (1 of high-risk COPD patients (click here for Pulmonary Journal Club. This review was authored by Kevin Park who also authored an ACP Journal Club review (2. In Rice’s study a single educational session, an individualized care plan, and monthly case-manager telephone calls, resulted in a 41% decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits and a nonsignficant trend toward decreased mortality.Rice’s study was supported and conducted in the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 23 (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas. The COPD patients in this study were recruited and followed primarily using the VA computer system. The study represents a potential model of data-based management leading to improved patient outcomes. The authors; Robert Petzel MD, then VISN 23 Director (now Veterans Healthcare Administration Undersecretary; and Janet Murphy, then VISN Primary Care Service Line CEO (now VISN …
Department of Veterans Affairs — First of a set of guidance documents that establish the architectural foundation for mobile computing in the VA. This document outlines the enterprise capabilities...
Department of Veterans Affairs — Enterprise architectural guidelines and constraints that provide references to the use of enterprise capabilities that will enable the VA to access and exchange data...
Ford, James H.; Krahn, Dean; Wise, Meg; Oliver, Karen Anderson
Objective To examine how attributes affecting sustainability differ across VHA organizational components and by staff characteristics. Subjects Surveys of 870 change team members and 50 staff interviews within the VA’s Mental Health System Redesign initiative. Methods A one-way ANOVA with a Tukey post-hoc test examined differences in sustainability by VISN, 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. Results Sustainability differed across VISN and staff tenure. Job classification differences existed for: 1) Benefits and Credibility of the change and 2) staff involvement and attitudes toward change. Sustainability barriers were: staff and institutional resistance, and non-supportive leadership. Facilitators were: commitment to veterans, strong leadership, and use of QI Tools. Sustainability predictors were outcomes tracking, regular reporting, and use of PDSA cycles. Conclusions Creating homogeneous implementation and sustainability processes across a national health system is difficult. Despite the VA’s 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 QI collaborative affects sustainability. PMID:21971024
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
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.
Hogan, Timothy; Martinez, Rachael; Evans, Charlesnika; Saban, Karen; Proescher, Eric; Steiner, Monica; Smith, Bridget
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.
Guerrero, Erick G; Heslin, Kevin C; Chang, Evelyn; Fenwick, Karissa; Yano, Elizabeth
This study explored the role of organizational factors in the ability of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinics to implement colocated mental health care in primary care settings (PC-MH). The study used data from the VHA Clinical Practice Organizational Survey collected in 2007 from 225 clinic administrators across the United States. Clinic degree of implementation of PC-MH was the dependent variable, whereas independent variables included policies and procedures, organizational context, and leaders' perceptions of barriers to change. Pearson bivariate correlations and multivariable linear regression were used to test hypotheses. Results show that depression care training for primary care providers and clinics' flexibility and participation were both positively correlated with implementation of PC-MH. However, after accounting for other factors, regressions show that only training primary care providers in depression care was marginally associated with degree of implementation of PC-MH (p = 0.051). Given the importance of this topic for implementing integrated care as part of health care reform, these null findings underscore the need to improve theory and testing of more proximal measures of colocation in future work.
Bowman, Candice; Luck, Jeff; Gale, Randall C; Smith, Nina; York, Laura S; Asch, Steven
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.
Landrum, Mary Beth; Keating, Nancy L; Lamont, Elizabeth B; Bozeman, Samuel R; McNeil, Barbara J
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.
Department of Veterans Affairs — The 2010 National Survey of Veterans (NSV) is the sixth in a series of comprehensive nationwide surveys designed to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plan...
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. As I write this Dennis Wagner is publishing a series of articles in the Arizona Republic describing his quest to find out if care at VA hospitals have improved over the last 2 years (1. To begin the article Wagner describes the fable of the King of Siam who presented albino pachyderms to his enemies knowing they would be bankrupted because the cost of food and care outweighed all usefulness. A modern expression derives from this parable: the white elephant. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA has prided itself on being a leader in healthcare. It is the largest healthcare system in the US, implemented the first electronic medical record, and more than 70 percent of all US doctors have received training in the VA healthcare system (2. This year the VA is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its partnership with US medical schools. Beginning in 1946, the VA partnered ...
Bezold, C; Mayer, E; Dighe, A
As the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) makes the change over to Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISNs) the need for new and better leadership is warranted if VA wants to not only survive, but thrive in the emerging twenty-first century healthcare system. VA can prepare for the future and meet the challenges facing them by adopting a system of visionary leadership. The use of scenarios and vision techniques are explained as they relate to VA's efforts to move toward their new system of VISNs. The four scenarios provide snapshots of possible futures for the U.S. healthcare system as well as the possible future role and mission of VA--from VA disappearing to its becoming a premier virtual organization.
...--Federalism AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans... that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO86-VA Dental Insurance Program-- Federalism... Order 13132, Federalism Section 6(c) of Executive Order 13132 (entitled ``Federalism'') requires an...
Sullivan, Jennifer L; Adjognon, Omonyêlé L; Engle, Ryann L; Shin, Marlena H; Afable, Melissa K; Rudin, Whitney; White, Bert; Shay, Kenneth; Lukas, Carol VanDeusen
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
Using Harm-Based Weights for the AHRQ Patient Safety for Selected Indicators Composite (PSI-90): Does It Affect Assessment of Hospital Performance and Financial Penalties in Veterans Health Administration Hospitals?
Chen, Qi; Rosen, Amy K; Borzecki, Ann; Shwartz, Michael
To assess whether hospital profiles for public reporting and pay-for-performance, measured by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety for Selected Indicators (PSI-90) composite measure, were affected by using the recently developed harm-based weights. Retrospective analysis of 2012-2014 data from the Veterans Health Administration (VA). The AHRQ PSI software (v5.0) was applied to obtain the original volume-based PSI-90 scores for 132 acute-care hospitals. We constructed a modified PSI-90 using the harm-based weights developed by AHRQ. We compared hospital profiles for public reporting and pay-for-performance between these two PSI-90s and assessed patterns in these changes. The volume-based and the harm-based PSI-90s were strongly correlated (r = 0.67, p hospitals changed categorization), but it had a much larger impact on pay-for-performance (e.g., 15 percent of hospitals would have faced different financial penalties under the Medicare Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program). Because of changes in weights of specific PSIs, hospital profile changes occurred systematically. Use of the harm-based weights in PSI-90 has the potential to significantly change payments under pay-for-performance programs. Policy makers should carefully develop transition plans for guiding hospitals through changes in any quality metrics used for pay-for-performance. © Health Research and Educational Trust.
Maa, April Y; Wojciechowski, Barbara; Hunt, Kelly; Dismuke, Clara; Janjua, Rabeea; Lynch, Mary G
Veterans are at high risk for eye disease because of age and comorbid conditions. Access to eye care is challenging within the entire Veterans Hospital Administration's network of hospitals and clinics in the USA because it is the third busiest outpatient clinical service and growing at a rate of 9% per year. Rural and highly rural veterans face many more barriers to accessing eye care because of distance, cost to travel, and difficulty finding care in the community as many live in medically underserved areas. Also, rural veterans may be diagnosed in later stages of eye disease than their non-rural counterparts due to lack of access to specialty care. In March 2015, Technology-based Eye Care Services (TECS) was launched from the Atlanta Veterans Affairs (VA) as a quality improvement project to provide eye screening services for rural veterans. By tracking multiple measures including demographic and access to care metrics, data shows that TECS significantly improved access to care, with 33% of veterans receiving same-day access and >98% of veterans receiving an appointment within 30 days of request. TECS also provided care to a significant percentage of homeless veterans, 10.6% of the patients screened. Finally, TECS reduced healthcare costs, saving the VA up to US$148 per visit and approximately US$52 per patient in round trip travel reimbursements when compared to completing a face-to-face exam at the medical center. Overall savings to the VA system in this early phase of TECS totaled US$288,400, about US$41,200 per month. Other healthcare facilities may be able to use a similar protocol to extend care to at-risk patients.
Swenty, Constance L; Schaar, Gina L; Butler, Ryan M
Veterans are challenged with multiple unique healthcare issues related to their military service environment. Likewise, health care providers must understand the special concerns associated with military conflict and recognize how the veteran's care can be optimized by interprofessional care delivery. Little is taught didactically or clinically that supports nursing students in addressing the unique issues of the veteran or the student's need to work collaboratively with allied health team members to enhance the veteran's care. Because of limited exposure to the veteran's special conditions, nursing students who may seek a career with the veteran population often face challenges in rendering appropriate care. The VA offers an invaluable opportunity for health profession students to collaborate with VA interprofessional Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) ultimately optimizing veteran health outcomes. This academic partnership, that implements an interprofessional model, will prepare students to better embrace the veteran population. This article describes the immersion of health profession students in interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) using PACT team principles which ultimately promotes the students' ability to link theory content to patient care delivery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Schmitz, Susan; Radcliff, Tiffany A; Chu, Karen; Smith, Robert E; Dobalian, Aram
The US Veterans Health Administration's Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) is a team of employee disaster response volunteers who provide clinical and non-clinical staffing assistance when local systems are overwhelmed. This study evaluated attitudes and recommendations of the DEMPS program to understand the impact of multi-modal training on volunteer perceptions. DEMPS volunteers completed an electronic survey in 2012 (n=2120). Three training modes were evaluated: online, field exercise, and face-to-face. Measures included: "Training Satisfaction," "Attitudes about Training," "Continued Engagement in DEMPS." Data were analyzed using χ2 and logistic regression. Open-ended questions were evaluated in a manner consistent with grounded theory methodology. Most respondents participated in DEMPS training (80%). Volunteers with multi-modal training who completed all 3 modes (14%) were significantly more likely to have positive attitudes about training, plan to continue as volunteers, and would recommend DEMPS to others (P-valuevolunteer engagement. A blended learning environment using multi-modal training methods, could enhance satisfaction and attitudes and possibly encourage continued engagement in DEMPS or similar programs. DEMPS training program modifications in 2015 expanded this blended learning approach through new interactive online learning opportunities. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; page 1 of 8).
Copeland, Laurel A; Sako, Edward Y; Zeber, John E; Pugh, Mary Jo; Wang, Chen-Pin; MacCarthy, Andrea A; Restrepo, Marcos I; Mortensen, Eric M; Lawrence, Valerie A
To estimate 1-year mortality risk associated with preoperative serious mental illness (SMI) as defined by the Veterans Health Administration (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], major depression) following nonambulatory cardiac or vascular surgical procedures compared to patients without SMI. Cardiac/vascular operations were selected because patients with SMI are known to be at elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Retrospective analysis of system-wide data from electronic medical records of patients undergoing nonambulatory surgery (inpatient or day-of-surgery admission) October 2005-September 2009 with 1-year follow-up (N=55,864; 99% male; operations (64%; 23% died), coronary artery bypass graft (26%; 10% died) or other cardiac operations (11%; 15%-18% died). Fourteen percent of patients with PTSD died, 20% without SMI and 24% with schizophrenia, with other groups intermediate. In multivariable stratified models, SMI was associated with increased mortality only for patients with bipolar disorder following cardiac operations. Bipolar disorder and PTSD were negatively associated with death following vascular operations. SMI is not consistently associated with postoperative mortality in covariate-adjusted analyses. Published by Elsevier Inc.
The association of PTSD with physical and mental health functioning and disability (VA Cooperative Study #569: the course and consequences of posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam-era Veteran twins)
Magruder, Kathryn M.; Forsberg, Christopher W.; Kazis, Lewis E.; Üstün, T. Bedirhan; Friedman, Matthew J.; Litz, Brett T.; Vaccarino, Viola; Heagerty, Patrick J.; Gleason, Theresa C.; Huang, Grant D.; Smith, Nicholas L.
Purpose To assess the relationship of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with health functioning and disability in Vietnamera Veterans. Methods A cross-sectional study of functioning and disability in male Vietnam-era Veteran twins. PTSD was measured by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview; health functioning and disability were assessed using the Veterans RAND 36-Item Health Survey (VR-36) and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0). All data collection took place between 2010 and 2012. Results Average age of the 5,574 participating Veterans (2,102 Vietnam theater and 3,472 non-theater) was 61.0 years. Veterans with PTSD had poorer health functioning across all domains of VR-36 and increased disability for all subscales of WHODAS 2.0 (all p < .001) compared with Veterans without PTSD. Veterans with PTSD were in poorer overall health on the VR-36 physical composite summary (PCS) (effect size = 0.31 in theater and 0.47 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both) and mental composite summary (MCS) (effect size = 0.99 in theater and 0.78 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both) and had increased disability on the WHODAS 2.0 summary score (effect size = 1.02 in theater and 0.96 in non-theater Veterans; p < .001 for both). Combat exposure, independent of PTSD status, was associated with lower PCS and MCS scores and increased disability (all p < .05, for trend). Within-pair analyses in twins discordant for PTSD produced consistent findings. Conclusions Vietnam-era Veterans with PTSD have diminished functioning and increased disability. The poor functional status of aging combat-exposed Veterans is of particular concern. PMID:24318083
Wertenberger, Sydney; Chapman, Kathleen M; Wright-Brown, Salena
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.
Bohnert, Kipling M; Ilgen, Mark A; Louzon, Samantha; McCarthy, John F; Katz, Ira R
Limited information is available regarding links between specific substance use disorders (SUDs) and suicide mortality; however, the preliminary evidence that is available suggests that suicide risk associated with SUDs may differ for men and women. This study aimed to estimate associations between SUDs and suicide for men and women receiving Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care. A cohort study using national administrative health records. National VHA system, USA. All VHA users in fiscal year (FY) 2005 who were alive at the beginning of FY 2006 (n = 4 863 086). The primary outcome of suicide mortality was assessed via FY 2006-2011 National Death Index (NDI) records. Current SUD diagnoses were the primary predictors of interest, and were assessed via FY 2004-2005 VHA National Patient Care Database (NPCD) records. In unadjusted analyses, a diagnosis of any current SUD and the specific current diagnoses of alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, opioid, amphetamine and sedative use disorders were all associated significantly with increased risk of suicide for both males and females [hazard ratios (HRs)] ranging from 1.35 for cocaine use disorder to 4.74 for sedative use disorder for men, and 3.89 for cannabis use disorder to 11.36 for sedative use disorder for women]. Further, the HR estimates for the relations between any SUD, alcohol, cocaine and opioid use disorders and suicide were significantly stronger for women than men (P suicide were attenuated markedly and the greater suicide risk among females was observed for only any SUD and opioid use disorder (P suicide risk, especially among women, and may be important markers to consider including in suicide risk assessment strategies. None the less, other co-occurring psychiatric disorders may partially explain associations between SUDs and suicide, as well as the observed excess suicide risk associated with SUDs among women. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the
Melvin, Valerie C
...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability...
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
"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.
Wright, Brad; O'Shea, Amy M.J.; Glasgow, Justin M.; Ayyagari, Padmaja; Vaughan-Sarrazin, Mary
Abstract Recent studies have documented that a significant increase in the use of observation stays along with extensive variation in patterns of use across hospitals. The objective of this longitudinal observational study was to examine the extent to which patient, hospital, and local health system characteristics explain variation in observation stay rates across Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals. Our data came from years 2005 to 2012 of the nationwide VHA Medical SAS inpatient...
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Young, J Christopher; Roper, Brad L; Arentsen, Timothy J
A survey of neuropsychologists in the Veterans Health Administration examined symptom/performance validity test (SPVT) practices and estimated base rates for patient response bias. Invitations were emailed to 387 psychologists employed within the Veterans Affairs (VA), identified as likely practicing neuropsychologists, resulting in 172 respondents (44.4% response rate). Practice areas varied, with 72% at least partially practicing in general neuropsychology clinics and 43% conducting VA disability exams. Mean estimated failure rates were 23.0% for clinical outpatient, 12.9% for inpatient, and 39.4% for disability exams. Failure rates were the highest for mTBI and PTSD referrals. Failure rates were positively correlated with the number of cases seen and frequency and number of SPVT use. Respondents disagreed regarding whether one (45%) or two (47%) failures are required to establish patient response bias, with those administering more measures employing the more stringent criterion. Frequency of the use of specific SPVTs is reported. Base rate estimates for SPVT failure in VA disability exams are comparable to those in other medicolegal settings. However, failure in routine clinical exams is much higher in the VA than in other settings, possibly reflecting the hybrid nature of the VA's role in both healthcare and disability determination. Generally speaking, VA neuropsychologists use SPVTs frequently and eschew pejorative terms to describe their failure. Practitioners who require only one SPVT failure to establish response bias may overclassify patients. Those who use few or no SPVTs may fail to identify response bias. Additional clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Lillie, Sarah E; Fu, Steven S; Fabbrini, Angela E; Rice, Kathryn L; Clothier, Barbara; Nelson, David B; Doro, Elizabeth A; Moughrabieh, M Anas; Partin, Melissa R
The National Lung Screening Trial recently reported that annual low-dose computed tomography screening is associated with decreased lung cancer mortality in high-risk smokers. This study sought to identify the factors patients consider important in making lung cancer screening (LCS) decisions, and explore variations by patient characteristics and LCS participation. This observational survey study evaluated the Minneapolis VA LCS Clinical Demonstration Project in which LCS-eligible Veterans (N=1388) were randomized to either Direct LCS Invitation (mailed with decision aid, N=926) or Usual Care (provider referral, N=462). We surveyed participants three months post-randomization (response rate 44%) and report the proportion of respondents rating eight decision-making factors (benefits, harms, and neutral factors) as important by condition, patient characteristics, and LCS completion. Overall, the most important factor was personal risk of lung cancer and the least important factor was health risks from LCS. The reported importance varied by patient characteristics, including smoking status, health status, and education level. Overall, the potential harms of LCS were reported less important than the benefits or the neutral decision-making factors. Exposure to Direct LCS Invitation (with decision aid) increased Veterans' attention to specific decision-making factors; compared to Usual Care respondents, a larger proportion of Direct LCS Invitation respondents rated the chance of false-positive results, LCS knowledge, LCS convenience, and anxiety as important. Those completing LCS considered screening harms less important, with the exception of incidental findings. Decision tools influence Veterans' perceptions about LCS decision-making factors. As the factors important to LCS decision making vary by patient characteristics, targeted materials for specific subgroups may be warranted. Attention should be paid to how LCS incidental findings are communicated. Published by
Military service and other socioecological factors influencing weight and health behavior change in overweight and obese Veterans: a qualitative study to inform intervention development within primary care at the United States Veterans Health Administration.
Jay, Melanie; Mateo, Katrina F; Squires, Allison P; Kalet, Adina L; Sherman, Scott E
Obesity affects 37 % of patients at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers. The VHA offers an intensive weight management program (MOVE!) but less than 10 % of eligible patients ever attend. However, VHA patients see their primary care provider about 3.6 times per year, supporting the development of primary care-based weight management interventions. To address gaps in the literature regarding Veterans' experiences with weight management and determine whether and how to develop a primary care-based weight management intervention to both improve obesity counseling and increase attendance to MOVE!, we conducted a qualitative study to assess: 1) Veterans' personal experiences with healthy weight-related behavior change (including barriers and facilitators to behavior change and experiences with primary care providers, staff, and the MOVE! program), and 2) potential new approaches to improve weight management within primary care at the VHA including goal setting and technology. Overweight/obese VHA patients (aged 18-75, BMI greater than 30 or greater than 25 with at least 1 co-morbidity) were recruited for focus group sessions stratified by gender, MOVE! referral, and attendance. Each session was facilitated by a trained moderator, audio-recorded, and professionally transcribed. Using an iterative coding approach, two coders separately reviewed and coded transcripts, and met frequently to negotiate codes and synthesize emerging themes. Of 161 eligible patients, 54 attended one of 6 focus groups (2 female, 4 male, 9-11 participants per session): 63 % were male, 46 % identified as African-American, 32 % White/Caucasian, 74 % were college-educated or higher, and 61 % reported having attended MOVE!. We identified two major themes: Impact of Military Service and Promotion and Sustainability of Healthy Behaviors. After service in a highly structured military environment, Veterans had difficulty maintaining weight on their own. They perceived physical
Breland, Jessica Y; Donalson, Rosemary; Dinh, Julie; Nevedal, Andrea; Maguen, Shira
Disordered eating, which includes subclinical and clinical maladaptive eating behaviors, is common among women, including those served by the Veterans Health Administration (VA). We used qualitative methods to determine whether and how women veterans want to receive treatment for disordered eating. Women veterans participated in one of seven focus groups/interviews and completed in-person demographic and psychological questionnaires. We used thematic analysis of focus groups/interviews to understand preferences for disordered eating treatment. Participants (n = 20) were mostly women of color (55%); mean age was 48 (SD = 15) and 65% had significant psychological symptoms. Few participants described being assessed for disordered eating, but all thought VA should provide treatment for disordered eating. Through thematic analysis, we identified six preferences: 1) treatment for disordered eating should be provided in groups, 2) treatment for disordered eating should provide concrete skills to facilitate the transition out of structured military environments, 3) treatment for disordered eating should address the relationship between eating and mental health, 4) disordered eating can be treated with mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral therapy, 5) disordered eating treatment providers should be experienced and take an interactive approach to care, but can come from diverse disciplines, and 6) referrals to treatment for disordered eating should be open ended, occur early, and allow for ongoing, flexible access to treatment. Women veterans are interested in treatment for disordered eating. Preferred treatments align with existing treatments, could be offered in conjunction with weight loss or primary care services, and should provide social support and interactive learning. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Farmer, Carrie M; Hosek, Susan D; Adamson, David M
In response to concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced about veterans' access to care and the quality of care delivered, Congress enacted the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 ("Veterans Choice Act") in August 2014. The law was passed to help address access issues by expanding the criteria through which veterans can seek care from civilian providers. In addition, the law called for a series of independent assessments of the VA health care system across a broad array of topics related to the delivery of health care services to veterans in VA-owned and -operated facilities, as well as those under contract to VA. RAND conducted three of these assessments: Veteran demographics and health care needs (A), VA health care capabilities (B), and VA authorities and mechanisms for purchasing care (C). This article summarizes the findings of our assessments and includes recommendations from the reports for improving the match between veterans' needs and VA's capabilities, including VA's ability to purchase necessary care from the private sector.
Veterans Health Administration Office of Nursing Services exploration of positive patient care synergies fueled by consumer demand: care coordination, advanced clinic access, and patient self-management.
Wertenberger, Sydney; Yerardi, Ruth; Drake, Audrey C; Parlier, Renee
The consumers who utilize the Veterans Health Administration healthcare system are older, and most are learning to live with chronic diseases. Their desires and needs have driven changes within the Veterans Health Administration. Through patient satisfaction initiatives and other feedback sources, consumers have made it clear that they do not want to wait for their care, they want a say in what care is provided to them, and they want to remain as independent as possible. Two interdisciplinary processes/models of healthcare are being implemented on the national level to address these issues: advanced clinic access and care coordination. These programs have a synergistic relationship and are integrated with patient self-management initiatives. Positive outcomes of these programs also meet the needs of our staff. As these new processes and programs are implemented nationwide, skills of both patients and nursing staff who provide their care need to be enhanced to meet the challenges of providing nursing care now and into the 21st century. Veterans Health Administration Office of Nursing Services Strategic Planning Work Group is defining and implementing processes/programs to ensure nurses have the knowledge, information, and skills to meet these patient care demands at all levels within the organization.
Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert A
Concerns that disability benefits may create disincentives for employment may be especially relevant for young American military veterans, particularly veterans of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are facing a current economic recession and turning in large numbers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for disability compensation. This study describes the rate of employment and VA disability compensation among a nationally representative sample of veterans under the age of 65 and examines the association between levels of VA disability compensation and employment, adjusting for sociodemographics and health status. Data on a total of 4,787 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans were analyzed using multinomial logistic regressions to compare employed veterans with two groups that were not employed. Two-thirds of veterans under the age of 65 were employed, although only 36 % of veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating of 50 % or higher were employed. Veterans who received no VA disability compensation or who were service-connected 50 % or more were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for employment than veterans who were not service-connected or were service-connected less than 50 %, suggesting high but not all levels of VA disability compensation create disincentives for employment. Results were similar when analyses were limited to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Education and vocational rehabilitation interventions, as well as economic work incentives, may be needed to maximize employment among veterans with disabilities.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) VETERANS SMALL BUSINESS REGULATIONS Records Management § 74.25 What types of personally identifiable information will VA collect? In order to establish owner... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What types of personally...
Neily, Julia; Chomsky, Amy; Orcutt, James; Paull, Douglas E; Mills, Peter D; Gilbert, Christina; Hemphill, Robin R; Gunnar, William
The study goals were to examine wrong intraocular lens (IOL) implant adverse events in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), identify root causes and contributing factors, and describe system changes that have been implemented to address this challenge. This study represents collaboration between the VHA's National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) and the National Surgery Office (NSO). This report includes 45 wrong IOL implant surgery adverse events reported to established VHA NCPS and NSO databases between July 1, 2006, and June 31, 2014. There are approximately 50,000 eye implant procedures performed each year in the VHA. Wrong IOL implant surgery adverse events are reported by VHA facilities to the NCPS and the NSO. Two authors (A.C. and J.N.) coded the reports for event type (wrong lens or expired lens) and identified the primary contributing factor (coefficient κ = 0.837). A descriptive analysis was conducted, which included the reported yearly event rate. The main outcome measure was the reported wrong IOL implant surgery adverse events. There were 45 reported wrong IOL implant surgery adverse events. Between 2011 and June 30, 2014, there was a significant downward trend (P = 0.02, R = 99.7%) at a pace of -0.08 (per 10,000 cases) every year. The most frequently coded primary contributing factor was incomplete preprocedure time-out (n = 12) followed by failure to perform double check of preprocedural calculations based upon original data and implant read-back at the time the surgical eye implant was performed (n = 10). Preventing wrong IOL implant adverse events requires diligence beyond performance of the preprocedural time-out. In 2013, the VHA has modified policy to ensure double check of preprocedural calculations and implant read-back with positive impact. Continued analysis of contributing human factors and improved surgical team communication are warranted.
Patients that present with acute STEMI have proven morbidity and mortality benefit from early reperfusion therapy. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines recommend either fibrinolytic therapy within 30 minutes or a primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) within 90 minutes of patients arrival to the Emergency Department. Despite these recommendations, some patients do not receive reperfusion therapy and less than half receive it on time. Describe and analyze our reperfusion therapy performance in patients presenting with acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarct (STEMI) in the Veteran Administration Caribbean Healthcare System (VACHS), and determine potential causes for reperfusion therapy delays and develop strategies and a tailored algorithm according to our clinical findings and available institutional resources. Retrospective analysis of patients admitted to the VACHS with a discharge diagnosis of STEMI, from 01/01/2007 until 04/10/2008. A total of 55 patients met inclusion criteria for STEMI diagnosis. Of these, only 30 patients had active indication for reperfusion therapy. Reperfusion therapy was given in 97% of the cases, 69% with PPCI and 31% with fibrinolytic therapy (tenecteplase). In general the selection of reperfusion therapy seemed adherent to ACC/AHA STEMI guidelines. The reperfusion time goal was superior with thrombolytic therapy compared to PPCI, with 43% and 15% respectively. PPCI performed off regular tour of duty was significantly delayed compared to regular day shift, with a mean time of 221 and 113 minutes respectively (p=0.027). Most of the patients presenting with STEMI to the VACHS undergo reperfusion therapy. PPCI was the most frequent selected reperfusion approach. The PPCI time goal was infrequently met. The most significant cause for PPCI delay was related to performance off regular tour of duty. These finding support the implementation of a tailored STEMI reperfusion algorithm
Daniel J. Livorsi
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.
Harada, Nancy D; Traylor, Laural; Rugen, Kathryn Wirtz; Bowen, Judith L; Smith, C Scott; Felker, Bradford; Ludke, Deborah; Tonnu-Mihara, Ivy; Ruberg, Joshua L; Adler, Jayson; Uhl, Kimberly; Gardner, Annette L; Gilman, Stuart C
This paper describes the Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE), a seven-site collaborative project funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) within the Veterans Health Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The CoEPCE was established to fulfill OAA's vision of large-scale transformation of the clinical learning environment within VA primary care settings. This was accomplished by funding new Centers within VA facilities to develop models of interprofessional education (IPE) to teach health professions trainees to deliver high quality interprofessional team-based primary care to Veterans. Using reports and data collected and maintained by the National Coordinating Center over the first six years of the project, we describe program inputs, the multicomponent intervention, activities undertaken to develop the intervention, and short-term outcomes. The findings have implications for lessons learned that can be considered by others seeking large-scale transformation of education within the clinical workplace and the development of interprofessional clinical learning environments. Within the VA, the CoEPCE has laid the foundation for IPE and collaborative practice, but much work remains to disseminate this work throughout the national VA system.
Watkins, Katherine E; Smith, Brad; Akincigil, Ayse; Sorbero, Melony E; Paddock, Susan; Woodroffe, Abigail; Huang, Cecilia; Crystal, Stephen; Pincus, Harold Alan
The quality of mental health care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was compared with care provided to a comparable population treated in the private sector. Two cohorts of individuals with mental disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, and substance use disorders) were created with VA administrative data (N=836,519) and MarketScan data (N=545,484). The authors computed VA and MarketScan national means for seven process-based quality measures related to medication evaluation and management and estimated national-level performance by age and gender. In every case, VA performance was superior to that of the private sector by more than 30%. Compared with individuals in private plans, veterans with schizophrenia or major depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate initial medication treatment, and veterans with depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate long-term treatment. Findings demonstrate the significant advantages that accrue from an organized, nationwide system of care. The much higher performance of the VA has important clinical and policy implications.
Tucker, Phebe; von Schlageter, Margo Shultes; Park, EunMi; Rosenberg, Emily; Benjamin, Ashley B.; Nawar, Ola
Objective: The authors examined the effects of medical student assignment to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center inpatient and outpatient psychiatry clerkship sites versus other university and community sites on the performance outcome measure of National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject examination scores. Methods:…
Ingelse, Kathy; Messecar, Deborah
While the total number of veterans in the U.S. is decreasing overall, the number of women veterans is significantly increasing. There are numerous barriers which keep women veterans from accessing mental health care. One barrier which can impact receiving care is living in a rural area. Veterans in rural areas have access to fewer mental health services than do urban residing veterans, and women veterans in general have less access to mental health care than do their male colleagues. Little is known about rural women veterans and their mental health service needs. Women, who have served in the military, have unique problems related to their service compared to their male colleagues including higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST). This qualitative study investigated use of and barriers to receiving mental health care for rural women veterans. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten women veterans who have reported experiencing problems with either MST, PTSD, or combat trauma. All ten women had utilized mental health services during active-duty military service, and post service, in Veterans Administration (VA) community based-outpatient clinics. Several recurring themes in the women's experience were identified. For all of the women interviewed, a sentinel precipitating event led to seeking mental health services. These precipitating events included episodes of chronic sexual harassment and ridicule, traumatic sexual assaults, and difficult combat experiences. Efforts to report mistreatment were unsuccessful or met with punishment. All the women interviewed reported that they would not have sought services without the help of a supportive peer who encouraged seeking care. Barriers to seeking care included feeling like they were not really a combat veteran (in spite of serving in a combat unit in Iraq); feeling stigmatized by providers and other military personnel, being treated as crazy; and a lack of interest
Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M; Amaral, Ernesto F L; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii; Mendelsohn, Joshua; Ross, Rachel; Rutter, Carolyn M; Weinick, Robin M; Woods, Dulani; Hosek, Susan D; Farmer, Carrie M
The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next decade, and the demographic mix and geographic locations of these veterans will change. While the number of veterans using VA health care has increased over time, demand will level off in the coming years. Veterans have more favorable economic circumstances than non-veterans, but they are also older and more likely to be diagnosed with many health conditions. Not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care. Whether and to what extent an eligible veteran uses VA health care depends on a number of factors, including access to other sources of health care. Veterans who rely on VA health care are older and less healthy than veterans who do not, and the prevalence of costly conditions in this population is projected to increase. Potential changes to VA policy and the context for VA health care, including effects of the Affordable Care Act, could affect demand. Analysis of a range of data sources provided insight into how the veteran population is likely to change in the next decade.
Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M.; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W.; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M.; Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii; Mendelsohn, Joshua; Ross, Rachel; Rutter, Carolyn M.; Weinick, Robin M.; Woods, Dulani; Hosek, Susan D.; Farmer, Carrie M.
Abstract The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next decade, and the demographic mix and geographic locations of these veterans will change. While the number of veterans using VA health care has increased over time, demand will level off in the coming years. Veterans have more favorable economic circumstances than non-veterans, but they are also older and more likely to be diagnosed with many health conditions. Not all veterans are eligible for or use VA health care. Whether and to what extent an eligible veteran uses VA health care depends on a number of factors, including access to other sources of health care. Veterans who rely on VA health care are older and less healthy than veterans who do not, and the prevalence of costly conditions in this population is projected to increase. Potential changes to VA policy and the context for VA health care, including effects of the Affordable Care Act, could affect demand. Analysis of a range of data sources provided insight into how the veteran population is likely to change in the next decade. PMID:28083423
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Geographic Distribution of VA Expenditures (GDX) is an annual report that shows estimated VA expenditures for major programmatic areas by geographic area (state,...
Liu, Winnie; Saxon, David R; McNair, Bryan; Sanagorski, Rebecca; Rasouli, Neda
Rates of diabetes for veterans who receive health care through the Veterans Health Administration are higher than rates in the general population. Furthermore, many veterans live in rural locations, far from Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, thus limiting their ability to readily seek face-to-face endocrinology care for diabetes. Telehealth (TH) technologies present an opportunity to improve access to specialty diabetes care for such patients; however, there is a lack of evidence regarding the ability of TH to improve glycemic control in comparison to traditional face-to-face consultations. This was a retrospective cohort study of all new endocrinology diabetes consultations at the Denver VA Medical Center over a 1-year period. A total of 189 patients were included in the analysis. In all, 85 patients had received face-to-face (FTF) endocrinology consultation for diabetes and 104 patients had received TH consultation. Subjects were mostly males (94.7%) and the mean age was 62.8 ± 10.1 years old. HbA1c improved from 9.76% (9.40% to 10.11%) to 8.55% (8.20% to 8.91%) (P Endocrinology TH consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional FTF visits in a veteran population with diabetes. © 2016 Diabetes Technology Society.
Rubinsky, Anna D; Chen, Cheng; Batki, Steven L; Williams, Emily C; Harris, Alex H S
Patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and another co-occurring psychiatric disorder are a vulnerable population with high symptom severity. Such patients may benefit from a full arsenal of treatment options including pharmacotherapy. Receipt of AUD pharmacotherapy is generally very low despite recommendations that it be made available to every patient with AUD, including those with co-occurring disorders. Little is known about pharmacotherapy rates for AUD compared to other psychiatric disorders among patients with dual diagnoses. This study compared rates of pharmacotherapy for AUD to those for non-substance use psychiatric disorders and tobacco use disorder among patients with dual diagnoses in the U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. VA data were used to identify patients with AUD and another psychiatric disorder in fiscal year 2012, and to estimate the proportion receiving pharmacotherapy for AUD and for each comorbid condition. Among subsets of patients with AUD and co-occurring schizophrenic, bipolar, posttraumatic stress or major depressive disorder, receipt of medications for AUD ranged from 7% to 11%, whereas receipt of medications for the comorbid disorder ranged from 69% to 82%. Among patients with AUD and co-occurring tobacco use disorder, 6% received medication for their AUD and 34% for their tobacco use disorder. Among patients with dual diagnoses, rates of pharmacotherapy for AUD were far lower than those for the comorbid disorders and contrary to evidence that medications for AUD are effective. Additional system-wide implementation efforts to identify and address patient- and provider-level barriers are needed to increase AUD pharmacotherapy in this high-need population. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AO42 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance Information Access AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations governing...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 9 RIN 2900-AN40 Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance--Slayer's Rule Exclusion AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations...
... contracts in order to arrange for the provision of care through the pilot program. See Public Law 110- 387... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Pilot Program of Enhanced Contract Care Authority for Veterans in... Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing Sec. 403 of Public Law (Pub. L.) 110-387, ``Veterans' Mental Health...
... facility, if the veteran: (1) Is in need of nursing home care for a VA adjudicated service-connected...' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) PER DIEM FOR NURSING HOME CARE OF VETERANS IN STATE HOMES Per Diem Payments § 51.41 Per diem for certain veterans based on service-connected disabilities...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Agency Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey) Under OMB Review AGENCY: Board of Veterans.... Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey, VA Form 0745. OMB Control...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2010 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of public availability... Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is publishing...
... (Agreement To Train on the Job Disabled Veterans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... to assure that on the job training establishments are providing veterans with the appropriate... information technology. Title: Agreement to Train on the Job Disabled Veterans, VA Form 28- 1904. OMB Control...
Schonberger, Robert B; Dai, Feng; Brandt, Cynthia; Burg, Matthew M
Among a national cohort of surgical patients, the authors analyzed the association between medical follow-up during the first postsurgical year and survival during the second postsurgical year. Retrospective cohort study. US Veterans Hospitals. The study included adults who received surgical care in any Veterans Health Administration facility from 2006 to 2011 who were discharged within 10 days of surgery and who survived for at least 1 year postoperatively. None. The association between the receipt of nonsurgical ambulatory medical care during the first postoperative year and the hazard of death during postsurgical year 2 was measured. Among 236,200 veterans, 93.2% received a nonsurgical medical follow-up visit in postsurgical year 1; of those, 5.1% died during postsurgical year 2. This compares with 9.4% year-2 mortality among patients lacking year-1 medical follow-up (p<0.0001). After adjustment for confounders, medical follow-up in postoperative year 1 again was associated with a significantly lower hazard of death in postoperative year 2 (hazard ratio 0.71; 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.78). Sensitivity analyses examining patient subgroups stratified by procedural specialty demonstrated comparable findings. The results were robust under a variety of simulated scenarios of unmeasured confounding. Within a national cohort of US veterans who presented for surgery, those who received nonsurgical ambulatory follow-up during the first postoperative year demonstrated lower all-cause mortality in the subsequent postoperative year than those who did not receive the same type of follow-up care. Interventions focused on postoperative care coordination of outpatient medical follow-up may have the potential to improve long-term postoperative survival. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.
... for emergency services for nonservice-connected conditions in non-VA facilities. 17.1000 Section 17.1000 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL Payment Or Reimbursement for Emergency Services for Nonservice-Connected Conditions in Non-Va Facilities § 17.1000 Payment...
Hussey, Peter S.; Ringel, Jeanne S.; Ahluwalia, Sangeeta; Price, Rebecca Anhang; Buttorff, Christine; Concannon, Thomas W.; Lovejoy, Susan L.; Martsolf, Grant R.; Rudin, Robert S.; Schultz, Dana; Sloss, Elizabeth M.; Watkins, Katherine E.; Waxman, Daniel; Bauman, Melissa; Briscombe, Brian; Broyles, James R.; Burns, Rachel M.; Chen, Emily K.; DeSantis, Amy Soo Jin; Ecola, Liisa; Fischer, Shira H.; Friedberg, Mark W.; Gidengil, Courtney A.; Ginsburg, Paul B.; Gulden, Timothy; Gutierrez, Carlos Ignacio; Hirshman, Samuel; Huang, Christina Y.; Kandrack, Ryan; Kress, Amii; Leuschner, Kristin J.; MacCarthy, Sarah; Maksabedian, Ervant J.; Mann, Sean; Matthews, Luke Joseph; May, Linnea Warren; Mishra, Nishtha; Miyashiro, Lisa; Muchow, Ashley N.; Nelson, Jason; Naranjo, Diana; O'Hanlon, Claire E.; Pillemer, Francesca; Predmore, Zachary; Ross, Rachel; Ruder, Teague; Rutter, Carolyn M.; Uscher-Pines, Lori; Vaiana, Mary E.; Vesely, Joseph V.; Hosek, Susan D.; Farmer, Carrie M.
Abstract The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) current and projected health care capabilities and resources. An examination of data from a variety of sources, along with a survey of VA medical facility leaders, revealed the breadth and depth of VA resources and capabilities: fiscal resources, workforce and human resources, physical infrastructure, interorganizational relationships, and information resources. The assessment identified barriers to the effective use of these resources and capabilities. Analysis of data on access to VA care and the quality of that care showed that almost all veterans live within 40 miles of a VA health facility, but fewer have access to VA specialty care. Veterans usually receive care within 14 days of their desired appointment date, but wait times vary considerably across VA facilities. VA has long played a national leadership role in measuring the quality of health care. The assessment showed that VA health care quality was as good or better on most measures compared with other health systems, but quality performance lagged at some VA facilities. VA will require more resources and capabilities to meet a projected increase in veterans' demand for VA care over the next five years. Options for increasing capacity include accelerated hiring, full nurse practice authority, and expanded use of telehealth. PMID:28083424
Sayer, Nina A; Rosen, Craig S; Bernardy, Nancy C; Cook, Joan M; Orazem, Robert J; Chard, Kathleen M; Mohr, David C; Kehle-Forbes, Shannon M; Eftekhari, Afsoon; Crowley, Jill; Ruzek, Josef I; Smith, Brandy N; Schnurr, Paula P
Evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD are often underused. The objective of this mixed-method study was to identify organizational and clinic factors that promote high levels of reach of evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD 10 years into their dissemination throughout the Veterans Health Administration. We conducted 96 individual interviews with staff from ten outpatient PTSD teams at nine sites that differed in reach of evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD. Major themes associated with reach included clinic mission, clinic leader and staff engagement, clinic operations, staff perceptions, and the practice environment. Strategies to improve reach of evidence-based psychotherapies should attend to organizational and team-level factors.
Sedlander, Erica; Barboza, Katherine C; Jensen, Ashley; Skursky, Nicole; Bennett, Katelyn; Sherman, Scott; Schwartz, Mark
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) is investing considerable resources into providing remote management care to patients for disease prevention and management. Remote management includes online patient portals, e-mails between patients and providers, follow-up phone calls, and home health devices to monitor health status. However, little is known about patients' attitudes and preferences for this type of care. This qualitative study was conducted to better understand patient preferences for receiving remote care. Ten focus groups were held comprising 77 patients with hypertension or tobacco use history at two VA medical centers. Discussion questions focused on experience with current VA remote management efforts and preferences for receiving additional care between outpatient visits. Most participants were receptive to remote management for referrals, appointment reminders, resource information, and motivational and emotional support between visits, but described challenges with some technological tools. Participants reported that remote management should be personalized and tailored to individual needs. They expressed preferences for frequency, scope, continuity of provider, and mode of communication between visits. Most participants were open to nonclinicians contacting them as long as they had direct connection to their medical team. Some participants expressed a preference for a licensed medical professional. All groups raised concerns around confidentiality and privacy of healthcare information. Female Veterans expressed a desire for gender-sensitive care and an interest in complementary and alternative medicine. The findings and specific recommendations from this study can improve existing remote management programs and inform the design of future efforts.
Shireman, Paula K; Rasmussen, Todd E; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Pugh, Mary Jo
Limb injuries comprise 50-60% of U.S. Service member's casualties of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Combat-related vascular injuries are present in 12% of this cohort, a rate 5 times higher than in prior wars. Improvements in medical and surgical trauma care, including initial in-theatre limb salvage approaches (IILS) have resulted in improved survival and fewer amputations, however, the long-term outcomes such as morbidity, functional decline, and risk for late amputation of salvaged limbs using current process of care have not been studied. The long-term care of these injured warfighters poses a significant challenge to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA Vascular Injury Study (VAVIS): VA-DoD Extremity Injury Outcomes Collaborative, funded by the VA, Health Services Research and Development Service, is a longitudinal cohort study of Veterans with vascular extremity injuries. Enrollment will begin April, 2015 and continue for 3 years. Individuals with a validated extremity vascular injury in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry will be contacted and will complete a set of validated demographic, social, behavioral, and functional status measures during interview and online/ mailed survey. Primary outcome measures will: 1) Compare injury, demographic and geospatial characteristics of patients with IILS and identify late vascular surgery related limb complications and health care utilization in Veterans receiving VA vs. non-VA care, 2) Characterize the preventive services received by individuals with vascular repair and related outcomes, and 3) Describe patient-reported functional outcomes in Veterans with traumatic vascular limb injuries. This study will provide key information about the current process of care for Active Duty Service members and Veterans with polytrauma/vascular injuries at risk for persistent morbidity and late amputation. The results of this study will be the first step for clinicians in VA and
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Damron-Rodriguez, JoAnn; White-Kazemipour, Whitney; Washington, Donna; Villa, Valentine M; Dhanani, Shawkat; Harada, Nancy D
Diverse veteran's perspectives on the accessibility and acceptability of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health services are presented. The qualitative methodology uses 16 focus groups (N = 178) stratified by war cohort (World War II and Korean Conflict versus Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War) and four ethnic/racial categories (African American, Asian American, European American, Hispanic American). Five themes emerged regarding veterans' health care expectations: (1) better information regarding available services, (2) sense of deserved benefits, (3) concern about welfare stigma, (4) importance of physician attentiveness, and (5) staff respect for patients as veterans. Although veterans' ethnic/racial backgrounds differentiated their military experiences, it was the informants' veteran identity that framed what they expected of VA health services. Accessibility and acceptability of VA health care is related to veterans' perspectives of the nature of their entitlement to service. Provider education and customer service strategies should consider the identified factors to increase access to VA as well as improve veterans' acceptance of the care.
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
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
Newins, Amie R; Wilson, Sarah M; Hopkins, Tiffany A; Straits-Troster, Kristy; Kudler, Harold; Calhoun, Patrick S
The study investigated barriers to the utilization of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care services among female veterans who served in served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including reasons for not choosing VA health care, reasons for not seeking mental health treatment, and types of desired VA services. Female respondents to a survey assessing Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans' needs and health (N = 186) completed measures of military history, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, barriers to VA health care, and preferences for services. Barriers to use of VA health care endorsed by female veterans included receiving care elsewhere and logistical issues. Barriers to utilization of mental health services among female veterans who screened positive for depression or posttraumatic stress disorder included negative treatment biases and concerns about stigma, privacy, and cost. Female veterans endorsed preferences for services related to eligibility education, nonprimary care physical health services, vocational assistance, and a few behavioral/mental health services. Findings highlight the need for ongoing outreach and education regarding eligibility and types of resources for physical and mental health problems experienced by female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as inform types of VA programming and services desired by female veterans. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Tsan, Min-Fu; Nguyen, Yen; Brooks, Robert
We compared the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) quality indicator data of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities using their own VA institutional review boards (IRBs) with those using affiliated university IRBs. From a total of 25 performance metrics, 13 did not demonstrate statistically significant differences, while 12 reached statistically significance differences. Among the 12 with statistically significant differences, facilities using their own VA IRBs performed better on four of the metrics, while facilities using affiliate IRBs performed better on eight. However, the absolute difference was small (0.2-2.7%) in all instances, suggesting that they were of no practical significance. We conclude that it is acceptable for facilities to use their own VA IRBs or affiliated university IRBs as their IRBs of record.
Association of Admission to Veterans Affairs Hospitals vs Non-Veterans Affairs Hospitals With Mortality and Readmission Rates Among Older Men Hospitalized With Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, or Pneumonia.
Nuti, Sudhakar V; Qin, Li; Rumsfeld, John S; Ross, Joseph S; Masoudi, Frederick A; Normand, Sharon-Lise T; Murugiah, Karthik; Bernheim, Susannah M; Suter, Lisa G; Krumholz, Harlan M
Little contemporary information is available about comparative performance between Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals, particularly related to mortality and readmission rates, 2 important outcomes of care. To assess and compare mortality and readmission rates among men in VA and non-VA hospitals. Cross-sectional analysis involving male Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 65 years or older hospitalized between 2010 and 2013 in VA and non-VA acute care hospitals for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), or pneumonia using the Medicare Standard Analytic Files and Enrollment Database together with VA administrative claims data. To avoid confounding geographic effects with health care system effects, we studied VA and non-VA hospitals within the same metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Hospitalization in a VA or non-VA hospital in MSAs that contained at least 1 VA and non-VA hospital. For each condition, 30-day risk-standardized mortality rates and risk-standardized readmission rates for VA and non-VA hospitals. Mean aggregated within-MSA differences in mortality and readmission rates were also assessed. We studied 104 VA and 1513 non-VA hospitals, with each condition-outcome analysis cohort for VA and non-VA hospitals containing at least 7900 patients (men; ≥65 years), in 92 MSAs. Mortality rates were lower in VA hospitals than non-VA hospitals for AMI (13.5% vs 13.7%, P = .02; -0.2 percentage-point difference) and HF (11.4% vs 11.9%, P = .008; -0.5 percentage-point difference), but higher for pneumonia (12.6% vs 12.2%, P = .045; 0.4 percentage-point difference). In contrast, readmission rates were higher in VA hospitals for all 3 conditions (AMI, 17.8% vs 17.2%, 0.6 percentage-point difference; HF, 24.7% vs 23.5%, 1.2 percentage-point difference; pneumonia, 19.4% vs 18.7%, 0.7 percentage-point difference, all P percentage-point difference, -0.22; 95% CI, -0.40 to -0.04) and HF (-0.63; 95% CI, -0.95 to -0.31), and
Department of Veterans Affairs — The Department of Veterans Affairs Enterprise Data Inventory accounts for all of the datasets used in the agency's information systems. This entry was approved for...
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. Yesterday on D-Day, the 74th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, President Trump signed the VA Mission Act. The law directs the VA to combine a number of existing private-care programs, including the so-called Choice program, which was created in 2014 after veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA (1. During the signing Trump touted the new law saying “there has never been anything like this in the history of the VA” and saying that veterans “can go right outside [the VA] to a private doctor”-but can they? Although the bill authorizes private care, it appropriates no money to pay for it. Although a bipartisan plan to fund the expansion is proposed in the House, the White House has been lobbying Republicans to vote the plan down (2. Instead Trump has been asking Congress to pay for veteran’s programs by cutting spending elsewhere (2. We in Arizona are …
Espinosa-Viñals, Carlos; García-Rivera, Dagmar; Rodríguez Noda, Laura; Amador Gómez, Aylín; Nicot, Milagros; Valle, Orialys; Núñez, Juan F; Martin, Yanet; Santana, Darielys; Valdés, Yury; Vérez Bencomo, Vicente
Finlay Vaccine Institute is developing a new heptavalent conjugate vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae. As infants are the target population, PCV7-TT will be necessarily co-administered with other vaccines, and then, the interactions represent a concern. The aim of this work is to evaluate the possible immunological interferences in rabbits as animal experimental model. Rabbits were immunized with Heberpenta®-L, VA-MENGOC-BC®, and PCV7-TT. Blood samples were taken fourteen days after final immunization for obtaining sera. Antibody responses to all antigens were evaluated by indirect ELISA. Functional responses against diphtheria and tetanus toxoid were done by in vivo seroneutralization assay. No interference was observed by PCV7-TT over the humoral response against diphtheria toxoid and meningococcal antigens (p > 0.05). A nonstatistically significant reduction (p > 0.05) was observed in the case of the humoral response against Haemophilus influenzae type b oligosaccharide. Concomitant administration of Heberpenta®-L and PCV7-TT increased twice the antibody titers as well as the protective activity against tetanus toxoid, but no statistical differences were found. The co-administration did not induce a reduction in the percent of responders against pneumococcal polysaccharides contained in PCV7-TT vaccine. Concomitant administration of PCV7-TT did not induce interferences over the evaluated antigens of Heberpenta®-L and VA-MENGOC-BC®. Also, no interference was observed on the immune response elicited by PCV7-TT. These preclinical results suggest that PCV7-TT will not result in a serious problem over the immune response elicited by the licensed vaccines Heberpenta®-L and VA-MENGOC-BC®. However, the clinical interference could be strictly studied during clinical trials in infants.
Turvey, Carolyn L; Zulman, Donna M; Nazi, Kim M; Wakefield, Bonnie J; Woods, Susan S; Hogan, Timothy P; Weaver, Frances M; McInnes, Keith
Personal health records provide patients with ownership of their health information and allow them to share information with multiple healthcare providers. However, the usefulness of these records relies on patients understanding and using their records appropriately. My HealtheVet is a Web-based patient portal containing a personal health record administered by the Veterans Health Administration. The goal of this study was to explore veterans' interest and use of My HealtheVet to transfer and share information as well as to identify opportunities to increase veteran use of the My HealtheVet functions. Two waves of data were collected in 2010 through an American Customer Satisfaction Index Web-based survey. A random sample of veterans using My HealtheVet was invited to participate in the survey conducted on the My HealtheVet portal through a Web-based pop-up browser window. Wave One results (n=25,898) found that 41% of veterans reported printing information, 21% reported saving information electronically, and only 4% ever sent information from My HealtheVet to another person. In Wave Two (n=18,471), 30% reported self-entering medication information, with 18% sharing this information with their Veterans Affairs (VA) provider and 9.6% sharing with their non-VA provider. Although veterans are transferring important medical information from their personal health records, increased education and awareness are needed to increase use. Personal health records have the potential to improve continuity of care. However, more research is needed on both the barriers to adoption as well as the actual impact on patient health outcomes and well-being.
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.
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
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 hospitalization rates for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (4.42 vs 3.68 quarterly admissions for veterans 65 years or older per 1000 patients; P < .001), and lower emergency department use (188 vs 245 visits per 1000 patients; P < .001). The extent of PCMH implementation, as measured by the Pi2, was highly associated with important outcomes for both
Dichter, Melissa E; Sorrentino, Anneliese; Bellamy, Scarlett; Medvedeva, Elina; Roberts, Christopher B; Iverson, Katherine M
Experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) can lead to mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and unhealthy substance use. Women seen in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) face high rates of both IPV and mental health morbidity. This study aimed to identify associations between recent IPV experience and mental health diagnoses among women VHA patients. We examined medical records data for 8,888 female veteran and nonveteran VHA patients across 13 VHA facilities who were screened for past-year IPV between April, 2014 and April, 2016. Compared with women who screened negative for past-year IPV (IPV-), those who screened positive (IPV+; 8.7%) were more than twice as likely to have a mental health diagnosis, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.95, 2.64]; or more than two mental health diagnoses, AOR = 2.29, 95% CI [1.93, 2.72]). Screening IPV+ was also associated with significantly higher odds of each type of mental health morbidity (AOR range = 1.85-3.19) except psychoses. Over half (53.5%) of the women who screened IPV+ had a mental health diagnosis, compared with fewer than one-third (32.6%) of those who screened IPV-. Each subtype of IPV (psychological, physical, and sexual violence) was significantly associated with having a mental health diagnosis (AOR range = 2.25-2.37) or comorbidity (AOR range = 2.17-2.78). Associations remained when adjusting for military sexual trauma and combat trauma among the veteran subsample. These findings highlight the mental health burden associated with past-year IPV among female VHA patients and underscore the need to address psychological and sexual IPV, in addition to physical violence. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for interoperability...
Jonathan M Olson
Full Text Available Jonathan M Olson1, Molly T Hogan2, Leonard M Pogach3, Mangala Rajan3, Gregory J Raugi4, Gayle E Reiber51University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Healthcare System, Center for Healthcare Knowledge Management, East Orange, NJ, USA; 4Division of Dermatology, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA, USA; 5Research and Development, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, WA, USAAbstract: The objective of this study was to examine differences in self-reported diabetes foot care education, self management behaviors, and barriers to good foot care among veterans with diabetes by race and ethnicity. Data was collected using the Veterans Health Administration Footcare Survey, a validated tool that assessed demographic, general health, diabetes and foot self-care information, barriers to foot self-care, receipt of professional foot care, and satisfaction with current care. We mailed surveys to a random sample of patients with diabetes from eight VA medical centers. Study participants were 81% White; 13% African American; 4% Asian, and 2% American Indian and Pacific Islanders. The majority of respondents felt that they did not know enough about foot self-care. There were large gaps between self-reported knowledge and actual foot care practices, even among those who reported “knowing enough” on a given topic. There were significant differences in self-reported foot care behaviors and education by race and ethnicity. These findings document the need for culturally-specific self-management education to address unique cultural preferences and barriers to care.Keywords: diabetes mellitus, diabetic foot, patient self-management, ethnic groups, education
Wright, Brad; OʼShea, Amy M J; Glasgow, Justin M; Ayyagari, Padmaja; Vaughan-Sarrazin, Mary
Recent studies have documented that a significant increase in the use of observation stays along with extensive variation in patterns of use across hospitals.The objective of this longitudinal observational study was to examine the extent to which patient, hospital, and local health system characteristics explain variation in observation stay rates across Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals.Our data came from years 2005 to 2012 of the nationwide VHA Medical SAS inpatient and enrollment files, American Hospital Association Survey, and Area Health Resource File. We used these data to estimate linear regression models of hospitals' observation stay rates as a function of hospital, patient, and local health system characteristics, while controlling for time trends and Veterans Integrated Service Network level fixed effects.We found that observation stay rates are inversely related to hospital bed size and that hospitals with a greater proportion of younger or rural patients have higher observation stay rates. Observation stay rates were nearly 15 percentage points higher in 2012 than 2005.Although we identify several characteristics associated with variation in VHA hospital observation stay rates, many factors remain unmeasured.
... Collection Activity (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Under OMB Review AGENCY.... Abstract: VA's top priority is the prevention of Veterans suicide. It is imperative to reach these at-risk... families' awareness of VA's suicide prevention and mental health support services. In addition, the surveys...
Hessinger, Jonathan D; London, Melissa J; Baer, Sheila M
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has continued to emphasize the availability, access, and utilization of high quality mental health care particularly in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While dissemination and availability of evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) have only increased, treatment engagement and utilization have continued to be oft-noted challenges. Administrators, researchers, and individual clinicians have continued to develop and explore novel systemic and individualized interventions to address these issues. Pilot studies utilizing shared decision-making models to aid in veteran treatment selection have demonstrated the impact this approach may have on selection of and engagement in EBPs for PTSD. Based on these promising studies, a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient PTSD clinic began to implement a shared-decision making intervention as part of a clinic redesign. In seeking to evaluate the impact of this intervention, archival clinical data from 1,056 veterans were reviewed by the authors for rates of treatment selection, EBP initiation, session attendance, and EBP completion. Time elapsed from consult until EBP initiation was also computed by the authors. These variables were then compared on the basis of whether the veteran received the shared-decision making intervention. Veterans who received the intervention were more likely to select and thus initiate an EBP for PTSD sooner than veterans who did not receive this intervention. Veterans, whether receiving the intervention or not, did not differ in therapy session attendance and completion. Implications of these findings and directions for future study are further discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Huizinga, Mary Margaret; Roumie, Christianne L; Greevy, Robert A; Liu, Xulei; Murff, Harvey J; Hung, Adriana M; Grijalva, Carlos G; Griffin, Marie R
Systematic reviews have reported that sulfonylureas and metformin were as effective in reducing hemoglobin A1c (A1C) as other oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs) in clinical trial populations. Data on comparative effectiveness of OADs in other populations is limited. The objective was to compare the effectiveness of incident OAD regimens in reducing A1C and to compare the effect of OADs on body mass index (BMI). Retrospective cohort study using data from the Veterans Affairs Mid-South network (2001-2007). Of 18 205 veterans who filled 19 511 incident OAD prescriptions, 2096 had complete covariates, persisted on their incident treatment for 12 months, and had baseline and 12-month A1C values. For the BMI analysis, 2484 patients had complete information. Incident OAD regimens included metformin and sulfonylureas. Primary outcomes were 12-month A1C and BMI, which were compared controlling for demographic characteristics, baseline A1C and BMI, psychiatric diagnoses, and healthcare utilization. Median [interquartile range (IQR)] A1C decreased from 7.1% [6.5, 7.8] at baseline to 6.5% [6.0, 7.0] at 12 months. Twelve month-A1C in sulfonylurea users was similar to metformin users. The median [IQR] BMI decreased from 31.1 [27.8, 34.9] to 30.7 [27.5, 34.5] kg/m(2). Sulfonylureas were associated with a significantly higher 12-month BMI than metformin (12-month adjusted mean difference: 1.05 kg/m(2), 95%CI: 0.90-1.20, p use of metformin as first choice of OAD because of similar glycemic control but improved BMI when compared to sulfonylureas. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
for veterans who deployed to the Gulf War in 1990 or thereafter. However, VA has not made available data on remuneration for those conditions. 31...Associate Director for Economic Analysis, Congressional Budget Office, before the Subcommittee on Social Security of the House Committee on Ways and...program remunerates veterans for their service-connected medical conditions. In addition, determination of disability by VA is a first step toward
Barnett, Mitchell J; Perry, Paul J; Langstaff, Jodi D; Kaboli, Peter J
Inappropriate prescribing in the elderly is common, but rates across different health care systems and the impact of formulary restrictions are not well described. To determine if rates of inappropriate medication use in the elderly differ between the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system and the private sector Medicare health maintenance organization (HMO) patients. A cross-sectional study design compared administrative pharmacy claims from 10 distinct geographic regions in the United States in the VA health care system and 10 analogous regions for patients enrolled in Medicare HMOs. The cohorts included 123,633 VA and 157,517 Medicare HMO patients aged 65 years and older. Inappropriate medication use was identified using the Zhan modification of the Beers criteria, which categorizes 33 potentially inappropriate drugs into 3 major classifications: "always avoid," "rarely appropriate," and "some indications." Comparisons between the VA health care system and the private sector Medicare HMO were performed for overall differences and stratified by gender and age. The drug formulary status of the Zhan-criteria drugs was known for the VA health system but not for the Medicare HMO patients. Compared with private sector patients, VA patients were less likely to receive any inappropriate medication (21% vs. 29%, P private sector for males (21% vs. 24%, P private sector Medicare HMOs, elderly VA patients were less likely to receive medications defined by the Zhan criteria as potentially inappropriate. A restrictive formulary that excludes 12 of the 33 Zhan criteria drugs may be a factor in the reduction of undesired prescribing patterns in elderly populations.
...--Federalism AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Direct final rule. SUMMARY: The Department of... that they are submitted in response to ``RIN 2900-AO85-VA Dental Insurance Program-- Federalism... add preemption language in accordance with the discussion above. Executive Order 13132, Federalism...
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); and the National Health Interview Survey ( NHIS ). As of July 1, 2010, VA has submitted to...NHANES and NHIS staff specific questions that if answered positively, will identify Veteran study subjects beginning in 2011 in both these National...several discussions with investigators on the NHANES and NHIS . Staffs from both surveys are willing to include Veteran-specific questions and to plan
... Joint Disability Evaluation Board Claim): Activity under OMB Review AGENCY: Veterans Benefits... . Please refer to ``OMB Control No. 2900-0704.'' SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: VA/DOD Joint Disability Evaluation Board Claim, VA Form 21- 0819. OMB Control Number: 2900-0704. Type of Review: Extension of a...
... signature by mark or thumbprint? 3.2130 Section 3.2130 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF... of This Title General § 3.2130 Will VA accept a signature by mark or thumbprint? VA will accept signatures by mark or thumbprint if: (a) They are witnessed by two people who sign their names and give their...
... poster. 803.7000 Section 803.7000 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS... Improper Business Practices 803.7000 Display of the VA Hotline poster. (a) Under the circumstances described in paragraph (b) of this section, a contractor must display prominently a VA Hotline poster...
Dersh Jeffrey J
Full Text Available Abstract Background The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA recently linked antiepileptic drug (AED exposure to suicide-related behaviors based on meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. We examined the relationship between suicide-related behaviors and different AEDs in older veterans receiving new AED monotherapy from the Veterans Health Administration (VA, controlling for potential confounders. Methods VA and Medicare databases were used to identify veterans 66 years and older, who received a care from the VA between 1999 and 2004, and b an incident AED (monotherapy prescription. Previously validated ICD-9-CM codes were used to identify suicidal ideation or behavior (suicide-related behaviors cases, epilepsy, and other conditions previously associated with suicide-related behaviors. Each case was matched to controls based on prior history of suicide-related behaviors, year of AED prescription, and epilepsy status. Results The strongest predictor of suicide-related behaviors (N = 64; Controls N = 768 based on conditional logistic regression analysis was affective disorder (depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Odds Ratio 4.42, 95% CI 2.30 to 8.49 diagnosed before AED treatment. Increased suicide-related behaviors were not associated with individual AEDs, including the most commonly prescribed AED in the US - phenytoin. Conclusion Our extensive diagnostic and treatment data demonstrated that the strongest predictor of suicide-related behaviors for older patients newly treated with AED monotherapy was a previous diagnosis of affective disorder. Additional, research using a larger sample is needed to clearly determine the risk of suicide-related behaviors among less commonly used AEDs.
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. This morning the lead article in the Arizona Republic was a report blaming as many as 40 deaths at the Phoenix VA on long waits (1. Yesterday, Rep. Jeff Miller, the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, held a hearing titled “A Continued Assessment of Delays in VA Medical Care and Preventable Veteran Deaths.” “It appears as though there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care,” Miller announced to a stunned audience. The committee has spent months investigating patient-care scandals and allegations at VA facilities in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Miami and other cities. said that dozens of VA hospital patients in Phoenix may have died while awaiting medical care. He went on to say that staff investigators have evidence that the Phoenix VA Health Care System keeps two sets of records to conceal prolonged waits that patients must endure for ...
First, veterans would send a notice of disagreement to their facility. Then the facility is to generate a statement of case (SOC). Lastly, the...an area agency on aging, or a state agency or a center for independent living. VA employees are excluded from providing care or services under VCP...unless the provider is an employee of VA, and is not acting within the scope of such employment while providing hospital care or medical services
... health care services for veterans).'' Proposed Sec. 17.121(a) would establish the clinical decision maker... practice to utilize the services of health care professionals, such as nurses, for purposes of clinical review. For this reason, establishing the clinical decision maker as a ``designated VA clinician'' would...
Walker, Michael J.
The Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) administered by the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration arranges training and placement for disabled veterans in local job service offices. These employees then assist in placing other disabled veterans on jobs. Some typical DVOP success stories are described. (MF)
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 ...
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 ...
... occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions at the conclusion of World War II. In addition, the advisory board will assist the VA and DTRA in communicating with...; ``Quality Review of Radiation Cases at the Jackson VARO'', by VA STAR Representative; ``Update on the...
to veterans’ benefits, including claims for service connection, increased disability ratings, pension, insurance benefits, educational benefits...accompanying the budget request provides few details regarding the data and assumptions that were modified in the updated actuarial model projection...Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans who meet certain eligibility criteria. Benefits to veterans range from disability compensation and pensions
Osborne, Lauren K.
Unemployment continues to be a growing concern among both civilian and veteran populations. As 14% of the veteran population currently identify as disabled because of service, this population's need for specialized vocational rehabilitation is increasing. Specifically in Veterans Affairs (VA) Blind Rehabilitation Centers (BRC) where holistic…
... (Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment) Activity; Comment... Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and their families. DATES: Written comments and...: Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans Health Needs Assessment, VA Form 10-21091. OMB...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related to Gulf...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses; Notice... Advisory Committee Act) that the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses will meet on... Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War. The Committee will review VA program activities related...
... Collection (Veteran Suicide Prevention Online Quantitative Surveys) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... prevention of suicide among Veterans and their families. DATES: Written comments and recommendations on the.... Abstract: VA's top priority is the prevention of Veterans suicide. It is imperative to reach these at-risk...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0548] Proposed Information Collection (Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction With Hearing Survey Card) Activity; Comment Request AGENCY... information technology. Title: Board of Veterans' Appeals Customer Satisfaction with Hearing Survey Card, VA...
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Social security numbers... Affairs Records § 1.575 Social security numbers in veterans' benefits matters. (a) Except as provided in... because of refusal to disclose to the Department of Veterans Affairs a social security number. (b) VA...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Harbor View Room at the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa, Florida...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Lafayette Park Room at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1001 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC. On February...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act... Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The...
... (Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Benefits.../or pension benefit sought. DATES: Written comments and recommendations on the proposed collection of... information technology. Titles: a. Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension, VA Form 21-526. b...
Mody, Lona; Greene, M. Todd; Saint, Sanjay; Meddings, Jennifer; Trautner, Barbara W.; Wald, Heidi L.; Crnich, Christopher; Banaszak-Holl, Jane; McNamara, Sara E.; King, Beth J.; Hogikyan, Robert; Edson, Barbara; Krein, Sarah L.
OBJECTIVE The impact of healthcare system integration on infection prevention programs is unknown. Using catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention as an example, we hypothesize that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes have a more robust infection prevention infrastructure due to integration and centralization compared with non-VA nursing homes. SETTING VA and non-VA nursing homes participating in the “AHRQ Safety Program for Long-term Care” collaborative. METHODS Nursing homes provided baseline information about their infection prevention programs to assess strengths and gaps related to CAUTI prevention. RESULTS A total of 353 (71%; 47 VA, 306 non-VA) of 494 nursing homes from 41 states responded. VA nursing homes reported more hours/week devoted to infection prevention-related activities (31 vs. 12 hours, P<.001), and were more likely to have committees that reviewed healthcare-associated infections. Compared with non-VA facilities, a higher percentage of VA nursing homes reported tracking CAUTI rates (94% vs. 66%, P<.001), sharing CAUTI data with leadership (94% vs. 70%, P=.014) and nursing personnel (85% vs. 56%, P=.003). However, fewer VA nursing homes reported having policies for appropriate catheter use (64% vs. 81%, P=.004) and catheter insertion (83% vs. 94%, P=.004). CONCLUSIONS Among nursing homes participating in an AHRQ-funded collaborative, VA and non-VA nursing homes differed in their approach to CAUTI prevention. Best practices from both settings should be applied universally to create an optimal infection prevention program within emerging integrated healthcare systems. PMID:27917728
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. Yesterday, Dr. Sam Foote, the initial whistle-blower at the Phoenix VA, criticized the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general's (VAOIG report on delays in healthcare at the Phoenix VA at a hearing before the House Committee of Veterans Affairs (1,2. Foote accused the VAOIG of minimizing bad patient outcomes and deliberately confusing readers, downplaying the impact of delayed health care at Phoenix VA facilities. "At its best, this report is a whitewash. At its worst, it is a feeble attempt at a cover-up," said Foote. Foote earlier this year revealed that as many as 40 Phoenix patients died while awaiting care and that the Phoenix VA maintained secret waiting lists while under-reporting patient wait times for appointments. His disclosures triggered the national VA scandal. Richard Griffin, the acting VAOIG, said that nearly 300 patients died while on backlogged wait lists in the Phoenix VA Health Care System, a much higher ...
Sørensen, Birgitte Refslund
provided the soldier by rank, function, and mission vanishes and translates into an imperative ontological question about possible veteran subjectivity. In this article I argue that the veterans’ struggle to create postdeployment, postmilitary social identities entails profound secrecy work where past...... experiences, present conditions, and future ambitions are embedded in webs of concealment, disclosure, exposure, deception, lying, silence, and so forth, only partially controlled by the veterans themselves. The intricacies and anxieties associated with secrecy work are discussed in relation to three veteran...
Singh, Jasvinder A.
Introduction Epidemiologic studies usually use database diagnoses or patient self-report to identify disease cohorts, but no previous research has examined the extent to which self-report of chronic disease agrees with database diagnoses in a Veterans Affairs (VA) health care setting. Methods All veterans who had a medical care visit from October 1, 1996, through May 31, 1998, at any of the Veterans Integrated Service Network 13 facilities were surveyed about physician diagnosis of chronic ob...
Goffman, Rachel M; Harris, Shannon L; May, Jerrold H; Milicevic, Aleksandra S; Monte, Robert J; Myaskovsky, Larissa; Rodriguez, Keri L; Tjader, Youxu C; Vargas, Dominic L
Missed appointments reduce the efficiency of the health care system and negatively impact access to care for all patients. Identifying patients at risk for missing an appointment could help health care systems and providers better target interventions to reduce patient no-shows. Our aim was to develop and test a predictive model that identifies patients that have a high probability of missing their outpatient appointments. Demographic information, appointment characteristics, and attendance history were drawn from the existing data sets from four Veterans Affairs health care facilities within six separate service areas. Past attendance behavior was modeled using an empirical Markov model based on up to 10 previous appointments. Using logistic regression, we developed 24 unique predictive models. We implemented the models and tested an intervention strategy using live reminder calls placed 24, 48, and 72 hours ahead of time. The pilot study targeted 1,754 high-risk patients, whose probability of missing an appointment was predicted to be at least 0.2. Our results indicate that three variables were consistently related to a patient's no-show probability in all 24 models: past attendance behavior, the age of the appointment, and having multiple appointments scheduled on that day. After the intervention was implemented, the no-show rate in the pilot group was reduced from the expected value of 35% to 12.16% (p value < 0.0001). The predictive model accurately identified patients who were more likely to miss their appointments. Applying the model in practice enables clinics to apply more intensive intervention measures to high-risk patients. Reprint & Copyright © 2017 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
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...
Cope, Jacqueline R; Yano, Elizabeth M; Lee, Martin L; Washington, Donna L
OBJECTIVE To describe the variation in provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception among Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. DESIGN Key informant, cross-sectional survey of 166 VA medical facilities. Data from public use data sets and VA administrative databases were linked to facility data to further characterize their contextual environments. PARTICIPANTS All VA hospital-based and affiliated community-based outpatient clinics delivering services to at least 400 unique women during fiscal year 2000. MEASUREMENTS Onsite availability of hormonal contraceptive prescription and intrauterine device (IUD) placement. RESULTS Ninety-seven percent of facilities offered onsite prescription and management of hormonal contraception whereas 63% offered placement of IUDs. After adjusting for facility caseload of reproductive-aged women, 3 organizational factors were independently associated with onsite IUD placement: (1) onsite gynecologist (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 20.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.02 to 58.74; Pwomen's health training to other clinicians (adjusted OR, 3.40; 95% CI 1.19 to 9.76; P=.02). CONCLUSIONS VA's provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception is in accordance with community standards, although onsite availability is not universal. Although contraception is a crucial component of a woman's health maintenance, her ability to obtain certain contraceptives from the facility where she obtains her primary care is largely influenced by the availability of a gynecologist. Further research is needed to determine how fragmentation of women's care into reproductive and nonreproductive services impacts access to contraception and the incidence of unintended pregnancy. PMID:16637943
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false VA Form 10-0144A-Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws. 58.17 Section 58.17 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) FORMS § 58.17 VA Form 10-0144A—Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal...
Fischer, Ellen P; Sherman, Michelle D; McSweeney, Jean C; Pyne, Jeffrey M; Owen, Richard R; Dixon, Lisa B
Combat deployment and reintegration are challenging for service members and their families. Although family involvement in mental health care is increasing in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system, little is known about family members' preferences for services. This study elicited the perspectives of returning Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and their families regarding family involvement in veterans' mental health care. Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with 47 veterans receiving care for posttraumatic stress disorder at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System or Oklahoma City VA Medical Center and 36 veteran-designated family members. Interviews addressed perceived needs related to veterans' readjustment to civilian life, interest in family involvement in joint veteran/family programs, and desired family program content. Interview data were analyzed using content analysis and constant comparison. Both groups strongly supported inclusion of family members in programs to facilitate veterans' postdeployment readjustment and reintegration into civilian life. Both desired program content focused on information, practical skills, support, and gaining perspective on the other's experience. Although family and veteran perspectives were similar, family members placed greater emphasis on parenting-related issues and the kinds of support they and their children needed during and after deployment. To our knowledge, this is the first published report on preferences regarding VA postdeployment reintegration support that incorporates the perspectives of returning male and female veterans and those of their families. Findings will help VA and community providers working with returning veterans tailor services to the needs and preferences of this important-to-engage population. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Lee, Sei J; Stijacic-Cenzer, Irena; Barnhart, Caroline; McClymont, Keelan; Steinman, Michael A
Although nursing home (NH) residents make up a large and growing proportion of Americans with diabetes mellitus, little is known about how glucose-lowering medications are used in this population. We sought to examine glucose-lowering medication use in Veterans Affairs (VA) NH residents with diabetes between 2005 and 2011. Retrospective cohort study, using linked laboratory, pharmacy, administrative, and NH Minimum Dataset (MDS) 2.0 databases in 123 VA NHs. A total of 9431 long-stay (>90 days) VA NH residents older than 65 followed for 52,313 person-quarters. We identified receipt of glucose-lowering medications, including insulin, metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and others (alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, meglitinides, glucagonlike peptide-1 analogs, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors and amylin analogs) per quarter. The rates of sulfonylurea use in long-stay NH residents dropped dramatically from 24% in 2005 to 12% in 2011 (P use (10% to 2%, P use in 2007 (4% to Metformin use was stable, ranging between 7% and 9% (P = .24). Insulin use increased slightly from 30% to 32% (P Use of other classes of glucose-lowering medications was stable (P = .22) and low, remaining below 1.3%. Between 2005 and 2011, there were dramatic declines in use of sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones in VA NH residents, suggesting that prescribing practices can be quickly changed in this setting. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA announced steps that it is taking as part of an aggressive new approach to produce rapid improvements at VA’s low-performing medical facilities nationwide (1. VA defines its low-performing facilities as those medical centers that receive the lowest score in its Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL star rating system, or a one-star rating out of five. The SAIL star rating was initiated in 2016 and uses a variety of measures including mortality, length of hospital stay, readmission rates, hospital complications, physician productivity and efficiency. A complete listing of the VA facilities, their star ratings and the metrics used to determine the ratings is available through the end of fiscal year 2017 (2. Based on the latest ratings, the VA currently has 15 one-star facilities including Denver, Loma Linda, and Phoenix in the Southwest (Table 1. Table 1. VA facilities with one-star ratings …
Edmund P Farris
Full Text Available Edmund P FarrisNew York University, New York, NY; Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital, New York, NY; New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USAObjective: This retrospective study was designed to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of travoprost 0.004% substituted for latanoprost 0.005% in glaucoma patients at the Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital.Research design and methods: We conducted a chart review of patients with stable intraocular pressure (IOP undergoing a formulary change in regimen from latanoprost 0.005% to travoprost 0.004%. Diagnoses included primary open angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension, pigment dispersion glaucoma, and pseudoexfoliation glaucoma. Main outcome measures: The primary outcome measures were IOP change between baseline and 6 months and patient-reported adverse events throughout the study.Results: In the single therapy group (N = 60 eyes, the mean baseline IOP on latanoprost was 15.8 mmHg; after 6 months on travoprost, it was 14.9 mmHg (p < 0.1. In the concomitant therapy group (N = 126 eyes, the mean baseline IOP was 16.7 mmHg; after 6 months on travoprost, it was 15.9 mmHg (p < 0.01. A reduction of IOP ≥ 3 mmHg occurred in 28 eyes of 21 patients at 6 months. An increase of IOP ≥ 3 mmHg occurred in 5 eyes of 4 patients at 6 months. One patient was switched back to latanoprost due to irritation at 3 months. No other patient-reported adverse events, including increased hyperemia, were observed throughout the follow-up period.Conclusions: A change in therapeutic regimen from latanoprost 0.005% to travoprost 0.004% maintained IOP control in stable patients, and in some produced a further reduction in IOP. A change in therapy from latanoprost to travoprost was effective and well-tolerated for the glaucoma patients in this study.Keywords: glaucoma, intraocular pressure, prostaglandin analogue, retrospective studies, travoprost, latanoprost
Department of Veterans Affairs — National-level, VISN-level, and/or VAMC-level statistics on the numbers and percentages of users of VHA care form the Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC)....
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Eibner, Christine; Krull, Heather; Brown, Kristine M.; Cefalu, Matthew; Mulcahy, Andrew W.; Pollard, Michael; Shetty, Kanaka; Adamson, David M.; Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Armour, Philip; Beleche, Trinidad; Bogdan, Olena; Hastings, Jaime; Kapinos, Kandice; Kress, Amii
The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 addressed the need for access to timely, high-quality health care for veterans. Section 201 of the legislation called for an independent assessment of various aspects of veterans' health care. The RAND Corporation was tasked with an assessment of the current and projected demographics and health care needs of patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The number of U.S. veterans will continue to decline over the next...
... § 21.21 Election of benefits under education programs administered by the Department of Veterans... education programs administered by VA must make an election of benefits between chapter 31 and any other VA... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Election of benefits...
Kleijn, M.J.J. de; Lagro-Janssen, A.L.M.; Canelo, I.; Yano, E.M.
BACKGROUND: Women Veterans are a significant minority of users of the VA healthcare system, limiting provider and staff experience meeting their needs in environments historically designed for men. The VA is nonetheless committed to ensuring that women Veterans have access to comprehensive care in
Koenig, Kristi L
The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 led to the largest US Government transformation since the formation of the Department of Defense following World War II. More than 22 different agencies, in whole or in part, and >170,000 employees were reorganized to form a new Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with the primary mission to protect the American homeland. Legislation enacted in November 2002 transferred the entire Federal Emergency Management Agency and several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assets to DHS, including the Office of Emergency Response, and oversight for the National Disaster Medical System, Strategic National Stockpile, and Metropolitan Medical Response System. This created a potential separation of "health" and "medical" assets between the DHS and HHS. A subsequent presidential directive mandated the development of a National Incident Management System and an all-hazard National Response Plan. While no Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assets were targeted for transfer, the VA remains the largest integrated healthcare system in the nation with important support roles in homeland security that complement its primary mission to provide care to veterans. The Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group (EMSHG) within the VA's medical component, the Veteran Health Administration (VHA), is the executive agent for the VA's Fourth Mission, emergency management. In addition to providing comprehensive emergency management services to the VA, the EMSHG coordinates medical back-up to the Department of Defense, and assists the public via the National Disaster Medical System and the National Response Plan. This article describes the VA's role in homeland security and disasters, and provides an overview of the ongoing organizational and operational changes introduced by the formation of the new DHS. Challenges and opportunities for public health are highlighted.
Melvin, Valerie C; Oliver, Barbara S; Collier, Barbara; Shaw, Kelly; Williams, Jr, Robert
...) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are required to accelerate the exchange of health information between the departments and to develop systems or capabilities that allow for full interoperability...
coverage, there is no rigid mathematical relationship among those proportions because veterans enrolled in Part A may choose to enroll in either Part B or...assumption is consistent with the statistical analysis by an actuarial firm with which VA contracted when developing its model for projecting
Porcari, Carole; Koch, Ellen I; Rauch, Sheila A M; Hoodin, Flora; Ellison, Grant; McSweeney, Lauren
Despite significant numbers of Afghanistan and Iraqi veterans and service members who report symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, the majority do not seek help for these problems. A better understanding of the help-seeking process might aid providers and administrators in outreach and provision of services for those who need them. Past research has shown several variables that influence an individual's help-seeking behavior: demographic variables, the nature and severity of a mental health problem, and psychological variables. The three goals of the study were to determine which variables predicted help-seeking intentions from various sources for a psychological problem, identify barriers to help seeking, and identify sources of help sought in the past year. All Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and service members registered with a Midwestern VA Healthcare System between 2001 and 2007 received a letter requesting participation in an Internet-based survey. Participants completed nine questionnaires regarding their current physical and psychological health, social support, self-efficacy, public and self-stigma, and barriers to seeking help for a psychological problem. In addition, patterns of help seeking from informal (i.e., partner/spouse, family, friends) and formal (i.e., physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, either from Veterans Affairs [VA] or the private sector) sources of help were examined. Results from the linear regression model including all formal and informal sources of help indicated a significant model fit with attitudes toward psychotherapy, social support, and current mental health status as significant coefficients. Of note, attitudes toward psychotherapy were a significant coefficient in all help-seeking models; stigma was a significant coefficient with formal and VA sources, and social support was found to be a significant predictor with informal sources
Facility-Level Variation in Hospitalization, Mortality, and Costs in the 30 Days After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: Insights on Short-Term Healthcare Value From the Veterans Affairs Clinical Assessment, Reporting, and Tracking System (VA CART) Program.
Bradley, Steven M; O'Donnell, Colin I; Grunwald, Gary K; Liu, Chuan-Fen; Hebert, Paul L; Maddox, Thomas M; Jesse, Robert L; Fihn, Stephan D; Rumsfeld, John S; Ho, P Michael
Policies to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are intended to improve healthcare value by reducing costs while maintaining patient outcomes. Whether facility-level hospitalization rates after PCI are associated with cost of care is unknown. We studied 32,080 patients who received PCI at any 1 of 62 Veterans Affairs hospitals from 2008 to 2011. We identified facility outliers for 30-day risk-standardized hospitalization, mortality, and cost. Compared with the risk-standardized average, 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a lower-than-expected hospitalization rate, and 2 hospitals (3.2%) had a higher-than-expected hospitalization rate. We observed no statistically significant variation in facility-level risk-standardized mortality. The facility-level unadjusted median per patient 30-day total cost was $23,820 (interquartile range, $19,604-$29,958). Compared with the risk-standardized average, 17 hospitals (27.4%) had lower-than-expected costs, and 14 hospitals (22.6%) had higher-than-expected costs. At the facility level, the index PCI accounted for 83.1% of the total cost (range, 60.3%-92.2%), whereas hospitalization after PCI accounted for only 5.8% (range, 2.0%-12.7%) of the 30-day total cost. Facilities with higher hospitalization rates were not more expensive (Spearman ρ=0.16; 95% confidence interval, -0.09 to 0.39; P=0.21). In this national study, hospitalizations in the 30 day after PCI accounted for only 5.8% of 30-day cost, and facility-level cost was not correlated with hospitalization rates. This challenges the focus on reducing hospitalizations after PCI as an effective means of improving healthcare value. Opportunities remain to improve PCI value by reducing the variation in total cost of PCI without compromising patient outcomes. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
Yim, Hee-Yun; Seo, Hyun-Ju; Cho, Yoonhyung; Kim, JinHee
The aim of this study was to evaluate the mediating role of psychological capital (PCP) in the relationship between occupational stress and turnover intention in nurses. Data were collected from a sample of 447 nurses working at four Veterans Administration Hospitals throughout South Korea from July 1 to July 31, 2014. We collected data from the nurses using the following surveys: the Short Form Korean-Occupational Stress Scale, the Korean version of the Turnover Intention Scale, and the Korean version of the Psychological Capital Questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to examine the mediating role of PCP. The level of occupational stress was 1.81 ± 0.23, the level of turnover intention was 3.29 ± 0.86, and the PCP level was 3.95 ± 0.52. There were significant correlations among the three variables (occupational stress, turnover intention, and PCP). PCP played a partial mediating role (β=-0.22, p=.008) in the relationship between occupational stress and turnover intention (pstress management programs that incorporate relevant programs in efforts to strengthen the overall components of PCP among nurses to reduce turnover intentions. Further studies are required to determine the most effective intervention programs for hospital settings. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Do associations between employee self-reported organizational assessments and attitudinal outcomes change over time? An analysis of four Veterans Health Administration surveys using structural equation modelling.
Das, Sonali; Chen, Ming-Hui; Warren, Nicholas; Hodgson, Michael
This paper evaluates relationships between healthcare employees' perceptions of three hospital organizational constructs (Leadership, Support and Resources), and their assessment of two employee-related outcomes (employee satisfaction and retention) and two patient-related outcomes (patient satisfaction and quality of care). Using four all-employee surveys conducted by the Veterans Health Administration in the United States between 1997 and 2006, we examine the strength of these relationships and their changes over time. Exposure and outcome measures are employee-assessed in all the surveys. Because it can accommodate both latent and measured variables into the model, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is used to capture and quantify the relationship structure. The aim of the project is to identify possible intervention foci. The analyses revealed that employee-related outcomes are improved by increases in Leadership and Support, and, not surprisingly, the outcome variable of employee satisfaction reduced turnover intention. The employee assessed patient-related outcomes of satisfaction and quality of care were most improved by increases in Resources. Results also indicate that the three organizational constructs and the web of associations characterized by SEM underwent changes over the study period, perhaps in relation to changes in VHA policy emphases, changes in survey wording and other possible unmeasured factors. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Landes, Sara J; Rodriguez, Allison L; Smith, Brandy N; Matthieu, Monica M; Trent, Lindsay R; Kemp, Janet; Thompson, Caitlin
National implementation of evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides important lessons on the barriers and facilitators to implementation in a large healthcare system. Little is known about barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a complex EBP for emotional and behavioral dysregulation-dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). The purpose of this study was to understand VHA clinicians' experiences with barriers, facilitators, and benefits from implementing DBT into routine care. This national program evaluation survey measured site characteristics of VHA sites (N = 59) that had implemented DBT. DBT was most often implemented in general mental health outpatient clinics. While 42% of sites offered all four modes of DBT, skills group was the most frequently implemented mode. Fifty-nine percent of sites offered phone coaching in any form, yet only 11% of those offered it all the time. Providers were often provided little to no time to support implementation of DBT. Barriers that were difficult to overcome were related to phone coaching outside of business hours. Facilitators to implementation included staff interest and expertise. Perceived benefits included increased hope and functioning for clients, greater self-efficacy and compassion for providers, and ability to treat unique symptoms for clinics. There was considerable variability in the capacity to address implementation barriers among sites implementing DBT in VHA routine care. Mental health policy makers should note the barriers and facilitators reported here, with specific attention to phone coaching barriers.
Chen, Joyce H; Rosenheck, Robert A; Greenberg, Greg A; Seibyl, Catherine
Public support payments may facilitate exit from homelessness for persons with mental illness. We examined data from 10,641 homeless veterans contacted from October 1, 1995 to September 30, 2002 in a collaborative outreach program designed to facilitate access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits. Those who were awarded benefits (22% of contacted veterans) were more likely to report disability, poor to fair self-rated health, and were more likely to have used VA services in the past. Thus, this program achieved only modest success and was most successful with veterans who were already receiving VA services and who might have received benefits even without the outreach effort.
Simmons, Molly M; Fincke, Benjamin G; Drainoni, Mari-Lynn; Kim, Bo; Byrne, Tom; Smelson, David; Casey, Kevin; Ellison, Marsha L; Visher, Christy; Blue-Howells, Jessica; McInnes, D Keith
Approximately 600,000 persons are released from prison annually in the United States. Relatively few receive sufficient re-entry services and are at risk for unemployment, homelessness, poverty, substance abuse relapse and recidivism. Persons leaving prison who have a mental illness and/or a substance use disorder are particularly challenged. This project aims to create a peer mentor program to extend the reach and effectiveness of reentry services provided by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA). We will implement a peer support for reentry veterans sequentially in two states. Our outcome measures are 1) fidelity of the intervention, 2) linkage to VA health care and, 3) continued engagement in health care. The aims for this project are as follows: (1) Conduct contextual analysis to identify VA and community reentry resources, and describe how reentry veterans use them. (2) Implement peer-support, in one state, to link reentry veterans to Veterans' Health Administration (VHA) primary care, mental health, and SUD services. (3) Port the peer-support intervention to another, geographically, and contextually different state. This intervention involves a 2-state sequential implementation study (Massachusetts, followed by Pennsylvania) using a Facilitation Implementation strategy. We will conduct formative and summative analyses, including assessment of fidelity, and a matched comparison group to evaluate the intervention's outcomes of veteran linkage and engagement in VHA health care (using health care utilization measures). The study proceeds in 3 phases. We anticipate that a peer support program will be effective at improving the reentry process for veterans, particularly in linking them to health, mental health, and SUD services and helping them to stay engaged in those services. It will fill a gap by providing veterans with access to a trusted individual, who understands their experience as a veteran and who has experienced justice involvement. The outputs from
Washington, Donna L; Bean-Mayberry, Bevanne; Hamilton, Alison B; Cordasco, Kristina M; Yano, Elizabeth M
The number of women Veterans (WVs) utilizing the Veterans Health Administration (VA) has doubled over the past decade, heightening the importance of understanding their healthcare delivery preferences and utilization patterns. Other studies have identified healthcare issues and behaviors of WVs in specific military service eras (e.g., Vietnam), but delivery preferences and utilization have not been examined within and across eras on a population basis. To identify healthcare delivery preferences and healthcare use of WVs by military service era to inform program design and patient-centeredness. Cross-sectional 2008-2009 survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,611 WVs, weighted to the population. Healthcare delivery preferences measured as importance of selected healthcare features; types of healthcare services and number of visits used; use of VA or non-VA; all by military service era. Military service era differences were present in types of healthcare used, with World War II and Korea era WVs using more specialty care, and Vietnam era-to-present WVs using more women's health and mental health care. Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) WVs made more healthcare visits than WVs of earlier military eras. The greatest healthcare delivery concerns were location convenience for Vietnam and earlier WVs, and cost for Gulf War 1 and OEF/OIF/OND WVs. Co-located gynecology with general healthcare was also rated important by a sizable proportion of WVs from all military service eras. Our findings point to the importance of ensuring access to specialty services closer to home for WVs, which may require technology-supported care. Younger WVs' higher mental health care use reinforces the need for integration and coordination of primary care, reproductive health and mental health care.
Santana-Davila, Rafael; Devisetty, Kiran; Szabo, Aniko; Sparapani, Rodney; Arce-Lara, Carlos; Gore, Elizabeth M; Moran, Amy; Williams, Christina D; Kelley, Michael J; Whittle, Jeffrey
The optimal chemotherapy regimen to use with radiotherapy in stage III non-small-cell lung cancer is unknown. Here, we compare the outcome of patents treated within the Veterans Health Administration with either etoposide-cisplatin (EP) or carboplatin-paclitaxel (CP). We identified patients treated with EP and CP with concurrent radiotherapy from 2001 to 2010. Survival rates were compared using Cox proportional hazards regression models with adjustments for confounding provided by propensity score methods and an instrumental variables analysis. Comorbidities and treatment complications were identified through administrative data. A total of 1,842 patients were included; EP was used in 27% (n = 499). Treatment with EP was not associated with a survival advantage in a Cox proportional hazards model (hazard ratio [HR], 0.97; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.10), a propensity score matched cohort (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.24), or a propensity score adjusted model (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.10). In an instrumental variables analysis, there was no survival advantage for patients treated in centers where EP was used more than 50% of the time as compared with centers where EP was used in less than 10% of the patients (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.26). Patients treated with EP, compared with patients treated with CP, had more hospitalizations (2.4 v 1.7 hospitalizations, respectively; P kidney disease/dehydration (30.5% v 21.2%, respectively; P patients treated with EP versus CP had similar overall survival, but EP was associated with increased morbidity. © 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
... Administration; and briefings on health care for women Veterans, mental health, women Veterans' legislative... regarding the needs of women Veterans with respect to health care, rehabilitation, compensation, outreach... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Notice of Meeting The...
Stephens, Brady; Morley, Sybil; Thompson, Caitlin; Kemp, Janet; Bossarte, Robert M.
Objectives: The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Suicide Prevention Applications Network (SPAN) is a national system for suicide event tracking and case management. The objective of this study was to assess data on suicide attempts among people using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services. Methods: We assessed the degree of data overlap on suicide attempters reported in SPAN and the VHA’s medical records from October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2014—overall, by year, and by region. Data on suicide attempters in the VHA’s medical records consisted of diagnoses documented with E95 codes from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision. Results: Of 50 518 VHA patients who attempted suicide during the 4-year study period, data on fewer than half (41%) were reported in both SPAN and the medical records; nearly 65% of patients whose suicide attempt was recorded in SPAN had no data on attempted suicide in the VHA’s medical records. Conclusion: Evaluation of administrative data suggests that use of SPAN substantially increases the collection of data on suicide attempters as compared with the use of medical records alone, but neither SPAN nor the VHA’s medical records identify all suicide attempters. Further research is needed to better understand the strengths and limitations of both systems and how to best combine information across systems. PMID:28123228
Runnals, Jennifer J; Garovoy, Natara; McCutcheon, Susan J; Robbins, Allison T; Mann-Wrobel, Monica C; Elliott, Alyssa
Given recent, rapid growth in the field of women veterans' mental health, the goal of this review was to update the status of women veterans' mental health research and to identify current themes in this literature. The scope of this review included women veterans' unique mental health needs, as well as gender differences in veterans' mental health needs. Database searches were conducted for relevant articles published between January 2008 and July 2011. Searches were supplemented with bibliographic reviews and consultation with subject matter experts. The database search yielded 375 titles; 32 met inclusion/exclusion criteria. The women veterans' mental health literature crosses over several domains, including prevalence, risk factors, health care utilization, treatment preferences, and access barriers. Studies were generally cross-sectional, descriptive, mixed-gender, and examined Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users from all service eras. Results indicate higher rates of specific disorders (e.g., depression) and comorbidities, with differing risk factors and associated medical and functional impairment for female compared with male veterans. Although satisfaction with VA health care is generally high, unique barriers to care and indices of treatment satisfaction exist for women. There is a breadth of descriptive knowledge in many content areas of women veterans' mental health; however, the research base examining interventional and longitudinal designs is less developed. Understudied content areas and targets for future research and development include certain psychiatric disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), the effects of deployment on woman veterans' families, and strategies to address treatment access, attrition, and provision of gender-sensitive care. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Pak, Wesley Chong Y.
Providing primary health and specialty services to 3.4 million rural and highly rural veterans is a challenging task because of geographic barriers and the uneven distribution of rural healthcare providers. Although the Veterans Health Administration is hoping that technology such as telemedicine expands availability of specialties' access to…
Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated after 150 words. According to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission, JCAHO, an independent organization that reviews hospitals, the Phoenix VA does not comply with U.S. standards for safety, patient care and management (1. The hospital was at the epicenter of the national scandal over the quality of care being afforded to the nation's veterans where the now notorious practice of double-booking patient appointments was first exposed. The hospital's indifferent management provoked congressional investigations that uncovered still more system-wide abuses leading to the removal of the hospital director and the resignation of then VA secretary, Eric Shinseki. The hospital maintains its accreditation but with a follow-up survey in 1-6 months where it must show that it has successfully addressed the 13 identified problems (1. Inspectors who conducted the review in July found that VA employees were unable to report concerns "without retaliatory action from the hospital." Other alarming ...
.... Abstract: VA pays per diem to State homes providing nursing home and adult day health services care to... Activities (Per Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of... Regarding Lobbying, VA Form 10-0144. h. Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws, VA...
VA Education Benefits: Actions Taken, but Outreach and Oversight Could Be Improved. Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives. GAO-11-256
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provided $9 billion in education benefits to service-members and veterans in fiscal year 2010, mostly through the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. In providing education benefits, VA relies on State Approving Agencies (SAA) to approve schools; and on schools to report students' enrollment status. US Government…
... per diem to State homes providing nursing home and adult day health services care to Veterans. VA... Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State... information needed to ensure that nursing home and adult day health care facilities are providing high quality...
... State homes providing nursing home and adult day health services care to Veterans. VA requires... Diem for Nursing Home Care of Veterans in State Homes; Per Diem for Adult Day Care of Veterans in State... information needed to ensure that nursing home and adult day health care facilities are providing high quality...
...,'' authorizing VA to exercise discretion to provide certain mental health services, counseling, and training for... Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides health benefits for... the Veterans' Mental Health Care Act of 2008 and Other Laws AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Public Availability of the Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice of... Affairs (VA) is publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of the FY 2011 Service...
Schult, Tamara M; Mohr, David C; Osatuke, Katerine
The goals of this paper were twofold: (a) To provide a population overview of burnout profiles by occupation in a large, health care sector employee population and (b) to investigate how burnout profiles relate to self-reported health behaviours, chronic conditions, and absenteeism. Burnout profiles were considered by 5 main occupational groups (physicians, nurses, other clinical, administrative, and wage grade [trade, craft, and labor workers]) in survey respondents (n = 86,257 employees). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine how burnout profiles were associated with health controlling for gender, age, race, ethnicity, and occupational group. Employees in the "Frustrated/Burning Up" and "Withdrawing/Burned Out" profiles, respectively, had significantly increased odds of anxiety (OR = 2.17; 99% CI [2.04, 2.31]; OR = 2.21; 99% CI [2.05, 2.38]), depression (OR = 2.06; 99% CI [1.93, 2.20]; OR = 2.20; 99% CI [2.04, 2.38]), sleep disorders (OR = 1.98; 99% CI [1.85, 2.12]; OR = 1.97; 99% CI [1.81, 2.13]), low back disease (OR = 1.60; 99% CI [1.50, 1.71]; OR = 1.58; 99% CI [1.47, 1.70]), physical inactivity (OR = 1.49; 99% CI [1.38, 1.60]; OR = 1.68; 99% CI [1.54, 1.83]), and 5 or more days away from work (OR = 1.74; 99% CI [1.65, 1.85]; OR = 2.15; 99% CI [2.01, 2.30]). Burnout is related to the health of employees. Burnout profiles offer a way to assess patterns of burnout by occupational group and may help customize future interventions. Published 2018. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
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Department of Veterans Affairs — This report summarizes the history of women Veterans in the military and as Veterans. It profiles the characteristics of women Veterans in 2015, and illustrates how...
Assistance Crosswalk websites Transition GPS National Career Readiness Certificate Post Traumatic Stress Credits (PDF) Fidelity Bonding Program National Career Readiness (PDF) Veteran Recruitment State/Federal veteran recruitment process Military Veteran Employment Guide Veterans Hiring Toolkit Other Information
Neily, Julia; Mills, Peter D; Lee, Pamela; Carney, Brian; West, Priscilla; Percarpio, Katherine; Mazzia, Lisa; Paull, Douglas E; Bagian, James P
Communication is problematic in healthcare. The Veterans Health Administration is implementing Medical Team Training. The authors describe results of the first 32 of 130 sites to undergo the programme. This report is unique; it provides aggregate results of a crew resource-management programme for numerous facilities. Facilities were taught medical team training and implemented briefings, debriefings and other projects. The authors coached teams through consultative phone interviews over a year. Implementation teams self-reported implementation and rated programme impact: 1='no impact' and 5='significant impact.' We used logistic regression to examine implementation of briefing/debriefing. Ninety-seven per cent of facilities implemented briefings and debriefings, and all implemented an additional project. As of the final interview, 73% of OR and 67% of ICU implementation teams self-reported and rated staff impact 4-5. Eighty-six per cent of OR and 82% of ICU implementation teams self-reported and rated patient impact 4-5. Improved teamwork was reported by 84% of OR and 75% of ICU implementation teams. Efficiency improvements were reported by 94% of OR implementation teams. Almost all facilities (97%) reported a success story or avoiding an undesirable event. Sites with lower volume were more likely to conduct briefings/debriefings in all cases for all surgical services (p=0.03). Sites are implementing the programme with a positive impact on patients and staff, and improving teamwork, efficiency and safety. A unique feature of the programme is that implementation was facilitated through follow-up support. This may have contributed to the early success of the programme.
Harris, Alex H S; Brown, Randall; Dawes, Michael; Dieperink, Eric; Myrick, Donald Hugh; Gerould, Heather; Wagner, Todd H; Wisdom, Jennifer P; Hagedorn, Hildi J
Over 16 million Americans meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD), but only 7.8% of them receive formal treatment each year. Safe and effective pharmacological treatments for AUD exist; however, they are rarely prescribed. Therefore, we developed and pilot tested a multifaceted implementation intervention to improve consideration and receipt of effective pharmacologic treatments for AUD, focusing on primary care settings where patients have the most frequent contact with healthcare systems. The intervention included training of local providers to serve as champions and a website for primary care providers that included educational materials, a case-finding dashboard, and contact information for local and national clinical experts. We also mailed patients educational material about treatment options. The intervention was implemented at three large facilities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). An interrupted time series design, analyzed with segmented logistic regression, was used to evaluate the intervention's effects. The odds of a patient with AUD receiving one of the AUD medications was increasing throughout the pre-implementation period, and the rate of change (slope) increased significantly in the implementation period. Translating these numbers into percentages, at baseline 2.9% of patients filled a prescription for an AUD medication within 30days of a primary care visit. This increased to 3.8% by the end of the pre-implementation period (increasing 0.037% per month), and increased to 5.2% by the end of the implementation period (increasing 0.142% per month). However, the intervention effect was not significant when control sites were added, suggesting that improvement may have been driven by secular trends rather than solely by this intervention. Although the intervention was feasible, it was not effective. Continued analysis of process and implementation data including qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, may elucidate the
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
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.
Russo, Arthur C; Fingerhut, Esther C
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. Published by Oxford University Press 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
..., non-VBA employees in VBA space and Veteran Service Organization employees who have access to VA's... (VBA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information... the following collection of information, VBA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection...
..., non-VBA employees in VBA space and Veteran Service Organization employees who have access to VA's... (VBA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information... the following collection of information, VBA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection...
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a direct final rule in the Federal Register on October 22, 2013, amending its regulations related to the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP), a pilot program to offer premium-based dental insurance to enrolled veterans and certain survivors and dependents of veterans. Specifically, this rule adds language to clarify the limited preemptive effect of certain criteria in the VADIP regulations. VA received no comments concerning this rule or its companion substantially identical proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2013. This document confirms that the direct final rule became effective on December 23, 2013. In a companion document in this issue of the Federal Register, we are withdrawing as unnecessary the proposed rule.
Luck, Jeff; Bowman, Candice; York, Laura; Midboe, Amanda; Taylor, Thomas; Gale, Randall; Asch, Steven
Effective implementation of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) in primary care practices requires training and other resources, such as online toolkits, to share strategies and materials. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) developed an online Toolkit of user-sourced tools to support teams implementing its Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) medical home model. To present findings from an evaluation of the PACT Toolkit, including use, variation across facilities, effect of social marketing, and factors influencing use. The Toolkit is an online repository of ready-to-use tools created by VA clinic staff that physicians, nurses, and other team members may share, download, and adopt in order to more effectively implement PCMH principles and improve local performance on VA metrics. Multimethod evaluation using: (1) website usage analytics, (2) an online survey of the PACT community of practice's use of the Toolkit, and (3) key informant interviews. Survey respondents were PACT team members and coaches (n = 544) at 136 VA facilities. Interview respondents were Toolkit users and non-users (n = 32). For survey data, multivariable logistic models were used to predict Toolkit awareness and use. Interviews and open-text survey comments were coded using a "common themes" framework. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) guided data collection and analyses. The Toolkit was used by 6,745 staff in the first 19 months of availability. Among members of the target audience, 80 % had heard of the Toolkit, and of those, 70 % had visited the website. Tools had been implemented at 65 % of facilities. Qualitative findings revealed a range of user perspectives from enthusiastic support to lack of sufficient time to browse the Toolkit. An online Toolkit to support PCMH implementation was used at VA facilities nationwide. Other complex health care organizations may benefit from adopting similar online peer-to-peer resource libraries.
..., benefits will not be paid or furnished by reason of an incomplete application. Affected Public: Individuals... Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Veterans Benefits....Regulations.gov or to Nancy J. Kessinger, Veterans Benefits Administration (20M35), Department of Veterans...
... Administration, the National Cemetery Administration, and the Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group; and briefings on mental health, women Veterans' legislative issues, women Veterans' research, rural... regarding the needs of women Veterans with respect to health care, rehabilitation, compensation, outreach...
An Analysis of the Use of the Social Security Number as Veteran Identification as it Relates to Identity Theft; A Cost Benefit Analysis of Transitioning the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration to a Military Identification Number
50 million over the 2007-2011 period. However, if the VA were to experience another data breach similar to the recent incident involving 17...compromised in some manner. Excluding the recent incident, the average number of people affected by a data breach has been about 50,000. The...suggests that all of the financial losses to a company that experiences a data breach of privacy information will quickly be reflected in the stock
Amuan, Megan E.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Eapen, Blessen C.
Background Although concern exists regarding the adverse effects and rate of zolpidem use, especially long-term use, limited information is available concerning patterns of zolpidem use. Objective To examine the prevalence and correlates of zolpidem exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAVs). Methods A retrospective cohort study of zolpidem prescriptions was performed with National Veterans Health Administration (VHA) data. We gathered national VA inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy data files for IAV’s who received VA care between fiscal years (FY) 2013 and 2014. The VA pharmacy database was used to identify the prevalence of long term (>30 days), high-dose zolpidem exposure (>10mg immediate-release; >12.5mg extended-release) and other medications received in FY14. Baseline characteristics (demographics, diagnoses) were identified in FY13. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were used to examine the demographic, clinical, and medication correlates of zolpidem use. Results Of 493,683 IAVs who received VHA care in FY 2013 and 2014, 7.6% (n = 37,422) were prescribed zolpidem in FY 2014. Women had lower odds of high-dose zolpidem exposure than men. The majority (77.3%) of IAVs who received zolpidem prescriptions had long-term use with an average days’ supply of 189.3 days and a minority (0.9%) had high-dose exposure. In multivariable analyses, factors associated with long-term zolpidem exposure included age greater than 29 years old, PTSD, insomnia, Selim Index, physical 2–3 conditions, opioids, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, atypical antipsychotics, and stimulants. High dose exposure was associated with PTSD, depression, substance use disorder, insomnia, benzodiazepines, atypical antipsychotics, and stimulant prescriptions. Conclusion The current practices of insomnia pharmacotherapy in IAVs fall short of the clinical guidelines and may reflect high-risk zolpidem prescribing practices that put Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans at risk for adverse effects
... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Administration. 51.210 Section 51.210 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (CONTINUED) PER DIEM FOR NURSING HOME CARE OF VETERANS IN STATE HOMES Standards § 51.210 Administration. A facility must be...
Lee, Charity J; Felix, Elizabeth R; Levitt, Roy C; Eddy, Christopher; Vanner, Elizabeth A; Feuer, William J; Sarantopoulos, Constantine D; Galor, Anat
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the relationship between dry eye (DE) and pain diagnoses in US veterans with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI). Retrospective cohort study of veterans who were seen in the Veterans Administration Hospital (VA) between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2014. Veterans were separated into two groups by the presence or absence of an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnosis of TBI and assessed for DE and other comorbidities. A dendrogram was used to investigate the linkage between TBI, DE, chronic pain and other comorbid conditions. Of the 3 265 894 veterans seen during the 5-year period, 3.97% carried a diagnosis of TBI. Veterans with TBI were more likely to have a diagnosis of DE compared with their counterparts without TBI (37.2% vs 29.1%, p<0.0005). The association was stronger between TBI and ocular pain (OR 3.08; 95% CI 3.03 to 3.13) compared with tear film dysfunction (OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.10). Those with TBI were also about twice as likely to have a diagnosis of chronic pain, headache, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder compared with their counterparts without TBI. Cluster analysis of TBI, DE and pain diagnoses of interest revealed that central pain syndrome, cluster headache, sicca syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca and late effect of injury to the nervous system (as can be seen after TBI) were all closely clustered together. DE and pain disorders occur at higher frequencies in patients with a diagnosis of TBI, suggesting a common underlying pathophysiology. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
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...
Siegert, Charles Jeff; Fisichella, Piero Marco; Moseley, Jennifer M; Shoni, Melina; Lebenthal, Abraham
Phone triaging patients with suspected malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) within the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) system offers a model for rapid, expert guided evaluation for patients with rare and treatable diseases within a national integrated healthcare system. To assess feasibility of national open access telephone triage using evidence-based treatment recommendations for patients with MPM, measure timelines of the triage and referral process and record the impact on "intent to treat" for patients using our service. A retrospective study. The main outcome measures were: (1) ability to perform long distance phone triage, (2) to assess the speed of access to a mesothelioma surgical specialist for patients throughout the entire VHA, and (3) to determine if access to a specialist would alter the plan of care. Sixty veterans were screened by our phone triage program, 38 traveled an average of 997 miles to VA Boston Healthcare system. On average, 14 d elapsed from initial phone contact until the patient was physically evaluated in our general thoracic clinic in Boston. The treatment plan was altered for 71% of patients evaluated at VA Boston Healthcare system based on 2012 International Mesothelioma Interest Group guidelines. Our initial experience demonstrates that in-network centralized care for Veterans with MPM is feasible within the VHA. National open access phone triage improves access to expert surgical advice and can be delivered in a timely manner for Veterans using our service. Guideline-based treatment recommendations ("intent to treat") changed the therapeutic course for the majority of patients who used our service. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zivin, Kara; Yosef, Matheos; Levine, Debra S; Abraham, Kristen M; Miller, Erin M; Henry, Jennifer; Nelson, C Beau; Pfeiffer, Paul N; Sripada, Rebecca K; Harrod, Molly; Valenstein, Marcia
Prior research found lower employment rates among working-aged patients who use the VA than among non-Veterans or Veterans who do not use the VA, with the lowest reported employment rates among VA patients with mental disorders. This study assessed employment status, employment functioning, and barriers to employment among VA patients treated in primary care settings, and examined how depression and anxiety were associated with these outcomes. The sample included 287 VA patients treated in primary care in a large Midwestern VA Medical Center. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted examining associations between socio-demographic and clinical predictors of six employment domains, including: employment status, job search self-efficacy, work performance, concerns about job loss among employed Veterans, and employment barriers and likelihood of job seeking among not employed Veterans. 54% of respondents were employed, 36% were not employed, and 10% were economically inactive. In adjusted analyses, participants with depression or anxiety (43%) were less likely to be employed, had lower job search self-efficacy, had lower levels of work performance, and reported more employment barriers. Depression and anxiety were not associated with perceived likelihood of job loss among employed or likelihood of job seeking among not employed. Single VA primary care clinic; cross-sectional study. Employment rates are low among working-aged VA primary care patients, particularly those with mental health conditions. Offering primary care interventions to patients that address mental health issues, job search self-efficacy, and work performance may be important in improving health, work, and economic outcomes. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Department of Veterans Affairs — ADR provides an authoritative data store for shared administrative, demographic, enrollment, and eligibility information which is managed as a corporate asset. This...
Byers, AL; Covinsky, KE; Barnes, DE; Yaffe, K
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether less severe depression spectrum diagnoses such as dysthymia, as well as depression, are associated with risk of developing dementia and mortality in a "real-world" setting. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study conducted using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Patient Care Database (1997-2007). SETTING: VA medical centers in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 281,540 veterans aged 55 years and older without dementia at study baseline (1997-...
Fried, Dennis A; Rajan, Mangala; Tseng, Chin-Lin; Helmer, Drew
During the Vietnam War, the US military sprayed almost 20 million gallons of Agent Orange (AO), an herbicide contaminated with dioxin, over Vietnam. Approximately, 2.7 million US military personnel may have been exposed to AO during their deployment. Ordinarily, veterans who can demonstrate a nexus between a diagnosed condition and military service are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) service-connected disability compensation. Vietnam Veterans have had difficulty, however, establishing a nexus between AO exposure and certain medical conditions that developed many years after the war. In response, VA has designated certain conditions as "presumed service connected" for Vietnam Veterans who were present and possibly exposed. Veterans with any of these designated conditions do not have to document AO exposure, making it easier for them to access the VA disability system. The extent to which VA healthcare utilization patterns reflect easier access afforded those with diagnosed presumptive conditions remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that Vietnam Veterans with diagnosed presumptive conditions would be heavier users of the VA healthcare system than those without these conditions. In our analysis of 85,699 Vietnam Veterans, we used binary and cumulative logit multivariable regression to assess associations between diagnosed presumptive conditions and VA healthcare utilization in 2013. We found that diagnosed presumptive conditions were associated with higher odds of 5+ VHA primary care visits (OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.93-2.07), 5+ specialty care visits (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 2.04-2.18), emergency department use (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.11-1.34), and hospitalization (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.17-1.29). Consistent with legislative intent, presumptive policies appear to facilitate greater VA system utilization for Vietnam Veterans who may have been exposed to AO.
Fried, Dennis A.; Rajan, Mangala; Tseng, Chin-lin; Helmer, Drew
Abstract During the Vietnam War, the US military sprayed almost 20 million gallons of Agent Orange (AO), an herbicide contaminated with dioxin, over Vietnam. Approximately, 2.7 million US military personnel may have been exposed to AO during their deployment. Ordinarily, veterans who can demonstrate a nexus between a diagnosed condition and military service are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) service-connected disability compensation. Vietnam Veterans have had difficulty, however, establishing a nexus between AO exposure and certain medical conditions that developed many years after the war. In response, VA has designated certain conditions as “presumed service connected” for Vietnam Veterans who were present and possibly exposed. Veterans with any of these designated conditions do not have to document AO exposure, making it easier for them to access the VA disability system. The extent to which VA healthcare utilization patterns reflect easier access afforded those with diagnosed presumptive conditions remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that Vietnam Veterans with diagnosed presumptive conditions would be heavier users of the VA healthcare system than those without these conditions. In our analysis of 85,699 Vietnam Veterans, we used binary and cumulative logit multivariable regression to assess associations between diagnosed presumptive conditions and VA healthcare utilization in 2013. We found that diagnosed presumptive conditions were associated with higher odds of 5+ VHA primary care visits (OR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.93–2.07), 5+ specialty care visits (OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 2.04–2.18), emergency department use (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.11–1.34), and hospitalization (OR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.17–1.29). Consistent with legislative intent, presumptive policies appear to facilitate greater VA system utilization for Vietnam Veterans who may have been exposed to AO. PMID:29742706
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
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. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the United States.
Pavao, Joanne; Turchik, Jessica A; Hyun, Jenny K; Karpenko, Julie; Saweikis, Meghan; McCutcheon, Susan; Kane, Vincent; Kimerling, Rachel
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. To estimate the prevalence of MST, examine the association between MST and mental health conditions, and describe mental health utilization among homeless women and men. National, cross-sectional study of 126,598 homeless Veterans who used VHA outpatient care in fiscal year 2010. All variables were obtained from VHA administrative databases, including MST screening status, ICD-9-CM codes to determine mental health diagnoses, and VHA utilization. Of homeless Veterans in VHA, 39.7 % of females and 3.3 % of males experienced MST. Homeless Veterans who experienced MST demonstrated a significantly higher likelihood of almost all mental health conditions examined as compared to other homeless women and men, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, bipolar disorders, personality disorders, suicide, and, among men only, schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. Nearly all homeless Veterans had at least one mental health visit and Veterans who experienced MST utilized significantly more mental health visits compared to Veterans who did not experience MST. A substantial proportion of homeless Veterans using VHA services have experienced MST, and those who experienced MST had increased odds of mental health diagnoses. Homeless Veterans who had experienced MST had higher intensity of mental health care utilization and high rates of MST-related mental health care. This study highlights the importance of trauma-informed care among homeless Veterans and the success of VHA homeless
Reiber, Gayle E; Raugi, Gregory J; Rowberg, Donald
Delivering and documenting evidence-based treatment to all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) foot ulcer patients has wide appeal. However, primary and secondary care medical centers where 52% of these patients receive care are at a disadvantage given the frequent absence of trained specialists to manage diabetic foot ulcers. A retrospective review of diabetic foot ulcer patient records and a provider survey were conducted to document the foot ulcer problem and to assess practitioner needs. Results showed of the 125 persons with foot ulcers identified through administrative data, only, 21% of diabetic foot patients were correctly coded. Chronic Care and Microsystem models were used to prepare a tailored intervention in a VA primary care medical center. The site Principal Investigators, a multidisciplinary site wound care team, and study investigators jointly implemented a diabetic foot ulcer program. Intervention components include wound care team education and training, standardized good wound care practices based on strong scientific evidence, and a wound care template embedded in the electronic medical record to facilitate data collection, clinical decision making, patient ordering, and coding. A strategy for delivering offloading pressure devices, regular case management support, and 24/7 emergency assistance also was developed. It took 9 months to implement the model. Patients were enrolled and followed for 1 year. Process and outcome evaluations are on-going.
Pan, Eric; Botts, Nathan; Jordan, Harmon; Olinger, Lois; Donahue, Margaret; Hsing, Nelson
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veteran Health Information Exchange (VHIE, formerly Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record, or VLER) had been deployed at all VA sites and used to exchange clinical information with private sector healthcare partners nationally. This paper examined VHIE's effect on allergy documentation. Review of all inbound VHIE transactions in FY14 showed that VHIE use was associated with a nearly eight-fold increase in allergy documentation rate. Preliminary manual document review further showed that VA and partners had shared knowledge of only 38% ofpatient allergies, while VA had exclusive knowledge of another 58% ofpatient allergies, and partners had exclusive knowledge of the last 5% of patient allergies. To our knowledge, this is the first study that examined the effect of HIE on allergy documentation.
Virginia Tech. Department of English. Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society; Virginia Tech. Veterans Studies Group
This program lists the daily sessions, presentations, and events that took place during the 2014 Veterans in Society Conference, which was held from April 27-28, 2014 at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA. This program also includes speaker and presenter bios, descriptions of unrecorded conference events, and a letter from conference co-chair Jim Dubinsky, the director of Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society. The 2014 Veterans in Society Conference: Humanizing the Discour...
Bogen handler om den praksis, vi kalder administration. Vi er i den offentlige sektor i Danmark hos kontorfolkene med deres sagsmapper, computere, telefoner,, lovsamlinger,, retningslinier og regneark. I bogen udfoldes en mangfoldighed af konkrete historier om det administrative arbejde fra...... forskellige områder i den offentlige sektor. Hensigten er at forstå den praksis og faglighed der knytter sig til det administrative arbejde...
Salyers, Michelle P; Rollins, Angela L; Kelly, Yu-Fan; Lysaker, Paul H; Williams, Jane R
Building on two independent studies, we compared burnout and job satisfaction of 66 VA staff and 86 community mental health center staff in the same city. VA staff reported significantly greater job satisfaction and accomplishment, less emotional exhaustion and lower likelihood of leaving their job. Sources of work satisfaction were similar (primarily working with clients, helping/witnessing change). VA staff reported fewer challenges with job-related aspects (e.g. flexibility, pay) but more challenges with administration. Community mental health administrators and policymakers may need to address job-related concerns (e.g. pay) whereas VA administrators may focus on reducing, and helping workers navigate, administrative policies.
Full Text Available 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 ...
Outcalt, Samantha D; Hoen, Helena Maria; Yu, Zhangsheng; Franks, Tenesha Marie; Krebs, Erin E
Because posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is both prevalent and underrecognized, routine primary care-based screening for PTSD has been implemented across the Veterans Health Administration. PTSD is frequently complicated by the presence of comorbid chronic pain, and patients with both conditions have increased symptom severity and poorer prognosis. Our objective was to determine whether the presence of pain affects diagnosis and treatment of PTSD among Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who have a positive PTSD screening test. This retrospective cohort study used clinical and administrative data from six Midwestern VA medical centers. We identified 4,244 VA primary care patients with a positive PTSD screen and compared outcomes for those with and without a coexisting pain diagnosis. Outcomes were three clinically appropriate responses to positive PTSD screening: (1) mental health visit, (2) PTSD diagnosis, and (3) new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescription. We found that patients with coexisting pain had a lower rate of mental health visits than those without pain (hazard ratio: 0.889, 95% confidence interval: 0.821-0.962). There were no significant differences in the rate of PTSD diagnosis or new SSRI prescription between patients with and without coexisting pain.
... will include overview briefings from the Atlanta VA Medical Center leadership and the VA Southeast... Clairmont Road, Decatur, Georgia, to receive briefings on RO business lines and services for women Veterans. A briefing from local Memorial Affairs leadership will also be presented. On August 23, the...
... occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions at the conclusion of World War II. In addition, the advisory board will assist the VA and DTRA in communicating with... the Veterans' Advisory Board on Dose Reconstruction. Written statements should be no longer than two...
... conform to amendments made by the enactment of the Caregivers and Veteran Omnibus Health Services Act of... the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, Public Law 111-163. Section 206 of... in what is known as the VA ``medical benefits package.'' This rulemaking amends Sec. 17.38(a) to...
... September 23, 2013. ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to Andrew Ridgeway, Office of Workforce Investment... include the total number of eligible veterans who participated, the associates degrees or certificates... VA approved community college or technical school. VRAP provides the benefit to veterans who fulfill...
Muus, Kyle J; Knudson, Alana; Klug, Marilyn G; Gokun, Jane; Sarrazin, Mary; Kaboli, Peter
Hospital re-admissions for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are relatively common and costly occurrences within the US health infrastructure, including the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. Little is known about CHF re-admissions among rural veteran patients, including the effects of socio-demographics and follow-up outpatient visits on these re-admissions. To examine socio-demographics of US veterans with CHF who had 30 day potentially preventable re-admissions and compare the effect of 30 day VA post-discharge service use on these re-admissions for rural- and urban-dwelling veterans. The 2005-2007 VA data were analyzed to examine patient characteristics and hospital admissions for 36 566 veterans with CHF. The CHF patients who were and were not re-admitted to a VA hospital within 30 days of discharge were identified. Logistic regression was used to examine and compare the effect of VA post-acute service use on re-admissions between rural- and urban-dwelling veterans. Re-admitted veterans tended to be older (p=.002), had disability status (p=.024) and had longer hospital stays (precovery and good health among hospitalized veterans with CHF, regardless of their rural or urban residence. Older, rural veterans with CHF are in need of special attention for VA discharge planning and follow up with primary care providers.
Department of Veterans Affairs — The caring responders at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping Veterans of all ages and circumstances. Some of the responders are...
Seal, Karen H; Bertenthal, Daniel; Miner, Christian R; Sen, Saunak; Marmar, Charles
Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) have endured high combat stress and are eligible for 2 years of free military service-related health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, yet little is known about the burden and clinical circumstances of mental health diagnoses among OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities. US veterans separated from OEF/OIF military service and first seen at VA health care facilities between September 30, 2001 (US invasion of Afghanistan), and September 30, 2005, were included. Mental health diagnoses and psychosocial problems were assessed using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. The prevalence and clinical circumstances of and subgroups at greatest risk for mental health disorders are described herein. Of 103 788 OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA health care facilities, 25 658 (25%) received mental health diagnosis(es); 56% of whom had 2 or more distinct mental health diagnoses. Overall, 32 010 (31%) received mental health and/or psychosocial diagnoses. Mental health diagnoses were detected soon after the first VA clinic visit (median of 13 days), and most initial mental health diagnoses (60%) were made in nonmental health clinics, mostly primary care settings. The youngest group of OEF/OIF veterans (age, 18-24 years) were at greatest risk for receiving mental health or posttraumatic stress disorder diagnoses compared with veterans 40 years or older. Co-occurring mental health diagnoses and psychosocial problems were detected early and in primary care medical settings in a substantial proportion of OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities. Targeted early detection and intervention beginning in primary care settings are needed to prevent chronic mental illness and disability.
Wong, Edwin S; Liu, Chuan-Fen
In the U.S., economic conditions are intertwined with labor market decisions, access to health care, health care utilization and health outcomes. The Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has served as a safety net provider by supplying free or reduced cost care to qualifying veterans. This study examines whether local area labor market conditions, measured using county-level unemployment rates, influence whether veterans obtain health care from the VA. We used survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in years 2000, 2003 and 2004 to construct a random sample of 73,964 respondents self-identified as veterans. VA health service utilization was defined as whether veterans received all, some or no care from the VA. Hierarchical ordered logistic regression was used to address unobserved state and county random effects while adjusting for individual characteristics. Local area labor market conditions were defined as the average 12-month unemployment rate in veterans' county of residence. The mean unemployment rate for veterans receiving all, some and no care was 5.56%, 5.37% and 5.24%, respectively. After covariate adjustment, a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate in a veteran's county of residence was associated with an increase in the probability of receiving all care (0.34%, p-value = 0.056) or some care (0.29%, p-value = 0.023) from the VA. Our findings suggest that the important role of the VA in providing health care services to veterans is magnified in locations with high unemployment.
Dorflinger, Lindsey M; Ruser, Christopher B; Masheb, Robin M
The obesity rate is higher among veterans than the general population, yet few studies have examined their eating behaviors, and none have examined the presence of night eating and related comorbidities. This study examines night eating syndrome (NES) among veterans seeking weight management treatment, and relationships between NES and weight, insomnia, disordered eating, and psychological variables. The sample consisted of 110 veterans referred to a weight management program at VA Connecticut Healthcare System. More than one out of ten veterans screened positive for NES, and one-third screened positive for insomnia. Most individuals screening positive for NES also screened positive for insomnia. Night eating was associated with higher BMI, and with higher scores on measures of binge eating, emotional overeating, and eating disorder symptomatology. Veterans screening positive for NES were also significantly more likely to screen positive for depression and PTSD. When controlling for insomnia, only the relationships between night eating and binge and emotional eating remained significant. Those screening positive for PTSD were more likely to endorse needing to eat to return to sleep. Findings suggest that both NES and insomnia are common among veterans seeking weight management services, and that NES is a marker for additional disordered eating behavior, specifically binge eating and overeating in response to emotions. Additional studies are needed to further delineate the relationships among NES, insomnia, and psychological variables, as well as to examine whether specifically addressing NES within behavioral weight management interventions can improve weight outcomes and problematic eating behaviors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education, Notice of Meeting The..., that the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education will meet on August 13-14, 2013, in the First Floor... on the administration of education and training programs for Veterans, Servicepersons, Reservists...
... Administration, and the Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group; and briefings on mental health, women Veterans' legislative issues, women Veterans' research, rural health, and homeless initiatives for women... the needs of women Veterans with respect to health care, rehabilitation, compensation, outreach, and...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Proposed Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity: Comment Request AGENCY... comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act...
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS [OMB Control No. 2900-0521] Agency Information Collection (Credit Underwriting Standards and Procedures for Processing VA Guaranteed Loans) Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY... information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The PRA...
... to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the... comments on factors described in the Supplementary Information. DATES: Comments must be received by VA on... (003A2A), Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont...
... AFFAIRS MEDICAL Outpatient Treatment § 17.96 Medication prescribed by non-VA physicians. Any prescription... and medicines ordered by a private or non-Department of Veterans Affairs doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the prescription is written, shall...
Schwarz, Eleanor Bimla; Sileanu, Florentina E; Zhao, Xinhua; Mor, Maria K; Callegari, Lisa S; Borrero, Sonya
We compared rates of induced abortion among women veterans receiving Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare to rates in the general US population, as current policy prohibits VA provision of abortion counseling or services even when pregnancy endangers a veteran's life. We analyzed data from 2298 women veterans younger than 45 years who completed a telephone-based, cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled English-speaking women from across the United States who had received VA healthcare. We compared lifetime, last-5-year and last-year rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion among participants to age-matched data from the National Survey of Family Growth. As few abortions were reported in the last year, we used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between abortion in the last 5 years and age, race/ethnicity, income, education, religion, marital status, parity, geography, deployment history, housing instability, and past medical and mental health among VA patients. Women veterans were more likely than matched US women to report ever having an abortion [17.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 16.1%-19.3% vs. 15.2% of US women]. In the last 5 years, unintended pregnancy and abortion were reported by veterans at rates similar to US women. In multivariable models, VA patients were more likely to report abortion in the last 5 years if their annual income was less than $40,000 (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.95, 95% CI 1.30-6.70), they had experienced homelessness or housing instability (adjusted OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.01-3.62), they were single (adj. OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.23-4.91) and/or they had given birth (adjusted OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.19-4.40). Women veterans face unintended pregnancy and seek abortion as often as the larger US population. The Veterans Health Care Act, which prohibits provision of abortion services, increases vulnerable veterans' out-of-pocket healthcare costs and limits veterans' reproductive freedom. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
... of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and veterans who were prisoners of war in those regions at the conclusion of World War II. In addition, the advisory board will assist the VA and DTRA in communicating with... than two type-written pages and must address the following: the issue, discussion, and recommended...
Chinman, Matthew; McCarthy, Sharon; Hannah, Gordon; Byrne, Thomas Hugh; Smelson, David A
Incorporating evidence-based integrated treatment for dual disorders into typical care settings has been challenging, especially among those serving Veterans who are homeless. This paper presents an evaluation of an effort to incorporate an evidence-based, dual disorder treatment called Maintaining Independence and Sobriety Through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking-Veterans Edition (MISSION-Vet) into case management teams serving Veterans who are homeless, using an implementation strategy called Getting To Outcomes (GTO). This Hybrid Type III, cluster-randomized controlled trial assessed the impact of GTO over and above MISSION-Vet Implementation as Usual (IU). Both conditions received standard MISSION-Vet training and manuals. The GTO group received an implementation manual, training, technical assistance, and data feedback. The study occurred in teams at three large VA Medical Centers over 2 years. Within each team, existing sub-teams (case managers and Veterans they serve) were the clusters randomly assigned. The trial assessed MISSION-Vet services delivered and collected via administrative data and implementation barriers and facilitators, via semi-structured interview. No case managers in the IU group initiated MISSION-Vet while 68% in the GTO group did. Seven percent of Veterans with case managers in the GTO group received at least one MISSION-Vet session. Most case managers appreciated the MISSION-Vet materials and felt the GTO planning meetings supported using MISSION-Vet. Case manager interviews also showed that MISSION-Vet could be confusing; there was little involvement from leadership after their initial agreement to participate; the data feedback system had a number of difficulties; and case managers did not have the resources to implement all aspects of MISSION-Vet. This project shows that GTO-like support can help launch new practices but that multiple implementation facilitators are needed for successful execution of a complex evidence
Greenbaum, Mark A.; Rosen, Craig S.
Objective: Guidelines addressing the treatment of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) strongly recommend a therapeutic trial of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This study examined veteran characteristics associated with receiving such first-line pharmacotherapy, as well as how being a veteran of the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq impact receipt of pharmacotherapy for PTSD. Method: This was a national study of 482 Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatients between the ages of 18 and 69 years who had been newly diagnosed with PTSD (DSM-IV criteria: 309.81) during a VA outpatient visit between May 31, 2006, and December 7, 2007. Participants completed a mailed survey between August 11, 2006, and April 6, 2008. Veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and female veterans were intentionally oversampled. Logistic regression models were developed to predict 2 dependent variables: odds of initiating an SSRI/SNRI and, among veterans who initiated an SSRI/SNRI, odds of receiving an adequate therapeutic trial. Each dependent variable was regressed on a variety of sociodemographic and survey characteristics. Results: Of the 377 veterans prescribed a psychotropic medication, 73% (n = 276) received an SSRI/SNRI, of whom 61% (n = 168) received a therapeutic trial. Afghanistan and Iraq veterans were less likely to receive a therapeutic trial (odds ratio [OR] = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.27–0.75; P < .01), with presence of a comorbid depression diagnosis in the year after the index episode moderating this relationship, which further decreased the odds of completing a therapeutic trial (OR = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.09–0.95; P < .05). Conclusions: Reduced levels of receipt of first-line pharmacotherapy among recent veteran returnees parallel previous findings of less mental health treatment utilization in this population and warrant investigation. PMID:22943028
Russo, Jack E; McCool, Ryan R; Davies, Louise
The Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system provides beneficiary travel reimbursement ("travel pay") to qualifying patients for traveling to appointments. Travel pay is a large expense for the VA and hence the U.S. Government, projected to cost nearly $1 billion in 2015. Telemedicine in the VA system has the potential to save money by reducing patient travel and thus the amount of travel pay disbursed. In this study, we quantify this savings and also report trends in VA telemedicine volumes over time. All telemedicine visits based at the VA Hospital in White River Junction, VT between 2005 and 2013 were reviewed (5,695 visits). Travel distance and time saved as a result of telemedicine were calculated. Clinical volume in the mental health department, which has had the longest participation in telemedicine, was analyzed. Telemedicine resulted in an average travel savings of 145 miles and 142 min per visit. This led to an average travel payment savings of $18,555 per year. Telemedicine volume grew significantly over the study period such that by the final year the travel pay savings had increased to $63,804, or about 3.5% of the total travel pay disbursement for that year. The number of mental health telemedicine visits rose over the study period but remained small relative to the number of face-to-face visits. A higher proportion of telemedicine visits involved new patients. Telemedicine at the VA saves travel distance and time, although the reduction in travel payments remains modest at current telemedicine volumes.
Ruben, Mollie A; Blosnich, John R; Dichter, Melissa E; Luscri, Lorry; Shipherd, Jillian C
The Veterans Health Administration does not routinely collect and document sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data, despite existing health disparities among sexual and gender minority Veterans. Because of the legacy of previous Department of Defense (DoD) policies that prohibited disclosure of sexual or gender minority identities among active duty personnel, Veterans may be reluctant to respond to SOGI questions. This population-based study assesses item nonresponse to SOGI questions by Veteran status. This is a secondary analysis of data from a population-based sample of adults in 20 US states that elected to administer a SOGI module in the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. Prevalence of SOGI refusals and responses of "don't know" were compared for Veterans and non-Veterans. Veterans (n=22,587) and non-Veterans (n=146,475) were surveyed. Nearly all Veteran respondents (≥98%) completed the SOGI questions, with 95.4% identifying as heterosexual, 1.2% as gay or lesbian, 1.2% as bisexual, and 0.59% as transgender. A significantly lower proportion of Veterans than non-Veterans refuse to answer sexual orientation (1.5% vs. 1.9%). There was no difference between Veterans and non-Veterans in responses for gender identity. Veterans are just as likely as non-Veterans to complete SOGI items in survey research. Asking Veterans about SOGI is unlikely to yield significant nonresponse. These data suggest that future research should investigate Veterans' perspectives on being asked about SOGI in research settings and as part of routine clinical care.
Hynes, Denise M; Stroupe, Kevin T; Fischer, Michael J; Reda, Domenic J; Manning, Willard; Browning, Margaret M; Huo, Zhiping; Saban, Karen; Kaufman, James S
Healthcare for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is intensive, expensive, and provided in both the public and private sector. Using a societal perspective, we examined healthcare costs and health outcomes for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ESRD patients comparing those who received hemodialysis care at VA versus private sector facilities. Dialysis patients were recruited from 8 VA medical centers from 2001 through 2003 and followed for 12 months in a prospective cohort study. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, quality of life, healthcare use, and cost data were collected. Healthcare data included utilization (VA), claims (Medicare), and patient self-report. Costs included VA calculated costs, Medicare dialysis facility reports and reimbursement rates, and patient self-report. Multivariable regression was used to compare costs between patients receiving dialysis at VA versus private sector facilities. The cohort comprised 334 patients: 170 patients in the VA dialysis group and 164 patients in the private sector group. The VA dialysis group had more comorbidities at baseline, outpatient and emergency visits, prescriptions, and longer hospital stays; they also had more conservative anemia management and lower baseline urea reduction ratio (67% vs. 72%; Pprivate sector dialysis group (Pprivate sector settings is critical in informing health policy options for patients with complex chronic illnesses such as ESRD.
Whitehead, Alison M; Czarnogorski, Maggie; Wright, Steve M; Hayes, Patricia M; Haskell, Sally G
Increasing numbers of women veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services has contributed to the need for equitable, high-quality care for women. The VA has evaluated performance measure data by gender since 2006. In 2008, the VA launched a 5-year women's health redesign, and, in 2011, gender disparity improvement was included on leadership performance plans. We examined data from VA Office of Analytics and Business Intelligence quarterly gender reports for trends in gender disparities in gender-neutral performance measures from 2008 to 2013. Through reporting of data by gender, leadership involvement, electronic reminders, and population management dashboards, VA has seen a decreasing trend in gender inequities on most Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance measures.
Czarnogorski, Maggie; Wright, Steve M.; Hayes, Patricia M.; Haskell, Sally G.
Increasing numbers of women veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services has contributed to the need for equitable, high-quality care for women. The VA has evaluated performance measure data by gender since 2006. In 2008, the VA launched a 5-year women’s health redesign, and, in 2011, gender disparity improvement was included on leadership performance plans. We examined data from VA Office of Analytics and Business Intelligence quarterly gender reports for trends in gender disparities in gender-neutral performance measures from 2008 to 2013. Through reporting of data by gender, leadership involvement, electronic reminders, and population management dashboards, VA has seen a decreasing trend in gender inequities on most Health Effectiveness Data and Information Set performance measures. PMID:25100416
Department of Veterans Affairs — The 2007 Veterans Employability Research Survey (VERS) was conducted to determine the factors that impact veterans' employability resulting from participation in the...
Bush, Shane S; Bass, Carmela
Veterans with polytrauma have suffered injuries to multiple body parts and organs systems, including the brain. The injuries can generate a triad of physical, neurologic/cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Accurate diagnosis is essential for the treatment of these conditions and for fair allocation of benefits. To accurately diagnose polytrauma disorders and their related problems, clinicians take into account the validity of reported history and symptoms, as well as clinical presentations. The purpose of this article is to describe the assessment of validity with polytrauma Veteran populations. Review of scholarly and other relevant literature and clinical experience are utilized. A multimethod approach to validity assessment that includes objective, standardized measures increases the confidence that can be placed in the accuracy of self-reported symptoms and physical, cognitive, and emotional test results. Due to the multivariate nature of polytrauma and the multiple disciplines that play a role in diagnosis and treatment, an ideal model of validity assessment with polytrauma Veteran populations utilizes neurocognitive, neurological, neuropsychiatric, and behavioral measures of validity. An overview of these validity assessment approaches as applied to polytrauma Veteran populations is presented. Veterans, the VA, and society are best served when accurate diagnoses are made.
... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of open Federal Advisory Committee meeting. SUMMARY: The SBA is... Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: September 10, 2012...
... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of open Federal Advisory Committee meeting. SUMMARY: The SBA is... Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: December 5, 2013 from...
... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of open Federal Advisory Committee Meeting. SUMMARY: The SBA is... Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: Tuesday, May 25, 2010...
Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the national mortality databases in the U.S. is the Beneficiary Identification and Record Locator Subsystem (BIRLS Death File that contains death dates of those who have received any benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA. The completeness of this database was shown to vary widely from cohort to cohort in previous studies. Three other sources of death dates are available in the VA that can complement the BIRLS Death File. The objective of this study is to evaluate the completeness and accuracy of death dates in the four sources available in the VA and to examine whether these four sources can be combined into a database with improved completeness and accuracy. Methods A random sample of 3,000 was drawn from 8.3 million veterans who received benefits from the VA between 1997 and 1999 and were alive on January 1, 1999 according to at least one source. Death dates found in BIRLS Death File, Medical SAS Inpatient Datasets, Medicare Vital Status, and Social Security Administration (SSA Death Master File were compared with dates obtained from the National Death Index. A combined dataset from these sources was also compared with National Death Index dates. Results Compared with the National Death Index, sensitivity (or the percentage of death dates correctly recorded in a source was 77.4% for BIRLS Death File, 12.0% for Medical SAS Inpatient Datasets, 83.2% for Medicare Vital Status, and 92.1% for SSA Death Master File. Over 95% of death dates in these sources agreed exactly with dates from the National Death Index. Death dates in the combined dataset demonstrated 98.3% sensitivity and 97.6% exact agreement with dates from the National Death Index. Conclusion The BIRLS Death File is not an adequate source of mortality data for the VA population due to incompleteness. When the four sources of mortality data are carefully combined, the resulting dataset can provide more timely data for death ascertainment than the
Patricia L Schirmer
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although dengue is endemic in Puerto Rico (PR, 2007 and 2010 were recognized as epidemic years. In the continental United States (US, outside of the Texas-Mexico border, there had not been a dengue outbreak since 1946 until dengue re-emerged in Key West, Florida (FL, in 2009-2010. The objective of this study was to use electronic and manual surveillance systems to identify dengue cases in Veterans Affairs (VA healthcare facilities and then to clinically compare dengue cases in Veterans presenting for care in PR and in FL. METHODOLOGY: Outpatient encounters from 1/2007-12/2010 and inpatient admissions (only available from 10/2009-12/2010 with dengue diagnostic codes at all VA facilities were identified using VA's Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE. Additional case sources included VA data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BioSense and VA infection preventionists. Case reviews were performed. Categorical data was compared using Mantel-Haenszel or Fisher Exact tests and continuous variables using t-tests. Dengue case residence was mapped. FINDINGS: Two hundred eighty-eight and 21 PR and FL dengue cases respectively were identified. Of 21 FL cases, 12 were exposed in Key West and 9 were imported. During epidemic years, FL cases had significantly increased dengue testing and intensive care admissions, but lower hospitalization rates and headache or eye pain symptoms compared to PR cases. There were no significant differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory abnormalities or outcomes between epidemic and non-epidemic year cases in FL and PR. Confirmed/probable cases were significantly more likely to be hospitalized and have thrombocytopenia or leukopenia compared to suspected cases. CONCLUSIONS: Dengue re-introduction in the continental US warrants increased dengue surveillance and education in VA. Throughout VA, under-testing of suspected cases highlights the need to
Full Text Available ... Affiliations) Employees & Contractors Talent Management System (TMS) VA Learning University (VALU) SimLearn Libraries (VALNET) VA Software Documentation ... Employment Homeless Veterans Women Veterans Minority Veterans Plain ... Spouses & Dependents Adaptive Sports Program ADMINISTRATION Veterans ...
Barnett, Paul G; Hong, Juliette S; Carey, Evan; Grunwald, Gary K; Joynt Maddox, Karen; Maddox, Thomas M
The Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Care (CC) Program supplements VA care with community-based medical services. However, access gains and value provided by CC have not been well described. To compare the access, cost, and quality of elective coronary revascularization procedures between VA and CC hospitals and to evaluate if procedural volume or publicly reported quality data can be used to identify high-value care. Observational cohort study of veterans younger than 65 years undergoing an elective coronary revascularization, controlling for differences in risk factors using propensity adjustment. The setting was VA and CC hospitals. Participants were veterans undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and veterans undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures between October 1, 2008, and September 30, 2011. The analysis was conducted between July 2014 and July 2017. Receipt of an elective coronary revascularization at a VA vs CC facility. Access to care as measured by travel distance, 30-day mortality, and costs. In the 3 years ending on September 30, 2011, a total of 13 237 elective PCIs (79.1% at the VA) and 5818 elective CABG procedures (83.6% at the VA) were performed in VA or CC hospitals among veterans meeting study inclusion criteria. On average, use of CC was associated with reduced net travel by 53.6 miles for PCI and by 73.3 miles for CABG surgery compared with VA-only care. Adjusted 30-day mortality after PCI was higher in CC compared with VA (1.54% for CC vs 0.65% for VA, P publicly reported mortality data identified hospitals that provided higher-value care with the exception that CABG mortality was lower in small-volume CC hospitals. In this veteran cohort, PCIs performed in CC hospitals were associated with shorter travel distance but with higher mortality, higher costs, and minimal travel savings compared with VA hospitals. The CABG procedures performed in CC hospitals were associated with shorter travel distance
McDonald, Scott D; Mickens, Melody N; Goldberg-Looney, Lisa D; Mutchler, Brian J; Ellwood, Michael S; Castillo, Teodoro A
Depression and other mental disorders are more prevalent among individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) than in the community at large, and have a strong association with quality of life. Yet little is known about the prevalence and predictors of mental disorders among U.S. military Veterans living with SCI. The primary aim of this study was to present an estimate of mental disorder point prevalence in this population. The secondary aim was to examine the relationship of mental disorders to demographics, injury characteristics, and other clinically relevant features such as impairment from mental health problems and life satisfaction. Cross-sectional. A SCI & Disorders Center at a U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Administrative and medical records of 280 Veterans who attended annual comprehensive SCI evaluations were evaluated. Demographics, injury characteristics, self-reported mental and emotional functioning (i.e. SF-8 Health Survey), and clinician-determined mental disorder diagnoses were attained. Overall, 40% of patients received at least one mental disorder diagnosis, most commonly depressive disorders (19%), posttraumatic stress disorder (12%), and substance or alcohol use disorders (11%). Several patient characteristics predicted mental disorders, including age, racial minority identity, non-traumatic SCI etiology, and incomplete (i.e. AIS D) vs. complete injury. Mental disorders were associated with greater impairment from health and mental health-related problems and less satisfaction with life. Mental disorders are common among outpatients receiving VA specialty care for SCI. These findings highlight the importance of having adequate and effective available mental health services available for Veterans with SCI.
... Surveillance for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans); Comment Request AGENCY: Veterans Health Administration.... Title: Health Surveillance for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans Survey. OMB Control Number: 2900-0722... New Generation of U.S. Veterans survey will be used to collect data from Operation Iraqi Freedom and...
... Payments for the Care Provided to Eligible Veterans Evacuated from a State Home as a Result of an Emergency..., Office of Patient Care Services (114), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs... for each eligible veteran receiving nursing home care, domiciliary care, and adult day health care in...
Wei, Wei; Pelletier, Denis
This paper develops a new test to evaluate Value af Risk (VaR) forecasts. VaR is a standard risk measure widely utilized by financial institutions and regulators, yet estimating VaR is a challenging problem, and popular VaR forecast relies on unrealistic assumptions. Hence, assessing...
Noska, Amanda J; Belperio, Pamela S; Loomis, Timothy P; O'Toole, Thomas P; Backus, Lisa I
Veterans are disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Homeless veterans are at particularly high risk for HIV, HCV, and HBV due to a variety of overlapping risk factors, including high rates of mental health disorders and substance use disorders. The prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans nationally is currently unknown. This study describes national testing rates and prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans. Using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Corporate Warehouse Data from 2015, we evaluated HIV, HCV, and HBV laboratory testing and infection confirmation rates and diagnoses on the Problem List for nonhomeless veterans and for veterans utilizing homeless services in 2015. Among 242740 homeless veterans in VA care in 2015, HIV, HCV, and HBV testing occurred in 63.8% (n = 154812), 78.1% (n = 189508), and 52.8% (n = 128262), respectively. The HIV population prevalence was 1.52% (3684/242740) among homeless veterans, compared with 0.44% (23797/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans. The HCV population prevalence among homeless veterans was 12.1% (29311/242740), compared with 2.7% (148079/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans, while the HBV population prevalence was 0.99% (2395/242740) for homeless veterans and 0.40% (21611/5424685) among nonhomeless veterans. To our knowledge this work represents the most comprehensive tested prevalence and population prevalence estimates of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans nationally. The data demonstrate high prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV among homeless veterans, and reinforce the need for integrated healthcare services along with homeless programming. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Department of Veterans Affairs — This report is the first comprehensive report that chronicles the history of racial and ethnic minorities in the military and as Veterans, profiles characteristics...
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Department of Veterans Affairs — This report is the first comprehensive report that chronicles the history of racial and ethnic minorities in the military and as Veterans, profiles characteristics...
Chang, Bei-Hung; Mueller, Lisa; Resnick, Sandra G; Osatuke, Katerine; Eisen, Susan V
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) peer specialists and vocational rehabilitation specialists are Veterans employed in mental health services to help other Veterans with similar histories and experiences. Study objectives were to (a) examine job satisfaction among these employees, (b) compare them to other VA mental health workers, and (c) identify factors associated with job satisfaction across the 3 cohorts. The study sample included 152 VA-employed peer specialists and 222 vocational rehabilitation specialists. A comparison group included 460 VA employees from the same job categories. All participants completed the Job Satisfaction Index (11 aspects and overall satisfaction ratings). Linear regression was used to compare job satisfaction and identify its predictors among the 3 cohorts. Job satisfaction was fairly high, averaging "somewhat satisfied" to "very satisfied" in 6 (peer specialists) and 9 (vocational rehabilitation specialists) of the 11 aspects and overall job ratings. Adjusting for length of employment, age and gender resulted in no significant group differences with 2 exceptions: White peer specialists were less satisfied with pay and promotion opportunities than vocational rehabilitation specialists and comparison-group employees. Across all cohorts, shorter length of time employed in the job was associated with higher job satisfaction. The high job satisfaction levels among the 2 peer cohorts suggest support for the policy of hiring peer specialists in the VA. Furthermore, the results are consistent with those of the nonveteran samples, indicating that integrating peer providers into mental health care is possible in VA and non-VA settings. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Wiener, R Constance; Shen, Chan; Sambamoorthi, Usha; Findley, Patricia A
Rural residents are overrepresented in the military; however, access to Veteran services is limited in rural areas. There is a need to identify rural Veteran healthcare utilization. This study addresses that need and has two purposes: a) to determine if there is an association between rural dwelling and Veteran utilization of dental services; and b) to determine if there is an association between rural dwelling and the oral health outcome of missing teeth. Data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey were used in this study. Chi square and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Rural Veterans were less likely to have a dental visit during the previous year as compared with metropolitan Veterans in unadjusted analysis (Odds ratio = 0.71, 95% Confidence Interval, 0.64, 0.77) and in adjusted analysis [0.87 (95% Confidence Interval, 0.78, 0.96)]. In cases in which all teeth were missing, rural Veterans had an unadjusted odds ratio of 1.79 [95% Confidence Interval, 1.55, 2.08] and an adjusted odds ratio of 1.37 [95% Confidence Interval, 1.17, 1.62] as compared with metropolitan Veterans. The Veterans Health Administration develops policies for establishing centers for care for Veterans. The policy development should take into consideration that rural Veterans have not been as likely as urban Veterans to utilize dental services and have poorer oral health outcomes. © 2017 American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
Chang, Bei-Hung; Stein, Nathan R; Skarf, Lara M
Although combat experiences can have a profound impact on individuals' spirituality, there is a dearth of research in this area. Our recent study indicates that one unique spiritual need of veterans who are at the end of life is to resolve distress caused by combat-related events that conflict with their personal beliefs. This study sought to gain an understanding of chaplains' perspectives on this type of spiritual need, as well as the spiritual care that chaplains provide to help veterans ease this distress. We individually interviewed five chaplains who have provided spiritual care to veterans at the end of life in a Veterans Administration hospital. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed based on "grounded theory." Chaplains reported that they frequently encounter veterans at the end of life who are still suffering from thoughts or images of events that occurred during their military career. Although some veterans are hesitant to discuss their experiences, chaplains reported that they have had some success with helping the veterans to open up. Additionally, chaplains reported using both religious (e.g., confessing sins) and nonreligious approaches (e.g., recording military experience) to help veterans to heal. Our pilot study provides some insight into the spiritual distress that many military veterans may be experiencing, as well as methods that a chaplain can employ to help these veterans. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to examine the value of integrating the chaplain service into mental health care for veterans.
Hanchate, Amresh D; Stolzmann, Kelly L; Rosen, Amy K; Fink, Aaron S; Shwartz, Michael; Ash, Arlene S; Abdulkerim, Hassen; Pugh, Mary Jo V; Shokeen, Priti; Borzecki, Ann
Hospital performance measures based on patient mortality and readmission have indicated modest rates of agreement. We examined if combining clinical data on laboratory tests and vital signs with administrative data leads to improved agreement with each other, and with other measures of hospital performance in the nation's largest integrated health care system. We used patient-level administrative and clinical data, and hospital-level data on quality indicators, for 2007-2010 from the Veterans Health Administration (VA). For patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF) and pneumonia we examined changes in hospital performance on 30-d mortality and 30-d readmission rates as a result of adding clinical data to administrative data. We evaluated whether this enhancement yielded improved measures of hospital quality, based on concordance with other hospital quality indicators. For 30-d mortality, data enhancement improved model performance, and significantly changed hospital performance profiles; for 30-d readmission, the impact was modest. Concordance between enhanced measures of both outcomes, and with other hospital quality measures - including Joint Commission process measures, VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) mortality and morbidity, and case volume - remained poor. Adding laboratory tests and vital signs to measure hospital performance on mortality and readmission did not improve the poor rates of agreement across hospital quality indicators in the VA. Efforts to improve risk adjustment models should continue; however, evidence of validation should precede their use as reliable measures of quality. Published by Elsevier Inc.
... Housing g. Mobility and Portability of HUD-VASH Vouchers h. Case Management Requirements i. Turnover of... veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the VA through its community medical... services sites and Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) across the nation. The HUD- VASH program is a...
... providers of home health services and hospice care. The preamble of that final rule stated the effective... 17.56, applicable to non-VA home health services and hospice care. Section 17.56 provides, among... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN98 Payment for Home Health Services and...
approximately 150 hospitals, 130 nursing homes, 800 community-based outpatient clinics, as well as other facilities to provide care to veterans. VA also...receive care and have to return for rescheduled appointments. Such missed appointments can lead to lost revenue for the military treatment facility
... DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AN86 Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency...) ``Payment or Reimbursement for Emergency Services for Nonservice-Connected Conditions in Non-VA Facilities... Reimbursement Act. Some of the revisions in this proposed rule are purely technical, matching the language of...
Mitchell, Karen S; Rasmusson, Ann; Bartlett, Brooke; Gerber, Megan R
Eating disorders (EDs) remain understudied among veterans, possibly due to the perception that primarily male population does not suffer from EDs. However, previous research suggests that male and female veterans do experience EDs. The high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and obesity observed among veterans may make this group vulnerable to disordered eating. Retrospective chart review was used to obtain data from 492 female veterans who were presented to a women's primary care center at a large, urban VA medical center between 2007 and 2009. A total of 2.8% of this sample had been diagnosed with an ED. In bivariate analyses, presence of PTSD and depression were significantly associated with having an ED diagnosis. However, when these two disorders were included in a multivariate model controlling for age, only depression diagnosis and lower age were significantly related to ED status. In sum, the rate of EDs in this sample is comparable to prevalence estimates of EDs in the general population. Current findings underscore the importance of assessing for EDs among VA patients and the need for further research among veterans. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Murdoch, Maureen; Polusny, Melissa A; Street, Amy; Noorbaloochi, Siamak; Simon, Alisha B; Bangerter, Ann; Grill, Joseph; Voller, Emily
To estimate the cumulative incidence of sexual assault during the time of Gulf War I among male Gulf War I Veterans who later applied for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) post-traumatic stress disorder disability benefits and to identify potential risk and protective factors for sexual assault within the population. Mailed, national, cross-sectional survey supplemented with VA administrative and clinical data. Of 2,415 Veterans sampled, 1,700 (70%) responded. After adjusting for nonignorable missing data, the cumulative incidence of sexual assault during Gulf War I in this population ranged from 18% [95% confidence intervals (CI): 5.0%-51.9%] to 21% (95% CI: 20.0-22.0). Deployment was not associated with sexual assault [Odds Ratio (OR), 0.96; 95% CI: 0.75-1.23], but combat exposure was (OR, 1.80; 95% CI: 1.52-2.10). Other correlates of sexual assault within the population included working in a unit with greater tolerance of sexual harassment (OR, 1.80; 95% CI: 1.52-2.10) and being exposed to more sexual identity challenges (OR, 1.76; 95% CI: 1.55-2.00). The 9-month cumulative incidence of sexual assault in this particular population exceeded the lifetime cumulative incidence of sexual assault in U.S. civilian women. Although Persian Gulf deployment was not associated with sexual assault in this population, combat exposure was. Reprint & Copyright © 2014 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.
Tsai, Jack; Hoff, Rani A; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to preventing and ending homelessness among U.S. veterans, but there have been few estimates of the incidence of veteran homelessness and prospective studies to identify predictors of homelessness. This study examines the 1-year incidence of homelessness among veterans seen in VA specialty mental health clinics and identified sociodemographic and clinical predictors of homelessness. Using a retrospective cohort study design, data were extracted from the VA medical records of 306,351 veterans referred to anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder clinics across 130 VA facilities from 2008-2012 and followed for 1 year after referral. Homeless incidence was defined as new use of any VA homeless services or a documented International Classification of Diseases (9th rev.) V60.0 (lack of housing) code during the year. Of the total sample, 5.6% (7.8% for women and 5.4% for men) experienced homelessness within 1 year after referral to VA specialty mental health care. Veterans who were unmarried or diagnosed with a drug use disorder were more than twice as likely to become homeless; those who were Black or had annual incomes less than $25,000 were more than one and a half times as likely to become homeless. Together, these findings suggest a notable and important percentage of veterans seen in VA specialty mental health clinics newly experience homelessness annually. Monitoring early signs of housing vulnerability and preventing homelessness in this vulnerable but treatment-engaged population may be important in the VA's efforts to end veteran homelessness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Burg, Matthew M; Brandt, Cynthia; Buta, Eugenia; Schwartz, Joseph; Bathulapalli, Harini; Dziura, James; Edmondson, Donald E; Haskell, Sally
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular mortality risk. Neither the prospective relationship of PTSD to incident hypertension risk nor the effect of PTSD treatment on hypertension risk has been established. Data from a nationally representative sample of 194,319 veterans were drawn from the Veterans Administration (VA) roster of United States service men and women. This included veterans whose end of last deployment was from September 2001 to July 2010 and whose first VA medical visit was from October 1, 2001 to January 1, 2009. Incident hypertension was modeled as 3 events: (1) a new diagnosis of hypertension and/or (2) a new prescription for antihypertensive medication, and/or (3) a clinic blood pressure reading in the hypertensive range (≥140/90 mm Hg, systolic/diastolic). Posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis was the main predictor. Posttraumatic stress disorder treatment was defined as (1) at least 8 individual psychotherapy sessions of 50 minutes or longer during any consecutive 6 months and/or (2) a prescription for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication. Over a median 2.4-year follow-up, the incident hypertension risk independently associated with PTSD ranged from hazard ratio (HR), 1.12 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.17; p < .0001) to HR, 1.30 (95% CI, 1.26-1.34; p < .0001). The interaction of PTSD and treatment revealed that treatment reduced the PTSD-associated hypertension risk (e.g., from HR, 1.44 [95% CI, 1.38-1.50; p < .0001] for those untreated, to HR, 1.20 [95% CI, 1.15-1.25; p < .0001] for those treated). These results indicate that reducing the long-term health impact of PTSD and the associated costs may require very early surveillance and treatment.
Swan, A A; Nelson, J T; Swiger, B; Jaramillo, C A; Eapen, B C; Packer, M; Pugh, M J
The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus in a cohort of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (IAV) with common post-deployment conditions, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other typical post-concussive conditions such as headaches and vertigo/dizziness. This retrospective observational study used data from the national Veterans Health Administration (VA) data repository from fiscal years 2001-2014. Veteran data was included if there were at least three years of VA care, with one or more years of care in 2007 or after. We identified comorbidities that may be associated with post-deployment hearing loss or tinnitus including TBI, PTSD, depression, and common post-concussive symptoms using International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification codes. A multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine conditions associated with hearing loss or tinnitus. Among IAV, 570,332 were included in the final analysis. Of these, 7.78% of these were diagnosed with hearing loss alone, 6.54% with tinnitus alone, and 6.24% with both hearing loss and tinnitus. Comorbid TBI, PTSD, and depression were significantly associated with increased rates of hearing loss, tinnitus, or both conditions together. Older individuals, males, and those with TBI, PTSD, or vertigo/dizziness were significantly more likely to have hearing loss, tinnitus, or both. In order to provide more holistic post-deployment support, this myriad of conditions should be carefully considered in the planning of clinical care and beyond. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Sherman, Michelle D; Larsen, Jessica; Straits-Troster, Kristy; Erbes, Christopher; Tassey, John
The majority of adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are parents. Parents with PTSD report lower levels of parenting satisfaction, poorer parent-child relationships, and elevated incidence of child distress and behavioral problems in comparison with parents without PTSD. Although literature exists regarding parent-child communication about serious mental illness and physical health problems, research has yet to examine this communication regarding parental PTSD. This 3-site, mixed methods study involved 19 veteran parents who had a diagnosis of PTSD; participants were recruited from VA medical centers. Veterans participated in focus groups or individual interviews and completed questionnaires, responding to questions about motivations and barriers for disclosure of their PTSD to their children, the content of such disclosure, experiences at the VA as a parent, and desired VA family resources. Although many veterans described a desire to talk with their children about PTSD, they experience many barriers to doing so, including both personal reservations and feelings (e.g., avoidance of discussing PTSD, shame) and concerns about the consequences of disclosure on their children (e.g., child distress, loss of child's respect for veteran). Regarding veterans' experience at the VA, 21% reported that none of their providers had assessed if they have children, and 21% experienced the VA system as not welcoming to them as parents, citing both logistical issues (e.g., lack of childcare) and provider neglect of parenting concerns. Veterans indicated they would like the VA to offer parenting classes, workshops for families, child care, and family therapy. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
and disorders, spinal cord presents its own set of daunting challenges. But its intrinsic nature (the emotional , societal and financial tolls it...warfarin. The inhibitors include tacrine (Cognex), omeprazole (Prilosec), quinolone antibiotics, erythromycin, and oral contraceptives . Co-administration...QOL”) , a subjectively evaluated multidimensional construct, “refers to the extent to which one’s usual or expected physical, emotional , and social
Abbott, Daniel E; Macke, Ryan A; Kurtz, Jodi; Safdar, Nasia; Greenberg, Caprice C; Weber, Sharon M; Voils, Corrine I; Fisher, Deborah A; Maloney, James D
Access to specialty health care in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system continues to be problematic. Given the potential temporal and fiscal benefits of telehealth, the Madison VA developed a virtual consultation (VC) mechanism to expedite diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for Veterans with incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules. Materials and. VC, a remote encounter between referring provider and thoracic surgeon for incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules, was implemented at the Madison VA between 2009 and 2011. Time from request to completion of consultation, hospital cost, and travel costs were determined for 157 veterans. These endpoints were then compared with in-person consultations over a concurrent 6-mo period. For the entire study cohort, the mean time to completion of VC was 3.2 d (SD ± 4.4 d). For the 6-mo period of first VC availability, the mean time to VC completion versus in-person consultation was 2.8 d (SD ± 2.8 d) and 20.5 d (SD ± 15.6 d), respectively (p < 0.05). Following initial VC, 84 (53%) veterans were scheduled for virtual follow-up alone; no veteran required an additional office visit before further diagnostic or therapeutic intervention. VA hospital cost was $228 per in-person consultation versus $120 per episode for VC - a 47.4% decrease. The average distance form veteran home to center was 86 miles, with an average travel reimbursement of $112 per in-person consultation, versus no travel cost associated with VC. VC for incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules significantly decreases time to consultation completion, hospital cost, and veteran travel cost. These data suggest that a significant opportunity exists for expansion of telehealth into additional practice settings within the VA system. © Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com
Nieuwsma, Jason A; Rhodes, Jeffrey E; Jackson, George L; Cantrell, William C; Lane, Marian E; Bates, Mark J; Dekraai, Mark B; Bulling, Denise J; Ethridge, Keith; Drescher, Kent D; Fitchett, George; Tenhula, Wendy N; Milstein, Glen; Bray, Robert M; Meador, Keith G
Chaplains play important roles in caring for Veterans and Service members with mental health problems. As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) Integrated Mental Health Strategy, we used a sequential approach to examining intersections between chaplaincy and mental health by gathering and building upon: 1) input from key subject matter experts; 2) quantitative data from the VA / DoD Chaplain Survey (N = 2,163; response rate of 75% in VA and 60% in DoD); and 3) qualitative data from site visits to 33 VA and DoD facilities. Findings indicate that chaplains are extensively involved in caring for individuals with mental health problems, yet integration between mental health and chaplaincy is frequently limited due to difficulties between the disciplines in establishing familiarity and trust. We present recommendations for improving integration of services, and we suggest key domains for future research.
Luz M. Semeah
Full Text Available In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA set a goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Since then there has been a 36% reduction in homelessness due, in part, to the VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH program. These services include the receipt of home-based services to the veterans’ home. However, safety concerns and the threat of violence toward health care workers remain problematic in non-institutional care settings. This article discusses the concept of access to care and how safety concerns act as a barrier to services and optimal patient outcomes. Our study provides information on the prevalence of patient violence toward health care workers in the HUD-VASH program in a large veterans’ health system. Results suggest 70% of home-based service providers were exposed to violence and aggression. Providing services to veterans outside of institutional care settings, and the goal of eradicating homelessness among veterans, warrants further examination of access barriers.
Klein, Dawn M; Pham, Kassi; Samy, Leila; Bluth, Adam; Nazi, Kim M; Witry, Matthew; Klutts, J Stacey; Grant, Kathleen M; Gundlapalli, Adi V; Kochersberger, Gary; Pfeiffer, Laurie; Romero, Sergio; Vetter, Brian; Turvey, Carolyn L
Information continuity is critical to person-centered care when patients receive care from multiple healthcare systems. Patients can access their electronic health record data through patient portals to facilitate information exchange. This pilot was developed to improve care continuity for rural Veterans by (1) promoting the use of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patient portal to share health information with non-VA providers, and (2) evaluating the impact of health information sharing at a community appointment. Veterans from nine VA healthcare systems were trained to access and share their VA Continuity of Care Document (CCD) with their non-VA providers. Patients and non-VA providers completed surveys on their experiences. Participants (n = 620) were primarily older, white, and Vietnam era Veterans. After training, 78% reported the CCD would help them be more involved in their healthcare and 86% planned to share it regularly with non-VA providers. Veterans (n = 256) then attended 277 community appointments. Provider responses from these appointments (n = 133) indicated they were confident in the accuracy of the information (97%) and wanted to continue to receive the CCD (96%). Ninety percent of providers reported the CCD improved their ability to have an accurate medication list and helped them make medication treatment decisions. Fifty percent reported they did not order a laboratory test or another procedure because of information available in the CCD. This pilot demonstrates feasibility and value of patient access to a CCD to facilitate information sharing between VA and non-VA providers. Outreach and targeted education are needed to promote consumer-mediated health information exchange.
Peiris, Alan N; Bailey, Beth A; Peiris, Prith; Copeland, Rebecca J; Manning, Todd
African Americans have lower vitamin D levels and reduced health outcomes compared to white Americans. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to adverse health outcomes in African Americans. We hypothesized that race would be associated with vitamin D status and testing in African Americans veterans, and that vitamin D status is a major contributor to health care costs in African American veterans compared to white veterans. A retrospective analysis of the medical data in the Veterans Integrated Service Network 9 (southeastern United States) was performed, and 14148 male veterans were identified. Race was designated by the patient and its relationship to vitamin D levels/status and costs was assessed. Vitamin D levels were significantly lower and the percent of patients with vitamin D deficiency was significantly higher in African American veterans. This difference was independent of latitude and seasonality. Vitamin D testing was done significantly more in white veterans compared to African American veterans (5.4% vs 3.8%). While follow-up testing was 42% more likely if a patient was found to be vitamin D deficient, white veterans were 34% more likely than African American veterans to have at least 1 follow-up 25-hydroxyvitamin D performed. African American veterans had significantly higher health care costs, which were linked to lower vitamin D levels; however, the cost differential persisted even after adjusting for vitamin D status. Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in African American veterans and needs improved management within the Veteran Administration system. Vitamin D status appears not to be the sole contributor to increased health care costs in African American veterans.
Coker, Kendell L; Rosenheck, Robert
Cross sectional studies have addressed the incarceration of Vietnam veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but no studies have examined changes in incarceration as they age. This study examines patterns of incarceration among Vietnam veterans treated in specialized veterans affairs (VA) intensive PTSD programs over time. Data was drawn from admission data from the initial episode of treatment of Caucasian and African American Vietnam veterans entering VA specialized intensive PTSD programs between 1993 and 2011 (N = 31,707). Bivariate correlations and logistic regression were used to examine associations among race and incarceration over time and the potentially confounding influence of demographic and clinical covariates on this relationship. Rates of reported incarceration declined from 63 to 43%. Over time, African American veterans were 34% more likely than Caucasian veterans to have a lifetime history of incarceration while interaction analysis showed steeper declines for Caucasians than African Americans. Rates of incarceration among these Vietnam veterans declined as they aged. Furthermore, African American veterans were substantially more likely than Caucasian veterans to have been incarcerated and showed less decline as the cohort aged. While reduced, needs for clinical PTSD services remain among aging combat veterans.
Wagner, Todd H; Sinnott, Patricia; Siroka, Andrew M
This study analyzed spending for treatment of mental health and substance use disorders in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in fiscal years (FYs) 2000 through 2007. VA spending as reported in the VA Decision Support System was linked to patient utilization data as reported in the Patient Treatment Files, the National Patient Care Database, and the VA Fee Basis files. All care and costs from FY 2000 to FY 2007 were analyzed. Over the study period the number of veterans treated at the VA increased from 3.7 million to over 5.1 million (an average increase of 4.9% per year), and costs increased .7% per person per year. For mental health and substance use disorder treatment, the volume of inpatient care decreased markedly, residential care increased, and spending decreased on average 2% per year (from $668 in FY 2000 to $578 per person in FY 2007). FY 2007 saw large increases in mental health spending, bucking the trend from FY 2000 through FY 2006. VA's continued emphasis on outpatient and residential care was evident through 2007. This trend in spending might be unimpressive if VA were enrolling healthier Veterans, but the opposite seems to be true: over this time period the prevalence of most chronic conditions, including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, increased. VA spending on mental health care grew rapidly in 2007, and given current military activities, this trend is likely to increase.
as yield important information regarding other physical health conditions, the systematic screening for mTBI among OEF/OIF veterans who receive VA care... physical and mental health functioning and disability (VA Cooperative Study #569: the course and consequences of posttraumatic stress disorder in Vietnam...research, mental and physical health mea- sures were used to demonstrate criterion-related validity in the DRRI, and researchers have found the
Of the 814 referred, including 654 males (80%) and 160 females (20%), 154 Veterans (19% of those referred) have been randomized to the study. Of the...and we use internal advertisements for the project (e.g., newsletters, messages on VA TVs and VA website). We have developed a feedback loop to...determine the primary recruitment sites with positive referrals for the project and then use this information to refine our recruitment strategy and
Women Veterans. GAO-17-52. Washington , D.C.: December 2, 2016. Veterans Health Care: Improvements Needed in Operationalizing Strategic Goals and...Access to Primary Care. GAO-16-328. Washington , D.C.: March 18, 2016. DOD and VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Help Ensure Appropriate Medication...ET Wednesday, March 15, 2017 GAO-17-473T United States Government Accountability Office United States Government Accountability Office
Averill, Lynnette A.; Fleming, CJ Eubanks; Holens, Pamela L.; Larsen, Sadie E.
Background: A series of recent articles has reported on well-designed studies examining base rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) screenings within the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan conflict)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq conflict) (OEF/OIF) military population. Although these studies have a number of strengths, this line of research points out several key areas in need of further examination.Objective: Many OEF/OIF Veterans do not use available Veterans Affairs (VA) servic...
Lauren M. Denneson, PhD; Kathryn Corson, PhD; Steven K. Dobscha, MD
We describe prior use and willingness to try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among 401 veterans experiencing chronic noncancer pain and explore differences between CAM users and nonusers. Participants in a randomized controlled trial of a collaborative intervention for chronic pain from five Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics self-reported prior use and willingness to try chiropractic care, massage therapy, herbal medicines, and acupuncture. Prior CAM users ...
Cosio, David; Lin, Erica H
Past studies have shown that U.S. Veterans are consumers of CAM. However, more than 75% of Veteran non-users report they would utilize these treatment options if made available. Thus, Veterans may not be fully aware of the CAM options currently available to them in the current U.S. VA health care system. The current study tested the hypothesis that Veterans would report an increase in CAM utilization after completing a formal pain education program in a VA medical center. The study used a quasi-experimental, one-group, pre/post-test design. Midwestern, U.S. VA Medical Center. The responses from 103 Veterans who elected to participate in the program and the assessment measures were included in the outcome analyses. "Pain Education School" is a 12-week, educational program that is open to all Veterans and their families. It is a comprehensive program that introduces patients to 23 different disciplines at the VA Medical Center that deal with chronic, non-cancer pain. An adaptation of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire(©), SECTION A: Use of Alternative Health Care Providers. There was a significant difference found in overall utilization of CAM after completing the pain education program. The most utilized CAM modality was the chiropractor; the least utilized were hypnosis and aromatherapy. Not all health care systems or providers may have access to an education-focused, professionally driven program as an amenity. However, lessons can be learned from this study in terms of what pain providers may be able to accomplish in their practice. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
... veterans under merit promotion. 335.106 Section 335.106 Administrative Personnel OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS PROMOTION AND INTERNAL PLACEMENT General Provisions § 335.106 Special selection procedures for certain veterans under merit promotion. Preference eligibles or veterans who have...