Data acquisition process for VA and non-VA emergency department and hospital utilization by veterans with spinal cord injury and disorders in California using VA and state data

Sujuan Cai, Debra Bakerjian, Heejung Bang, Satish M. Mahajan, Doug Ota, Jenny Kiratli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context: To identify VA and non-VA Emergency Department (ED) and hospital utilization by veterans with spinal cord injury and disorders (SCI/D) in California. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: VA and Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) in California. Participants: Total 300 veterans admitted to the study VA SCI/D Center for initial rehabilitations from 01/01/1999 through 08/17/2014. Interventions: N/A. Outcome Measures: Individual-level ED visits and hospitalizations during the first-year post-rehabilitation. Results: Among 145 veterans for whom ED visit data available, 168 ED visits were identified: 94 (55.2%) at non-VA EDs and 74 (44.8%) at the VA ED, with a mean of 1.16 (±2.21) ED visit/person. Seventy-seven (53.1%) veterans did not visit any ED. Of 68 (46.9%) veterans with ≥ one ED visit, 20 (29.4%) visited the VA ED only, 34 (50.0%) visited non-VA EDs only, and 14 (20.6%) visited both VA and non-VA EDs. Among 212 Veterans for whom hospitalization data were available, 247 hospitalizations were identified: 82 (33.2%) non-VA hospitalizations and 165 (66.8%) VA hospitalization with a mean of 1.17 (±1.62) hospitalizations/person. One hundred-seven (50.5%) veterans had no hospitalizations. Of 105 veterans with ≥ one hospitalization, 58 (55.2%) were hospitalized at the study VA hospital, 15 (14.3%) at a non-VA hospital, and 32 (30.5%) at both VA and non-VA hospitals. Conclusion: Non-VA ED and hospital usage among veterans with SCI/D occurred frequently. The acquisition of non-VA healthcare data managed by state agencies is vital to accurately and comprehensively evaluate needs and utilization rates among veteran populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Emergency department visit
  • Health care utilization
  • Hospitalization
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Veterans
  • Veterans’ health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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