Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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JRRD Volume 46, Number 8, 2009


Volume 46 Number 8, 2009
   Pages 1003 — 1010

Abstract — Description of outpatient utilization and costs in group of veterans with traumatic brain injury

Beeta Y. Homaifar, PhD;1-2* Jeri E. Harwood, PhD;3-4 Todd H. Wagner, PhD;5-6 Lisa A. Brenner, PhD1-2,7-8

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Integrated Service Network 19, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Denver, CO; Departments of 2Psychiatry and 3Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine (UCD SOM), Aurora, CO; 4Department of Biostatistics and Informatics, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO; 5VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA; 6Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Departments of 7Neurology and 8Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UCD SOM, Aurora, CO

Abstract — In an attempt to increase understanding regarding the nonacute healthcare needs of veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), we examined the outpatient utilization and cost patterns of 72 patients with TBI who were at least 4 years postinjury. We selected participants from a clinical database of veterans receiving care at a western Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center. We extracted data from national utilization databases maintained by the VA and examined data from primary care and internal medicine, psychiatry and substance use, rehabilitation, and other services (e.g., ancillary, diagnostic, prosthetic, dental, nursing home, and home care). We extracted data for fiscal years 2002 to 2007. In addition to descriptive statistics, we modeled visits per year as a function of time since injury. The data show that this sample of patients with TBI consistently used a wide array of outpatient services over time with considerable variation in cost. Further study regarding economic aspects of care for patients with TBI is warranted.

Key words: aging, costs, Department of Veterans Affairs, healthcare, nonacute care, outpatient services, rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury, utilization, veterans.


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