Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 4, 2010
   Pages 387 — 402

Abstract — Prosthetic cost projections for servicemembers with major limb loss from Vietnam and OIF/OEF

David K. Blough, PhD;1* Sharon Hubbard, MS;2 Lynne V. McFarland, PhD;3 Douglas G . Smith, MD;4-5 Jeffrey M. Gambel, MD, MPH, MSW;6 Gayle E. Reiber, PhD, MPH 3,5

1Department of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 2Prosthetics Research Study, Seattle, WA; 3Health Services Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; 4Harborview Medical Center, Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 5University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 6Medical Corps, U.S. Army, Washington, DC; and Armed Forces Amputee Patient Care Program, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

Abstract —  This study projects prosthetic- and assistive-device costs for veterans with limb loss from Vietnam and injured servicemembers returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) to inform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for these veterans' future care. The 2005 Medicare prosthetic device component prices were applied to current prosthetic and assistive-device use obtained from a national survey of 581 veterans and servicemembers with major traumatic amputations. Projections were made for 5-year, 10-year, 20-year, and lifetime costs based on eight Markov models. Average 5-year projected costs for prosthetic and assistive-device replacement for the Vietnam group are lower than for the OIF/OEF cohort due in part to use of fewer and less technologically advanced prosthetic devices and higher frequency of prosthetic abandonment. By limb-loss level, for the Vietnam group and OIF/OEF cohort, 5-year projected unilateral upper limb average costs are $31,129 and $117,440, unilateral lower limb costs are $82,251 and $228,665, and multiple limb costs are $130,890 and $453,696, respectively. These figures provide the VA with a funding estimate for technologically advanced prosthetic and assistive devices within the framework of ongoing rehabilitation for veterans with traumatic limb loss from the Vietnam and OIF/OEF conflicts.

Key words: amputation, assistive device, cost projection, costs, limb loss, Markov model, OIF/OEF, prosthetics, rehabilitation, Vietnam.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, June 15, 2010 9:56 AM

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