Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Are VHA administrative location codes valid indicators of specialty substance use disorder treatment?

Alex H. S. Harris, PhD, et al.


Figure 1. Definition of Veterans Health Administration SUD specialty loca-tions, diagnoses, and procedures. Note: SUD specialty code limited to those specified by SUD Continuity of Care performance measure. Some older, rarely used codes are omitted: note exclusion of 305.1???tobacco use disorder. CPT = common procedural terminology, ICD-9-CM = International Classification of Diseases-9th Revision-Clinical Modification, PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder, SUD = sub-stance use disorder.

Healthcare quality managers and researchers often need to identify specific healthcare events from administrative data. We examined whether Veterans Health Administration clinic stop and bed section codes were reliable indicators of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment as documented in clinical progress notes. We found that SUD residential and inpatient bed section codes can be used to identify SUD treatment from administrative data but that outpatient SUD clinic stop codes need to be paired with diagnosis and procedure codes in order to accurately identify SUD-focused treatment visits. These results can be applied to improve the validity of research and quality measurement.

Volume 47 Number 8, 2010
   Pages 699 — 708

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Harris AHS, Reeder RN, Ellerbe L, Bowe T. Are VHA administrative location codes valid indicators of specialty substance use disorder treatment? J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010;47(8):699-708.
DOI:10.1682/JRRD.2009.07.0106
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:42 AM

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