Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 5, 2014
   Pages 675 — 684

Abstract — Homeless and nonhomeless VA service users likely eligible for Medicaid expansion

Jack Tsai, PhD;1* Robert A. Rosenheck, MD1–2

1Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs New England Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; and Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; 2Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT

Abstract — Administrative data on the population of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) service users in 2010 under the age of 65 yr (n = 3,841,225) were analyzed to identify the number and characteristics of homeless and nonhomeless VA service users who are likely to be eligible for the Medicaid expansion (LEME) option under the Affordable Care Act. Results showed that, estimating conservatively, about 1.2 million (21%) current VA users are LEME if all states implement the expansion. Homeless service users were twice as likely to be eligible than nonhomeless users (64% vs 30%). VA service users who are LEME, regardless of housing status, were physically healthier than those not LEME but were more likely to have substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder. These findings suggest that many VA service users are LEME, particularly those who are homeless and/or have mental health needs. Cross-system use of VA and Medicaid-funded services may be advantageous for veterans with extensive medical and psychiatric needs but also risks fragmented care. Information and education for VA clinicians and their patients about possible implications of the Affordable Care Act may be important.

Key words: Affordable Care Act, cross-system use, Department of Veterans Affairs, health services, homelessness, Medicaid, posttraumatic stress disorder, psychiatric disorders, substance use disorder, veterans.

View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.5

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Tsai J, Rosenheck RA. Homeless and nonhomeless VA service users likely eligible for Medicaid expansion. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(5):675–84.
ResearcherID/ORCID: Jack Tsai, PhD: 0000-0002-0329-648X

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, August 26, 2014 12:35 PM

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