American Journal of Health Economics
By Tara Templin
Sourcebook Volume 1–Women Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration: Sociodemographic Characteristics and Use of VHA Care
The Sourcebook is the result of ongoing Veterans Health Administration (VHA) efforts aimed at understanding the effects of military service on women’s lives. The first in a series, Sourcebook Vol. 1 describes women Veterans receiving VHA care in Fiscal Year 2009 overall and within key subgroups (by age and by service-connected disability status). It also presents gender comparisons between women and men in FY09. Finally, it presents longitudinal trends in utilization over the decade (FY00–FY09).
Matching outpatient prosthetics order records in the VA National Prosthetics Patient Database (NPPD) to health care utilization databases
An Evaluation of Patient Self-Testing Competency of Prothrombin Time for Managing Anticoagulation: Pre-randomization Results of VA Cooperative Study #481 – The Home INR Study (THINRS).
Prior studies suggest patient self-testing (PST) of prothrombin time (PT) can improve the quality of anticoagulation (AC) and reduce complications (e.g., bleeding and thromboembolic events). "The Home INR Study" (THINRS) compared AC management with frequent PST using a home monitoring device to high-quality AC management (HQACM) with clinic-based monitoring on major health outcomes. A key clinical and policy question is whether and which patients can successfully use such devices.
The Effect of Neonatal Intensive Care Level and Hospital Volume on Mortality of Very Low Birth Weight Infants
OBJECTIVE: To determine the adjusted effect of hospital level of care and volume on mortality of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants in the state of California, where deregionalization of perinatal care has occurred.
A variety of recent theoretical and empirical advances have renewed interest in monopsonistic models of the labor market. However, there is little direct empirical support for these models, even in labor markets that are textbook examples of monopsony. We use an exogenous change in wages at Veterans Affairs hospitals as a natural experiment to investigate the extent of monopsony in the nurse labor market. In contrast to much of the prior literature, we estimate that labor supply to individual hospitals is quite inelastic, with short-run elasticity around 0.1.
This article examines the outcome data for very low birth weight infants in low-volume, mid-volume, and high-volume neonatal ICUs (NICUs) and argues for regionalization of NICU services on the basis of both medical outcomes and economic rationality. It recognizes some of the obstacles to regionalization of these services and presents ways to surmount them.
Background: Historically, men have been the predominant users of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care. With more women entering the system, a systematic assessment of their healthcare use and costs of care is needed. We examined how utilization and costs of VHA care differ in women veterans compared with men veterans.
Background: There has been a large increase in both the number of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in community hospitals and the complexity of the cases treated in these units. We examined differences in neonatal mortality among infants with very low birth weight (below 1500 g) among NICUs with various levels of care and different volumes of very-low-birth-weight infants.
Differences in Neonatal Mortality Among Whites and Asian American Subgroups: Evidence From California
Objective: To obtain information about health outcomes in neonates in 9 subgroups of the Asian population in the United States.
Design: Cross-sectional comparison of outcomes for births to mothers of Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese origin and for births to non-Hispanic white mothers. Regression models were used to compare neonatal mortality across groups before and after controlling for various risk factors.
Objective: Despite evidence and recommendations encouraging the delivery of high-risk newborns in hospitals with subspecialty or high-level NICUs, increasing numbers are being delivered in other facilities. Causes for this are unknown. We sought to explore the impact of diffusion of specialty or midlevel NICUs on the types of hospitals in which low birth weight newborns are born.
Objective: We sought to describe the current costs of newborn care by using population-based data, which includes linked vital statistics and hospital records for both mothers and infants. These data allow costs to be reported by episode of care (birth), instead of by hospitalization.
Effect of Geriatrics Evaluation and Management on Nursing Home Use and Health Care Costs: Results From a Randomized Trial
Background: The Geriatric Evaluation and Management study was developed to assess the impact of a comprehensive geriatric assessment service on the care of the elderly.
Objectives: We sought to evaluate the cost and clinical impact of inpatient units and outpatient clinics for geriatric evaluation and management.
Research Design: We undertook a prospective, randomized, controlled trial using a 2 × 2 factorial design, with 1-year follow-up.
The Impact of Patient Self-Testing of Prothrombin Time for Managing Anticoagulation: Rationale and Design of VA Cooperative Study #481 -- The Home INR Study (THINRS)
Background: Anticoagulation (AC) with warfarin reduces the risk of thromboembolism (TE) in a variety of applications, yet despite compelling evidence of the value and importance of high quality AC, warfarin remains underused, and dosing is often suboptimal.
This study examined factors affecting medical service use among HIV-infected persons with a substance abuse disorder. The sample comprised 190 participants enrolled in a randomized trial of a case management intervention. Participants were interviewed about their backgrounds, housing status, income, alcohol and drug use problems, health status and depressive symptoms at study entry. Electronic medical records were used to assess medical service use.
Kernicterus, thought to be due to severe hyperbilirubinemia, is an uncommon disorder with tragic consequences, especially when it affects healthy term and near-term infants. Early identification, prevention and treatment of severe hyperbilirubinemia should make kernicterus a preventable disease. However, national epidemiologic data are needed to monitor any preventive strategies.
Variability in demand for hospital services may have important effects on hospital costs, but this has been difficult to examine because data on within-year variations in hospital use have not been available for large samples of hospitals. We measure daily occupancy in California hospitals and examine variation in hospital utilization at the daily level. We find substantial day-to-day variation in hospital utilization, and noticeable differences between hospitals in the amount of day-to-day variation in utilization.
Chronic conditions are among the most common causes of death and disability in the United States. Patients with such conditions receive disproportionate amounts of health care services and therefore cost more per capita than the average patient. This study assesses the prevalence among the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users and VA expenditures (costs) of 29 common chronic conditions. The authors used regression to identify the marginal impact of these conditions on total, inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy costs.
In a random assignment study, substance-abusing patients with HIV/AIDS in a public general hospital received a brief contact condition or received 12 months of case management delivered by paraprofessionals. Patient outcomes included substance use, HIV transmission risk, physical health, psychological status, and quality of living situation. In both conditions, a significant decrease occurred in a range of problems from Intake to the 6-month interview, followed by no significant pattern of change at 12- and 18-month interviews.
The Influence of Distance on Utilization of Outpatient Mental Health Aftercare Following Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
This study examined whether substance abuse patients who live farther from their source of outpatient mental health care were less likely to obtain aftercare following an inpatient treatment episode. For those patients who did receive aftercare, distance was evaluated as a predictor of the volume of care received. A national sample of 33,952 veterans discharged from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) inpatient substance abuse treatment programs was analyzed using a two-part choice model utilizing logistic and linear regression.
This article reports how we matched Common Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes with Medicare payment rates and aggregate Veterans Affairs (VA) budget data to estimate the costs of every VA ambulatory encounter. Converting CPT codes to encounter-level costs was more complex than a simple match of Medicare reimbursements to CPT codes. About 40 percent of the CPT codes used in VA, representing about 20 percent of procedures, did not have a Medicare payment rate and required other cost estimates.
Managed care may influence technology diffusion in health care. This article empirically examines the relationship between HMO market share and the diffusion of neonatal intensive care units. Higher HMO market share is associated with slower adoption of mid-level units, but not with adoption of the most advanced high-level units.
OBJECTIVE: In 1976, the Committee on Perinatal Health recommended that hospitals with no neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or intermediate NICUs transfer high-risk mothers and infants that weigh
METHODS: Birth certificates of 16 732 singleton infants who had a BW of