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Preventing Hospitalization with Veterans Affairs Home-Based Primary Care: Which Individuals Benefit Most?

Edwards ST, Saha S, Prentice JC, Pizer SD. Preventing Hospitalization with Veterans Affairs Home-Based Primary Care: Which Individuals Benefit Most? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2017 Aug 1; 65(8):1676-1683.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: To examine how medical complexity modifies the relationship between enrollment in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home-based primary care (HBPC) and hospitalization for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSC) for veterans with diabetes mellitus and whether the effect of HBPC on hospitalizations varies according to clinical condition. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: VA and non-VA hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: VA beneficiaries aged 67 and older with diabetes mellitus and enrolled in Medicare (N = 364,972). MEASUREMENTS: Instrumental variables regression models were used to estimate the effect of HBPC enrollment on hospitalization for ACSCs (defined according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Prevention Quality Indicators) overall and in subgroups stratified according to medical complexity. Models were also estimated for each ACSC to determine which conditions were most sensitive to HBPC. Distance from the veteran''s residence to the nearest HBPC site was used as the instrumental variable. RESULTS: HBPC was associated with fewer ACSC hospitalizations (odds ratio (OR) = 0.35 per person-month, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.30-0.42). For veterans in the highest quartile of medical complexity, HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer ACSC hospitalizations (OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.19-0.93), whereas for those in the lowest quartile, HBPC was associated with more ACSC hospitalizations (OR = 33.2, 95% CI = 4.6-240.1). HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer hospitalizations for a range of ACSCs. CONCLUSION: HBPC enrollment was associated with fewer hospitalizations for a range of ACSCs in veterans with diabetes mellitus but only in the most medically complex individuals. This demonstrates the importance of appropriate targeting and suggests that the effect of HBPC is attributable to its comprehensive approach rather than condition-specific interventions.





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