HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Variation in initial and continued use of primary, mental health, and specialty video care among Veterans.
Ferguson JM, Wray CM, Jacobs J, Greene L, Wagner TH, Odden MC, Freese J, Van Campen J, Asch SM, Heyworth L, Zulman DM. Variation in initial and continued use of primary, mental health, and specialty video care among Veterans. Health services research. 2023 Apr 1; 58(2):402-414.
To identify which Veteran populations are routinely accessing video-based care.
DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING:
National, secondary administrative data from electronic health records at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), 2019-2021.
This retrospective cohort analysis identified patient characteristics associated with the odds of using any video care; and then, among those with a previous video visit, the annual rate of video care utilization. Video care use was reported overall and stratified into care type (e.g., primary, mental health, and specialty video care) between March 10, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
Veterans active in VA health care ( > 1 outpatient visit between March 11, 2019 and March 10, 2020) were included in this study.
Among 5,389,129 Veterans in this evaluation, approximately 27.4% of Veterans had at least one video visit. We found differences in video care utilization by type of video care: 14.7% of Veterans had at least one primary care video visit, 10.6% a mental health video visit, and 5.9% a specialty care video visit. Veterans with a history of housing instability had a higher overall rate of video care driven by their higher usage of video for mental health care compared with Veterans in stable housing. American Indian/Alaska Native Veterans had reduced odds of video visits, yet similar rates of video care when compared to White Veterans. Low-income Veterans had lower odds of using primary video care yet slightly elevated rates of primary video care among those with at least one video visit when compared to Veterans enrolled at VA without special considerations.
Variation in video care utilization patterns by type of care identified Veteran populations that might require greater resources and support to initiate and sustain video care use. Our data support service specific outreach to homeless and American Indian/Alaska Native Veterans.