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Using Department of Veterans Affairs Administrative databases to examine long-term care utilization for men and women veterans.
Guihan M, Weaver FM, Cowper DC, Nydam T, Miskevics S. Using Department of Veterans Affairs Administrative databases to examine long-term care utilization for men and women veterans. Journal of medical systems. 1999 Jun 1; 23(3):201-18.
We examined long-term care (LTC) utilization by male and female veterans using administrative databases maintained by VA. Research questions included: (1) Which LTC services are utilized? (2) Do utilization patterns of older veterans differ from those of elderly persons in the general U.S. population? (3) Do LTC needs of veterans vary by gender? We were unable to track LTC utilization of individuals across administrative databases. Some databases could only provide information at the national level, or alternatively, were available only at local facilities, or only at the patient or program-level data--making it impossible to get a clear picture of all the services received by an individual. Those planning to use administrative databases to conduct research must: (1) take more time than expected; (2) be flexible/willing to compromise, (3) "ferret out" information, and (4) recognize that because of dynamism inherent in information systems, results may change over time.