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Chang H, Tate J, Justice AC, Ohl ME. Medicare and Medicaid enrollment and outside hospitalizations among HIV-infected and uninfected veterans engaged in VA care: a retrospective cohort study. BMC health services research. 2015 Jan 22; 15(1):27.
BACKGROUND: Many veterans engaged in care with the Veterans Administration (VA) health system are also enrolled in Medicare and/or Medicaid and may receive care both inside and outside of the VA. Use of dual health systems has been associated with worse outcomes. Veterans with HIV may have different rates of Medicare and Medicaid enrollment and may be at greater risk of poor outcomes related to non-VA use. This study compares the frequency and factors associated with Medicare and/or Medicaid enrollment and non-VA use in an HIV-infected and uninfected population of veterans. METHODS: We used data from the VA and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2004 and 2005 to determine the frequency of Medicare and/or Medicaid enrollment among a cohort of HIV-infected and uninfected veterans engaged in VA care. We then restricted the cohort to veterans enrolled in fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare and/or Medicaid with at least one hospitalization and identified characteristics associated with non-VA hospital admissions. RESULTS: HIV-infected veterans had higher rates of Medicare and/or Medicaid enrollment than uninfected veterans (38% vs. 33%, p? < 0.01), though the opposite was true when our sample was limited to veterans 65 years and older (53% vs. 70%, p? < 0.0 1). Among veterans enrolled in the VA and FFS Medicare and/or Medicaid, veterans with HIV had greater illness severity and more frequent hospitalizations, but were less likely to be hospitalized outside the VA (48% vs. 54%, p? < 0.01). HIV infection was associated with lower odds of outside hospitalization (OR? = 0.76 [95% CI: 0.68, 0.85]). CONCLUSIONS: Veterans with HIV have higher rates of Medicare and/or Medicaid enrollment, but lower odds of non-VA hospitalization. The VA integrated model of HIV care may discourage outside use among HIV-infected veterans.