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Use of Veterans Health Administration Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment After Exiting Prison: The Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program.

Finlay AK, Stimmel M, Blue-Howells J, Rosenthal J, McGuire J, Binswanger I, Smelson D, Harris AH, Frayne SM, Bowe T, Timko C. Use of Veterans Health Administration Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment After Exiting Prison: The Health Care for Reentry Veterans Program. Administration and policy in mental health. 2017 Mar 1; 44(2):177-187.

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Abstract:

The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) program links veterans exiting prison with treatment. Among veterans served by HCRV, national VA clinical data were used to describe contact with VA health care, and mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses and treatment use. Of veterans seen for an HCRV outreach visit, 56 % had contact with VA health care. Prevalence of mental health disorders was 57 %; of whom 77 % entered mental health treatment within a month of diagnosis. Prevalence of substance use disorders was 49 %; of whom 37 % entered substance use disorder treatment within a month of diagnosis. For veterans exiting prison, increasing access to VA health care, especially for rural veterans, and for substance use disorder treatment, are important quality improvement targets.





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