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HSR&D 2004 National Meeting Abstracts


1061. The VA Health Care Atlas FY-2000
Diane C Cowper, MA, Gainesville VAMC, W Yu, Palo Alto VAMC, M Kuebeler, Houston VAMC, LM Manheim, Northwestern University, JD Kubal, Hines VAMC, BA Ripley, Gainesville VAMC

Objectives: The goal of this project was to create a product that would enhance investigators’ knowledge of the veteran population, VA’s enrolled patient population, VA health care utilization patterns, and cost of care for the nine QUERI patient cohorts.

Methods: Veteran population data were obtained from the Census 2000, enrollment data were extracted from the VA Enrollment file, and the QUERI patient cohorts were identified from the Medical SAS databases available at the Austin Automation Center. The research team relied heavily on Geographic Information System (GIS) software to display trends. GIS allows the graphic display of location-specific data in a format that is easily understood by policy makers, managers, researchers, and the general public. Data are presented for FY-2000 as a baseline.

Results: The Atlas contains 14 chapters that overview the VA Health Care System in FY-2000. In addition to tables and maps on overall veteran population, enrollment, patient and facility location, nine chapters are devoted to the prevalence, healthcare costs and healthcare utilization of all QUERI disease/conditions.

Conclusions: This research provides baseline and background information that will improve the formulation of specific research questions to investigate the geographic patterns observed in this cross-sectional view of the VA health care system.

Impact: The Atlas condenses information into a single source and provides reference materials to investigators who wish to pursue research in VA’s high priority areas. The Atlas provides a baseline for which future trends can be compared and is a valuable reference tool for VA health services researchers.