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Sex Differences in Use of a Clinical Complexity Measure to Predict Primary Care Utilization.

Haskell SG, Han L, Abel EA, Bastian L, Driscoll M, Dziura J, Burg MM, Skanderson M, Brandt CA. Sex Differences in Use of a Clinical Complexity Measure to Predict Primary Care Utilization. Journal of women's health (2002). 2022 Jan 1; 31(1):71-78.

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The Veterans Affairs (VA)-developed Care Assessment Need (CAN) score, a risk-stratification tool used to identify complex high-risk patients and guide VA care coordination, was designed to predict hospitalization or death. Little is known about its utility in predicting primary care utilization or if gender differences in this metric are detectable. Our objective was to determine association of CAN score quintiles with high primary care visit (PCV) utilization among Veterans, the impact of adding reproductive health and psychosocial variables to the model and the difference between men and women Veterans. The sample included men and women from the post-9/11 cohort receiving VA care for at least 1 year, 2010-2017 (? = 665,379). PCV data for each year were collected from national Corporate Data Warehouse. A cumulative count = 6 visits in a year was used as an indication for high PCV utilization in the analyses. After accounting for potential confounding factors, women were associated with 42% higher odds of heavy PCV utilization (adjusted odds ratio: 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.37-1.46) than men. However, there was a significant interaction between sex and CAN quintiles (? < 0.001). After adjusting for all the covariates, CAN score quintiles appeared to have stronger associations and better predictive accuracy on the risk of 1-year heavy PCV utilization for men than for women. Further research is needed to understand sex differences in Veterans Health Administration clinical complexity measures and whether they can be successfully used to identify high-risk, high-utilizing women Veterans.

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