VHA Patient-Centered Medical Home Associated With Lower Rate of Hospitalizations and Specialty Care Among Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


OBJECTIVE: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) implemented a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model, termed Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT), in 2010. We assessed the association between PACT and the use of health services among U.S. veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

METHODS: VHA clinical and administrative data were obtained for the pre-PACT period of April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010 and post-PACT period of June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012. Outcomes included hospitalizations, primary, specialty and mental health visits, and emergency department and urgent care visits. We utilized negative binomial regression and extended estimating equation models for the full sample. The analysis contained 696,379 unique veterans in both pre- and post-PACT periods. We estimated the linear incremental effect of PACT on utilization outcomes.

RESULTS: PACT were associated with a decrease in hospitalizations (incremental effect [IE]: -0.02; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.03, -0.01), a decrease in specialty care visits (IE: -0.45; 95% CI: -0.07, -0.23), and an increase in primary care visits (IE: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.67, 1.25).

CONCLUSIONS: The period following PACT implementation was associated with a lower rate of hospitalizations and specialty care visits, and a higher rate of primary care visits for veterans with PTSD, indicating enhanced access to primary care.

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