April 27, 2015 - In a study that looked at a handful of quality measures for chronic disease care, veterans who used both Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and a Medicare Advantage plan during 2008 or 2009 did no better or worse than those who used only VA care.
That's the gist of research on more than 6,600 older, chronically ill veterans who were enrolled in both federal health systems. The study appeared online April 6, 2015, in the journal Health Services Research.
The researchers studied the issue because of concerns that dual enrollment may lead to poorly coordinated medical care, as well as duplicate taxpayer spending.
"Although dual use does not appear to have any negative impact on quality of care, we found no evidence that it improves the quality of care veterans are getting. That point needs to be considered in light of the duplicate federal spending that comes along with dual enrollment," says Dr. Amal Trivedi, senior author on the study.
Trivedi is a physician and health services researcher at the Providence VA Medical Center and Brown University. He and lead author Dr. Alicia Cooper, who is with the state of Vermont, collaborated with researchers from two other VA sites and three universities.
The study focused on measures of good care for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol -- for example, well-controlled blood sugar or blood pressure. read more>>>