Diabetes-related utilization and costs for inpatient and outpatient services in the Veterans Administration.
OBJECTIVE:-The purpose of this study was to calculate the total number of inpatient hospitalizations, outpatient clinic visits, and total direct health care costs associated with veterans with diabetes receiving care in Veterans Administration (VA) facilities. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-The number of inpatient hospitalizations is tracked for years 1994-1998, and outpatient clinic visits are tracked for years 1997 and 1998. Trends in utilization across different age and racial groups, as well as total direct inpatient and outpatient costs for 1998, are presented. RESULTS:-Between 1994 and 1998, hospitalization rates decreased from 1.68 to 1.61. The average number of outpatient visits was 4.5 in 1997 and 4.6 in 1998. VA incurred $214.8 million in outpatient expenditures and $1.45 billion in inpatient expenditures for veterans with diabetes receiving VA care. CONCLUSIONS:-Health care delivery systems and payors track the cost and utilization of services by specific patient groups to support disease management, quality improvement, external reporting, and cost containment. Tracking the utilization and cost of diabetes care is necessary to understand the financial impact of diabetes on health care systems and the overall burden of diabetes on individuals.
Maciejewski, ML; Maynard, C
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