Healthcare utilization and costs of Veterans screened and assessed for traumatic brain injury

  • Stroupe K
  • Smith B
  • Hogan T
 et al. 
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Approximately 15% of casualties in the Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom [OEF]) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom [OIF]) conflicts received mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). To identify Veterans who may benefit from treatment, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented a national clinical reminder in 2007 to screen for TBI. Veterans who screen positive are referred for a comprehensive TBI evaluation. We conducted a national retrospective study of OIF/OEF Veterans receiving care at VA facilities between 2007 and 2008. We examined the association of the TBI screen with healthcare costs over a 12 mo period following the initial evaluation. Of the Veterans, 164,438 met inclusion criteria: 31,627 screened positive, 118,545 screened negative, and 14,266 received no TBI screening. Total healthcare costs of Veterans who screened positive, screened negative, or had no TBI screening were $9,610, $5,184, and $3,399, respectively (p < 0.001). Understanding these healthcare utilization and cost patterns will assist policy-makers to address the ongoing and future healthcare needs of these returning Veterans. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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  • Kevin T. Stroupe

  • Bridget M. Smith

  • Timothy P. Hogan

  • Justin R. St. Andre

  • Theresa Pape

  • Monica L. Steiner

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