Location of Cancer Surgery for Older Veterans with Cancer

Authors


Address correspondence to Nancy L. Keating, MD, MPH, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115; e-mail: keating@hcp.med.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Objective

Many veterans undergo cancer surgery outside of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We assessed to what extent these patients obtained care in the VHA before surgery.

Data Sources

VHA-Medicare data, VHA administrative data, and Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry data.

Study Design

We identified patients aged ≥65 years in the VHA-Medicare cohort who underwent lung or colon cancer resection outside the VHA and assessed VHA visits in the year before surgery.

Principal Findings

Over 60% of patients in the VHA-Medicare cohort who received lung or colon cancer surgeries outside the VHA did not receive any care in VHA before surgery.

Conclusions

Veterans’ receipt of major cancer surgery outside the VHA probably reflects usual private sector care among veterans who are infrequent VHA users.

Ancillary