Original Study| Volume 11, ISSUE 2, P116-119, February 2010

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All-Cause Mortality Rates of Hip Fractures Treated in the VHA: Do They Differ from Medicare Facilities?

  • William A. Lapcevic
    HSR&D/RR&D Research Center of Excellence, Maximizing Rehabilitation Outcomes, Tampa, FL

    University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Tampa, FL
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  • Dustin D. French
    Address correspondence to Dustin D. French, PhD, Roudebush VA Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence Based Practice, Regenstrief Institute, VA Medical Center, HSR&D (11H), 1481 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
    Roudebush VA Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence Based Practice, Regenstrief Institute, and the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Indianapolis, IN
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  • Robert R. Campbell
    HSR&D/RR&D Research Center of Excellence, Maximizing Rehabilitation Outcomes, Tampa, FL
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Published:January 06, 2010DOI:


      To estimate the 1-year all-cause mortality rates for hip fracture (HFx) patients hospitalized at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities and compare with previous published mortality rates for veterans treated in Medicare facilities.


      In total, 7 years of VHA discharge data on HFxs for 12,539 patients age 65 and older were combined with national death registry data. We performed a 1-year survival analysis using the Cox proportional hazard method.


      The adjusted rates for veterans treated in the VHA (30 days=9.3%, 90 days=17.5%, 180 days=23.3%, 365 days=29.8%) were similar to veterans treated in Medicare facilities (30 days=8.9%, 90 days=15.6%, 180 days=21.8%, 365 days=29.9%). For veterans treated for a HFx in Medicare facilities, the average length of stay was 7 days and 49% were discharged to a nursing home. Veterans treated in the VHA had an average length of stay of 14 days and only 35% were discharged to a nursing home.


      Our study suggests no difference in HFx-adjusted mortality rates between the VHA and Medicare facilities. Given the institutional factor differences between Medicare and the VHA, future study and comparison of health outcomes for nursing home HFx patients and related costs between these two health care programs may contribute to the on-going health care reform debate.


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