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Publication Title

BioMed Central Health Services Research


Geisel School of Medicine


To examine Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare hospitalizations for elderly veterans with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), their use of cardiac procedures in both systems, and patient mortality. DATA SOURCES: Merging of inpatient discharge abstracts obtained from VA Patient Treatment Files (PTF) and Medicare MedPAR Part A files. A retrospective cohort study of male veterans 65 years or older who were prior users of the VA medical system (veteran-users) and who were initially admitted to a VA or Medicare hospital with a primary diagnosis of AMI at some time from January 1, 1988 through December 31, 1990 (N = 25,312). We examined the use of cardiac catheterization, coronary bypass surgery, and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in the 90 days after initial admission for AMI in both VA and Medicare systems, and survival at 30 days, 90 days, and one year. Other key measures included patient age, race, marital status, comorbidities, cardiac complications, prior utilization, and the availability of cardiac technology at the admitting hospital.

Original Citation

Wright SM, Daley J, Fisher ES, Thibault GE. Where do elderly veterans obtain care for acute myocardial infarction: Department of Veterans Affairs or Medicare?. Health Serv Res. 1997;31(6):739-754.