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VOLUME 47 | NUMBER 2 | APRIL 2012


Location of Cancer Surgery for Older Veterans with Cancer

Keywords: Veterans; cancer surgery; Medicare;health services.

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.

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