Up to 70 percent of patients who receive care through Veterans Health Administration () facilities also receive care from non‐ providers. Using applied classification techniques, this study sought to improve understanding of how elderly patients use services and complementary use of non‐ care.
The study included 1,721,900 veterans age 65 and older who were enrolled in and Medicare during 2013 with at least one encounter during 2013. Outpatient and inpatient encounters and medications received in were classified, and mutually exclusive patient subsets distinguished by patterns of service use were derived empirically using latent class analysis (). Patient characteristics and complementary use of non‐ care were compared by patient subset.
Five patterns of service use were identified that were distinguished by quantity of medical and specialty services, medication complexity, and mental health services. Low Medical users tend to be healthier and rely on non‐ services, while High users have multiple high cost illnesses and concentrate their care in the .
patients distinguished by patterns of service use differ in illness burden and the use of non‐ services. This information may be useful for framing efforts to optimize access to care and care coordination for elderly patients.