Dual Enrollment Among Veterans Sharpens Worries Over Duplicate Spending

A study published in the journal Health Servcies Research found that veterans enrolled in dual programs, the VA care program and a Medicare Advantage plan, did not perform better or worse than those using the VA alone. This is important considering the duplicate spending associated with dual enrollment.

In a study that looked at a handful of quality measures for chronic disease care, veterans who used both Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and a Medicare Advantage plan during 2008 or 2009 did no better or worse than those who used only VA care.

That's the gist of research on more than 6600 older, chronically ill veterans who were enrolled in both federal health systems. The study appeared online April 6, 2015, in the journal Health Services Research.

The researchers studied the issue because of concerns that dual enrollment may lead to poorly coordinated medical care, as well as duplicate taxpayer spending.

"Although dual use does not appear to have any negative impact on quality of care, we found no evidence that it improves the quality of care veterans are getting. That point needs to be considered in light of the duplicate federal spending that comes along with dual enrollment," says Dr Amal Trivedi, senior author on the study.

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