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Comment & Response
July 19, 2016

Outcome After Admission at Veterans Affairs vs Non–Veterans Affairs Hospitals—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;316(3):346. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.5394

In Reply A merged data set of the CMS Standard Analytic Files and Enrollment Database and the VA administrative claims database was used to conduct our study. For patients hospitalized in VA hospitals, information on comorbidities was derived from the VA and from CMS data files. About half of the VA patients were hospitalized in non-VA hospitals in the prior year, demonstrating the importance of considering comorbidities from both sources. In addition, concerns about the effect of undercoding at the VA should be mitigated because these patients received codes from both systems.