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Key Findings Details

Racial Difference in the Use of VA Health Services
Chichun Fang, Kenneth M. Langa, Helen Levy and David Weir
WP 2015-334

  • Veterans who are more than 65 years old or who have health insurance coverage through employment are less likely to use VA services.
  • The perception regarding quality of services delivered in VA versus non-VA facilities also strongly affects VA usage.
  • Black veterans tend to have more favorable views about VA, and a sizable portion of racial difference in usage can be attributed to the racial difference in perception.
  • We show that the health care services delivered in VA are at least partially substituted by services obtained in other channels, and attitudinal factors play important roles in usage.
  • Our findings provide insights to estimate the future demand for VA services and to improve the racial disparity in utilization.