A few years ago I came across some interesting facts concerning the veterans who use VA healthcare. I had forgotten about the statistics until recently when a fellow veteran service officer asked me for an update. One thing led to another and I realized that as interesting and as informative as these simple statistics were, trying to find their original source and whether or not any update existed was far from a simple task.
The following are some statistics concerning the healthcare given by the VA in 2005:
32% of all VA patients are Service Connected
68% of all VA patients have no Service Connected disabilities (!!!)
84% of veterans Service Connected at 50-100% received care from VA
58% of veterans Service Connected at 30-40% received care from VA
41% of veterans Service Connected at 10-20% received care from VA
42% of the cost of VA health care is provided for Service Connected veterans
58% of the cost of VA health care is provided for Non Service Connected veterans (!!!)
Average cost per patient is:
$10,263 for Service Connected at 50-100%
$4,486 for Service Connected at 30-40%
$4,345 for Service Connected at 10-20%
$7,155 for all Service Connected
$4,737 for all Non Service Connected patients
$5,515 for all patients
The Statistics Source
My source for those statistics was an e-mail that had quoted the National Association for Uniformed Services ("NAUS") Weekly Update for April 14, 2006.
Since I'd been asked for an update of the 2005 statistics the first place I turn to was the NAUS website, only to find I could find no update. No matter how I searched all I found was the statistics from 2005; nothing before nothing after. I called the NAUS and spoke with the individual who presently prepares their weekly update. Unfortunately he could neither find the source for the information they included in their April 14, 2006 weekly update, nor could he find any additional information concerning any other year's statistics. We both agreed the statistics looked like something originating at the VA or arrived at from VA provided information.
Next stop, the VA website. Yet, try as I may, search as I would, I found nothing.
Even a Google search resulted in nothing new.
The Statistics Going Forward
I will keep searching and have asked a fellow veteran advocate if he has any ideas. Hopefully, our search will not be fruitless.
When the actual source for the statistics is found, and hopefully the statistics have been updated, I'll provide us with some further interesting insight as to who does or does not use the VA as their healthcare provider.
--- Regards, Walt Schmidt