Identification of American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans in Administrative Data of the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service

Published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 96, no. 9, Sep. 2006, p. 1577-1578

by B. Josea Kramer, Mingming Wang, Tuyen Hoang, Judith O. Harker, Bruce Finke, Debra Saliba

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The authors sought to determine the extent to which the Indian Health Service (IHS) identified enrollees who also use the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) as veterans. The authors used a bivariate analysis of administrative data from fiscal years 2002-2003 to study the target population. Of the 32259 IHS enrollees who received care as veterans in the VHA, only 44% were identified by IHS as veterans. IHS data underestimates the number of veterans, and both IHS and VHA need mechanisms to recognize mutual beneficiaries in order to facilitate better coordination of strategic planning and resource sharing among federal health care agencies.

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