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Mortality Lower for Veterans Receiving Posttransplant Care in VA

Mortality significantly higher for patients receiving care after kidney transplant in Medicare only, dual care

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Veterans who receive all their post-kidney transplant care within the Veterans Health Administration have reduced mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Winn Cashion, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving veterans who underwent kidney transplantation between 2008 and 2016 and were dually enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration and Medicare. Patients were categorized based on the source of transplant-related care during the first year after transplantation (Veterans Health Administration only, Medicare only, or dual care).

Of 6,206 dually enrolled veterans, 16 and 84 percent underwent transplantation at a Veterans Health Administration and non-Veterans Health Administration hospital, respectively. The researchers found that 12, 34, and 54 percent of patients received posttransplant care through the Veterans Health Administration only, Medicare only, and dual care, respectively. Five-year mortality was significantly higher among patients who received care through Medicare only and dual care compared with those who received care through the Veterans Health Administration only (adjusted hazard ratios, 2.2 and 1.5, respectively).

“Veterans who receive all their posttransplant care within the VA have the lowest long-term mortality,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The results are very important in light of the fact that with the MISSION Act, many more Veterans will now have the option of receiving their posttransplant care outside the VA in the private sector.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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