A snapshot of veterans' use of VA health services

The Challenge 

In recent years, the number of military veterans in the U.S. has increased, and at the same time their economic and health needs have changed.

To help predict the demand for services now and in the future, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) annually surveys veterans about their health, influences on their health care choices, whether they use U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health services, and how they plan to use them in the future.

VHA selected Westat to conduct the 2015 Survey of Veteran Enrollees’ Health and Reliance Upon VA, also known as the Survey of Enrollees.

Our Solutions 

  • For the survey, we
    • Helped VHA identify more than 140,000 veterans to interview, with the goal of receiving 42,000 completed surveys
    • Asked veterans about their insurance coverage, VHA and non-VHA health care use, pharmaceutical use, attitudes and perceptions about VHA services, perceived health status, smoking habits, and pertinent demographic information
    • Operated a help desk to answer veterans’ questions about the survey
    • Designed and conducted several experiments to examine how best to administer the survey, such as comparing the use of postcard or interactive phone call reminders
  • ​In our final report for the VHA, we included an analysis of the survey findings, comparisons in survey results from previous years, and results of the experiments.

The Results 

  • The VHA will use the survey results to plan for veterans’ enrollment in the VA health care system and their health care needs and expenses. This allows the VHA to better meet the health care needs of all veterans, particularly those who rely on the VA for their health care.

Our Client 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)