This data set contains health care records for HRS respondents who utilized services in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system between the years of 1999 and 2013. For this data linkage project, the HRS identified veterans (both living and deceased) based on their self-report of military service in a prior wave of the HRS. A finder file that included HRS participants who were deceased veterans, and living veterans who gave informed consent, was sent to the VA Information Resource Center (VIReC), where a probabilistic match of VA and HRS identifiers was performed.
The VA data included in this data set include: 1) VA enrollment and eligibility information; 2) Utilization of hospital, outpatient, and long-term care services; 3) Costs; 4) Pharmacy (prescription and non-prescription medications); and 5) Laboratory and radiology services.
The HRS finder file included a total of 4,055 deceased self-reported veterans. Of those, 1,445 subjects (36%) were matched to the VA master file (indicating that the subject had either health care or other benefit records within the VA). 950 subjects (23%) had records indicating utilization of VA health care services between 1999 and 2013.
The HRS mailed VA-HRS data linkage data release authorizations (i.e., consent forms) to a total of 3,811 living self-reported Veterans in July of 2013. A total of 1,875 subjects (49%) consented to the linkage. Of those, 916 subjects (49%) were matched to the VA master file, and 719 (38%) utilized VA health care between 1999 and 2013.
The final total sample of self-reported Veterans in the HRS who were linked to the VA master file was 2,360 and the total sample who had health care utilization between 1999 and 2013 data was 1,669.