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Article   |    
Integration of VA and CMHC Care: Utilization and Long-Term Outcome
Matthew J. Friedman; Alan N. West; Austen Clark
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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The authors thank Roger Strauss, Ph.D., and his staff at Washington County Mental Health Services as well as George Coulter and his staff at Northeast Kingdom Mental Health Services for their support and collaboration on this project.

Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont

Department of philosophy at the University of Tulsa

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

An innovative treatment program was established through which VA outpatient mental health care was decentralized via integration with the CMHC system in northern Vermont. A long-term follow-up study evaluated the success of Veterans' Integrated Community Care (VICC) in meeting its goal of enhanced access to care and better treatment outcomes. Three groups were compared: veterans who were transferred from VA hospital care to VICC care, veterans who were treated at the VA hospital only, and veterans who were newly reached through the VICC program. Follow-ups were conducted 18 months after intake and at least two years thereafter. Results indicate that all groups were improved symptomatically at the first follow-up, but only VICC patients maintained this improvement subsequently. By the last follow-up, VICC patients had reduced their utilization of VA psychiatric care, whereas veterans who had received only hospital-based care bad not. VICC treatment represents a viable alternative to centralized VA mental health care.

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