Home Modifications Can Improve Health Outcomes for Urban and Rural Veterans

By Ripley, Zaccheus James Ahonle, Mi Jung Lee, Tatiana Orozco, Jennifer Hale-Gallardo, and Huanguang Jia: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Nearly one-third of veterans report having a disability, and not all live in accessible homes. Veterans living in rural areas face even greater challenges accessing medical care because of commuting (distance travel/time, spatial) barriers and availability of providers or specialized health services.

In rural areas, 63 percent of dwellings are substandard, meaning they require alteration or repairs to improve accessibility and address faulty plumbing or kitchens. For more than four decades, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has provided home modification services for veterans with disabilities through the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) program. HISA primarily funds home alteration to improve safety and accessibility in the home and the provision of health services.

To understand the impact of HISA-funded home modifications, this study examined the differences in hospitalizations and outpatient encounters between urban and rural veterans 12 months before and 12 months after HISA use.

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