A mixed integer programming model to locate traumatic brain injury treatment units in the Department of Veterans Affairs: a case study
Health Care Management Science
For the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant problem facing active duty military personnel, veterans, their families, and caregivers. The VA has designated TBI treatment as one of its physical medicine and rehabilitation special emphasis programs, thereby providing a comprehensive array of treatment services to those military personnel and veterans with TBI. Timely treatment of TBI is critical in achieving maximal recovery, and being in geographical proximity to a medical center with specialized TBI treatment services is a major determinant of whether such treatment is utilized. We present a mixed integer programming model for locating TBI treatment units in the VA. This model was developed for the VA Rehabilitation Strategic Healthcare Group to assist in locating new TBI treatment units. The optimization model assigns TBI treatment units to existing VA medical centers while minimizing the sum of patient treatment costs, patient lodging and travel costs, and the penalty costs associated with foregone treatment revenue and excess capacity utilization. We demonstrate our model with VA TBI admission data from one of the VA’s integrated service networks, and discuss the expected service and cost implications for a range of TBI treatment unit location options.