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VA Study Raises Questions About Value of Readmission Metrics

SAN FRANCISCO—While the VA performs well overall on key 30-day readmission rates, a study by researchers at the San Francisco VAMC questioned the utility of the measures for most of the health system’s hospitals. The... View Article


Ongoing IT Problems at VA Could Hamper Shared EMR System With DoD

WASHINGTON—High turnover among leadership, gaps in accountability, and long-standing problems in cybersecurity represent significant challenges for VA in its ongoing efforts to improve its IT infrastructure, oversight officials told legislators last month. These challenges will... View Article


DCVAMC Acting Pharmacy Chief Ivan Cephas: ‘Caring Is the Reason’

WASHINGTON—Ivan Cephas, PharmD, the acting chief of pharmacy at the DCVAMC, would be the first to say that what he does is not above and beyond the call of duty. Despite having been awarded the... View Article

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Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Study Raises Questions About Value of Readmission Metrics

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Three VAMC Campus Suicides in a Week Heighten Concerns About Prevention

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Reverses Stance, Won’t Challenge ‘Blue Water’ Veteran Court Ruling

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Continues Efforts to Reduce Drug Diversion; Focuses on Opiates

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Struggles to Overcome Women’s Healthcare Disparities

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Researcher Seeks to Include Veterans’ Voices in Healthcare Decisions

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article




Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

House Committee Looks at Influence Trump Friends Have Had on VA

WASHINGTON—In an about-face, the VA will recommend that the federal government not challenge a recent court decision ruling that the department cannot deny benefits to Vietnam-era Blue Water Navy veterans claiming Agent Orange exposure. The... View Article




Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Announces Proposed Standards for Access to Mission Act Outside Care

SEATTLE—It’s a big job to ensure that VA’s healthcare system is equipped to provide the best possible care to veterans. It might be an even bigger job to make sure that veterans across the country... View Article





Clinical Topics

Mental Health

Three VAMC Campus Suicides in a Week Heighten Concerns About Prevention

WASHINGTON–Despite declaring veteran suicide as its No. 1 clinical priority, VA’s suicide prevention outreach efforts dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and a lack of clear goals and inconsistent leadership has impacted its success, according... View Article

Asthma

Combat, Not Deployment, Appears to Increase Risk of New-Onset Asthma

WASHINGTON–Despite declaring veteran suicide as its No. 1 clinical priority, VA’s suicide prevention outreach efforts dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and a lack of clear goals and inconsistent leadership has impacted its success, according... View Article

Oncology

Overcoming Radiation Resistant Prostate Cancer

WASHINGTON–Despite declaring veteran suicide as its No. 1 clinical priority, VA’s suicide prevention outreach efforts dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and a lack of clear goals and inconsistent leadership has impacted its success, according... View Article

Oncology

JAK Enzymes Can Treat Leukemia, Lymphoma

WASHINGTON–Despite declaring veteran suicide as its No. 1 clinical priority, VA’s suicide prevention outreach efforts dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and a lack of clear goals and inconsistent leadership has impacted its success, according... View Article

Oncology

Response of Veterans to PD-1 Checkpoint Inhibitors

WASHINGTON–Despite declaring veteran suicide as its No. 1 clinical priority, VA’s suicide prevention outreach efforts dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and a lack of clear goals and inconsistent leadership has impacted its success, according... View Article

Asthma

Steroid Overuse Suggests Benefit to Flipping PCP/Specialist Paradigm in COPD

WASHINGTON–Despite declaring veteran suicide as its No. 1 clinical priority, VA’s suicide prevention outreach efforts dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and a lack of clear goals and inconsistent leadership has impacted its success, according... View Article




Cardiology

No Link Between Anthrax Vaccine, ‘Lone AFib’

By Annette M. Boyle TEMPLE, TX—When counseling a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), many clinicians start with two words of advice: “Stop smoking.” Sharing the results of recent research from the Central Texas... View Article




Cardiology

Improving OAC Adherence in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

ST. LOUIS—Current clinical guidelines recommend the use of beta blockers in all heart failure patients with with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Which beta blocker to use—carvedilol or metoprolol succinate—remained unclear, however, according to a recent... View Article





Non-Clinical Topics

Electronic Health Records

Technology Experts Question MISSION Act Electronic Systems

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in... View Article

Pharmacy

DCVAMC Acting Pharmacy Chief Ivan Cephas: ‘Caring Is the Reason’

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in... View Article

Legislation

VA Reverses Stance, Won’t Challenge ‘Blue Water’ Veteran Court Ruling

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in... View Article

Legislation

Executive Order Creates Task Force to Combat Veteran Suicide

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in... View Article

Legislation

Legislators Express Outrage Over Military Sexual Trauma Issues Subhead: Senator Describes Her Experience as Air Force Rape Victim

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in... View Article

Electronic Health Records

Lack of DoD/VA Decision-Maker Could Hamper EHR Implementation

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in... View Article




News

Democrats Look at VA Role of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Associates

WASHINGTON — Legislation under consideration by Congress would increase oversight of VA’s adoption and implementation of its forthcoming electronic health record (EHR) system. The VA announced last year that it would adopt the same Cerner... View Article




News

VA Overall Appointment Wait Times Shorter than the Private-Sector

Despite intense scrutiny of wait times for veterans seeking VA care over the last three years, a new study pointed out that delays in the private sector weren’t statistically less in 2014 and that, possibly because of the focus, wait times now are significantly shorter for the VA compared to private-sector healthcare facilities.




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