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Physician Documents, Promotes Veteran Honor Guards in VA Hospices

PHILADELPHIA—Michelle Brassil, MD, had been warned when she began her fellowship at the Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center’s Community Living Center in Philadelphia. “Don’t be surprised if you’re emotional,” her supervisor told her.... View Article


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

WASHINGTON—Plans are moving ahead for VA’s 10-year, $16 billion effort to modernize its electronic health record system, but legislators still have questions about the project’s timeline and funding, as well as concerns about the project’s... View Article


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

WASHINGTON—Congress announced last month that it will be opening an investigation into alleged improper influence by three civilian consultants to President Donald Trump on administration of the VA. The three men—Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel... View Article


Surgery Delay Does Not Explain Racial Differences in Breast Cancer Survival

BETHESDA, MD—Black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women, but exactly why remains unclear. A new study from the Military Health System just shot down one of the leading explanations... View Article


Featured Articles


Departments

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Announces Proposed Standards for Access to Mission Act Outside Care

WASHINGTON—VA has released its proposed new access standards, defining new eligibility criteria for veterans seeking care by non-VA providers. The standards are part of the VA MISSION Act signed into law in June 2018, and... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Announces New Partnerships to Expand Telehealth Services

WASHINGTON—VA has released its proposed new access standards, defining new eligibility criteria for veterans seeking care by non-VA providers. The standards are part of the VA MISSION Act signed into law in June 2018, and... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Fails to Use All Outreach Resources to Combat Veteran Suicide

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 to a Government Accountability Office report.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Disabled Veteran Helps Others Like Her Get Back Into the Workforce

Ten years ago, Coniece Washington was walking through the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center when she saw a job notice tacked to a board: certified rehabilitation counselor.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Senate Blocks Agent Orange Exposure Extension to Blue Water Veterans

Blue Water Navy veterans who claim to be impacted by toxic exposure while serving off the coast of Vietnam were forced to grapple with disappointment once again as the 115th Congress ended without passing legislation addressing their VA benefits.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA: Oversight Improving for Questionable Contracted Disability Exams

A recent audit by the Government Accountability Office has lawmakers and veterans service organizations frustrated with the Veterans Benefits Administration’s inability to track the quality of work done by outside contractors and concerned that veterans have not been receiving accurate disability ratings.




Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA ‘On Track’ for Appeals Reform; GAO Questions Timetable

VA is “on track” to implement a law designed to give veterans more options to have their claims appeals reviewed, as well as speed up the process, agency officials assured lawmakers last month.




Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Senate VA Committee Chair Vows to Pass 'Blue Water' Navy Benefits

Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) vowed that addressing benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans “is no longer going to be a question,” but that “how we do it is the only question.”





Clinical Topics

Breast Cancer

Surgery Delay Does Not Explain Racial Differences in Breast Cancer Survival

WASHINGTON — A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed. Nursing shortages were plagued 108 VAMCS, with... View Article

Diabetes

Greatest VA Weight Gains in Women Veterans Without Diabetes

WASHINGTON — A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed. Nursing shortages were plagued 108 VAMCS, with... View Article

Diabetes

Diabetes Patients Do Well in Military Healthcare-to-VA Transition

WASHINGTON — A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed. Nursing shortages were plagued 108 VAMCS, with... View Article

Diabetes

NPs, PAs Have as Good Diabetes Outcomes as Physicians

WASHINGTON — A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed. Nursing shortages were plagued 108 VAMCS, with... View Article

Diabetes

Veterans on Standard Diabetes Care Face Dangers from Hypoglycemia Subhead: Post-hoc VADT Analysis Links Low Blood Sugar to CV Events

WASHINGTON — A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed. Nursing shortages were plagued 108 VAMCS, with... View Article

Infectious Disease

New Antibiotic Provides Powerful Option for Resistant Pneumonia, Skin Infections

A next-generation tetracycline, omadacycline could improve care for veterans with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) and acute skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI).





Non-Clinical Topics

Electronic Health Records

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

ROCKVILLE, MD—Thanks to a new partnership between the National Cancer Institute and the VA, veterans with cancer will now have greater access to potentially lifesaving clinical trials. The NCI and VA Interagency Group to Accelerate... View Article

News

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

ROCKVILLE, MD—Thanks to a new partnership between the National Cancer Institute and the VA, veterans with cancer will now have greater access to potentially lifesaving clinical trials. The NCI and VA Interagency Group to Accelerate... View Article

Pharmacy

New Military Pharmacy Program Frees Patients from Long Waits

More than a dozen military treatment facility pharmacies have implemented a pilot customer service system that gives patients greater control over how they spend their time while waiting for prescriptions to be filled.

News

Legislators Question Whether VA Can Efficiently Implement Mission Act

Six months after President Donald Trump signed the VA MISSION Act–a bill that will, among other things, streamline and expand veterans’ access to non-VA healthcare providers–many legislators are concerned whether VA has the ability to implement the extensive provisions in the bill without the painful speed bumps experienced with past legislation.

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.

Personnel

Efficiency at Expense of Effectiveness? Legislators Blast VBA Management

Recent problems with initiatives implemented by the Veterans Benefits Administration point to much larger, systemic issues in how the agency rolls out new programs, according to the VA Office of the Inspector General.




News

Report Questions Quality of Outsourced VA Benefit Examinations

A review of outsourcing by the Veterans Benefits Administration raised issues about the quality of contractor examinations and also questioned whether a proposed solution will work as intended.




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