2013 Issues

December 2013

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” — Steve Martin I grew up laughing at Steve Martin, arrow-through-the-head gag, King Tut and all. I do not suppose Mr. Martin had any deeper goals... View Article

December 2013

Bill Seeks to Expand VA Dental Coverage; Links to Overall Health Cited

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — With research increasingly demonstrating a link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other conditions, fewer than half of the veterans receiving VA healthcare services also are eligible... View Article

December 2013

VA Defends New Conference Policy at Congressional Rehash of Excessive Spending

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — With a new congressional report detailing additional excesses in the VA’s past conference spending, agency officials defended efforts to eliminate those issues and put in tight financial controls. “I have... View Article

December 2013

Pointing to Misuse, House Passes Bill Trimming Funds for VA Merit Bonuses

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Noting that the VA has awarded merit-based bonuses to managers of facilities with substandard care and poor management practices, a bill passed by the House of Representatives last month reduces... View Article

December 2013

Testosterone Therapy Increased Cardiac Events in Veterans after Angiography

By Brenda L. Mooney P. Michael Ho, MD, PhD DALLAS — When considering prescribing androgen deficiency treatment, VA physicians should take into consideration a new study finding that testosterone replacement therapy increased risks of death,... View Article

December 2013

Army Rolls Out Major Upgrade of Electronic Health Record System

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — This month the Army will begin rolling out a major upgrade to its electronic health record system — the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) system. The rollout will... View Article

December 2013

Universal Screening Key to Continued MRSA Rate Decline at VAMCs

By Brenda L. Mooney LEXINGTON, KY —  The VA requirement to obtain nasal surveillance swabs on all patients at hospital admission, unit-to-unit transfer and discharge appears to be a key component of the continued decline... View Article

December 2013

Ethics Abandoned? Task Force Member Says Not Anymore

By Annette M. Boyle NEW YORK — A controversial report about medical ethics violations at Guantanamo Bay and Central Intelligence Agency secret prisons has gotten wide play in the general media, but at least one... View Article

December 2013

Gout Inflammation Associated with Metabolic Issues

HOUSTON — Comorbidity factors including hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes are significantly associated with the inflammatory cells in gout tissues, according to a study from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and other medical institutions... View Article

December 2013

Hyperuricemia Ups Diabetes Risk in Veterans with Gout

STANFORD, CA — Among veterans with gout, hyperuricemia was associated with excess risk for developing diabetes, according to a Stanford University-led study using records from the VA’s South Central region. In fact, according to the... View Article

December 2013

High Serum Rate Levels Raise Kidney Disease Risk in Gout

RIDGELAND, MS — Higher serum rate levels (sUA) are associated with an increased risk of incident kidney disease among veterans with gouty arthritis, according to a study based on records from a database at the... View Article

December 2013

Few HIV Patients at VA Reduce Risks by Achieving Undetectable Viral Loads

By Annette M. Boyle Jeffery McCombs, PhD LOS ANGELES — While achieving undetectable viral loads reduces the risk of death associated with hepatitis C by 45% and other adverse liver-related complications by 27%, only 4%... View Article

December 2013

VA Clinicians Optimistic about Effectiveness of New HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle David Ross, MD, PhD WASHINGTON — New therapies for hepatitis C (HCV) are pouring out of the pharmaceutical pipeline and promising effective treatment with fewer side effects for many of the... View Article

December 2013

With HIV Treated as Chronic Disease, Adherence Challenges Develop

By Annette M. Boyle Amy Justice, MD, Ph.D NEW HAVEN, CT — With human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) now being treated more like diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases, HIV patients face some of the same... View Article

December 2013

Court Strongly Condemns Feres Doctrine in Case Involving Newborn’s Death

By Brenda L. Mooney SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court opinion that a case involving a newborn’s death cannot go forward because of the... View Article

December 2013

New Discoveries Could Broaden Topical Antihistamine Use

SAN FRANCISCO – New discoveries could change the way antihistamines are used from a predominantly systemic to a topical approach, according to an article from the San Francisco VAMC and the University of California in... View Article

December 2013

Melanoma Increasing; Detection, Prevention Needed

HARTFORD, CT – Melanoma is on the increase, and more needs to be done to promote prevention and early-detection of the sometimes deadly disease, according to a new study. The authors pointed out that melanoma... View Article

December 2013

Web-Based Course Failed to Change PCP Melanoma Detection

PROVIDENCE, RI – Can a Web-based learning program be an effective way to improve melanoma detection by primary care physicians (PCPs)? That is a question raised by a recent study from the Providence, RI, VAMC... View Article

December 2013

Warrior Transition Units Go Beyond Physical Recovery for Wounded Soldiers

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — For Capt. Edward “Flip” Klein, Oct. 22, 2012, was a life-changing moment. Deployed in Afghanistan, he was struck by a roadside bomb that resulted in the loss of both of... View Article

December 2013

AMSUS Members Donate Lodging to Wounded Warriors

WASHINGTON – Thanks to donations since February by members of a nonprofit organization representing federal health professionals, wounded warriors and their families have access to another 105 nights of free lodging. Inspired by Rep. Charles... View Article

December 2013

‘Brutal Honesty’ Aids Medical Recruitment Efforts for Honored Colonel

By Steve Lewis FORT BRAGG, NC — Army Col. Frank Christopher, MD, got an early start in his recruiting career. While still in medical school, he filled in for the area recruiting station office and... View Article


Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up