2014 Issues


May 2014

GAO Report: VA Plagued by ‘Poor Inventory Management’ of Tissue Products

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — VA policies do not require staff to check the Food and Drug Administration status of its tissue vendors for most types of purchases, even though FDA registration ensures the quality... View Article

May 2014

Personalized Healthcare Earning High Marks from Veterans

By Robert A. Petzel, MD, Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs The results of the 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) are in, and they show that veterans using the VA healthcare system... View Article

May 2014

Periosteal Stimulation Therapy Shows Promise in Knee Pain

PITTSBURGH – Patients with painful knee osteoarthritis who received electrical stimulation of the periosteum facilitated by acupuncture needles showed modest improvement in pain, according to a study at the Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS).... View Article

May 2014

Study Looks at PT with Different Acupuncture Techniques

PHILADELPHIA — How does the safety and effectiveness of traditional acupuncture techniques compare to nonpenetrating acupuncture combined with exercise-based physical therapy (EPT)? That was the question asked in a study that included researchers from the... View Article

May 2014

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

By Annette M. Boyle FAIRFIELD, CA —Many women return to their units after pregnancy with one overriding concern: “Can I pass the fitness test?” The vast majority of those women do end up passing the... View Article

May 2014

Are Knee Injections by Rural Providers Cost-Effective?

SALT LAKE CITY – If enough patients are treated, training rural providers to perform knee injections for patients with osteoarthritis can be cost-effective, according to a new study funded by the VHA. Using the common threshold... View Article

May 2014

Gene Sequencing Helps Target Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

By Annette M. Boyle DURHAM, NC — Women initially diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have only a 23% overall five-year survival rate — and will spend most of their lives battling their cancer with a... View Article

May 2014

VA Launches New Initiative to Recognize, Respond to Intimate Partner Violence

Domestic Abuse Tied to Range of Health Issues By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — Nearly 2 in 5 female veterans report experiencing intimate partner violence, as do up to 44% of active-duty women. The high... View Article

May 2014

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

WASHINGTON — The consolidation of 10 functions that have been performed separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force under the Defense Health Agency is projected to save $2 billion by 2019.

May 2014

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

MINNEAPOLIS — A new initiative to reduce the use of opioids at the VA already is demonstrating some success at eight launch sites in Minnesota, where high-dose use of the painkillers has been reduced more than 50%.

May 2014

VA Care Delays Implicated in Veteran Fatalities; Lawmakers Express Anger

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Veterans have died from delayed or never delivered medical care at VA facilities, according to lawmakers who accused the agency of not addressing the problems in a transparent way. “When... View Article

May 2014

Approval of Topamax for Migraines Extended to Adolescents

TITUSVILLE, NJ — Food and Drug Administration approval of Topamax (topiramate) for migraine headaches prophylaxis has been extended to adolescents ages 12 to 17. It was the first FDA approval of a drug for migraine... View Article

May 2014

New Treatment Option Approved for Leishmaniasis; Affects U.S. Troops

MONTREAL — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Impavido, for the tropical disease leishmaniasis, which has plagued U.S. troops deployed to areas such as Iraq. Leishmaniasis is caused by Leishmania, a parasite which is... View Article

May 2014

FDA Approves Otezla for Active Psoriatic Arthritis

SUMMIT, NJ — Clinicians have a new tool in their arsenal to treat active psoriatic arthritis. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Otezla (apremilast) to treat adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The drug... View Article

May 2014

Privacy Laws Prevent Commanders’ Awareness of Potentially Violent Servicemembers

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, TX, last month, questions were once again being raised about how effectively the military can identify servicemembers with mental health issues who are prone to violence.

May 2014

Distance from VA Transplant Centers Affects Survival Rates for Liver Patients

PHILADELPHIA — Where they live can be a life or death issue for veterans who have been deemed eligible for liver transplants, according to new research.

May 2014

Could Niacin Megadoses Reduce Crohn’s Inflammation?

AUGUSTA, GA — A receptor already activated with megadoses of niacin to protect the cardiovascular system also might play a key role in preventing colon inflammation and cancer, according to a new study including researchers... View Article

May 2014

Vitamin D3 Supplementation Improves Outcomes, Limits Costs in IBD

JOHNSON CITY, TN — The use of a vitamin D3 supplement not only improved outcomes in veterans with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to a greater extent than a vitamin D2 formulation but also was better... View Article

May 2014

Early Initiation of Dual Therapy Benefits Veterans with Crohn’s

HOUSTON — Patients with the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD ) Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are more likely to benefit if dual therapy with infliximab and an immunomodulator is initiated earlier in their first year... View Article

May 2014

Congress Frustrated About Slow Progress Toward DoD/VA Shared Health Data

WASHINGTON — Slow progress by the DoD and VA in achieving the seamless sharing of standardized health data continues to frustrate members of Congress.

May 2014

VA Goes to College to Bring Services to Student Veterans

SAN FRANCISCO – Veteran enrollment has been increasing dramatically at City College of San Francisco, but Keith Armstrong, LCSW, director of mental health social work at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC), noticed the students were... View Article

May 2014

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ― Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) I do my best to avoid touching on editorial themes I find interesting in subsequent months. Last month, I touched on the incursion of medical... View Article

               
           

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