2015 Issues

October 2015

Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water Associated with Higher Cancer Incidence

Recent Study Finds Link to Early Onset Male Breast CancerBy Annette M. BoyleJACKSONVILLE, NC — Marines, sailors and their families who sought refreshment with a cool glass of water at Camp Lejeune got a little... View Article

October 2015

VA Opposes Expansion of Hearing Aid Tech’s Scope of Practice

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — Legislation granting a greater scope of duties for licensed hearing-aid specialists at VA facilities is opposed by agency leadership, even though supporters argue that it would create better access to care... View Article

October 2015

VA Leads Nation in Using Big Data to Improve Healthcare

Developers Caution Against Too Much of a Good ThingBy Annette M. BoyleSEATTLE — Now that nearly every hospital in the United States uses electronic health records, healthcare systems across the country are wrestling with how... View Article

October 2015

Genitourinary Injuries Often Caused by Pelvic Fractures

SAN ANTONIO — Combat-related pelvic fractures often are associated with lower genitourinary injuries which cause a very high rate of erectile dysfunction, according to a new study.The report, published recently in the journal Military Medicine,... View Article

October 2015

Urologic Decision Aids Moderately Reduce Costs

SEATTLE — Rates of elective surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and active treatment for localized prostate cancer declined over six months after a large health cooperative provided video-based decision aids for men with those... View Article

October 2015

Sexual Dysfunction Common in Vets with PTSD

HOUSTON — In addition to all of their other issues, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also are at increased risk of sexual dysfunction.A review study published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found... View Article

October 2015

New Veteran Study Further Complicates Testosterone Replacement Issue

VA Researchers Find Normalizing ‘T’ Levels Lowers Heart RisksBy Brenda L. MooneyKANSAS CITY, MO — The question over how testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) affects cardiovascular health became even more contentious with a new U.S. veterans... View Article

October 2015

Putting Heads Together to Improve Brain Injury Care

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — If you had more money for traumatic brain injury research, where would you invest it?That is one of the questions VA Secretary Robert McDonald asked TBI researchers at a recent conference... View Article

October 2015

Most Common Causes of Death in RA Patients

OMAHA, NE — Noting limited research into cause-specific mortality and the associated risk factors in men with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a new study sought to remedy that and found triple the risk of respiratory-related deaths... View Article

October 2015

Weight Loss Associated with Higher Risk of Death in RA

PHILADELPHIA — In an example of the so-called “obesity paradox,” a low body mass index (BMI) has been associated with accelerated mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).A study published recently in the journal Arthritis... View Article

October 2015

Knee Arthroplasty Less Effective in RA, Compared to OA

OMAHA, NE — Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is effective in reducing pain for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but not as much as with osteoarthritis (OA) patients, according to a new study.The report, published recently... View Article

October 2015

Military Children Often Bear Brunt of Parents’ Service

Teens More Likely to Exhibit Violence, Use DrugsBy Brenda L. MooneyLOS ANGELES — With so much focus on the mental and physical health of servicemembers, especially those who have been deployed and injured, another group... View Article

October 2015

VA Unsure Why Adverse-Event Analyses Have Declined

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — Fewer root-cause analyses (RCA) to identify and evaluate what went wrong in adverse events are being conducted at the VA, and no one seems quite sure whether that is good or... View Article

October 2015

Common Dementia Drugs Linked To Dangerous Weight Loss in Veterans

By Brenda L. MooneySAN FRANCISCO – New research on cholinesterase inhibitors is reducing the already limited options VA clinicians have to treat VA patients with dementia.More than a half-million veterans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and... View Article

October 2015

Berlowitz Honored for Work Transforming Chronic Care Delivery

By Stephen SpotswoodBEDFORD, MA — In his role as the Bedford, MA, VAMC’s chief of staff, Dan Berlowitz, MD, MPH, has a vantage point that allows him to see the bigger picture when it comes... View Article

October 2015

Length of Colonoscopy Affects Cancer Development for Veterans

MINNEAPOLIS — How can the VA improve colorectal cancer detection and care?One answer is taking more time with a diagnostic procedure, according to a study of 76,810 veterans. Researchers from the Minneapolis VA Health Care... View Article

October 2015

These walls are funny

Occasionally, there is a movie that just seems to resonate with many groups and situations. The 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption,” directed by Frank Darabout was certainly one of those movies. It was, and remains, common for myself and work colleagues to refer to being “Shawshanked” whenever we are confronted with laborious federal bureaucratic rules that are ubiquitously enforced with little apparent forethought or purpose.

October 2015

VA Treatment for Colorectal, Lung Cancer Often Better than Outside Care

Veterans with cancer who have dual coverage do best when they choose one system for all their healthcare and often do better when the VA is that choice.

October 2015

Veterans Choice Program Eases Process Somewhat for Outside Prescriptions

By Annette M. BoyleWASHINGTON — Veterans who receive care through the Veterans Choice Program may not have many choices when it comes to prescriptions from those outside providers, but they do have more than those... View Article

October 2015

VA Seeks Presumptive-Disability Status for Camp Lejeune Veterans

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — The VA is beginning the process of amending its regulations to establish presumptive-disability status for veterans who have certain diseases linked to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.By establishing presumptive status,... View Article

October 2015

VHA Review Suggests BRAC-Like Commission on Closing Facilities

Asks If Only Service-Related Conditions Should Be TreatedBy Sandra BasuWASHINGTON—The VA should consider establishing a board or commission similar to the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) to address policy issues like hospital closures... View Article

October 2015

Long-Acting Insulins Approved by FDA

PLAINSBORO, NJ – Physicians treating diabetes patients have new weapons in their arsenal.The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) and Ryzodeg 70/30 (insulin degludec/insulin aspart injection) to improve glucose control in... View Article

October 2015

New Therapy Extends Life for Advanced Colorectal Cancer

PRINCETON, NJ — A new combination pill has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with an advanced form of colorectal cancer who are no longer responding to other therapies.Lonsurf, manufactured by... View Article

October 2015

FDA Approves Option for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Treatment

JERSEY CITY, NJ – A new option for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.The drug Vraylar, cariprazine in capsule form, is manufactured by Forest Laboratories... View Article


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