2017 Issues

December 2017

VA’s Effort to Expand Telemedicine Across All States Moves Forward

The House voted in favor of a bill giving VA authority to allow its licensed healthcare providers to practice telemedicine in any state, regardless of whether the patient or provider is located on federal government property.

December 2017

VA Clinicians Might Be Switching Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients to Biologics Too Quickly

The development of multiple biologic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in recent years has given patients and clinicians more options for therapy.

December 2017

HCV Eradication Lowers Glucose Levels in Veterans With Diabetes

PORTLAND, OR—Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is linked to diabetes and often worsens glycemic control in patients with diabetes. A study published in Diabetes Care investigated whether eradication of HCV infection with direct-acting antiviral (DAAs)... View Article

December 2017

Atazanavir’s Effects on CV Risks in HIV Infected Veterans

SALT LAKE CITY—Patients with HIV infection have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with uninfected individuals. Oftentimes, they receive antiretroviral therapy with atazanavir (ATV), which delays progression of atherosclerosis markers. Whether the treatment also... View Article

December 2017

HCV Complications Increasing for Women Veterans

HOUSTON—The epidemiology clinical course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is affected by gender. Yet, few long-term longitudinal studies have examined trends in the incidence and prevalence of serious liver complications among women compared with... View Article

December 2017

Agent Orange Exposure Doesn’t Reduce CLL Survival

MINNEAPOLIS—Exposure to Agent Orange was not associated with either poor prognostic factors or shortened overall survival in a large veteran population with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), even though it is associated with development of the... View Article

December 2017

Optimizing Treatment of Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma

Long-term survival in patients with aggressive peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is generally poor, no clear consensus exists on optimal initial therapy, according to a new study.

December 2017

Specialist Follow-Up Mitigates Anemia Risk of Bariatric Surgery

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the criterion standard operation for weight loss, but it also increases the risk of adverse outcomes such as mineral and/or vitamin deficiency.

December 2017

Aspirin Appears to Be Safe for Some Heart Failure Patients

SAN FRANCISCO – Does use of aspirin increase heart failure (HF) hospitalization or risk of death in patients with reduced ejection fraction receiving an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB)? That was the question... View Article

December 2017

Veterans With Heart Failure, Methamphetamine Use Present Growing Challenges for VA

The rate of heart failure associated with methamphetamine (meth) use appears to be on the upswing in veterans, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017.

December 2017

All-Cause Mortality Reduced in Heart Failure Patients with Lower Discharge Heart Rate

WASHINGTON — Although a lower heart rate is known to be linked with better outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (EF), not as much research is available on the association in... View Article

December 2017

GAO: VA Quality Measures on Hospital Compare, Agency Websites Not Accurate, Complete Enough

VA does not have “reasonable assurance” that the healthcare quality measures it reports on Hospital Compare and its own website accurately assess how VAMCs are performing, a new study suggests.

December 2017

Shulkin Pushes for Funding so VA Can ‘Piggyback’ on DoD’s EHR Implementation

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—After announcing VA’s decision earlier this year to replace VistA with the same electronic health record (EHR) that DoD is using, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, made a trip to Capitol Hill... View Article

December 2017

VA Study Finds Older Medicare Patients Often Are Overtreated for Diabetes

It’s not only the VA that struggles with the balance between just enough treatment of older Type 2 diabetes patients and too much.

December 2017

Underweight and Smoking Makes for a Lethal Combination in COPD

When counseling a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), many clinicians start with two words of advice: “Stop smoking.”

December 2017

VAMC Survey Found High Rates of Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms Among Staff

A survey at a VAMC recorded the prevalence of current diagnosed asthma at 17.6% but also found that nearly half of the healthcare workers reported some asthma-like symptoms.

December 2017

Navy Doctor Promotes the Healing Power of Artistic Expression

Patients who are struggling with TBI and PTSD often find themselves frustrated in a traditional model of care that involves sitting in a room and talking about what they’re experiencing.

December 2017

Previous VA Research Borne Out: PCI Provides No Symptom Relief in Stable Angina

In a move that reanimated a long-standing controversy in cardiology, a recently published study supports and extends the findings of landmark research done by the VA more than a decade ago.

December 2017

VA Makes Decision on Expansion of Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions

VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, said he has made a decision on the expansion of the list of presumptive conditions for Agent Orange compensation and has passed it on to the next step in the process.

December 2017

Trials Provide Promising Results for Army-Developed Zika Vaccine

A vaccine developed by Army researchers to combat Zika virus not only induced a robust immune response in trials but also was found to be safe and well-tolerated in healthy adults.

December 2017

VA Patients More Likely to Die on Kidney Transplant Wait Lists

Distance to VA Transplantation Centers Could Be a Factor By Brenda L. Mooney CLEVELAND—Veterans treated by the VA have lower rates of kidney transplantation when compared with patients who have Medicare or private insurance coverage,... View Article

December 2017

Mission First, Soldiers Always!

~Anonymous This past October, I served as a staff platoon team leader for the annual Uniformed Services University (USU) Bushmaster exercise, which I have discussed in previous editorials.1 The training exercise is for senior nursing... View Article

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