2017 Issues

June 2017

House Legislation Seeks to Modernize Veterans Appeals Process

A bill passed by the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support will modernize the veterans’ appeals process, supporters maintained.

June 2017

Phoenix VA Partners With CVS MinuteClinic to Provide In-Pharmacy Healthcare

When CVS Health became an authorized provider under the Veterans Choice Program, several VAMCs considered using the company’s retail medical clinic, MinuteClinic, to help relieve long waits and offer routine medical services nearer to veterans’ homes.

June 2017

Navy Functional Restoration Pain Program Shows Success

Chronic pain is the leading cause of medical discharge from active duty military service. Disability payments related to the condition also are a significant economic cost to the DoD.

June 2017

Spinal Manipulation Modestly Effective for Low-Back Pain

Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is a treatment option for acute low-back pain, but randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses have reported different conclusions about its effectiveness, according to a new study.

June 2017

Recent Veterans’ Opioid Use Similar to U.S. Population

Despite their issues with chronic pain, veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) use opioids at about the same rate as the overall U.S. population.

June 2017

VA Study: CV Risks Lower in Patients Taking NSAID, Misoprostol Combo

Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular issues, but a new study offers a possible way to mitigate that factor.

June 2017

HIV Infection Linked to 40% Increase in Veterans’ Risk of Developing Heart Failure

Antiretroviral therapy has extended the lives of veterans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by decades, but a new threat could cut back their longevity.

June 2017

VA Could Soon Achieve ‘Near Complete Eradication’ of Hepatitis C

Over the next year or so, the remarkable transformation of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment at the VA will likely reach some type of equilibrium, a new study suggested.

June 2017

VA Colorectal Cancer Data Similar to Overall U.S.

Colorectal cancer data from the VA often is underrepresented in U.S. cancer reporting, according to a new study seeking to remedy that.

June 2017

Most Common GI Scope Adverse Events at VHA

How common are adverse events related to gastrointestinal (GI) scope and tube placement procedures at the VHA?

June 2017

USU: Younger Colon Cancer Patients Appear Overtreated

While young and middle-aged patients are much more likely to receive postoperative chemotherapy than older patients, they don't appear to survive any longer from colon cancer, a new study reported.

June 2017

Accountability Office Will Play Role in Weeding Out Bad Staff

After years of partisan grappling over how best to increase accountability among VA employees, the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection was created through presidential executive order last month.

June 2017

Award-Winning Army PA Seeks to Improve Battlefield Emergency Care

Maj. Jonathan Monti, DSc, PA-C, says he does not believe in haphazardly adding new technology to the already-overwhelming amount of gear carried by those providing medical care on the battlefield.

June 2017

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” ― Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

I have spent the past week in a series of meetings hosted by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide a public forum to discuss the national response to the ongoing opioid epidemic. I was serving as the Uniformed Services University and Department of Defense representative on this issue.

June 2017

Little Warning of CKD Progression in Veterans Using Proton Pump Inhibitors

While renal symptoms are a known side effect of proton pump inhibitors, the assumption always has been that the drugs could be discontinued before any lasting damage was done.

June 2017

Podiatry Bill Raises Issue of Who Is Physician at VA

Who should be considered a physician at the VA? That question was discussed by lawmakers and advocacy groups in response to introduction of a recent bill that would revise current VA law to include podiatrists in the physician and dentist pay category.

June 2017

VHA Compares Well to Other Health Systems for Patient Safety, Care Quality

Beginning last fall, VHA’s hospitals were included on the Hospital Compare website maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), allowing direct comparison with other, nonfederal facilities.

June 2017

VA Opts for Same EHR System Used by DoD Healthcare

Saying that he was not willing “to put this decision off any longer,” VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, announced that VA will adopt the same EHR system as DoD, now known as MHS GENESIS.

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