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2018 Issues


March 2018

Automation Speeds Results and Increases Accuracy for Point-of-Care Testing at Walter Reed NMMC

With a long history of point of care testing at both of its predecessor organizations, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) laboratory services staff were keenly aware of the advantages of using portable testing devices to obtain rapid patient assessments.

March 2018

VA Vows to Meet Deadline for Revamp of Veteran Claims Appeal Process

WASHINGTON—VA has told legislators that the agency is on track with a new law that will give veterans more options to have their claims appeals reviewed.

March 2018

Congress Urged to Find a Cost-Effective Way to Expand Benefits to Pre-9/11 Veteran Caregivers

WASHINGTON — Veterans from earlier eras should have expanded benefits related to family caregiver, but only if they are severely injured, VA officials have told Congress.

March 2018

Inhaled Pollutants Spur Nonallergic Respiratory Symptoms

A paucity of information exists on air quality and rhinitis in the pathophysiology of upper airway disease

March 2018

Supplemental Oxygen Needs Rarely Addressed in COPD Inpatients

CHICAGO — Patients hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who require supplemental oxygen (O2) are at increased risk of hospital readmissions, but little information exists on the quality of evaluation and documentation regarding the need for supplemental O2 in that population.

March 2018

Vets With Respiratory Disease More Responsive to ‘Quit’ Programs

MINNEAPOLIS — Because adults with chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD) suffer from tobacco-related health issues, they sometimes have greater motivation to quit smoking. But that is not always the case, according to a report in... View Article

March 2018

MS Surprisingly Prevalent in U.S., Dropping Among Servicemembers

The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the United States population appears to be nearly double previous estimates. Among servicemembers, however, the rate of new MS diagnoses has dropped significantly in recent years.

March 2018

Focus on Diabetes Control, Cancer Screening Helps Reduce MS Deaths

OKLAHOMA CITY — While multiple sclerosis (MS) itself remains incurable, development of more effective treatments over the past 25 years has increased life expectancy for patients with the disease. Today, MS patients have a life expectancy only about seven years less than individuals without the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

March 2018

Lobectomy Still Has Significant Survival Benefit in Early NSCLC

While increased use of stereotactic body radiation might have played a key role in doubling survival rates for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) among veterans between 2001 and 2010 compared to conventional radiation, a new study confirms that isn’t always the best way to assure longer survival.

March 2018

VA Hospitals First to Publicly Report Opioid Prescribing Rates

In January, the VA became the first hospital system in the United States to publicly post opioid prescribing rates.

March 2018

Handheld Devices Are “Moving the Goal Posts” for Patient Testing

Years ago, “point of care” testing meant a physician took a sample of blood or tissue and looked at it under a microscope while the patient waited—and waited. Handheld devices with sophisticated technology now permit testing with just a drop of blood and a couple of minutes.

March 2018

Post-Prostatectomy ART Beneficial for Prostate Cancer Patients

BOSTON—After prostatectomy, options for prostate cancer with adverse pathological features such as pT3 and/or positive margins can be managed with adjuvant radiotherapy (ART) or surveillance followed by early-salvage radiotherapy (ESRT) for biochemical recurrence. The best time... View Article

March 2018

4Kscore Predictive for African-American Veterans With Prostate Cancer

MIAMI—While the 4Kscore test has been shown to accurately detects aggressive prostate cancer and reduces unnecessary biopsies overall, its performance in African-American (AA) men remained unclear. To remedy that, a study led by researchers from the Miami... View Article

March 2018

Gene Assay Can Help Determine Active Surveillance Usefulness

BEDFORD, MA—Active surveillance (AS) has been widely implemented at the VA as a standard of care for low-risk prostate cancer (PCa). A study in the American Journal of Managed Care posits, however, that patient characteristics such as... View Article

March 2018

Engineer Seeks to Make VAMCs More Energy Efficient Without Interrupting Their Mission

WASHINGTON—Anyone who’s ever worked in a hospital knows how much energy a facility of that size consumes. From the electricity to keep the lights on and the technology running to the water used to keep everything sterile, medical facilities can be far from energy efficient.

March 2018

It’s Up to All of Us

Editor-In-Chief, Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, COL (ret.), MC, USA “It’s up to all of us, the consumers, to take charge of our health. It’s almost like voting. It’s your responsibility.” — Anne Wojcicki Anne... View Article

March 2018

Cancer Trials Boom in VA’s New England Region

The number of clinical trials open to veterans with cancer in the New England region (VISN 1) grows every week, leading a return to the prominence the VA had in trial programs in decades past and offering veterans access to the “gold standard” of treatment in oncology.

March 2018

Long-term Opioid Prescribing Declines in VHA, Bucking National Trend

Extended Prescribing Dropped from 9.5% in 2012 to 6.2% in 2016 By Brenda L. Mooney IOWA CITY, IA—Long-term prescribing of opioid painkillers is on the decline at the VA, in contrast to what appears to be happening outside of federal medicine.

March 2018

With New Hires, VA Has Net Increase of 8,303 Employees; Still Needs Mental Health Professionals

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA made progress in filling its vacancies last year with a net increase of 8,303 employees, but the agency still struggles to find enough mental health professionals, especially in light of a... View Article

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