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Healthcare System

VA Overall Appointment Wait Times Shorter than the Private-Sector

Despite intense scrutiny of wait times for veterans seeking VA care over the last three years, a new study pointed out that delays in the private sector weren’t statistically less in 2014 and that, possibly because of the focus, wait times now are significantly shorter for the VA compared to private-sector healthcare facilities.

February 7, 2019
Agent Orange

Senate Blocks Agent Orange Exposure Extension to Blue Water Veterans

Blue Water Navy veterans who claim to be impacted by toxic exposure while serving off the coast of Vietnam were forced to grapple with disappointment once again as the 115th Congress ended without passing legislation addressing their VA benefits.

February 7, 2019
Nightmares

VA Seeks to Resolve Questions about Prazosin for PTSD Nightmares

For years, prazosin has appeared to be one of the most effective medications for treating the nightmares associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, but that treatment is being called into questions by findings from two recent studies that patients with PTSD who received a placebo did as well or better than those who received prazosin.

February 7, 2019
Gun Restrictions

Most Veterans Receiving VA Mental Healthcare Support Some Gun Restrictions

A survey of veterans receiving mental healthcare through VA found that the vast majority would favor at least one option to restrict firearm access with the goal of reducing dangers of self-harm.

February 7, 2019
health insurance coverage

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” –Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Julius Caesar commented, “No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.” My wife, Pam, and I recently traveled to Florida to visit my mother and father, who are in their... View Article

February 6, 2019
Chronic Lung Disease

Target Lung Disease to Improve Rheumatoid Arthritis Survival

A recent VA study emphasized the importance of targeting comorbid lung disease to improve long-term outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

February 2, 2019
Agent Orange

VA Research Demonstrates Importance of Personalization in DLBCL Treatment

Diffuse large b-cell lymphoma accounts for approximately one-third of all cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is classified by the VA as a presumptive disease for veterans exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.

February 2, 2019
hematological malignancies

Army Research Challenges Long-Standing Platelet Storage Recommendations

For nearly 50 years, platelets have been stored at room temperature. Research conducted by investigators at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Center in San Antonio very well could change that.

February 1, 2019
Anticoagulants

New Venous Thromboembolism Guidelines Could Change Treatment at VA

Venous thromboembolism, which includes deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is the most common preventable cause of hospital death, according to the VA.

January 31, 2019
Analgesia Agents

Combat Prehospital Analgesia Agents Have Changed in Last Decade

Over time, Tactical Combat Casualty Care) guidelines regarding prehospital analgesia agents have changed, according to a new review.

January 31, 2019
Agent Orange

Hypertension, MGUS Associated with Herbicide Exposure in Vietnam Veterans

Based on a new review, two conditions–one extremely common and the other rare–appear to be related to herbicide exposure during the Vietnam War era.

January 21, 2019
Cancer

Detailed Medical History Crucial for Lung Disease Diagnosis

Both general medicine physicians and specialists can find interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pulmonary fibrosis confusing, according to a recent study.

January 21, 2019
Disability Exams

VA: Oversight Improving for Questionable Contracted Disability Exams

A recent audit by the Government Accountability Office has lawmakers and veterans service organizations frustrated with the Veterans Benefits Administration’s inability to track the quality of work done by outside contractors and concerned that veterans have not been receiving accurate disability ratings.

January 21, 2019
Appeals Reform

VA ‘On Track’ for Appeals Reform; GAO Questions Timetable

VA is “on track” to implement a law designed to give veterans more options to have their claims appeals reviewed, as well as speed up the process, agency officials assured lawmakers last month.

January 21, 2019
VA MISSION Act

VAMCs Usually as Good or Better Than Private Hospitals in Same Communities

Veterans are being given more options for obtaining care outside of the VA healthcare system. The question raised in new research is whether doing so improves care.

January 15, 2019
gulf war syndrome

Report Could Add 23 Presumptive Conditions for Gulf War Veterans

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that sufficient evidence supported an association between exposure to seven factors and detrimental reproductive effects in men or women who served in the Gulf War or developmental effects in their children.

January 15, 2019
Disability Assistance

Efficiency at Expense of Effectiveness? Legislators Blast VBA Management

Recent problems with initiatives implemented by the Veterans Benefits Administration point to much larger, systemic issues in how the agency rolls out new programs, according to the VA Office of the Inspector General.

January 15, 2019
Benzodiazepines

Use of Non-VHA Pharmacies Increases Risks of Scheduled Drug Overdoses

Using multiple sources to get prescribed pain medications and other Schedule II through V drugs increases risks for veterans, a new study finds.

January 15, 2019

“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” –Maimonides (1135-1204)

Much to my family’s chagrin, the influence of British humor on my personality and sense of humor began as a preteen. I would stay up late at night for episodes of “Benny Hill” and my... View Article

January 15, 2019
Internal Malignancy Risk

Melanomas Associated With Internal Malignancy Risk

Genetic and environmental risk factors have been associated with the development of multiple primary melanomas (MPM) but a new study questioned whether those patients might have increased predisposition to developing internal malignancies.

January 1, 2019