Questions Raised Over VA Nominee’s Lack of Managerial Experience WASHINGTON — Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, MD, was thrust into the spotlight with his nomination as VA secretary late last month, raising questions about the... View Article
By Sandra Basu 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. “We are working against the clock.... View Article
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
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.
WASHINGTON — Calling the Trump administration’s fiscal years 2019 proposed budget for VA “very strong,” VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, told lawmakers that it “provides the resources to continue VA modernization and to respond to... View Article
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
VA patients dying of cancer are far less likely to receive excessive and unnecessary end-of-life interventions than those treated by Medicare.
Diagnosing and treating mild traumatic brain injury continues to pose challenges for clinicians, TBI experts told lawmakers.
Slow Reimbursement Frustrated Clinicians, Hurt Veterans’ Credit By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—Citing the importance of providing payments in a “timely and consistent manner,” the VA announced that it has revised its regulations for payment and reimbursement... View Article
Aggressive care for cancer patients appears to be increasing at the end of life, and the VA is part of that trend, according to a new study.
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order directing the DoD, VA and Homeland Security departments develop a plan to ensure that all new veterans receive mental healthcare for at least one year following their separation from service.
The long delayed and over-budget Rocky Mountain Regional Medical Center in Aurora, CO, is finally scheduled to open its doors in August 2018.
By Stephen Spotswood AUBURN, AL—As more and more veterans begin seeking care in the civilian sector, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that medical centers and educational institutions need to adapt to serve this new patient population.... View Article
A recent study raises questions about whether stroke survivors with severe mental illness are at risk for increased nonpsychiatric hospitalization at the VHA compared to stroke survivors without prior psychiatric diagnoses.
By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—Concerned about how much time clinicians spend reading and responding to emails, the VA is changing its messaging system so that more of their focus can be on patient care. The... View Article
The VHA should take a lead role in combatting elder abuse, which affects at least 10% of older adults in the United States, according to a recent medical journal article.
The VA has focused on reducing the risk of opioid abuse and addiction by issuing guidance that strongly recommends against the use of the painkillers for chronic pain since the implementation of the Opioid Safety Initiative in 2013.
If VA clinicians are surprised by the significant changes in the updated recommendations recently issued by the VA and DoD for the diagnosis and management of low back pain, they are not alone. The evidence review even shocked many members of the work group that wrote the new clinical practice guidelines.
In response to complaints that clinicians at VAMCs lack adequate medical and surgical products to care for veterans, VA conceded it needs to make its product formulary more robust.
Hacking isn’t always a bad thing, especially if the result is devices that can help protect servicemembers from injuries.
The time for injured and ill servicemembers to get through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System process from their date of referral to their notification of benefits has been slashed more than half in the last decade.
Lawmakers have approved a continuing resolution that included $2.1 billion to temporarily continue VA’s Choice program.
Is it better to use sodium bicarbonate or -N-acetylcysteine to prevent acute kidney failure related to common angiography procedures?
During the Vietnam War, in order to help battle-weary soldiers obtain a moment of reprieve from combat operations, the military held stand downs at secure base camps.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
It’s not only the VA that struggles with the balance between just enough treatment of older Type 2 diabetes patients and too much.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
By Annette M. Boyle BEDFORD, MA—A program launched in eight VA New England medical center anticoagulation clinics not only achieved its goals of improving delivery of anticoagulation care, it also continues to pay dividends in... View Article
ANAHEIM, CA – 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. The... View Article
By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—Clinicians treating veterans and military patients can expect new guidelines in the coming year on sleep disorders, stroke, asthma, suicide prevention and chronic kidney disease. The VA/DoD guidelines for major diseases... View Article
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—The VA has sent draft legislation to Congress that would revamp criteria for outside care, including eliminating the controversial “30-day/40-mile” rule. “We want veterans to work with their VA physicians to make... View Article
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA pushed back against congressional bills under consideration last month that would create new pilot programs related to dog therapy. “We do not believe that creating yet another program would add significant... View Article
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—Draft congressional legislation is calling for a commission to make recommendations regarding VA’s infrastructure. Even supporters admit the “deck is stacked against” it. In introducing the bill, which potentially could lead to... View Article
VHA does not have the right protocols in place to ensure applications for enrollment are processed in a timely manner or that enrollment determinations are accurate, according to a new report.
An intense effort by the VA to improve end-of-life care is paying off, with hospice use increasing more among veterans than nonveterans.
Limitations on travel and the lack of protected time might prevent MHS healthcare providers from receiving additional training in evidence-based therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), a recent study suggested.
The pharmacy team at McDonald Army Health Center (MCAHC) on Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia had a common problem—longer than desired wait times for patients to pick up prescriptions.
At 31, Susan Thornton developed an itchy rash around her waist.
After decades on the sidelines, research in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) has exploded in recent years, bringing patients with this rare disease new opportunities for treatment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of several tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) over the last decade has substantially improved outcomes for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
After years of apparently rising rates of kidney cancer, the incidence of early-stage disease seems to be declining, at least in California.
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