PORTLAND, OR—Being exposed to combat makes a significant difference in how military veterans fare during aging, according to a new study, which also found that the experience increases the risk for depression and anxiety later... View Article
Elderly AF Veteran Had More Than 100 Ant Bites Before Death ATLANTA—Nine VA employees, including the VISN 7 director and chief medical officer, have been reassigned following reports that an elderly patient at the Atlanta... View Article
HINES, IL—Women and veterans with multiple comorbidities used and valued the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) more than other veterans, according to recent research by the VA.1 To help these veterans and others, the VA has... View Article
Replacing Retirees Hampered by Lower Salaries WASHINGTON—Oversight agencies are sounding the alarm that VA is plagued with large staffing shortages in critical areas, including physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants, psychologists and physical therapists, as well... View Article
NASHVILLE, TN—Processes leading to impairment in schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder might be more similar than previously assumed, according to a new study. The report in Schizophrenia Research pointed out that neuropsychological impairment is common... View Article
LOS ANGELES—One of the most difficult issues in caring for adults with severe mental illness, including at the VA, is balancing privacy regulations with family members’ desire to be in the know. A study published... View Article
MIAMI—While a variety of risk factors have been evaluated in ocular surface squamous neoplasia, few studies have assessed risk factors specific to the armed forces veteran population. A report in the journal Eye and Vision... View Article
PHILADELPHIA—Chemoradiotherapy is commonly used for nonoperative treatment of locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The issue, according to a recent study, is that the standard dose of 100 mg/m2 cisplatin every three weeks is... View Article
About 9,000 Veterans Were Prescribed Drug for Hyperkalemia OTTAWA, ONTARIO—Continuing concerns are being raised about the gastrointestinal safety of sodium polystyrene sulfonate, which is commonly prescribed for the treatment of hyperkalemia. The issue is of... View Article
But It’s Not Offered by the VA This Year WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT—The high-dose influenza vaccine is more effective and less expensive for the VA than the standard dose vaccine for veterans over age 65,... View Article
GAO Suggests VistA Will Be Around for Next Decade WASHINGTON—As VA moves forward with the comprehensive overhaul of its electronic health records system, the department will still need to keep its legacy EHR system functioning... View Article
WASHINGTON—If stacked, VA’s backlog of paper medical documents that are waiting to be digitalized—most generated by veterans’ visits to non-VA providers—would be over 5 miles high, according to a report from the VA inspector general.... View Article
Birth Control Pill Change Could Save VA $2 Million Annually PITTSBURGH—What if there was a method to prevent nearly 600 unintended pregnancies and save the VA about $2 million a year in prenatal, birth and... View Article
WASHINGTON—According to VA officials, the agency is well on its way to creating a culture that will allow whistleblowers to feel safe to report facility problems without fear of retaliation from supervisors. Yet, whistleblower advocates... View Article
VA Debates Who Should Receive Pharmacogenetic Testing SALT LAKE CITY—A massive VA study revealed that 99% of veterans have at least one genetic mutation known to affect response to specific drugs, including some commonly prescribed... View Article
CLARKSBURG, WV – Law enforcement officials announced recently that a criminal investigation has been launched to look into the unexplained deaths of as many as 11 patients at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center... View Article
Investigators Say Impaired Clinician Recorded Wrong Diagnoses FAYETTEVILLE, AR – A physician employed by the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks here was indicted by a federal grand jury on a range of charges,... View Article
WASHINGTON—Five years after scandal rocked the VA, the agency still does not have a reliable way of tracking patient wait times according to a recent Government Accountability Office report. In 2014, whistleblowers at the Phoenix... View Article
WASHINGTON—As leaders from across multiple federal agencies begin work on a roadmap to combat veteran suicide, they are searching for ways to turn existing efforts in towns, cities, counties and neighborhoods across the country into... View Article
ST. LOUIS – Medicare Part D could save more than $14 billion annually if it paid the same prices for top medications as the VA, according to a new study. A research letter published earlier... View Article
WASHINGTON,—Legislators have reintroduced plans to create a fourth administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs—one dedicated to overseeing veterans’ education, transition and employment benefits. Currently these operations fall under the Veterans Benefits Administration, with VBA... View Article
Suicides, Violence at VMACs Put Spotlight on Security WASHINGTON—As the number of suicides and other violent incidents at VA facilities grows, a spotlight is being thrown on VA’s internal police force and its ability to... View Article
CHARLESTON, SC—More than half of the patients treated by VA are also Medicare eligible, and that is increasing the risk for a range of prescription medication problems—from chronic disease medication nonadherence to opioid overdoses—among dual... View Article
New Directive Abolishes Designated Smoking Zones WASHINGTON—Starting in October, all VA healthcare facilities will be official no-smoking zones. While VA now permits smoking in designated areas, the department has issued a new policy restricting smoking... View Article
Too Many Leadership Vacancies Are Part of the Problem WASHINGTON—Deeply ingrained management problems are preventing VA from addressing priority recommendations from oversight agencies, leaving the department with long-standing weaknesses in its healthcare and disability benefits... View Article
CDC, VA Authors Reject Calls to Lessen Interventions SALT LAKE CITY—Concerned about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, one of the most common causes of healthcare-associated infections, the VA piloted a MRSA prevention program in 18 VAMCs beginning... View Article
SAN FRANCISCO—While the VA performs well overall on key 30-day readmission rates, a study by researchers at the San Francisco VAMC questioned the utility of the measures for most of the health system’s hospitals. The... View Article
WASHINGTON—Concern over the rate of veteran suicides reached a fever pitch last month after three veterans took their lives at VA facilities over a span of five days. Two of the deaths occurred in Georgia—one... View Article
WASHINGTON—In an about-face, the VA will recommend that the federal government not challenge a recent court decision ruling that the department cannot deny benefits to Vietnam-era Blue Water Navy veterans claiming Agent Orange exposure. The... View Article
WASHINGTON—In the past two years, the VA has implemented a nine-step process to minimize drug diversion, but cases continue to slip through. In December 2018, the VA’s Office of the Inspector General reported two instances... View Article
WASHINGTON—VA is straining its capacity and struggling against a culture that can sometimes be hostile to women as it responds to what VA officials consider a “tsunami wave of women veterans” over the last decade.... View Article
SEATTLE—It’s a big job to ensure that VA’s healthcare system is equipped to provide the best possible care to veterans. It might be an even bigger job to make sure that veterans across the country... View Article
WASHINGTON—Three months into the new Democrat-led Congress, legislators are continuing to press VA on possible misconduct by high-level VA employees and consultants. That includes expanding the investigation into VA’s relationship with civilian advisers conducting meetings... View Article
WASHINGTON—VA has released its proposed new access standards, defining new eligibility criteria for veterans seeking care by non-VA providers. The standards are part of the VA MISSION Act signed into law in June 2018, and... View Article
WASHINGTON.—VA Secretary Robert Wilkie announced new partnerships with several prominent companies and veterans’ organizations to make access to health services easier for veterans, regardless of their location. Collaborators announced at the recent Anywhere to Anywhere,... View Article
Despite declaring veteran suicide as its No. 1 clinical priority, VA’s suicide prevention outreach efforts dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and a lack of clear goals and inconsistent leadership has impacted its success, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
Ten years ago, Coniece Washington was walking through the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center when she saw a job notice tacked to a board: certified rehabilitation counselor.
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.
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.
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.
Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) vowed that addressing benefits for Blue Water Navy Veterans “is no longer going to be a question,” but that “how we do it is the only question.”
VHA medical facilities should ensure that its providers are following three key opioid risk mitigation strategies, including conducting urine drug screening, a recent report recommended.
A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed.
When Terrence O’Neil, MD, retired as chief of nephrology at the James H. Quillen VAMC in Johnson City in December 2016, he left in his wake decades of work treating kidney disease—nearly 35 years in the Air Force and DoD, plus 11 more at VA.
A long sought-after bill that would make it easier for Blue Water Navy veterans to receive Agent Orange benefits has been passed by a key House of Representatives committee.
Legislation that would streamline VA’s community care programs into one program and expand VA’s caregiver program to veterans of all eras was signed into law earlier this month..
The good news from a recent consultant study is that, overall, the VA healthcare system is generally equal or better than others when inpatient and outpatient quality is measured.
Calling it one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government, with a ceiling of $10 billion over a decade, then-VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie announced that the agency signed a contract with Cerner for its new electronic health record (EHR).
President Donald Trump said last month that acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie “has done an incredible job” and, in a surprise move, nominated him for the permanent Cabinet position.
Research on fibromyalgia, a poorly understood, chronically disabling pain syndrome, generally has focused on its clinical presentation and treatment.
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