Agencies


Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veteran nephrologist labors to improve ESRD treatment at VA

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Committee approves bill to provide agent orange benefits to ‘blue water’ vets

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Bill to Streamline, Expand VA’s Choice Program Signed Into Law

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..

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Despite Criticism, VA Healthcare as Good or Better Than Other Systems

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Inks Contract for Massive New Health Record System

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).

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Surprise! President Nominates Wilkie for Permanent VA Secretary

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Fibromyalgia Presents Differently in Male, Female Veterans

Research on fibromyalgia, a poorly understood, chronically disabling pain syndrome, generally has focused on its clinical presentation and treatment.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

How Veterans Feel About Remote Management of Their Care

The VA is expanding remote management of patients to improve disease prevention and care.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Stick-on Monitors Help Warn of Heart Failure Exacerbation in VA Study

While implantable devices have shown promise in reducing rehospitalization for heart failure (HF), VA researchers sought to determine if options that are less expensive and non-invasive would have comparable results.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Legislation: Clinicians Must Be Involved in Formulary Design, Purchasing

Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to require more input from medical professions is being considered in Congress.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

GAO: VA Needs Better Planning for ‘Complex’ Appeals System Overhaul

Gene L. Dodaro became the eighth Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on December 22, 2010, when he was confirmed by the United States Senate. WASHINGTON... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Community Providers Unprepared to Serve Veterans Under Choice Program

As the debate about increasing access for veterans to community-based provider heats up, a serious problem has emerged: Few providers outside the VA health system appear to be prepared to meet the unique challenges of the veteran population.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Former VA Secretary Nominee Claims Allegations Against Him Are False

Veterans’ groups expressed concern last month regarding a “lack of permanent leadership at the department,” after Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, MD, withdrew his name from consideration as VA secretary amid anonymous allegations of misconduct.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Shulkin Ousted, White House Physician Nominated for VA Secretary

WASHINGTON — After several weeks of speculation regarding his future in the Trump Administration, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD’s tenure came to an abrupt end on March 28.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Congress Seeks More Oversight of VA EHR Program

WASHINGTON — Legislation under consideration by Congress would increase oversight of VA’s adoption and implementation of its forthcoming electronic health record (EHR) system.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Congress, VSOs Have Wait-and- See Position on Jackson Nomination

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 qualifications he would bring to the position.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

New VA Budget Requests Seeks Community Care Expansion

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Cancer Patients Less Likely to Receive Excessive Care at End of Life

VA patients dying of cancer are far less likely to receive excessive and unnecessary end-of-life interventions than those treated by Medicare.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

DoD, VA Still Struggle with Diagnosing, Treating Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries

Diagnosing and treating mild traumatic brain injury continues to pose challenges for clinicians, TBI experts told lawmakers.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Promises to Resolve Late Payment Issues with Community Healthcare Providers

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Advanced NSCLC Patients Still Receive Aggressive Treatment

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

New Executive Order Guarantees a Year of Mental Healthcare After Separation from Service

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Rocky Mountain VAMC Construction Remains Controversial; Set to Open Later This Year

The long delayed and over-budget Rocky Mountain Regional Medical Center in Aurora, CO, is finally scheduled to open its doors in August 2018.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Retired Naval Officer Prepares Nursing School Students to Treat Military Personnel, Veterans

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Is Stroke Hospitalization Higher for Mentally Ill Veterans?

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Reduces Email Burden for Clinicians to Allow More Time, Focus on Patients

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veterans Treated by VA Often Have Risk Factors for Elder Abuse

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Post-Menopausal Veterans Frequently Prescribed Long-term Opioid Therapy

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Change in VA/DoD Guidelines for Low Back Pain Surprising Even for Authors

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Shortage of Supplies Might Have Delayed Medical Procedures at VAMCs

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA, DoD Slash Time for Disabled Servicemembers to Get Through Evaluation Process

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Congressional Efforts Seek to Improve, Expand Veterans Choice Legislation

Lawmakers have approved a continuing resolution that included $2.1 billion to temporarily continue VA’s Choice program.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Study Resolves Debate Over Renal Protective Agents Used in Angiography

Is it better to use sodium bicarbonate or -N-acetylcysteine to prevent acute kidney failure related to common angiography procedures?

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Annual DC ‘Stand Down’ Brings Homeless Veterans Into VA Healthcare’s Fold

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA’s Effort to Expand Telemedicine Across All States Moves Forward

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Clinicians Might Be Switching Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients to Biologics Too Quickly

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

HCV Complications Increasing for Women Veterans

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veterans With Heart Failure, Methamphetamine Use Present Growing Challenges for VA

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

GAO: VA Quality Measures on Hospital Compare, Agency Websites Not Accurate, Complete Enough

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Shulkin Pushes for Funding so VA Can ‘Piggyback’ on DoD’s EHR Implementation

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Study Finds Older Medicare Patients Often Are Overtreated for Diabetes

It’s not only the VA that struggles with the balance between just enough treatment of older Type 2 diabetes patients and too much.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VAMC Survey Found High Rates of Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms Among Staff

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Previous VA Research Borne Out: PCI Provides No Symptom Relief in Stable Angina

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Makes Decision on Expansion of Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions

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.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Patients More Likely to Die on Kidney Transplant Wait Lists

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

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Regional Anticoagulation Clinic Improvement Methods Bring Benefits Across VA

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

               
           

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