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.
The VA is expanding remote management of patients to improve disease prevention and care.
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.
Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to require more input from medical professions is being considered in Congress.
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
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.
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.
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.
WASHINGTON — Legislation under consideration by Congress would increase oversight of VA’s adoption and implementation of its forthcoming electronic health record (EHR) system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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