December 2011

December 2011

DECEMBER ISSUE   U.S. MEDICINE NEWS UPDATE First Woman Becomes Army Surgeon GeneralWASHINGTON – Maj. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho assumed command of the U.S. Army Medical Command on Dec 5th and was promoted to… Read More

Increasing TRICARE Mail order Pharmacy Incentives Alarms Community Pharmacies

An Obama administration proposal that affects drug co-pays in TRICARE has raised concerns from trade groups representing community pharmacies, which, in 2010, filled 40% of TRICARE prescriptions. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and National Community Pharmacists Association… Read More

Progress Notes December 2

Dr. Stephen Cozza, associate director at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) received the Frank Ochberg Award for Media and Trauma Study from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) during the society’s annual meeting in… Read More

Progress Notes December

XIN JIN, PHD, RECEIVED THE PETER AND PATRICIA GRUBER INTERNATIONALRESEARCHA WARD from the Society of Neuroscience. Jin, PhD, a postdoctoralfellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), wasgiven the award during the society’s annual meeting in Washington… Read More

Inconclusive Report Does Little to Cool Down Burn Pit Controversy

WASHINGTON — Whether exposure to war zone burn-pits causes long-term health issues has created heated debate among military officials, veterans, Congress members and currently deployed troops. Unfortunately, a long-awaited report does little to provide definitive answers or cool down… Read More

Oct 1 2013 Circle the Date for Massive Coding Changeover at VA & Elsewhere

WASHINGTON — Oct. 1, 2013, might mean little to most clinicians now, just a day somewhere between Labor Day and Halloween in about two years. This time next year, however, healthcare providers are likely to have the day circled on… Read More

Legislators Skeptical about Improvements at Problem Plagued Miami VAMC

WASHINGTON — Only a few weeks after members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs expressed skepticism about testimony that the problem-plagued Miami VA Medical Center (VAMC) is now running smoothly, the facility’s director was removed from her position. Reassurances… Read More

Winning is the science of being totally prepared

Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA When this issue of US Medicine reaches our readers, we will be well into the holiday season and drawing 2011 to a close. Like many, I often find myself using… Read More

VA’s Mental Health Care As Good or Better than Private Sector Study Finds

WASHINGTON — Veterans with mental illness and substance abuse cost nearly three times as much to treat as the average veteran. According to a VA-commissioned study by the RAND Corp. looking at data from one year of care (2007), such… Read More

Suicide Prevention Not Working Returning Troops Could Increase Problem

WASHINGTON — Efforts to prevent suicides among servicemembers are not working, according to a new report that warns that the problem is likely to get much worse as more troops return from deployment. A report released last month by the… Read More

VA Opens Fifth Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center to Care for Wounded

SAN ANTONIO, TX–VA has dedicated a new polytrauma rehabilitation center (CRC) at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) here. The state-of-the-art, $66 million inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation center will treat veterans and active-duty servicemembers with multiple, traumatic injuries. This… Read More

Military Resumes Adenovirus Vaccinations After More than a Decade Lapse

WASHINGTON — After more than a decade with military recruits vulnerable to adenovirus (ADV), DoD has begun inoculating personnel with a new vaccine to prevent the sometimes severe respiratory infection. Adenovirus Vaccine.jpg: Army recruit receives the adenovirus vaccine during basic… Read More

Senators: VA Not Responding Quickly Enough to Sexual Assault Disability Issues

WASHINGTON–With more than 3,000 servicemembers reporting military sexual assault (MST) just last year and with potentially nine times that many cases unreported during that time period, according to DoD, a lot of victims require VA mental-health services. The problem, according… Read More

VA Takes Steps to End Veteran Homelessness

WASHINGTON — When he took office, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki declared he would do his best to eradicate homelessness in the veteran population. He also noted that one of the biggest challenges is successfully reaching out and locating veterans who… Read More

New BRAC-Mandated Medical Center Locations Creating Traffic Gridlock

WASHINGTON — The new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (FBCH) are both designed to offer state-of-the-art medical care – assuming staff and patients can ever get to them. New signage for Wilford… Read More

Can Some Good Come from PTSD or Does the Bad Last for Generations?

WASHINGTON — Can some good eventually come from coping with high levels of psychological stress? Or, does PTSD not only affect returning troops but also their families for generations to come? As researchers grapple with helping troops deal with PTSD,… Read More

Lax Oversight of Outside Care Busts Phoenix VA’s Budget

PHOENIX — Extremely lax oversight of the use of outside care was blamed for a budget crisis at the Phoenix VA Healthcare System, according to a recently-released report from the VA Inspector General. The Arizona health system was forced to… Read More

Army Seeks to Take Back Prescription Drugs to Avoid Medication Abuse Errors

WASHINGTON — The Army is seeking permanent authority to accept unused or old prescription drugs from military healthcare beneficiaries who wish to get rid of them. In January, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, asked that the Drug… Read More

Award-Winning Army Pharmacist Touts Benefits of Military Service

WASHINGTON — When Army pharmacist Maj. Jeffrey Neigh joined the military, it was initially as a way to pay off his school debts. “I went to Duquesne [University] … in Pittsburgh. I would not have been able to afford to… Read More

HIV Drug Helps Block Herpes Virus

HIV Drug Helps Block Herpes Virus A recent discovery by NIH researchers has shown the mechanism by which an anti-HIV drug can stop the spread of the virus that causes genital herpes. Tenofovir, when applied as a vaginal gel,… Read More