April 2013

VA Providers Often Miss EHR Test Result Alerts

By Brenda L. Mooney HOUSTON – Almost a third of primary care providers missed test results received through VA’s electronic health record (EHR) notification system, possibly because of “information overload,” according to a survey conducted by researchers from the Michael… Read More

Who Are Most Likely Military Suicide Victims? Guard Study Offers Some Valuable Clues

Annette M. Boyle BALTIMORE, MD –  Part of the challenge for healthcare providers trying to prevent military suicide is the difficulty of identifying servicemembers at the highest risk. Now, a newly-published study from the Army National Guard provides some information… Read More

DoD’s Civilian Employees, Research Programs Bear Brunt of Sequestration Cuts

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Sustaining patient care functions in the Military Health System in the wake of sequestration “comes at a cost,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson, MD, warned Congress. “The department will reduce funding… Read More

Lawmakers, Veteran Groups Skeptical VA Can Clear Claims Backlog by 2015

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Assurance that VA is on track to eliminate its backlog on reviewing disability claims is being meet with skepticism by lawmakers as well as military and veteran service organizations. With deployment of the agency’s new… Read More

Low Vitamin D Levels Tied to Diabetes in Troops

SAN DIEGO – Low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of developing “insulin-requiring” diabetes, according to a study of active-duty servicemembers. The nested case-control study led by Edward D. Gorham, PhD, MPH, a research epidemiologist from… Read More

Intensive Weight Loss Program Increases Diabetes Remission Rates

ATLANTA – An intensive weight loss program involving dieting, counseling and physical activity offers the promise of diabetes remission, especially in patients who are recently-diagnosed, not on insulin and have lower hemoglobin A levels. The study, partly funded by the… Read More

Surgery May Trump Angioplasty for Diabetes Patients with CAD

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – A new study from the Roudebush VAMC in Indianapolis suggests survival rates are better when diabetes patients with multivessel coronary artery disease receive coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery as opposed to angioplasty, even when the most… Read More

Army Panel Finds No More Changes in PTSD Diagnoses Than Other Conditions

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – A new Army report suggests that doctors made changes to PTSD diagnoses during the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) process at similar rates to other behavioral health diagnoses, “suggesting that PTSD is not handled differently than… Read More

It’s hard to soar with eagles when you’re surrounded by ducks quacking ‘No!’

“It’s hard to soar with eagles when you’re surrounded by ducks quacking ‘No!’” ~unknown This is my own modification of the famous “It’s hard to soar with eagles when you’re surrounded by turkeys.” The source of this original quote is… Read More

Autograft Better in ACL Repair for Army Cadets

WEST POINT, NY – Young military cadets undergoing an allograft ACL reconstruction were significantly more likely to experience clinical failure requiring revision reconstruction than those who underwent autologous graft reconstruction, according to researchers from the U.S. Military Academy at West… Read More

High Rates of Injury Identified in Army MP Training

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD – A new study is the first to identify injury rates and identify specific factors increasing injury risk during military police (MP) training in the Army. The study, published recently in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders,… Read More

Greater Weight Gain Seen After Knee Replacement Surgery

RICHMOND, VA – While knee-replacement surgery often is sought so patients can return to a more active lifestyle, patients who undergo the procedure might be at greater risk of gaining weight than those who have not had the surgery. For… Read More

New Therapies, Programs Affect Hepatitis C Treatment within VA

By David Ross, MD, PhD, MBI, director, HIV, HCV and Public Health Pathogens Programs, Office of Public Health/Clinical Public Health Lorenzo L. McFarland, DHA, MSW, PMP, senior manager, Public Health Program, HIV, Hepatitis and Public Health Pathogens Programs/Clinical Public Health… Read More

Study: Exercise Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk in Caucasians, But Not African-Americans

By Annette M. Boyle DURHAM, NC – Researchers are grappling with the results of a new study that shows an association between increased exercise and reduced risk of prostate cancer in white men but not black men. “Bottom line, the… Read More

TRICARE Faces Challenges in Getting Males to Complete Three-Shot HPV Vaccine Series

By Annette M. Boyle FALLS CHURCH, VA – In the year since TRICARE added coverage for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in all males up to age 27, the challenge has been both educating military personnel and their families about… Read More

The PhARMD Program: Documenting Pharmacist Impact on VA Patient Outcomes

By Annette M. Boyle WEST PALM BEACH, FL – How much of a role are clinical pharmacists playing in patient care at VA? Since December 2011, the Pharmacists Achieve Results with Medications Demonstration (PhARMD) program has sought to answer that… Read More

Stivarga Approved for Some Stromal Tumors After Use of First-Line Therapies

WAYNE, NJ – Tthe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Bayer’s Stivarga (regorafenib) tablets to treat patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who have been previously treated with imatinib mesylate and sunitinib malate,… Read More

Ofirmev Injection Available on VA Formulary For Relief of Mild/Moderate Pain

SAN DIEGO – Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that Ofirmev (acetaminophen) injection has been made available on the VA National Formulary (VANF) and must be available for prescription at all VA facilities. .Ofirmev is the first non-narcotic, non-NSAID, intravenous analgesic available… Read More

Kadcyla Approved for Treatment of HER2-positive Metastatic Breast Cancers

SAN FRANCISCO – The FDA has approved Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine or T-DM1) for the treatment of people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (mBC) who have received prior treatment with Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and a taxane chemotherapy. Kadcyla is the fourth medicine… Read More

Retired Air Force Urologist, General Officer Urges Doctors to Take Command

By Steve Lewis TEMPLE, TX – Retired Brig. Gen. James T. Turlington, MD, may no longer be an active duty general officer in the Air Force, but he’s still practicing medicine — and still making a difference. In fact, Turlington,… Read More