June 2013

Screening Guidelines Needed on Inadequate Bowel Prep

ANN ARBOR, MI — How does less-than-adequate bowel preparation for colonoscopy affect adenoma miss rates and future screening recommendations for average-risk patients? Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System and the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Healthcare System sought to… Read More

Study Finds Pain-Related Brain Anomalies in ‘Gulf War Illness’

WASHINGTON — Veterans suffering from “Gulf War Illness” appear to have anomalies in the bundles of nerve fibers that connect brain areas involved in the processing and perception of pain and fatigue — changes not seen in unaffected individuals. Researchers… Read More

Multiple TBIs, Chronic Pain Linked to Increased Risk of Military Suicides

By Brenda L. Mooney SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Two new studies may offer important clues as to why suicide rates are on the increase among military personnel and veterans. Servicemembers who suffer more than one mild traumatic brain injury… Read More

Improved Mental Healthcare Demanded After Four Deaths at Atlanta VAMC

By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA — Multiple mental health-related deaths at the Atlanta VAMC have led to bipartisan demands from Congress that care and leadership issues be urgently resolved at the facility. In the wake of a patient death and… Read More

Military Sexual Assaults Increasing Despite DoD Efforts to Stem Tide

Alleged Wrongdoing by Assault Prevention Personnel ‘Sickening’ By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Despite DoD’s greater emphasis on preventing sexual assault, the prevalence of unwanted sexual contact among active duty troops increased to about 26,000 cases in 2012 compared with an… Read More

There is nothing so annoying as a good example

“There is nothing so annoying as a good example!!” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)I recently returned from my fellowship program’s annual medical mission to Vietnam. These missions are a highlight of our academic year, as they provide unique opportunities to practice… Read More

Advancing Veteran-Centric Diabetes Care in the Patient Aligned Care Team

VHA Innovations in Care By Leonard Pogach, MD, MBA, FACP, National Director of Medicine, Specialty Care Services, VHA, VACO Washington BACKGROUND The prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. population increased from 18.0 million (6.3%) in 2002 to 25.7 million (8.3%)… Read More

Sequestration Takes Toll on IHS Services – Funds Increase Requested for FY 2014

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — While the Obama administration recently introduced its proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget, tribal advocates still have FY 2013 on their minds and are expressing worry about the impact that sequestration is having on healthcare funds… Read More

New Instruction on How DoD Providers Should Care for Sexual-Assault Victims

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — DoD has released updated procedures to improve response to sexual-assault and care for victims. The new DoD instruction includes an enclosure that provides guidance on medical management of victims of sexual assault to “ensure standardized,… Read More

Failure to Reassess Veterans’ Temporary Disability Ratings Means Millions in Overpayments by VA

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON —With a potential billion dollars at stake, the VA is under fire for not addressing overpayments to veterans with temporary disability ratings whose conditions are not re-evaluated in a timely manner. At a hearing earlier this… Read More

Construction Delays Mount Up for VAMCs – Congressmembers Call Process ‘Abysmal’

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — In the wake of a recent federal report finding that schedules have been delayed and costs substantially increased for VA medical construction projects in Las Vegas, Denver, Orlando and New Orleans, a key legislator called… Read More

Kandahar Deployment Offers Dual Opportunity for Naval ER Physician

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — A recent deployment to Afghanistan was unexpected,but welcomed by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Josephine Hessert, DO. “It was a little short notice; someone else was unable to go at the last minute,” recalls Hessert, who was stationed at… Read More

How Women Learn to Fear Might Explain Higher Rates of PTSD

VA Researchers Find Sex-Based Differences in Disorder By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO — Why are women so much more likely than men to develop post-traumatic stress disorder? The answer could be differences in the way men and women develop… Read More

Veterans with mTBI Could Be Affected by Hormone Deficiencies

Hypopituitarism May Cause Insomnia, Reduced Libido, Depression By Annette M. Boyle SEATTLE — For the 30% of warriors with concussive injuries whose symptoms fail to resolve in a few months, recent research offers new hope. Researchers at the VA Puget… Read More

Mobile Application to Help Families Manage Healthcare Wins Federal Challenge

By Stephen Spotswood SAN CARLOS, CA — A mobile health application that helps families manage their healthcare is the grand-prizewinner of the HHS Healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge. The San Carlos-based mobile technology development company, Lyfechannel, was awarded $50,000 in May… Read More

DoD Mobile App Helps Healthcare Providers Track Own Resilience

Tool Can Help Prevent Compassion Fatigue or ‘Secondary Traumatic Stress’ By Stephen Spotswood JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCHORD, WA— One of the most insidious things about trauma is that its effects can spread far beyond the initial event. A traumatic event can… Read More

New VA Study Takes Issue with FDA’s Warnings about Citalopram

By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — For nearly two years, the Food and Drug Administration has been issuing safety advisories about the risks of abnormal heart rhythms with higher doses of the antidepressant citalopram hydrobromide. A new study… Read More

VA Executive Bonuses Under Attack Because of Claims Backlogs, Healthcare Problems

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A House committee has voted to ban VA senior executives from receiving any bonuses for five years, citing claims backlogs and unresolved healthcare quality issues. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)… Read More