May 2014

GAO Report: VA Plagued by ‘Poor Inventory Management’ of Tissue Products

GAO Report: VA Plagued by ‘Poor Inventory Management’ of Tissue Products

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — VA policies do not require staff to check the Food and Drug Administration status of its tissue vendors for most types of purchases, even though FDA registration ensures the quality of the provider. That was… Read More

Personalized Healthcare Earning High Marks from Veterans

Personalized Healthcare Earning High Marks from Veterans

By Robert A. Petzel, MD, Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs The results of the 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) are in, and they show that veterans using the VA healthcare system are highly satisfied with the… Read More

Periosteal Stimulation Therapy Shows Promise in Knee Pain

PITTSBURGH – Patients with painful knee osteoarthritis who received electrical stimulation of the periosteum facilitated by acupuncture needles showed modest improvement in pain, according to a study at the Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). Background in the article, published… Read More

Study Looks at PT with Different Acupuncture Techniques

PHILADELPHIA — How does the safety and effectiveness of traditional acupuncture techniques compare to nonpenetrating acupuncture combined with exercise-based physical therapy (EPT)? That was the question asked in a study that included researchers from the Philadelphia VAMC. The answer: Puncturing… Read More

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

By Annette M. Boyle FAIRFIELD, CA —Many women return to their units after pregnancy with one overriding concern: “Can I pass the fitness test?” The vast majority of those women do end up passing the six-month postpartum test, but their… Read More

Are Knee Injections by Rural Providers Cost-Effective?

SALT LAKE CITY – If enough patients are treated, training rural providers to perform knee injections for patients with osteoarthritis can be cost-effective, according to a new study funded by the VHA. Using the common threshold of $50,000 per quality-adjusted life… Read More

Gene Sequencing Helps Target Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Gene Sequencing Helps Target Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

By Annette M. Boyle DURHAM, NC — Women initially diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have only a 23% overall five-year survival rate — and will spend most of their lives battling their cancer with a series of chemotherapies that might… Read More

VA Launches New Initiative to Recognize, Respond to Intimate Partner Violence

VA Launches New Initiative to Recognize, Respond to Intimate Partner Violence

Domestic Abuse Tied to Range of Health Issues By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — Nearly 2 in 5 female veterans report experiencing intimate partner violence, as do up to 44% of active-duty women. The high rates of domestic abuse have… Read More

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

WASHINGTON — The consolidation of 10 functions that have been performed separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force under the Defense Health Agency is projected to save $2 billion by 2019.

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

MINNEAPOLIS — A new initiative to reduce the use of opioids at the VA already is demonstrating some success at eight launch sites in Minnesota, where high-dose use of the painkillers has been reduced more than 50%.