April 2015

VA Responds to Legislators’ Concerns About Rural Staffing

VA Responds to Legislators’ Concerns About Rural Staffing

WASHINGTON — While VA might have been provided $5 billion in funding to hire more clinical staff and to improve VA’s physical infrastructure, lawmakers expressed concern last month about challenges to recruiting new medical professionals, particularly in rural areas.

Legislation Seeks to Curtail Bonuses for Leaders of Troubled VAMCs

Legislation Seeks to Curtail Bonuses for Leaders of Troubled VAMCs

WASHINGTON – A bill making its way through Congress would allow the VA secretary to order an employee to repay the amount or a portion of any award or bonus if such payment is determined to be inappropriate. Currently, VA is unable to take back bonuses once they have been distributed.

Slow Start for ‘Choice’ Program to Give Veterans More Care Options

Slow Start for ‘Choice’ Program to Give Veterans More Care Options

Family Physicians Unlikely to Participate Without Rate Increases By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON – VA officials have been accused of being  less than enthusiastic about a new law passed to provide outside care options for certain veterans. If that is… Read More

Telemedicine Expands to Provide Care for Rural Veterans With PTSD

Telemedicine Expands to Provide Care for Rural Veterans With PTSD

SEATTLE – For rural veterans, the distance to a VAMC often creates a major barrier to care, particularly for treatments that require multiple trips.

Most Army Special Forces Musculoskeletal Injuries Preventable

PITTSBURGH – A significant proportion of injuries among Special Operations Forces (SOF) in the Army can be classified as preventable and may be mitigated with human performance programs, according to a study. The study, published recently in Military Medicine, noted… Read More

Study Finds No Link Between Bisphosphonate Use and Fractures

BIRMINGHAM, AL – Long-term use of bisphosphonates have been associated in some research with subtrochanteric femoral shaft fractures after little or no trauma, but new research looking at VA data did not replicate that effect. In fact, the study published… Read More

Preoperative Opioid Use Predicts Post-Surgical Chronic Pain

SEATTLE – The most important predictor of chronic postoperative pain after elective knee arthroscopy is preoperative opioid use, according to a single-center retrospective study. Background information in the study, published recently in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, notes that chronic… Read More

VA Educates Patients about Who Really Needs Testosterone Therapy

VA Educates Patients about Who Really Needs Testosterone Therapy

COLUMBIA, MO – Often spurred by advertising touting the benefits of testosterone supplementation for “low T,” veterans treated by the VA increasingly are requesting the replacement therapy.

VA Study Finds That Statins Reduce Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk

VA Study Finds That Statins Reduce Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Physicians commonly recommend statins for veterans with high triglyceride levels.

Legislators Decry Delays in VA/DoD Medical Record Interoperability

Legislators Decry Delays in VA/DoD Medical Record Interoperability

WASHINGTON – After years of assurances that the project is on track, the VA and DoD still struggle to make their emergency medical records interoperable

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.

“I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.” (Mark Twain – 1835-1910)             It is with some dismay that I have watched the news reports concerning the re-emergence… Read More

Native Americans, Alaskans More Likely to Have Higher HbA1c Levels

OAKLAND, CA – American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are more than twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic Caucasians, and the prevalence of diabetes in the AI/AN populations has increased by more than 68% since 1994. A study… Read More

‘Precision Medicine’ Approach Helps Predict Who Will Develop Diabetes

ANN ARBOR, MI – A new “precision medicine” approach to diabetes prevention uses existing information such as blood sugar levels and waist-to-hip ratios, rather than a genetic test, to determine who has the highest risk of developing the disease. The… Read More

Black Women Working the Night Shift More Likely to Develop Diabetes

BEDFORD, MA – African-American women who work night shifts are significantly more likely to develop diabetes, and their risk increases the longer they work that schedule. That’s according to a new study published in Diabetolgia, which notes that the increased… Read More