August 2016

More Comprehensive Data Shows Lower Average Veteran Suicide Rate

Serious Concerns Remain About 20, Not 22, Suicides A Day By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—A recent veterans suicide analysis indicates that an average of 20 veterans died every day in 2014—slightly less than a 2010 estimate—but VA is not “declaring that… Read More

Inferior VA End-of-Life Care Reported for Some Noncancer Conditions

Inferior VA End-of-Life Care Reported for Some Noncancer Conditions

Although most patients in the United States die of another condition, cancer is the focus of most end-of-life care studies.

TRICARE Launches Urgent Care Pilot, Simplifies EHR Sharing

TRICARE Launches Urgent Care Pilot, Simplifies EHR Sharing

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) launched two programs this summer to ease access to care and improve communication between military and civilian healthcare providers.

VA Clinical Pharmacists Have Broader Scope, Better-Than-Average Pay

VA Clinical Pharmacists Have Broader Scope, Better-Than-Average Pay

According to job site Glassdoor, clinical pharmacists in the U.S. make about $113,000 on average. At the VA, they do a little better, averaging nearly $115,000, based on salaries reported to the site.

VA Chiropractic Care Shows Dramatic Increase

WEST HAVEN, CT—Use of chiropractic services at the VA rose by more than 800% between 2004 and 2015, at least partly because of the high rate of musculoskeletal injuries in recent conflicts, according to a new study. Research published in… Read More

Military Knee Injuries Could Be Linked to Hip, Thigh Strength

TULSA, OK—Knee overuse injuries are the most common musculoskeletal complaints in military trainees and are common in active-duty warfighters, according to a new study which suggested a possible link between lower hip and thigh strength and knee overuse injuries. While… Read More

Recent Servicemembers Have More Severe Orthopedic Injuries

EL PASO, TX—Of the around 60,000 U.S. military servicemembers injured in combat during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, 40% have suffered fractures, traumatic amputations and injuries to the spine. With about 64% percent of those with combat-related bone and joint… Read More

Despite Legislative Complaints, Media Frenzy, TB Outbreak Never Occurred at VA Facilities

Despite Legislative Complaints, Media Frenzy, TB Outbreak Never Occurred at VA Facilities

In February, five U.S. representatives from California blasted the VA in a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald, alleging the Palo Alto Medical Center failed to follow public health protocol regarding potential tuberculosis (TB) exposure.

Army Research Produces Zika Vaccine Candidate in Record Time

Army Research Produces Zika Vaccine Candidate in Record Time

Drawing on deep experience with flaviviruses that started with its namesake’s research on yellow fever in the 1800s, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and collaborators brought two Zika vaccine candidates through early testing in just four months this spring.

GAO: VA, DoD ‘Years Away’ From EHR Interoperability

GAO: VA, DoD ‘Years Away’ From EHR Interoperability

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—A modernized VA electronic health record system that is fully interoperable with DoD’s system “is still years away,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). “Uncertainty and important questions remain about what the department is prepared to… Read More

Telehealth Found Equally Effective in Lowering Blood Sugar

DENVER—Endocrinology telehealth consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional face-to-face visits in a veteran population with diabetes, according to a new study. The article published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology noted that rates of diabetes… Read More

CVD Rates Higher in Black Patients With Diabetes, CKD

SEATTLE—Blacks have high rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality, as well as diabetes and chronic kidney disease, and risk factors for cardiovascular mortality in the general population are common among blacks. A report published recently in the Clinical Journal of… Read More

How Treatment Intensification Affects Veterans’ HbA1c

NASHVILLE—How do common type 2 diabetes treatment intensification regimens  at the VA affect glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and body mass index (BMI)? A study published recently in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders sought to answer that question.1 A study team led… Read More

Commission Report Calls for Overhaul of VHA Structure

Commission Report Calls for Overhaul of VHA Structure

Panel Suggests Most Care Be Community-Based By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—Calling the Veterans Choice Program “flawed,” a key report puts forward an alternate framework for VA to broaden provider options: an “integrated, community-based health care network” in what would become the… Read More