September 2016

VA Secretary Pushes Passage of Bipartisan ‘Veterans First’ Bill

VA Secretary Pushes Passage of Bipartisan ‘Veterans First’ Bill

With only months left of the Obama administration, VA Secretary Robert McDonald called on veteran advocacy groups to pressure lawmakers to pass key legislation this year, including appeals reform.

VA Work Inspired Radiologist’s Research, Book About Mitochondrial Issues

VA Work Inspired Radiologist’s Research, Book About Mitochondrial Issues

Mark Hom, MD, says he began seriously thinking about the biology behind fitness during a “midlife crisis.”

VHA Medical Services Comparable or Better Than Outside Care

VHA Medical Services Comparable or Better Than Outside Care

The safety and effectiveness of treatment provided by the VHA is sometimes superior to that offered outside the federal healthcare system.

Alabama Mobility Program Helps Veterans Recover from ‘Toxic’ Bedrest

Alabama Mobility Program Helps Veterans Recover from ‘Toxic’ Bedrest

It’s not a widely-publicized problem, but many elderly patients never recover the mobility they lose during a hospital stay.

TBI Evaluations Conducted by Inappropriate VA Staff

TBI Evaluations Conducted by Inappropriate VA Staff

With thousands of traumatic brain injury (TBI) examinations not conducted by designated specialists, the VA is offering to reprocess disability claims for affected veterans.

Waiting to Treat Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Doesn’t Lessen Quality of Life

By Brenda L. Mooney SEATTLE—With active surveillance (AS) an increasingly important alternative to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment for men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, clinicians have been unsure how that affects patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL). New research… Read More

Low Vitamin D Linked to Aggressive PC

CHICAGO—Aggressive prostate cancer appears to be linked to low levels of vitamin D, according to a new study. The report, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggests its finding is important, because it can offer guidance to men and… Read More

Prostate Cancer Risk Not Linked to ‘T’ Therapy

SEATTLE—With increased prescribing of testosterone (T) during the past decade, concerns have grown about long-term health risks associated with T treatment, including the risk of prostate cancer. A study presented at the American Urological Association meeting in San Diego this… Read More

Primary Care-Based Treatment Improved PTSD, Depression Without Stigma

Primary Care-Based Treatment Improved PTSD, Depression Without Stigma

By Brenda L. Mooney SANTA MONICA, CA – Can enhanced primary care treatment help alleviate the stigma some military servicemembers fear when told to seek mental healthcare? A new study suggests it can. Military members who visited a primary care… Read More

Pharmacists Play Big Role in More-Restrictive IHS Opioid Prescribing Rules

Pharmacists Play Big Role in More-Restrictive IHS Opioid Prescribing Rules

By Annette M. Boyle ROCKVILLE, MD—This summer, the Indian Health Service (IHS) instituted new rules for pharmacists and providers designed to reduce abuse and overuse of opioids, making it one of the first agencies to directly address the burgeoning rates… Read More

White House Action Increases Opioid Prescription Monitoring at VA

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—The White House’s announcement this summer of new steps to address the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic had a mixed message for the VA: While the administration specifically praised the VA’s new opioid prescribing policies for… Read More

VA Explores Pain Management Alternatives to Delay Opioid Use

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—Since the rollout of the VA’s Opioid Safety Initiative in 2014, the department has aggressively focused on developing non-narcotic alternatives to reduce opioid use for chronic pain. Now, attention is turning to options that delay or… Read More

VA’s Future Debated by Presidential Candidates, Congress

VA’s Future Debated by Presidential Candidates, Congress

In what he said was his “final major address” to the nation’s veterans last month, President Barack Obama defended his administration’s record on veterans’ issues and decried any suggestion that VA should be privatized.

Timing of Flu in HIV Patients Vaccinated Early

SAN DIEGO – Past research has shown that patients with HIV infection vaccinated early in the flu season are generally more likely to contract influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI), compared with those receiving late vaccination. The reason likely is that… Read More