December 2017

VA’s Effort to Expand Telemedicine Across All States Moves Forward

VA’s Effort to Expand Telemedicine Across All States Moves Forward

The House voted in favor of a bill giving VA authority to allow its licensed healthcare providers to practice telemedicine in any state, regardless of whether the patient or provider is located on federal government property.

VA Clinicians Might Be Switching Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients to Biologics Too Quickly

The development of multiple biologic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in recent years has given patients and clinicians more options for therapy.

HCV Eradication Lowers Glucose Levels in Veterans With Diabetes

PORTLAND, OR—Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is linked to diabetes and often worsens glycemic control in patients with diabetes. A study published in Diabetes Care investigated whether eradication of HCV infection with direct-acting antiviral (DAAs) agents is associated with improved… Read More

Atazanavir’s Effects on CV Risks in HIV Infected Veterans

SALT LAKE CITY—Patients with HIV infection have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with uninfected individuals. Oftentimes, they receive antiretroviral therapy with atazanavir (ATV), which delays progression of atherosclerosis markers. Whether the treatment also reduces cardiovascular disease event risk… Read More

HCV Complications Increasing for Women Veterans

HOUSTON—The epidemiology clinical course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is affected by gender. Yet, few long-term longitudinal studies have examined trends in the incidence and prevalence of serious liver complications among women compared with men with HCV infection, according… Read More

Agent Orange Exposure Doesn’t Reduce CLL Survival

MINNEAPOLIS—Exposure to Agent Orange was not associated with either poor prognostic factors or shortened overall survival in a large veteran population with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), even though it is associated with development of the disease, according to a study… Read More

Optimizing Treatment of Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma

Optimizing Treatment of Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma

Long-term survival in patients with aggressive peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is generally poor, no clear consensus exists on optimal initial therapy, according to a new study.

Specialist Follow-Up Mitigates Anemia Risk of Bariatric Surgery

Specialist Follow-Up Mitigates Anemia Risk of Bariatric Surgery

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the criterion standard operation for weight loss, but it also increases the risk of adverse outcomes such as mineral and/or vitamin deficiency.

Aspirin Appears to Be Safe for Some Heart Failure Patients

SAN FRANCISCO – Does use of aspirin increase heart failure (HF) hospitalization or risk of death in patients with reduced ejection fraction receiving an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB)? That was the question addressed in a recent article… Read More

Veterans With Heart Failure, Methamphetamine Use Present Growing Challenges for VA

Veterans With Heart Failure, Methamphetamine Use Present Growing Challenges for VA

The rate of heart failure associated with methamphetamine (meth) use appears to be on the upswing in veterans, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017.

All-Cause Mortality Reduced in Heart Failure Patients with Lower Discharge Heart Rate

All-Cause Mortality Reduced in Heart Failure Patients with Lower Discharge Heart Rate

WASHINGTON — Although a lower heart rate is known to be linked with better outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (EF), not as much research is available on the association in patients with HF with preserved… Read More

GAO: VA Quality Measures on Hospital Compare, Agency Websites Not Accurate, Complete Enough

GAO: VA Quality Measures on Hospital Compare, Agency Websites Not Accurate, Complete Enough

VA does not have “reasonable assurance” that the healthcare quality measures it reports on Hospital Compare and its own website accurately assess how VAMCs are performing, a new study suggests.

Shulkin Pushes for Funding so VA Can ‘Piggyback’ on DoD’s EHR Implementation

Shulkin Pushes for Funding so VA Can ‘Piggyback’ on DoD’s EHR Implementation

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—After announcing VA’s decision earlier this year to replace VistA with the same electronic health record (EHR) that DoD is using, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, made a trip to Capitol Hill last month to implore lawmakers… Read More

VA Study Finds Older Medicare Patients Often Are Overtreated for Diabetes

It’s not only the VA that struggles with the balance between just enough treatment of older Type 2 diabetes patients and too much.