Agencies

What Will New Trump Administration Mean for VA’s Future?

What Will New Trump Administration Mean for VA’s Future?

Questions abounded last month about what changes were in store for VA healthcare with the election of President-elect Donald Trump and both the House and Senate maintaining their Republican majority.

McDonald Pushes for Passage of Key VA Bills Before Clock Runs Out

McDonald Pushes for Passage of Key VA Bills Before Clock Runs Out

With the clock ticking on the Obama administration, VA Secretary Robert McDonald implored lawmakers last month to pass “key pieces of legislation” before the end of the congressional session.

TRICARE Switches to Walgreens Pharmacy Network from CVS

TRICARE Switches to Walgreens Pharmacy Network from CVS

At the beginning of this month, the TRICARE retail pharmacy network changed to Walgreens from CVS as a result of a new contract with Express Scripts, TRICARE’s pharmacy contractor. The new network has more than 58,000 locations nationwide.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Doubles Lung Cancer Survival in Some Veterans

Stereotactic Body Radiation Doubles Lung Cancer Survival in Some Veterans

Between 2001 and 2010, survival rates for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) doubled among veterans.

Veterans Who Abuse Non-Medical Opioids Have High Risk of Using Heroin

Veterans Who Abuse Non-Medical Opioids Have High Risk of Using Heroin

Veterans who misuse opioid painkillers have a very high risk of also beginning to use heroin, according to a new study.

Metformin Might Improve Colorectal Cancer Survival

Recent clinical studies have suggested that the common diabetes drug metformin holds promise in improving colorectal cancer survival, but the small number of patients and inconsistencies related to diabetic severity have limited the significance of that research.

Non-CLL Rates Higher for SMOKY Nuclear Test Veterans

Military veterans at the Nevada test site (NTS) during the SMOKY atmospheric nuclear weapons test in 1957 were reported to be at increased risk for leukemia in 1979, but this increase was not evaluated with respect to radiation dose.

Inadequate Anemia Testing for UC Patients at VA

Many veterans being treated at the VA for ulcerative colitis aren’t getting recommended testing and treatment for the common problem of iron deficiency anemia.

GAO: VHA Fails to Evaluate, Respond to Many Report Recommendations

GAO: VHA Fails to Evaluate, Respond to Many Report Recommendations

A major realignment of VISN boundaries has been occurring with “little monitoring” from VHA’s central office, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Problem Drinking Early in Life Linked to Health Problems Decades Later

Is problem drinking among young military servicemembers a life sentence for ill health?

Soft Tissue Infections in Military Trainees

Military trainees are at high risk for skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs) but, while Staphylococcus aureus is associated with purulent SSTI, it is unclear to what degree this pathogen causes nonpurulent cellulitis.

Types of Skin Lesions Referred by PCPs at VA

MINNEAPOLIS—Skin lesions sent to dermatology by primary care physicians (PCPs) represent a significant proportion of VA healthcare visits, according to a new study.

VHA Costs to Treat Keratinocyte Carcinoma

Keratinocyte carcinoma (KC) is by far the most common cancer in the United States, with basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas accounting for about 80% and 20% of cases of KC, respectively.

Veterans With Moderate COPD More Likely to Quit Smoking Than Severely Ill

Veterans With Moderate COPD More Likely to Quit Smoking Than Severely Ill

Participation in smoking cessation programs depends on striking while the iron is … warm.

New Study Finds More Evidence of Burn Pit, Respiratory Illness Connection

New Study Finds More Evidence of Burn Pit, Respiratory Illness Connection

For years, multiple veterans’ groups have contended that burn-pit exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan increased the risk of long-term health problems.

Statins Lower Amputation, Death Risk in PAD

Statins appear to lower risk of amputation and death in veterans with peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to a recent study.

High Mortality for Lower Limb Amputation

While high mortality rates have been reported after major amputations of a lower limb secondary to diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, the mortality rates have varied across studies.

Systolic BP Variation Linked to Poor Outcomes

Within individual patients, blood pressure (BP) fluctuates dynamically over time, and previous clinical studies have suggested an adverse link between greater visit-to-visit variability in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and various outcomes, according to a new study.

Veterans’ Weight-Loss Issues Different From Those Never Serving

It’s a story VA primary care providers often hear from patients who need to lose weight: Even though they were constantly pressured to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness while on active military service, veterans never learned much about healthy diets.

Bottom-Up VA Innovations Improve Veteran, Staff Experiences

Bottom-Up VA Innovations Improve Veteran, Staff Experiences

The VA’s recent Innovation Day highlighted 32 projects designed to help VA employees address problems faced every day by them and the veterans they serve.

Surgical Wait Times Decrease at VAMC After ‘Lean’ Process Implementation

Surgical Wait Times Decrease at VAMC After ‘Lean’ Process Implementation

While automobiles and patient health might seem to involve very different processes, what Japanese car maker Toyota achieved in quality improvement in the 1980s has intrigued hospitals for decades.

Wider Use of Biosimilars Promise Significant Savings for VA

Wider Use of Biosimilars Promise Significant Savings for VA

Even as biologics offer new options for patients suffering from a wide range of diseases today, their steep prices pose a significant challenge to healthcare system budgets.