Category: Department of Defense (DoD)

TRICARE Limits on Use of Community Pharmacies Creates Firestorm

TRICARE Limits on Use of Community Pharmacies Creates Firestorm

By Annette M. Boyle ALEXANDRIA, VA – A pilot program that requires use of mail order or military pharmacies for certain maintenance medications taken for chronic conditions has sparked a firestorm of controversy, upsetting community pharmacists and some legislators. TRICARE… Read More

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

WASHINGTON – The use of opioids has slightly decreased in the military, an Army official told lawmakers last month.

Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms

Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms

By Brenda L. Mooney SALISBURY, NC – Veterans exposed to explosions during deployment but not reporting common symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) could have similar damage to the brain’s white matter, according to a new study. In a small… Read More

Blast Exposures Associated with Long Term TBI Complications, PTSD

Blast Exposures Associated with Long Term TBI Complications, PTSD

WASHINGTON – Warriors who served in Iraq and Afghanistan combat operations might experience lingering physical and psychological consequences of exposure to blasts.

Repeat Colonoscopy Recommendations Usually Meet Guidelines

ANN ARBOR, MI – Physician endoscopists’ recommendations for timing of surveillance colonoscopy in average-risk patients with one to two small polyps are consistent with guideline recommendations in about 90% of cases, according to a new study. The study, which was… Read More

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD – For many servicemembers, pain is an accepted consequence of military service.

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

While the vast majority of soldiers maintain healthy weights, bad habits developed during deployment and on military bases follow them after retiring from the Army. In fact, more than 70% of veterans end up overweight. To combat that trend, the… Read More

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

Military personnel serving during the first Gulf War have one of the highest incidence rates for multiple sclerosis (MS) ever reported, leading to speculation that environmental exposures in the war zone triggered the disease. Research trying to determine causes, however,… Read More

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Unlike 10 years ago, the military services now accept recruits who had childhood asthma but have not been symptomatic since age 13. The relaxation of accession standards partly was necessitated by the increasing incidence of asthma in the general population.… Read More

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

By Annette M. Boyle FAIRFIELD, CA —Many women return to their units after pregnancy with one overriding concern: “Can I pass the fitness test?” The vast majority of those women do end up passing the six-month postpartum test, but their… Read More

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

WASHINGTON — The consolidation of 10 functions that have been performed separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force under the Defense Health Agency is projected to save $2 billion by 2019.

Privacy Laws Prevent Commanders’ Awareness of Potentially Violent Servicemembers

Privacy Laws Prevent Commanders’ Awareness of Potentially Violent Servicemembers

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, TX, last month, questions were once again being raised about how effectively the military can identify servicemembers with mental health issues who are prone to violence.

Congress Frustrated About Slow Progress Toward DoD/VA Shared Health Data

Congress Frustrated About Slow Progress Toward DoD/VA Shared Health Data

WASHINGTON — Slow progress by the DoD and VA in achieving the seamless sharing of standardized health data continues to frustrate members of Congress.

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

By Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Throughout every war, the Military Health System (www.health.mil) has made significant medical advancements to help protect our troops. Our innovations not only save the lives of our servicemembers but… Read More

Spirometry Touted as Best Way to Accurately Diagnose COPD

Spirometry Touted as Best Way to Accurately Diagnose COPD

Test Results Also Valuable in Inspiring Smoking Cessation SEATTLE — Spirometry remains the only recognized method of definitively diagnosing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but nearly two-thirds of patients with a COPD diagnosis have never had the test, according to VA… Read More

COPD Diagnosis/Staging Changed With New Global Guidelines

COPD Diagnosis/Staging Changed With New Global Guidelines

Update Expected for VA/DoD Later This Year By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD — The leading guidelines for diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include significant new recommendations this year that promise to alter the way the… Read More

Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Call for More Services for Victims

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Military sexual trauma (MST) survivors told a Senate subcommittee that improvements still are needed to ensure rape victims get all the help they need in the DoD and VA healthcare systems. “Good counselors are the… Read More

LOS, Costs Decreased in VA Joint Replacement Initiative

INDIANAPOLIS — Five years ago, an analysis of joint replacement surgical procedures at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis revealed that $1.4 million in non-VA care costs had been spent for total hip and knee replacements… Read More

Increasing Knee Replacements for African-American Vets

PHILADELPHIA — Even though joint-replacement surgery is considered one of the most effective treatments for end-stage knee osteoarthritis, relieving pain in more than 90% of patients, African-Americans are much less likely than whites to consider it as an option. Consequently, those… Read More

Biomechanical Risk Factors Identified for Fractures

WEST POINT, NY — Stress fracture injuries disproportionately affect military servicemembers, yet little is known about the biomechanical risk factors associated with them. That’s why a team led by researchers from Keller Army Hospital in West Point, NY, prospectively examined… Read More