Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

PCa Imaging Both Overused, Underused at VHA

NEW YORK — Another study has looked at the frequency of both appropriate and inappropriate prostate cancer imaging at the VHA, using the Central Cancer Registry linked to VA electronic medical records and Medicare claims from 2004 to 2008. The… Read More

When Is Expectant Management Used in VA PCa Treatment?

With low-risk prostate cancer, aggressive treatment of some men leads to marginal survival benefits yet exposes them to urinary and sexual side effects.

Veterans’ Asthma, Mental Health Show Link

SAN BERNARDINO, CA — Mental illness is associated with both current and lifetime asthma among U.S. veterans, according to a new study. The study, published recently in the Journal of Asthma, involved 20,581 veterans. A study team led by California… Read More

VA Care for Common Conditions Compares Favorably With Medicare Hospitals

Patients treated at the VA had a lower 30-day all-cause mortality rate for heart attack and heart failure than those treated at other hospitals, according to a new study.

Civilian Healthcare Providers Need Training to Appropriately Treat Veterans

Civilian Healthcare Providers Need Training to Appropriately Treat Veterans

Civilian healthcare providers need to acquire more “military/veteran cultural competence” to provide adequate care to veterans, servicemembers and their families.

VA Urged to Assert Ownership Rights to Employee Inventions

New Hepatitis C ‘Cure’ Is One issue By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Is VA doing enough to assert ownership rights of inventions made by VA employees using federal funds? The question was raised recently by lawmakers, who focused mostly on… Read More

Veteran Advocates: ‘Choice’ Eligibility Is Too Restrictive

Veteran Advocates: ‘Choice’ Eligibility Is Too Restrictive

VA should use “clinically-based access standards” to determine eligibility for community care rather than the 30-day and 40-mile eligibility standards the agency is proposing for the New Veterans Choice Program (VCP).

IoM: No Health Effects for Navy Veterans in Secret Testing

IoM: No Health Effects for Navy Veterans in Secret Testing

Veterans who took part in secret biological and chemical warfare tests on Navy ships during the 1960s showed “no significant increase in adverse health outcomes.

VA Seeks More Flexible Work Period Requirement for Healthcare Staff

VA Seeks More Flexible Work Period Requirement for Healthcare Staff

The VA is seeking to end what it considers an arbitrary 80-hour per federal work period requirement which complicates hospital staffing, especially in emergency departments.

RAND Reports Find No Evidence of Widespread Extended Wait Times at VA

RAND Reports Find No Evidence of Widespread Extended Wait Times at VA

One of the most-common complaints about VA healthcare is that veterans have to wait an inordinate amount of time for a medical appointment. A new congressionally-mandated review reveals that isn’t true in most cases.

Recreational Therapist Uses Art to Help DC Veteran Patients

Recreational Therapist Uses Art to Help DC Veteran Patients

Veterans adjusting to a disability or recovering from trauma — be it physical, mental or emotional — often feel disconnected, both from others and from their own mind or body.

Proposed Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes Could Benefit Patients, Researchers

Proposed Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes Could Benefit Patients, Researchers

VA Could Help Validate New Classifications By Annette M. Boyle BALTIMORE — Sometimes consensus sounds like controversy. In 2014, the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis recommended a revision to the four subtypes of the disease in… Read More

High Cost of Paperless Benefits System Questioned

High Cost of Paperless Benefits System Questioned

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) officials recently defended cost increases related to development of the paperless claims processing system Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS). “Scope and cost increases were planned, essential and approved to move beyond… Read More

Senators Emphasize Priorities for VA IG Nominee

Senators Emphasize Priorities for VA IG Nominee

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Michael Missal told lawmakers that, if he becomes the next VA Inspector General, one of his goals will be to work “to promote an improved environment” for whistleblowers. “I will also take the necessary steps… Read More

VA, DoD Adopting Earlier HIV Treatment to Dramatically Reduce AIDS Risk

VA, DoD Adopting Earlier HIV Treatment to Dramatically Reduce AIDS Risk

Pre-infection Immunological Health Achieved in Some Cases By Annette M. Boyle SAN ANTONIO — For years, clinicians have not recommended treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients with antiretroviral therapy (ART) before they saw a significant drop in T-cell levels. Starting… Read More

Hospitals’ Routine Use of PPIs Increases Risk of Inpatient Pneumonia, C. Diff

Hospitals’ Routine Use of PPIs Increases Risk of Inpatient Pneumonia, C. Diff

VA Researchers Recommend Against the Practice in Most Cases By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — In a case where the preventive measure might be worse than the avoided outcome, hospitals at the VHA and elsewhere often routinely provide… Read More

GAO Report Urges Clarification on VHA, DoD Drug Transition Policy

GAO Report Urges Clarification on VHA, DoD Drug Transition Policy

Last year, a new policy instructed VHA providers not to discontinue mental health medications initiated by DoD providers due to formulary differences.

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

In the last few months, several federal agencies and Congress have taken steps to eliminate obstacles to the study and potential use of marijuana for veterans with epilepsy and other conditions.

Guidelines Offer No Set Recommendations for How to Deal with First Seizures

Guidelines Offer No Set Recommendations for How to Deal with First Seizures

While veterans and servicemembers who have experienced a single unprovoked seizure and the clinicians who treat them would like clear, consistent next steps, new guidelines take them into solidly gray areas.

About 15,000 Vets Eligible for Camp Lejeune Benefits

About 15,000 Vets Eligible for Camp Lejeune Benefits

‘Presumptive’ Process Expected to Take a Year By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — About 15,000 veterans would be eligible for expanded disability compensation because of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, NC, between August 1953 and December of 1987, change… Read More