Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

New VA Initiative Battles Excesses of ‘Tight Glucose Control’ Trend

New VA Initiative Battles Excesses of ‘Tight Glucose Control’ Trend

Effort Seeks to Reduce Hypoglycemia in Older Veterans
WASHINGTON – At the beginning of the 21st century, tight glucose control for patients with type 2 diabetes was all the rage.

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

DURHAM, NC – While the commitment to physical fitness demanded of active duty forces can keep many ailments at bay, the rigors of service also bring an increased risk of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, especially for young women entering (and exiting) the military.

Clay Hunt Suicide Bill Blocked in Senate, Falls to Pass This Session

Clay Hunt Suicide Bill Blocked in Senate, Falls to Pass This Session

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON-Advocacy groups were upset last month that a bill requiring VA and DoD to conduct annual evaluations of their mental healthcare and suicide prevention programs was not passed before Congress finished its business in December. The bill,… Read More

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Studies Show Unique Needs of Hispanic, Veteran Populations By Annette M. Boyle NEW YORK – Since 2003, the proportion of new military recruits who identified as Hispanic has increased by more than 50% and the number of Hispanic veterans has… Read More

Bill Seeks to Give VA Providers Leeway in States Allowing Medical Marijuana

Bill Seeks to Give VA Providers Leeway in States Allowing Medical Marijuana

WASHINGTON – Should VA healthcare providers have more leeway in providing recommendations and options to veterans regarding participation in a state marijuana programs, even though possession of the drug remains a federal offense?

Senate Committee Chairman Decries High Costs for Potential HCV Cure

Senate Committee Chairman Decries High Costs for Potential HCV Cure

VA Suggests High Price Could Be Offset Future Savings

VA Fails to Follow Guidelines on Hepatitis B Follow-Up Testing Rates, Treatment

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – Rates of serologic testing for hepatitis B (HBV) at the VA fail to meet levels recommended by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) practice guideline, according to new research. Researchers… Read More

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

Legislators: Only Four Senior Executives Removed by Mid-November

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

WASHINGTON – New VA Secretary Robert McDonald continues to methodically tackle the issues that have caused a breakdown in efficient veteran care over the last few years, now pushing the agency to undertake the largest reorganization since its founding.

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

Controversial Scheduling System Will Be Replaced in 2015

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Higher Pneumonia Vaccine Rates Urged By Brenda L. Mooney PROVIDENCE, RI – With influenza season each year comes an even greater challenge for VA hospitals — a spate of pneumonia cases in older veterans. Recent research suggests the problem will… Read More

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Free Shots Available at Walgreen’s Locations By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO – The VA typically has influenza vaccination rates well above the national average but is trying some innovative measures to do even better. As part of the effort to increase immunizations,… Read More

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

Clinicians Find Advances ‘Mind-Boggling’ By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA – Therapeutic options for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continue to expand, enabling more veterans to begin treatment with fewer adverse side effects and far less complicated regimens than even… Read More

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – While commercial insurers responded to the approval of the breakthrough drug sofosbuvir for hepatitis C (HCV) by implementing prescribing restrictions, limiting use to the sickest patients and charging higher co-pays because of the drug’s… Read More

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The November midterm election results that strengthened Republican control of Congress, coupled with planned retirements, will mean significant changes for key committees working on military and VA issues when Congress returns in January. Among those… Read More

Agent Orange-Related Non-Melanotic Skin Cancer Still Affects Veterans

HOUSTON – Decades later, exposure to Agent Orange puts Vietnam War veterans at high risk for certain types of skin cancer. That’s according to a report published earlier this year in Find Your Surgeon Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official… Read More

Consensus Report Touts Lasers for Scar Treatment

BOSTON – Patients with disfiguring and debilitating scars suffer poor cosmetic outcomes, restricted motion, pain and itching, despite traditional therapy such as expert wound care. A consensus report published earlier this year in JAMA Dermatology discusses a breakthrough within the… Read More

Skin Cancer Risk High During Deployment

NASHVILLE – Military personnel deployed abroad in climates such as Afghanistan and Iraq have increased risk factors for skin cancer, according to a new study. The increased risk is especially present when servicemembers serve in tropical and sunny climates, according… Read More

Interview with Former VA Secretary Principi: Future Could Bring Joint VA, DoD Health System

Interview with Former VA Secretary Principi: Future Could Bring Joint VA, DoD Health System

By Sandra Basu  WASHINGTON – Ask former VA Secretary Anthony Principi about his experience as VA secretary, and he’ll tell you his leadership lessons started long before. “Leadership was something I learned from the moment I went to the Naval Academy… Read More

Pain Is a Growing Issue for Troops and Veterans; Safer Remedies Sought

Pain Is a Growing Issue for Troops and Veterans; Safer Remedies Sought

WASHINGTON – Trauma-related pain – both acute and chronic — has always been a universal problem among war-injured troops.