Agencies

New Law Ups Prices of Prescription Drugs for Some DoD Beneficiaries

New Law Ups Prices of Prescription Drugs for Some DoD Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON – A new law puts into place a $3 increase this year for all prescription copays for non-active duty DoD beneficiaries except for mail order generic drugs, while leaving the question of further increases in future years still in play.

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

Military Cites Progress on Curbing Sexual Assaults, Increasing Reporting

Military Cites Progress on Curbing Sexual Assaults, Increasing Reporting

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – About 19,000 troops experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2014, down from an estimated 26,000 in 2012, and the DoD credited its efforts to address sexual assaults for the decline. “We believe that our efforts to… 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

Air Force Program Helps Prediabetic Patients Battle the Bulge

Air Force Program Helps Prediabetic Patients Battle the Bulge

SAN ANTONIO – For many veterans, leaving the service marks the beginning of a new battle — the constant fight against obesity. Sudden weight gain often accompanies the transition to civilian life, with more than 70% of veterans ending up overweight and at elevated risk of developing diabetes and a complex cascade of related health issues.

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Alliance Research Not Limited by Private-Sector Restraints By Annette M. Boyle  BETHESDA, MD – In celebration of its second anniversary, the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, announced plans to substantially expand its… 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

New Analytics May Help Army Predict Which Soldiers Are at Risk for Suicide

New Analytics May Help Army Predict Which Soldiers Are at Risk for Suicide

Rate Spikes after  Psychiatric  Hospitalization New Analytic Methods May Be Able to Better Predict Who’s at Risk By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – Soldiers are at astronomical risk of suicide within the first year following hospitalization for a psychiatric disorder,… 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

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – When researchers at Harvard University determined that standardizing communication during patient handoffs could significantly reduce medical errors and improve patient care, they reached out to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and… 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

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

WASHINGTON – U.S military personnel are battling Ebola virus disease, the dreaded hemorrhagic fever, on two fronts