Agencies

Shulkin: 'Significant Challenges' Continue for VA in Care Access, Staffing

Shulkin: ‘Significant Challenges’ Continue for VA in Care Access, Staffing

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA has done a “significant job in improving access to care for clinically urgent veterans,” but veterans are still waiting too long for new appointments in primary care and mental health at 30 of its locations nationwide,… Read More

VA Seeks to Speed Up Adoption of Alternative Treatments for PTSD

VA Seeks to Speed Up Adoption of Alternative Treatments for PTSD

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA is moving faster than it “ever has” when it comes to making complementary and integrative health (CIH) services available to veterans but needs to accelerate those efforts, a top VHA official told a House committee. “I… Read More

Mail Order Pharmacy Policies Put Nearly Half of Veterans with HIV at Risk of Missing Doses

Mail Order Pharmacy Policies Put Nearly Half of Veterans with HIV at Risk of Missing Doses

By Annette M. Boyle MADISON, WI—Antiretroviral medications have transformed HIV from a death sentence into a chronic disease, but the drugs’ effectiveness depends on rigorous adherence to sometimes-complex regimens. For veterans with HIV, adherence is often made difficult by the… Read More

Symptoms Persist in Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

SILVER SPRING, MD—What is the longer-term prognosis for veterans who suffered mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) during deployment? The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center focused on nearly 25,000 nonmedically evacuated soldiers returning from Afghanistan or Iraq to two military… Read More

Treating Bladder Symptoms Appears to Reduce Falls in VA’s MS Patients

Treating Bladder Symptoms Appears to Reduce Falls in VA’s MS Patients

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience both falls and bladder dysfunction. In the past, those were generally considered common – but probably unrelated – issues.

Reforms to 'Choice' Program Raise Questions about VA's Future

Reforms to ‘Choice’ Program Raise Questions about VA’s Future

Calling the criteria to access community care “arbitrary” and “unnecessarily cumbersome,” VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, sought support from lawmakers last month to improve the processes.

DoD Advances Development of Freeze-Dried Plasma for Battlefield Deployment

DoD Advances Development of Freeze-Dried Plasma for Battlefield Deployment

For the first time since the Korean War, American troops have access to freeze-dried plasma in the field. Currently only available to special forces, the blood product has already saved lives.

'Housing First' Is Motto for VA Director Seeking to End Veteran Homelessness

‘Housing First’ Is Motto for VA Director Seeking to End Veteran Homelessness

By Steve Spotswood WASHINGTON — In 2009, then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki unveiled the department’s ambitious five-year plan to end homelessness among veterans. One of the people brought in to implement that plan was Keith Harris, PhD, who stepped… Read More

House Legislation Seeks to Modernize Veterans Appeals Process

House Legislation Seeks to Modernize Veterans Appeals Process

A bill passed by the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support will modernize the veterans’ appeals process, supporters maintained.

Phoenix VA Partners With CVS MinuteClinic to Provide In-Pharmacy Healthcare

Phoenix VA Partners With CVS MinuteClinic to Provide In-Pharmacy Healthcare

When CVS Health became an authorized provider under the Veterans Choice Program, several VAMCs considered using the company’s retail medical clinic, MinuteClinic, to help relieve long waits and offer routine medical services nearer to veterans’ homes.

Navy Functional Restoration Pain Program Shows Success

Chronic pain is the leading cause of medical discharge from active duty military service. Disability payments related to the condition also are a significant economic cost to the DoD.

Spinal Manipulation Modestly Effective for Low-Back Pain

Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is a treatment option for acute low-back pain, but randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses have reported different conclusions about its effectiveness, according to a new study.

Recent Veterans’ Opioid Use Similar to U.S. Population

Despite their issues with chronic pain, veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) use opioids at about the same rate as the overall U.S. population.

VA Study: CV Risks Lower in Patients Taking NSAID, Misoprostol Combo

VA Study: CV Risks Lower in Patients Taking NSAID, Misoprostol Combo

Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular issues, but a new study offers a possible way to mitigate that factor.