Category: Agencies

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

VA Notes Major Demographic, Technological Trends in Strategic Document

VA Notes Major Demographic, Technological Trends in Strategic Document

WASHINGTON — The VA is facing a tide of demographic and technological changes that will affect the way it will provide care in the next decades.

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

VA’s Mail-Order Pharmacy Ranked Top in Nation – Again

VA’s Mail-Order Pharmacy Ranked Top in Nation – Again

Highest Customer Satisfaction for Fourth Year in A Row By Annette M. Boyle MILWAUKEE — For the fourth year in a row, the VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) received the highest customer satisfaction score among the nation’s public and… 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

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Study Questions Whether Guidelines Are Being Followed By Annette M. Boyle EAST ORANGE, NJ — Across the VHA, more than 85,000 men receive testosterone supplementation therapy. The likelihood that any particular patient would be prescribed the steroid hormone, however, varies… Read More

Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk Rises 50% with Elevated Glucose Levels

Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk Rises 50% with Elevated Glucose Levels

By Annette M. Boyle SEATTLE — Obesity is clearly associated with poor outcomes in patients with prostate cancer, according to past research, but the reason why has remained elusive. Now a new study suggests the real culprit might be hyperglycemia,… Read More

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Between 2000 and 2011, almost 1 million servicemembers or veterans were diagnosed with at least one psychological disorder, either during or after deployment, with nearly half having multiple disorders, according to the Institute of Medicine… Read More

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

SILVER SPRING, MD — Military research is raising a new question about an old issue: Why do African-Americans have higher incidence rates of hypertension compared with servicemembers of other races and ethnicities despite equitable access to healthcare within the armed forces?

 FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

WASHINGTON — In a highly controversial proposal, President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget request recommends merging three TRICARE health plans for those under 65 — Prime, Standard and Extra — into a “single, modernized health plan.”

 Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

CAMBRIDGE, MA — About half of all soldiers reporting that they had tried to kill themselves said that their initial suicide attempt occurred before enlistment, according to a new study.

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

By Brenda L. Mooney COLUMBIA, SC — Veterans prescribed amoxicillin over a nearly 13-year period were less likely to be diagnosed with potentially fatal heart rhythms than those using either azithromycin or levofloxacin, according to new research. The study, published… Read More

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer

HOUSTON — Even four decades later, veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have twice the risk of developing unusually invasive nonmelanotic skin cancers compared with the general population, according to a recent study.

New VA Bill Fails to Clear Senate; Sanders Says He’ll Keep Pushing It

New VA Bill Fails to Clear Senate; Sanders Says He’ll Keep Pushing It

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Committee vowed to keep fighting for the passage of a sweeping veterans bill that failed to clear the Senate at the end of February.

VA Pharmacy Reengineering Project Plagued by Ongoing Problems

VA Pharmacy Reengineering Project Plagued by Ongoing Problems

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — Originally launched in March 2003 and restarted in October 2009, the Pharmacy Reengineering (PRE) software development project continues to miss deadlines, stumble in deployment and suffer from project management failures. That’s according to a… Read More

Internet Tool Uses Patient Feedback to Improve Army Pain Management

Internet Tool Uses Patient Feedback to Improve Army Pain Management

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A new Internet tool is a powerful weapon to combat pain, and the DoD is now launching it in a pilot location. The Pain Assessment Screening Tool and Outcomes Registry (PASTOR) recently was rolled out… Read More

New Defense/Veteran Guidelines Provide Recovery Path for MTBI Patients

New Defense/Veteran Guidelines Provide Recovery Path for MTBI Patients

SILVER SPRING, MD — How and when should a servicemember return to activity after a concussion?