Agencies

Secretary Proposes ‘Rightsizing’ VA by Closing Underused Facilities

Secretary Proposes ‘Rightsizing’ VA by Closing Underused Facilities

Political Battles Expected WASHINGTON – The VA needs to “right-size” by shifting resources to areas of the country where the veteran population is growing and by disposing of more than 10 million square feet of excess space that is costing… Read More

VA Seeks to Simplify Services Into a Newly Drawn Five-Region Map

VA Seeks to Simplify Services Into a Newly Drawn Five-Region Map

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the VA divided its services into at least nine sometimes overlapping maps of the United States, delineating numerous regional networks involving literally hundreds of programs.

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

WASHINGTON – DoD should replace TRICARE with a selection of commercial insurance plans, similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a recent report suggested.

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

By Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO – Your patient presents with wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Is it asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or both? The diagnosis and decision about treatment are not so simple, however. In fact, they… Read More

Better Treatments Sought for Bacteria Colonization in COPD Patients

Better Treatments Sought for Bacteria Colonization in COPD Patients

Symptoms Increase, Worsening Quality of Life By Annette M. Boyle BUFFALO, NY – Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) commonly have bacteria in their lungs. This has been considered inconsequential except during exacerbations, but now it seems that those… Read More

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

DURHAM, NC – While evidence is growing that bariatric surgery can improve survival among the severely obese, past research hasn’t been as useful for some of the patients who would benefit most from weight loss.

Most Outside Mental Health Providers Unqualified to Care for Veterans

Most Outside Mental Health Providers Unqualified to Care for Veterans

New Law Gives Broader Access to Care Beyond VA By Brenda L. Mooney  WASHINGTON – Passed with broad bipartisan congressional source support, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA) was promoted as a quick and elegant solution… Read More

VA Apologizes for ‘Embarrassing’ Delay in Construction of Colorado Facility

VA Apologizes for ‘Embarrassing’ Delay in Construction of Colorado Facility

WASHINGTON – Calling the situation “unacceptable,” VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson apologized last month for delays in the construction of a new VAMC in the Denver area and told lawmakers that finishing the facility without further delay is a priority.

Veterans Continue to Wait for Years for Resolution of Claims Appeals

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – While the spotlight in recent years has been on reducing the disability claims backlog, lawmakers also recently raised another alarm about a appeals process which, they said, leaves some veterans waiting years to get their appeals resolved.… Read More

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

FALLS CHURCH, VA – The DoD has successfully reversed a trend toward increased use of opioids by engaging pharmacists in oversight and management of polypharmacy patients in Warrior Transition Units.

Navy Medicine: There to Care for Those in Need

Navy Medicine: There to Care for Those in Need

By Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Army Medicine: Strengthening the Health of our Nation by Improving the Health of our Army

Army Medicine: Strengthening the Health of our Nation by Improving the Health of our Army

By Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command, 43rd Surgeon General of the Army For the first time in our nation’s history, we are decreased the size of our Army before we ended our longest war. Nonetheless, Army… Read More

Air Force Medicine: A Vision for the Future

Air Force Medicine: A Vision for the Future

By Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Travis, MD, Surgeon General, United States Air Force

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

Why Do Overweight Patients Live Longer with Heart Failure?
Now the leading cause of hospital admissions in the VA Health Care System, heart failure is associated with high mortality rates and poor quality of life.

New Leaders for VA, Military Senate Committees as GOP Takes Control

New Leaders for VA, Military Senate Committees as GOP Takes Control

WASHINGTON — As Congress kicked off its 114th session last month, key committees that shape defense and veterans legislation welcomed new leaders.

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.

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

Lupus Diagnoses Have Risen Significantly
BETHESDA, MD – As the fictional team of physicians attempted to identify mysterious conditions season after season, TV’s Dr. Gregory House often assured them, “It’s not lupus — It’s never lupus.” But in recent years, many DoD physicians have found that it is lupus — it’s increasingly lupus.

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