Mental Health

Telemedicine Expands to Provide Care for Rural Veterans With PTSD

Telemedicine Expands to Provide Care for Rural Veterans With PTSD

SEATTLE – For rural veterans, the distance to a VAMC often creates a major barrier to care, particularly for treatments that require multiple trips.

Preoperative Opioid Use Predicts Post-Surgical Chronic Pain

SEATTLE – The most important predictor of chronic postoperative pain after elective knee arthroscopy is preoperative opioid use, according to a single-center retrospective study. Background information in the study, published recently in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, notes that chronic… Read More

DoD: Wounded Warrior Programs Still Needed Despite Combat Wind Down

DoD: Wounded Warrior Programs Still Needed Despite Combat Wind Down

WASHINGTON – While military wounded warrior programs are caring for fewer combat-wounded troops than at the height of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

Complementary/Alternative Medicine Increasingly Used for PTSD Treatment

Complementary/Alternative Medicine Increasingly Used for PTSD Treatment

Meditation Helps Relieve Symptoms By Annette M. Boyle SYRACUSE, NY — Both active-duty forces and veterans have widely adopted complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and the applications for these interventions and practices have continued to expand, in many cases with… Read More

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

December 2014 Direct

DECEMBER ISSUE Forward this newsletter to a colleague U.S. MEDICINE NEWS UPDATE VA Removes Phoenix Healthcare Director in Wake of Wait-Times Scandal WASHINGTON – The VA announced that it has formally removed Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix VA… Read More

Pituitary Dysfunction Related to Blast TBI

CHICAGO – Pituitary dysfunction after blast injury may be an important, under-recognized, and potentially treatable source of symptoms in servicemembers who survive traumatic brain injury (TBI) from blast exposure, according to a new study. The research was presented recently at… Read More

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

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?

Study Offers New Statistics on How Many OEF/OIF Veterans Have PTSD

Condition Not Just Related to Deployment By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON – While many studies have reported the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans, most of the past research has… Read More

October 2014 Direct

OCTOBER ISSUE Forward this newsletter to a colleague U.S. MEDICINE NEWS UPDATE VA Proposes Physician Pay Increases, Begins Major Recruiting Campaign WASHINGTON – The maximum rates of annual pay for incoming VHA physicians and dentists would be increased as much… Read More

Federal Healthcare Timeline

  1964 S. Medicine publishes its first issue. The new Naval Station Hospital Saigon receives the first American combat casualties directly from the Vietnam War. 1965 A U.S. Marine Corps Hawk air defense missile battalion is deployed to Da Nang,… Read More

U.S. Medicine Documents Advances in Federal Medicine for a Half-Century

U.S. Medicine Documents Advances in Federal Medicine for a Half-Century

WASHINGTON – A half-century ago this month, the first issue of U.S. Medicine was published and sent to 23,000 physicians practicing within 24 government agencies.

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.

Military Brings Treatment Closer to Troops to Combat Growing Depression Issues

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Recent military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have put the spotlight not only on PTSD and TBI, but also on depression, which often co-exists with both conditions. “The previously rising suicide rate [in the Army]… Read More

Complexity, Lack of Approved Therapies Challenges PTSD, TBI Treatment

Complexity, Lack of Approved Therapies Challenges PTSD, TBI Treatment

WASHINGTON – When the American Psychiatric Association first added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, it was quite controversial.

Who Has PTSD Now? New Definition Creates Challenges for Clinicians

Who Has PTSD Now? New Definition Creates Challenges for Clinicians

By Brenda L. Mooney SILVER SPRING, MD – A new study raises critical questions about the change in the definition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and… Read More

New White House Initiatives Seek to Reduce Military Suicide Rates, Improve Care

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – A revision in the VA drug formulary and an expansion of suicide prevention training were among 19 new executive actions announced recently by President Barack Obama to improve mental healthcare for troops and veterans. “So… Read More

June 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on PTSD/TBI Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms VA/Court Partnerships Seek to Keep Troubled Veterans Out of Jail Pharmacy Update TRICARE Limits on Use of Community Pharmacies Creates Firestorm Pain Clinical Consult Chronic Pain… Read More

September 2014 Direct

SEPTEMBER ISSUE Forward this newsletter to a colleague U.S. MEDICINE NEWS UPDATE No Conclusive Evidence that Phoenix VA Care Delays Were Fatal WASHINGTON – A VA inspector’s general report has found that access barriers adversely affected the quality of care… Read More