Nephrology

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

December 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on HIV-HCV New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs Pharmacy Update Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization… Read More

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

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

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

Evolution of Pioneer DCVAMC Clinic Tracks AIDS/HIV Treatment Through the Years

Evolution of Pioneer DCVAMC Clinic Tracks AIDS/HIV Treatment Through the Years

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – When the first Infectious Disease Clinic took place at the Washington, DC, VAMC in 1985, only a handful of HIV-infected patients took advantage. In fact, the disease hadn’t even been named “human immunodeficiency virus;” that… Read More

Computer Model: HCV, Associated Cancer Will Be Rare by 2036

Computer Model: HCV, Associated Cancer Will Be Rare by 2036

By Brenda L. Mooney PITTSBURGH – Will hepatitis C become a rare disease over the next two decades or so? The answer is yes, according to a computer simulation conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health… Read More

VA Proposes Physician Pay Increases, Begins Major Recruiting Campaign

VA Proposes Physician Pay Increases, Begins Major Recruiting Campaign

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The maximum rates of annual pay for incoming VHA physicians and dentists would be increased as much as $35,000, under a VA proposal announced last month. The updated pay tables would allow physicians and dentists… Read More

What Is The Best Predictor of Heart Disease in CKD Patients?

BALTIMORE – The best indicator of the risk of heart disease in kidney disease patients appears to be calcium buildup in the coronary arteries as opposed to other risk factors, according to a new study. The findings were reported recently… Read More

New Guidelines Published for Renal Artery Stenting

CLEVELAND – Patients traditionally excluded from modern clinical trials could benefit from renal artery stenting to open blockages in the renal arteries, according to new recommendations. The report, published online by the journal Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, was led by… Read More

Too Low Systolic BP Dangerous for CKD Patients

MEMPHIS, TN – Lower is not better when it comes to systolic blood pressure in veterans with chronic kidney disease (CKD). That’s according to a new study published ahead of print recently in JAMA Internal Medicine. Noting that the effect… Read More

August 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on Infectious Diseases HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use VA’s Resistant Infection ‘Bundle’ Drives Down MRSA in Community Living Centers Pharmacy Update Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants Diabetes… Read More

Should Digoxin Be Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation?

Should Digoxin Be Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation?

VA Study Latest in Debate about Old Drug’s Safety By Brenda L. Mooney PALO ALTO, CA – A new study is calling into question the practice of treating atrial fibrillation with digoxin, finding that patients on the digitalis derivative were… Read More

HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use

HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use

By Annette M. Boyle PHILADELPHIA – Otherwise “non-hazardous” levels of drinking pose a real danger for patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus. Drinking, even moderately, dramatically increases the risk of liver fibrosis, according to a… Read More

2014 Compendium of Federal Medicine Introduction

2014 Compendium of Federal Medicine Introduction

Until my father enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, he lived in Brooklyn, NY. That changed after serving honorably in Europe during World War II.

As soon as he disembarked from the troop ship, he telephoned a woman he met while in training at Camp (now Fort) Stewart, GA. Within hours, he was hitchhiking to Vidalia, GA, to propose marriage to the woman, who became his wife and the mother of my two sisters and me.

New Therapies Bring Rapid Changes to HCV Treatment

New Therapies Bring Rapid Changes to HCV Treatment

More than 6,000 veterans with HCV have been treated at the VA in the past two years with the triple therapy of boceprevir or telaprevir plus ribavirin and interferon. In addition, hundreds of veterans have started only in the past… Read More

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

By Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Throughout every war, the Military Health System (www.health.mil) has made significant medical advancements to help protect our troops. Our innovations not only save the lives of our servicemembers but… Read More

VHA Seeks to Expand Telepharmacy’s Reach in 2014

By Sandra Calenda, PharmD, CACP; Chasitie Levesque, PharmD; Julie Groppi PharmD, CDE; Helen Kasimatis, PharmD; Donna Leslie, PharmD History of Telepharmacy The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States, focuses on patient centered &… Read More

Building on Our Past to Create a Better Future

The size and composition of our military is expected to change as war efforts wind down and budget constraints take effect. However, our commitment to improving and maintaining the health and well-being of our troops, retirees and their families will remain unwavering. After 12 years of combat, we have achieved remarkable military medical advancements that we hope to take beyond the battlefield in the coming years.