Category: Current Issue

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

Report Finds ‘Average Care’ by MHS; DoD Officials Not Satisfied

Report Finds ‘Average Care’ by MHS; DoD Officials Not Satisfied

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – A highly anticipated review of the MHS has found that its care is comparable to average private sector healthcare, but that there is “wide performance variability with some areas better than civilian counterparts and other… 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

Veterans Appeals Delayed Months; Whistleblower Suggests Leadership Issues

Veterans Appeals Delayed Months; Whistleblower Suggests Leadership Issues

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A VA whistleblower told lawmakers last month that veterans’ cases waited hundreds of days for a final decision at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, even though some of them required nothing but a signature to… Read More

What Is the Link Between RA and Peridontal Disease?

OMAHA – Could the periodontal region, much like the joints, be targeted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Or does periodontal disease (PD) set off immune responses that are more severe in some forms of RA? Those are questions raised by a… Read More

Effectiveness, Cost Not Linked in Some RA Therapies

SALT LAKE CITY – Dose escalation was higher within the VA for some rheumatoid arthritis therapies, even when greater costs were not accompanied by increases in effectiveness. That’s according to a new study published recently in the Journal of Rheumatology… Read More

Brief Cognitive Therapy Helps Insomnia Patients

GAINESVILLE, FL – Brief cognitive behavioral therapy can be highly effective in improving sleep in patients with insomnia. Sleep improved in 86% of insomnia patients who completed at least three sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI), according to… Read More

Novel Sleep Medication OK’d for Insomnia Treatment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ – The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first orexin receptor antagonist for treatment of insomnia. Suvorexant, marketed as Belsomra by Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp. of Whitehouse Station, NJ, is the first approved drug of… Read More

Military Service Frequently Ended by Muscle Injuries Combined with Mental Health Issues

Military Service Frequently Ended by Muscle Injuries Combined with Mental Health Issues

By Annette M. Boyle ANN ARBOR, MI – When it comes to musculoskeletal injuries in the military, the physical disability might be only part of the story. While nearly two-thirds of troops deemed unfit for duty within four years of… Read More

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – One of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), affected 13.5% of soldiers and caused 502,000 veterans to seek treatment in 2012. Despite the ubiquity of the… Read More

Diagnosis Prompts Weight Loss Efforts in Short Term

DURHAM, NC – Patients may rush to start a weight loss program upon diagnosis of an obesity-related disease but often are unable to sustain the effort on that basis alone, according to a new VA study. The study, published recently… Read More

TBI Increases Dementia Risks for Older Veterans

MINNEAPOLIS – Experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) ups the risk 60% for older veterans to later develop dementia, according to a recent study. The report, published recently in the journal Neurology, also found that, among all veterans developing dementia,… 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

Validity of Brief Screening Tool to Identify Violent Veterans

CHAPEL HILL, NC – With growing concerns about shooting sprees by troubled veterans, the Violence Screening and Assessment of Needs instrument (VIO-SCAN) was developed to try to identify veterans who should have comprehensive risk assessments for violent tendencies. A group… Read More

Marketing for Generic Celebrex Approved by FDA

WASHINGTON – The first generic versions of Celebrex (celecoxib) capsules, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, short-term pain and other conditions, were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries received approval to market celecoxib capsules in… Read More

Military Health System Introduces Telehealth Pilot Projects to Improve Access to Care

By  Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Technology advances — particularly the use of telemedicine — continue to change how Americans receive their healthcare, where they receive their healthcare and the organizational models for managing their… Read More

Chronic Pain Med Use Increases Depression Incidence

ST. LOUIS – Chronic use of pain-relieving medication can increase in the risk of developing major depression, according to a new veterans study. The study, led by researchers from Saint Louis University and published recently in the Journal of General… Read More

Risk, Not Pain Relief, Increased by Pre-Nerve Block Sedation

BALTIMORE – When patients are sedated before a nerve block to diagnose or treat chronic pain, costs and the risks of unnecessary surgery increase without improving patient satisfaction or pain control in the long term. That’s according to a report… Read More