Current Issue

High Cost of Paperless Benefits System Questioned

High Cost of Paperless Benefits System Questioned

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) officials recently defended cost increases related to development of the paperless claims processing system Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS). “Scope and cost increases were planned, essential and approved to move beyond… Read More

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

In the last few months, several federal agencies and Congress have taken steps to eliminate obstacles to the study and potential use of marijuana for veterans with epilepsy and other conditions.

Wounded Warriors at Higher Risk of Developing Vascular, Other Conditions

The more than 50,000 troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are at greater risk of developing diseases such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, according to a new retrospective cohort study.

Inadequate Nutrition Found for VA Peripheral Arterial Disease Patients

SAN FRANCISCO — Inadequate nutrient intake may contribute to the development and progression of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to a new investigation of the intake of essential fatty acids and nutrients among veterans with PAD. The study, published in… Read More

Pharmacist Calls to Cognitively Impaired Veterans Lowers Readmissions

Pharmacist Calls to Cognitively Impaired Veterans Lowers Readmissions

By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — For many older veterans, the transition from hospital to home can create confusion about which medications to take when. For veterans with cognitive impairment, the challenge increases — and so does the risk of… Read More

Research Suggests Gout Drug Could Lower Diabetes Risk Among Veterans

Could a common drug used for gout lower the risk of diabetes? That’s what a recent study in the journal Clinical Therapeutics endeavored to find out.

Scarce Sun Protection in Iraq, Afghanistan Put Troops at Risk

NASHVILLE, TN — It wasn’t only the climate that increased the risk of skin cancer for military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lack of sun protection also was a contributing factor, according to a new study. Results published recently… Read More

How Obesity Affects Kidney Function, Mortality in Veterans

MEMPHIS, TN — A new study investigated the association of body mass index with progressive loss of kidney function and all-cause mortality in U.S. veterans, finding that those who were overweight but not obese had the best clinical outcomes. The… Read More

Dialysis Timing Tends to Be Different for VA Patients

SEATTLE — The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) tends to be lower at the VA when dialysis is initiated compared with other healthcare systems, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the Clinical Journal of the American… Read More

Knee Arthroplasty Less Effective in RA, Compared to OA

OMAHA, NE — Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is effective in reducing pain for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but not as much as with osteoarthritis (OA) patients, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the journal Arthritis… Read More

VA Seeks Presumptive-Disability Status for Camp Lejeune Veterans

VA Seeks Presumptive-Disability Status for Camp Lejeune Veterans

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The VA is beginning the process of amending its regulations to establish presumptive-disability status for veterans who have certain diseases linked to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. By establishing presumptive status, it is presumed… Read More

Individual Prescriber Preferences Contribute to VA’s Antibiotic Overuse

Individual Prescriber Preferences Contribute to VA’s Antibiotic Overuse

By Brenda L. Mooney SALT LAKE CITY — A study conducted in the VA health system uncovered a disturbing truth about overuse of antibiotics: A big contributor to the problem is that some clinicians prescribe the drugs to nearly every… Read More

Risk of Sleep Apnea Increases With PTSD Severity

SAN DIEGO — The likelihood of having a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) goes up with increasing severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to a study of young veterans. The study, which was published in the… Read More

Treatment Tested to Break TBI-Alzheimer’s Link

FRANKFORT, KY — The cascade of events following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) appears to increase the risk for developing a progressive degenerative brain disease, and researchers now are testing a treatment that might interrupt the process linking the two… Read More

Prescribing of AEDs to New Veterans Deemed ‘Rational’

SAN ANTONIO — VA clinicians got a positive review for their prescribing of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in a cohort of Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans. “The patterns observed between AEDs and neurological/psychiatric comorbidities suggest that clinicians are practicing rational prescribing,” concluded the… Read More

A Call to Arms for CME

Today’s federal healthcare system faces unprecedented challenges related not only to active-duty military returning home with complex healthcare needs due to injury, but also with the long-term care of veterans’ clinical needs through the VA.

VA Brain Researcher Named to Nursing Hall of Fame

VA Brain Researcher Named to Nursing Hall of Fame

By Steve Lewis WASHINGTON — Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered one of the signature injuries of recent military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Christine E. Kasper, PhD, RN, senior research scientist in the Office of Nursing Services at VA… Read More

Some Non-Federal Physicians Express Discomfort Treating Veterans

Some Non-Federal Physicians Express Discomfort Treating Veterans

By Brenda L. Mooney ATHENS, OH — The push to allow veterans more access to non-VA care — or even to bifurcate the system, as some have suggested, so that specific types of care always are provided by private-sector clinicians… Read More

VA Lags on Women’s Health; No Gynecologists at Some VAMCs

VA Lags on Women’s Health; No Gynecologists at Some VAMCs

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — With 29% more women accessing VA healthcare in the past three years, the agency has a way to go to make sure it meets the needs of female veterans, advocates testified at recent congressional hearings.… Read More

Subdural Hemorrhage Predicted to Increase More Than 50% in VA Patients

By Brenda L. Mooney NEW YORK — Over the next 15 years, chronic subdural hemorrhage (SDH) will become the most common adult brain condition requiring neurosurgical intervention in the United States, but healthcare systems may not be prepared to care… Read More