Establish a governance board to develop fundamental policy, define the strategic path, insulate VHA leadership from direct political interaction, and ensure accountability for the achievement of established performance measures. Congress should consider the following alternatives for such a governance board:… Read More
By Brenda L. Mooney HOUSTON — Over the last years, the VA has struggled with ways to reduce follow-up delays for patients, such as those being evaluated for cancer. Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC and Baylor College of… Read More
Developers Caution Against Too Much of a Good Thing By Annette M. Boyle SEATTLE — Now that nearly every hospital in the United States uses electronic health records, healthcare systems across the country are wrestling with how to use all… Read More
By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — Veterans who receive care through the Veterans Choice Program may not have many choices when it comes to prescriptions from those outside providers, but they do have more than those who receive prescriptions from… Read More
Sufficient safeguards still are lacking to prevent retaliation against those who filed complaints against the VA, whistleblowers told a congressional subcommittee recently.
Legislation introduced by a key Republican leader seeks to open up the Veterans Choice Program so that any VA patient can opt for outside healthcare through the program.
Healthcare Employees Targeted in Some Versions By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would make it easier for VA to demote or fire employees beyond the senior executive service (SES) level, including healthcare… Read More
Researchers are urging VA clinicians to be cautious about prescribing benzodiazepines to veterans already taking opioid painkillers.
That’s in light of a new study, published online recently by the British Medical Journal, finding that nearly half of all veterans who died from drug overdoses while on opioids were also receiving higher doses of benzodiazepines, often used for anxiety, insomnia or alcohol withdrawal.
Effort Seeks to Standardize Care Across VAMCs By Annette M. Boyle INDIANAPOLIS — Since the publication of the VHA directive on treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in November 2011, VA medical facilities nationwide have responded by adding structure to… Read More
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—DoD and military healthcare officials warned lawmakers last month that a recent report’s recommendation to replace TRICARE with a selection of commercial insurance plans would be detrimental to medical training and readiness of military medical personnel. “The… Read More
SAN ANTONIO — Following an initial episode of acute, nonspecific low-back pain (LBP), early and guideline-adherent physical therapy resulted in substantially lower costs and reduced use of healthcare resources over a two-year period, according to a study conducted within the… Read More
BOSTON — Clinicians weighing the risks and benefits of prescribing different opioid regimens should take not only the daily dose into consideration but also the duration of the opioid action, according to a new study. That study, published recently in… Read More
Research Contradicts Other Recent Findings By Brenda L. Mooney PHILADELPHIA — As the latest influenza season finally abates, a new VA study raises questions about how effective the high-dose vaccine really is for the 65 or older cohort. Beginning at… Read More
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Lawmakers and VA officials continue to spar over whether the agency has been complying with House Committee requests for documents and information. “While I am willing to work with Secretary McDonald to implement needed reforms,… Read More
RAND Study: DoD Isn’t Doing Enough to Improve Sleep Health By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON – Difficulty sleeping appears to be a significant contributor to suicide ideation in veterans, even more so than severe depression, according to a new study.A… Read More
Recent Study Suggests Mixed Results By Brenda L. Mooney CANANDAIGUA, NY – When alternative therapies are discussed as options for pain relief without medications, chiropractic care often is on the list. For many clinicians at the VA, however, a key… Read More
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
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.
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.
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.