Non-Clinical Topics

VA Responds to Legislators’ Concerns About Rural Staffing

VA Responds to Legislators’ Concerns About Rural Staffing

WASHINGTON — While VA might have been provided $5 billion in funding to hire more clinical staff and to improve VA’s physical infrastructure, lawmakers expressed concern last month about challenges to recruiting new medical professionals, particularly in rural areas.

Legislation Seeks to Curtail Bonuses for Leaders of Troubled VAMCs

Legislation Seeks to Curtail Bonuses for Leaders of Troubled VAMCs

WASHINGTON – A bill making its way through Congress would allow the VA secretary to order an employee to repay the amount or a portion of any award or bonus if such payment is determined to be inappropriate. Currently, VA is unable to take back bonuses once they have been distributed.

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

VA Educates Patients about Who Really Needs Testosterone Therapy

VA Educates Patients about Who Really Needs Testosterone Therapy

COLUMBIA, MO – Often spurred by advertising touting the benefits of testosterone supplementation for “low T,” veterans treated by the VA increasingly are requesting the replacement therapy.

VA Study Finds That Statins Reduce Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk

VA Study Finds That Statins Reduce Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Physicians commonly recommend statins for veterans with high triglyceride levels.

Legislators Decry Delays in VA/DoD Medical Record Interoperability

Legislators Decry Delays in VA/DoD Medical Record Interoperability

WASHINGTON – After years of assurances that the project is on track, the VA and DoD still struggle to make their emergency medical records interoperable

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

How Effective is Chiropractic Care in Dealing with Veterans’ Pain, Disability?

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

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

Military Pharmacies Expand e-Prescribing Option to Civilian Providers

Military Pharmacies Expand e-Prescribing Option to Civilian Providers

By Annette M. Boyle FALLS CHURCH, VA – A recent expansion of e-prescribing at all military treatment facility (MTF) pharmacies brings them in line with their civilian counterparts by allowing them to accept electronic prescriptions from providers located off-base. “This… Read More

VA Seeks to Simplify Services Into a Newly Drawn Five-Region Map

VA Seeks to Simplify Services Into a Newly Drawn Five-Region Map

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the VA divided its services into at least nine sometimes overlapping maps of the United States, delineating numerous regional networks involving literally hundreds of programs.

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

WASHINGTON – DoD should replace TRICARE with a selection of commercial insurance plans, similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a recent report suggested.

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

By Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO – Your patient presents with wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Is it asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or both? The diagnosis and decision about treatment are not so simple, however. In fact, they… Read More

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

DURHAM, NC – While evidence is growing that bariatric surgery can improve survival among the severely obese, past research hasn’t been as useful for some of the patients who would benefit most from weight loss.

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

VA Apologizes for ‘Embarrassing’ Delay in Construction of Colorado Facility

VA Apologizes for ‘Embarrassing’ Delay in Construction of Colorado Facility

WASHINGTON – Calling the situation “unacceptable,” VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson apologized last month for delays in the construction of a new VAMC in the Denver area and told lawmakers that finishing the facility without further delay is a priority.

Veterans Continue to Wait for Years for Resolution of Claims Appeals

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – While the spotlight in recent years has been on reducing the disability claims backlog, lawmakers also recently raised another alarm about a appeals process which, they said, leaves some veterans waiting years to get their appeals resolved.… Read More

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

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.

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

Why Do Overweight Patients Live Longer with Heart Failure?
Now the leading cause of hospital admissions in the VA Health Care System, heart failure is associated with high mortality rates and poor quality of life.

New Leaders for VA, Military Senate Committees as GOP Takes Control

New Leaders for VA, Military Senate Committees as GOP Takes Control

WASHINGTON — As Congress kicked off its 114th session last month, key committees that shape defense and veterans legislation welcomed new leaders.