Non-Clinical Topics

What Will New Trump Administration Mean for VA’s Future?

What Will New Trump Administration Mean for VA’s Future?

Questions abounded last month about what changes were in store for VA healthcare with the election of President-elect Donald Trump and both the House and Senate maintaining their Republican majority.

McDonald Pushes for Passage of Key VA Bills Before Clock Runs Out

McDonald Pushes for Passage of Key VA Bills Before Clock Runs Out

With the clock ticking on the Obama administration, VA Secretary Robert McDonald implored lawmakers last month to pass “key pieces of legislation” before the end of the congressional session.

TRICARE Switches to Walgreens Pharmacy Network from CVS

TRICARE Switches to Walgreens Pharmacy Network from CVS

At the beginning of this month, the TRICARE retail pharmacy network changed to Walgreens from CVS as a result of a new contract with Express Scripts, TRICARE’s pharmacy contractor. The new network has more than 58,000 locations nationwide.

GAO: VHA Fails to Evaluate, Respond to Many Report Recommendations

GAO: VHA Fails to Evaluate, Respond to Many Report Recommendations

A major realignment of VISN boundaries has been occurring with “little monitoring” from VHA’s central office, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Bottom-Up VA Innovations Improve Veteran, Staff Experiences

Bottom-Up VA Innovations Improve Veteran, Staff Experiences

The VA’s recent Innovation Day highlighted 32 projects designed to help VA employees address problems faced every day by them and the veterans they serve.

Surgical Wait Times Decrease at VAMC After ‘Lean’ Process Implementation

Surgical Wait Times Decrease at VAMC After ‘Lean’ Process Implementation

While automobiles and patient health might seem to involve very different processes, what Japanese car maker Toyota achieved in quality improvement in the 1980s has intrigued hospitals for decades.

Wider Use of Biosimilars Promise Significant Savings for VA

Wider Use of Biosimilars Promise Significant Savings for VA

Even as biologics offer new options for patients suffering from a wide range of diseases today, their steep prices pose a significant challenge to healthcare system budgets.

VA Lags on Revamping Medical Product Catalog

VA Lags on Revamping Medical Product Catalog

VA must ensure that a revised, narrower product catalog being implemented has the medical and surgical items that the healthcare system’s medical professionals actually need, lawmakers insisted at a recent hearing.

VA, Legislators Debate Owning vs. Leasing Medical Buildings

VA, Legislators Debate Owning vs. Leasing Medical Buildings

Should VA own or lease its medical facilities and, when it does decide to rent, is it overpaying?

VA Battles Legislative, Media Criticism of Veterans Crisis Line

VA Battles Legislative, Media Criticism of Veterans Crisis Line

The VA is pushing back hard against accusations last month that calls to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) were not being handled appropriately.

More Research Sought on Health Effects of War Zone Burn Pits

More Research Sought on Health Effects of War Zone Burn Pits

The U.S. government must do more to help troops who were exposed to open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan

Honored Nurse: No Plans to Retire After 37 Years on Midnight Shift

Honored Nurse: No Plans to Retire After 37 Years on Midnight Shift

Drema Bratton, RN, has made it very clear that she has no plans to retire. “They’re going to have to pry me out of here,” declared Huntington VAMC’s Nurse of the Year.

VA Program Seeks to Disseminate Best Practices Throughout System

VA Program Seeks to Disseminate Best Practices Throughout System

An iPad questionnaire completed in the waiting rooms of VAMCs is helping clinicians more quickly identify patient suicide risk.

Refill Synchronization Significantly Improves Adherence Among Some Groups

Refill Synchronization Significantly Improves Adherence Among Some Groups

As every pharmacist and physician knows, medications only work if patients take them as prescribed—and increasing consistent adherence remains one of the biggest challenges in medicine.

Pain Levels Improve in Most VA-Treated Veterans As They Age

Pain Levels Improve in Most VA-Treated Veterans As They Age

Time is said to heal all wounds, and that might also be the case with older military veterans suffering from pain.

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

While Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame often missed the critical clue, the VA expects its new partnership with IBM’s Watson to help it detect the genomic fingerprints of cancer and make effective treatments less of a mystery.

Rules Keep Some VA Cancer Patients from Receiving Concurrent Care in Hospice

Rules Keep Some VA Cancer Patients from Receiving Concurrent Care in Hospice

According to VHA rules, veterans with cancer need not make the “terrible choice” between receiving therapies to combat their illness or hospice services.

Impetigo, Psoriasis Might Increase Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Risk

Impetigo, Psoriasis Might Increase Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Risk

Recent research has focused on some etiological factors to help predict who is at risk for developing cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which occurs disproportionately in veterans.

White House, VA Oppose Oversight From Independent Board

White House, VA Oppose Oversight From Independent Board

Transforming the VHA does not require an independent board of directors overseeing the healthcare system, as recommended in a recent report, according to VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

VA Pushes for Presumptive Coverage for Camp Lejeune Veterans

VA Pushes for Presumptive Coverage for Camp Lejeune Veterans

Under a newly-proposed regulation, thousands of veterans could have an easier time obtaining disability benefits for certain conditions linked to service at Camp Lejeune.

AMSUS Meeting Aids Adjustment to ‘New Normal’ in Federal Medicine

AMSUS Meeting Aids Adjustment to ‘New Normal’ in Federal Medicine

The state of medicine, including federal medicine, is always evolving, and that is why conferences such as the annual AMSUS Annual Continuing Education Meeting are so vital to federal providers, according to AMSUS Executive Director Michael Cowan MD, VADM, USN (Ret.).

VA Secretary Pushes Passage of Bipartisan ‘Veterans First’ Bill

VA Secretary Pushes Passage of Bipartisan ‘Veterans First’ Bill

With only months left of the Obama administration, VA Secretary Robert McDonald called on veteran advocacy groups to pressure lawmakers to pass key legislation this year, including appeals reform.