News

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.

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

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.

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.

VHA Medical Services Comparable or Better Than Outside Care

VHA Medical Services Comparable or Better Than Outside Care

The safety and effectiveness of treatment provided by the VHA is sometimes superior to that offered outside the federal healthcare system.

Alabama Mobility Program Helps Veterans Recover from ‘Toxic’ Bedrest

Alabama Mobility Program Helps Veterans Recover from ‘Toxic’ Bedrest

It’s not a widely-publicized problem, but many elderly patients never recover the mobility they lose during a hospital stay.

TBI Evaluations Conducted by Inappropriate VA Staff

TBI Evaluations Conducted by Inappropriate VA Staff

With thousands of traumatic brain injury (TBI) examinations not conducted by designated specialists, the VA is offering to reprocess disability claims for affected veterans.

VA’s Future Debated by Presidential Candidates, Congress

VA’s Future Debated by Presidential Candidates, Congress

In what he said was his “final major address” to the nation’s veterans last month, President Barack Obama defended his administration’s record on veterans’ issues and decried any suggestion that VA should be privatized.

VA Healthcare Workers Have Relatively Low Flu Vaccine Rates

ANN ARBOR, MI—Multiple national recommendations encourage all healthcare workers to get the influenza vaccination, thereby reducing the chance they will pass the virus on to their patients. Despite a patient population of older and sicker patients more likely to develop… Read More

More Comprehensive Data Shows Lower Average Veteran Suicide Rate

Serious Concerns Remain About 20, Not 22, Suicides A Day By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—A recent veterans suicide analysis indicates that an average of 20 veterans died every day in 2014—slightly less than a 2010 estimate—but VA is not “declaring that… Read More

TRICARE Launches Urgent Care Pilot, Simplifies EHR Sharing

TRICARE Launches Urgent Care Pilot, Simplifies EHR Sharing

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) launched two programs this summer to ease access to care and improve communication between military and civilian healthcare providers.