News

Draft Bill Proposes Abolishing VA Compensation Panels

Draft Bill Proposes Abolishing VA Compensation Panels

Leadership Voices Agreement with Change By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Currently, a panel composed of physicians or dentists recommends starting salaries for those professionals being hired by the VA. A draft bill in the House of Representatives would eliminate the… Read More

VA Care Reverses Racial Disparities in Coronary Heart Disease, Mortality

VA Care Reverses Racial Disparities in Coronary Heart Disease, Mortality

In the United States, blacks experience higher mortality than whites, in general.

Advocates Describe Difficulties in Getting Gulf War Illness Diagnosis

Advocates Describe Difficulties in Getting Gulf War Illness Diagnosis

Legislators Agree That Research on Causes Needs to Continue By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Veterans are experiencing a high number of denials of Gulf War Illness-related claims at least partly because the condition “presents itself in a way that is… Read More

IOM: VA Should Focus on Gulf War Syndrome Treatment, Not Causes

IOM: VA Should Focus on Gulf War Syndrome Treatment, Not Causes

Veterans Groups Warn That Research Could End By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — A major scientific panel has recommended that the VA stop looking for the cause of Gulf War illness and focus instead on monitoring deployed veterans and treating… Read More

Lack of  VA IVF Payment for Urogenital Injured Veterans Called ‘Tragic’

Lack of VA IVF Payment for Urogenital Injured Veterans Called ‘Tragic’

Advocacy Groups Share Wish Lists with Congress By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Many veterans are unable to have children because of injuries sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan, and advocacy groups are arguing that VA should pay for in-vitro fertilization. The… Read More

DoD Develops Medical Capabilities List to Maintain Readiness

DoD Develops Medical Capabilities List to Maintain Readiness

Military Trauma Clinicians Struggle to Stay Sharp By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — In an effort to maintain medical readiness after the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, DoD officials are developing a list of joint essential medical capabilities that would be required… Read More

Caring for Older Women Veterans Presents Unique Challenges

Caring for Older Women Veterans Presents Unique Challenges

When it comes to health issues, older female veterans aren’t always like other women,

New Army Surgeon General Is First African-American to Head MEDCOMM

New Army Surgeon General Is First African-American to Head MEDCOMM

In another first for the Army, an African-American woman became the new surgeon general last month.

Civilian Healthcare Providers Need Training to Appropriately Treat Veterans

Civilian Healthcare Providers Need Training to Appropriately Treat Veterans

Civilian healthcare providers need to acquire more “military/veteran cultural competence” to provide adequate care to veterans, servicemembers and their families.

VA Urged to Assert Ownership Rights to Employee Inventions

New Hepatitis C ‘Cure’ Is One issue By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Is VA doing enough to assert ownership rights of inventions made by VA employees using federal funds? The question was raised recently by lawmakers, who focused mostly on… Read More

Veteran Advocates: ‘Choice’ Eligibility Is Too Restrictive

Veteran Advocates: ‘Choice’ Eligibility Is Too Restrictive

VA should use “clinically-based access standards” to determine eligibility for community care rather than the 30-day and 40-mile eligibility standards the agency is proposing for the New Veterans Choice Program (VCP).

IoM: No Health Effects for Navy Veterans in Secret Testing

IoM: No Health Effects for Navy Veterans in Secret Testing

Veterans who took part in secret biological and chemical warfare tests on Navy ships during the 1960s showed “no significant increase in adverse health outcomes.

About 15,000 Vets Eligible for Camp Lejeune Benefits

About 15,000 Vets Eligible for Camp Lejeune Benefits

‘Presumptive’ Process Expected to Take a Year By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — About 15,000 veterans would be eligible for expanded disability compensation because of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, NC, between August 1953 and December of 1987, change… Read More

Opioid-Related Death at Tomah VA Leads to Legislation

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Legislation that was created in response to the death of a veteran at the Tomah, WI, VAMC would help provide safer and more effective pain management for patients, supporters said. The Senate bill, the Jason… Read More

Enhanced Screening Seeks to Prevent Military Suicides

Enhanced Screening Seeks to Prevent Military Suicides

Is it possible to prevent military suicide by regularly monitoring troops’ resilience, just as their physical fitness is now measured?

VA Questioned on Handling of Presumptive Status for Toxic Exposures

VA Questioned on Handling of Presumptive Status for Toxic Exposures

Senators questioned VA on how it is determining presumptive status for veterans with conditions liked to topic exposures and pressed the agency to move quickly to ensure veterans receive benefits.

MD Lawmakers Urge VA to Hire Scribes to Increase Physician Efficiency

MD Lawmakers Urge VA to Hire Scribes to Increase Physician Efficiency

With medical staff often overwhelmed by documentation and data-entry requirements, VA should use medical scribes more widely across its system, two physician lawmakers recently urged.

DoD, VA Scolded Again for EHR Interoperability Delays

DoD, VA Scolded Again for EHR Interoperability Delays

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — DoD informed Congress last month that it has met key interoperability requirements set forth in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. DoD Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendell wrote in a… Read More

Electronic Triggers Speed up Follow-up for Cancer Diagnosis, Care at Houston VAMC

Electronic Triggers Speed up Follow-up for Cancer Diagnosis, Care at Houston VAMC

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

Common Dementia Drugs Linked To Dangerous Weight Loss in Veterans

Common Dementia Drugs Linked To Dangerous Weight Loss in Veterans

By Brenda L. Mooney SAN FRANCISCO – New research on cholinesterase inhibitors is reducing the already limited options VA clinicians have to treat VA patients with dementia. More than a half-million veterans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia, with most… Read More