News

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

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.

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

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.

New Law Ups Prices of Prescription Drugs for Some DoD Beneficiaries

New Law Ups Prices of Prescription Drugs for Some DoD Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON – A new law puts into place a $3 increase this year for all prescription copays for non-active duty DoD beneficiaries except for mail order generic drugs, while leaving the question of further increases in future years still in play.

Military Cites Progress on Curbing Sexual Assaults, Increasing Reporting

Military Cites Progress on Curbing Sexual Assaults, Increasing Reporting

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – About 19,000 troops experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2014, down from an estimated 26,000 in 2012, and the DoD credited its efforts to address sexual assaults for the decline. “We believe that our efforts to… Read More

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Studies Show Unique Needs of Hispanic, Veteran Populations By Annette M. Boyle NEW YORK – Since 2003, the proportion of new military recruits who identified as Hispanic has increased by more than 50% and the number of Hispanic veterans has… Read More

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Alliance Research Not Limited by Private-Sector Restraints By Annette M. Boyle  BETHESDA, MD – In celebration of its second anniversary, the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, announced plans to substantially expand its… Read More

Bill Seeks to Give VA Providers Leeway in States Allowing Medical Marijuana

Bill Seeks to Give VA Providers Leeway in States Allowing Medical Marijuana

WASHINGTON – Should VA healthcare providers have more leeway in providing recommendations and options to veterans regarding participation in a state marijuana programs, even though possession of the drug remains a federal offense?

New Analytics May Help Army Predict Which Soldiers Are at Risk for Suicide

New Analytics May Help Army Predict Which Soldiers Are at Risk for Suicide

Rate Spikes after  Psychiatric  Hospitalization New Analytic Methods May Be Able to Better Predict Who’s at Risk By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – Soldiers are at astronomical risk of suicide within the first year following hospitalization for a psychiatric disorder,… Read More

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

Legislators: Only Four Senior Executives Removed by Mid-November

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

WASHINGTON – New VA Secretary Robert McDonald continues to methodically tackle the issues that have caused a breakdown in efficient veteran care over the last few years, now pushing the agency to undertake the largest reorganization since its founding.

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

Controversial Scheduling System Will Be Replaced in 2015

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – When researchers at Harvard University determined that standardizing communication during patient handoffs could significantly reduce medical errors and improve patient care, they reached out to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and… Read More

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The November midterm election results that strengthened Republican control of Congress, coupled with planned retirements, will mean significant changes for key committees working on military and VA issues when Congress returns in January. Among those… Read More

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

WASHINGTON – U.S military personnel are battling Ebola virus disease, the dreaded hemorrhagic fever, on two fronts

Report Finds ‘Average Care’ by MHS; DoD Officials Not Satisfied

Report Finds ‘Average Care’ by MHS; DoD Officials Not Satisfied

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – A highly anticipated review of the MHS has found that its care is comparable to average private sector healthcare, but that there is “wide performance variability with some areas better than civilian counterparts and other… Read More

Then and Now: VA Innovates in Epilepsy Treatment and Evaluation

Then and Now: VA Innovates in Epilepsy Treatment and Evaluation

By Annette M. Boyle ALBUQUERQUE – The VA has played a critical role in advancing epilepsy research since 1969, when the first VA unit to study epilepsy — and the first comprehensive epilepsy program in the country — opened in… Read More