News

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.

Despite Legislative Complaints, Media Frenzy, TB Outbreak Never Occurred at VA Facilities

Despite Legislative Complaints, Media Frenzy, TB Outbreak Never Occurred at VA Facilities

In February, five U.S. representatives from California blasted the VA in a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald, alleging the Palo Alto Medical Center failed to follow public health protocol regarding potential tuberculosis (TB) exposure.

Army Research Produces Zika Vaccine Candidate in Record Time

Army Research Produces Zika Vaccine Candidate in Record Time

Drawing on deep experience with flaviviruses that started with its namesake’s research on yellow fever in the 1800s, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and collaborators brought two Zika vaccine candidates through early testing in just four months this spring.

GAO: VA, DoD ‘Years Away’ From EHR Interoperability

GAO: VA, DoD ‘Years Away’ From EHR Interoperability

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—A modernized VA electronic health record system that is fully interoperable with DoD’s system “is still years away,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). “Uncertainty and important questions remain about what the department is prepared to… Read More

Commission Report Calls for Overhaul of VHA Structure

Commission Report Calls for Overhaul of VHA Structure

Panel Suggests Most Care Be Community-Based By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—Calling the Veterans Choice Program “flawed,” a key report puts forward an alternate framework for VA to broaden provider options: an “integrated, community-based health care network” in what would become the… Read More

Intellectual Property: VA Tightens Research Reporting Requirements

Intellectual Property: VA Tightens Research Reporting Requirements

Congress expressed concern that VA will miss out on any future ownership rights to inventions, such as new drug therapies, but agency officials said they are revising their policies to force more complete disclosures of inventions.