Category: Non-Clinical Topics

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Study Questions Whether Guidelines Are Being Followed By Annette M. Boyle EAST ORANGE, NJ — Across the VHA, more than 85,000 men receive testosterone supplementation therapy. The likelihood that any particular patient would be prescribed the steroid hormone, however, varies… Read More

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Between 2000 and 2011, almost 1 million servicemembers or veterans were diagnosed with at least one psychological disorder, either during or after deployment, with nearly half having multiple disorders, according to the Institute of Medicine… Read More

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

SILVER SPRING, MD — Military research is raising a new question about an old issue: Why do African-Americans have higher incidence rates of hypertension compared with servicemembers of other races and ethnicities despite equitable access to healthcare within the armed forces?

 FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

WASHINGTON — In a highly controversial proposal, President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget request recommends merging three TRICARE health plans for those under 65 — Prime, Standard and Extra — into a “single, modernized health plan.”

 Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

CAMBRIDGE, MA — About half of all soldiers reporting that they had tried to kill themselves said that their initial suicide attempt occurred before enlistment, according to a new study.

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

By Brenda L. Mooney COLUMBIA, SC — Veterans prescribed amoxicillin over a nearly 13-year period were less likely to be diagnosed with potentially fatal heart rhythms than those using either azithromycin or levofloxacin, according to new research. The study, published… Read More

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer

HOUSTON — Even four decades later, veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have twice the risk of developing unusually invasive nonmelanotic skin cancers compared with the general population, according to a recent study.

New VA Bill Fails to Clear Senate; Sanders Says He’ll Keep Pushing It

New VA Bill Fails to Clear Senate; Sanders Says He’ll Keep Pushing It

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Committee vowed to keep fighting for the passage of a sweeping veterans bill that failed to clear the Senate at the end of February.

New Defense/Veteran Guidelines Provide Recovery Path for MTBI Patients

New Defense/Veteran Guidelines Provide Recovery Path for MTBI Patients

SILVER SPRING, MD — How and when should a servicemember return to activity after a concussion?

Fatal Vehicle Accidents Decline in Military; Motorcycles Remain Dangerous

Fatal Vehicle Accidents Decline in Military; Motorcycles Remain Dangerous

SILVER SPRING, MD — More military servicemembers died in the last four years from war wounds and suicide than motor vehicle accidents (MVA).

Veteran Advocates Warn of Unintended Consequences to Digitizing Disability Claims

Veteran Advocates Warn of Unintended Consequences to Digitizing Disability Claims

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — While VA is taking significant steps to digitize the disability claims process, advocacy groups warned lawmakers that the technological advances could have unintended consequences for veterans. “We recognize the importance of technological advances to improve… Read More

DoD Partners with Industry to Produce Own Bioterrorism Countermeasures

DoD Partners with Industry to Produce Own Bioterrorism Countermeasures

WASHINGTON — For the first time, DoD is partnering with an outside company to build a facility to manufacture countermeasures to fight bioterrorism and other medical threats.

Lawmakers ‘Shocked’ by Surgical Implant Vendor Role in Patient Care

Lawmakers ‘Shocked’ by Surgical Implant Vendor Role in Patient Care

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Lawmakers expressed alarm at a government report that vendor representatives were involved directly in the application of skin grafts at a VA medical center and demanded more oversight of the use, tracking and procurement of… Read More

Military Sexual Assault Reforms Stop Short of Bypassing Command Structure

Military Sexual Assault Reforms Stop Short of Bypassing Command Structure

WASHINGTON — Signaling their disapproval of the state of sexual-assault prevention and prosecution in the military, lawmakers approved legislation containing more than 30 provisions or reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice aimed at addressing sexual assault in the military.

Female Veterans Develop CVD Risk Factors at Younger Ages

Female Veterans Develop CVD Risk Factors at Younger Ages

By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — During the past 15 years, female veterans have developed risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) at ever-younger ages, challenging many providers’ concept of the population at risk for heart disease. “Historically, the focus in… Read More

VA Construction Delays Continue; Officials Say Processes Have Improved

VA Construction Delays Continue; Officials Say Processes Have Improved

WASHINGTON — Despite continuing criticism over cost overruns and lengthy delays in building four new VA medical centers, a VA official told lawmakers that “the way the Office of Construction and Facility Management is doing business today has changed significantly” since those projects were first undertaken.

Advanced Funding Sought to Shield Veteran Services from Budget Disruptions

WASHINGTON — To avoid disruption of veteran services in situations such as October’s government shutdown, advocacy groups and leaders of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees are pushing for legislation that would fund all VA programs a year in advance.

Leaner Fighting Forces Might Mean Slim Pickings for Recruiters

Leaner Fighting Forces Might Mean Slim Pickings for Recruiters

WASHINGTON — Even as nearly 1 in 3 young adults, ages 17 to 24, fail to qualify for military service solely because of their weight, the DoD has increased enforcement of body fat measures for active-duty personnel and eliminated waivers for overweight recruits.

Possible VA Change in Advanced Nursing Roles Sparks Heated Debate

Possible VA Change in Advanced Nursing Roles Sparks Heated Debate

WASHINGTON — The VA is considering a proposal that would require VA’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to be designated as independent practitioners, regardless of individual state regulations, but not without intense controversy.

Nurse Practitioners’ Role at Issue in Complaints about Jackson VAMC

Nurse Practitioners’ Role at Issue in Complaints about Jackson VAMC

WASHINGTON — The role of nurse practitioners has become an issue in allegations of serious patient-care problems identified at the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, MS.