Non-Clinical Topics

VA Pushed to Provide More-Accurate Data on Veteran Suicide Rates

VA Pushed to Provide More-Accurate Data on Veteran Suicide Rates

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are pressing VA to complete an analysis to provide more-accurate data on how many veterans take their own lives in a given time period.

McDonald Urges Congress to Act on ‘Transformational’ VA Proposals

McDonald Urges Congress to Act on ‘Transformational’ VA Proposals

WASHINGTON — Noting that the “window of opportunity won’t be open indefinitely,” VA Secretary Robert McDonald urged lawmakers to act on key proposals — including appeals reform.

Senators Get Update on DoD, VA Treatment for TBI, PTSD

Senators Get Update on DoD, VA Treatment for TBI, PTSD

WASHINGTON — While the science of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is growing, clinical understanding still lags behind conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where there is years of research.

Bureaucracy, Not Patient Factors, Causes Burn Out for VA Psychiatrists

Bureaucracy, Not Patient Factors, Causes Burn Out for VA Psychiatrists

SAN ANTONIO — VA psychiatrists help large numbers of veterans work through extraordinarily traumatic experiences day in and day out, so high rates of burnout aren’t really surprising.

Misuse of E-Prescription Notes Delays Pharmacists, Could Harm Patients

Misuse of E-Prescription Notes Delays Pharmacists, Could Harm Patients

HOUSTON — Pharmacists consult the free-text “Notes” field in ambulatory electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions) for patient and dispensing information that physicians cannot communicate elsewhere.

Lung Cancer Screening Program at Walter Reed ‘Exceeds Expectations’

Lung Cancer Screening Program at Walter Reed ‘Exceeds Expectations’

BETHESDA, MD — When it comes to the war against lung cancer, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is on the front lines.

Guice Replaces Woodson as DoD Health Assistant Secretary

Guice Replaces Woodson as DoD Health Assistant Secretary

WASHINGTON — Karen Guice assumed duties last month as the DoD acting assistant secretary for health affairs with the retirement of Jonathan Woodson, MD, who stepped down at the end of April.

Bill Funds Program to Help Military Trauma Specialists Maintain Skills

Bill Funds Program to Help Military Trauma Specialists Maintain Skills

WASHINGTON — In an effort to ensure that military emergency medicine and trauma specialists are able to maintain their skills off the battlefield, a proposed program would establish a Joint Trauma Education and Training Directorate.

Final Agent Orange Report: Stronger Link to Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism

Final Agent Orange Report: Stronger Link to Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) changed the classification of three medical conditions in its last congressionally-ordered review of the evidence of health problems associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides during the Vietnam War.

GAO Report Finds Access Problems 'Persistent' at VA

GAO Report Finds Access Problems ‘Persistent’ at VA

Some Veterans Still Wait Months for Appointments By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—In response to a report finding that some patients still must wait months to see a doctor, VA officials defended their efforts to fix scheduling and access challenges for veterans… Read More

Proposal to Phase Out VA Healthcare Upsets Veteran Groups

Proposal to Phase Out VA Healthcare Upsets Veteran Groups

A controversial proposal to give all current VA-enrolled veterans the option of community care and to transition the rest of veterans to private market healthcare during the next two decades is making veteran service organizations (VSO) and others uneasy.

VA Contemplates Move to ‘State-of-Art’ Health Record System

VA Contemplates Move to ‘State-of-Art’ Health Record System

With the announced rollout of the new electronic health record (EHR) for military medicine, MHS GENESIS, beginning later this year, the VA said it is considering moving to a new, state-of-the-art EHR system in the future that would better meet its needs.

Bleeding Risk Greater for Veterans on Warfarin Than Previously Expected

Bleeding Risk Greater for Veterans on Warfarin Than Previously Expected

Worried that a fall might lead to traumatic intracranial bleeding, many physicians are wary of prescribing warfarin to older adults with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

VA Scheduling Role for New 'Choice Program' Raises Concerns

VA Scheduling Role for New ‘Choice Program’ Raises Concerns

The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) was created in the aftermath of a scandal involving misrepresented wait lists for healthcare appointments at the VA, so legislators said they were baffled why the agency now wants to interject itself into the appointment process as the program is revised and expanded.

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

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

Massive VA Point-of-Care Trial Begins to Compare Two Diuretics

Massive VA Point-of-Care Trial Begins to Compare Two Diuretics

Study Using Primary Care Providers Touted As Much More Cost-Effective By Annette M. Boyle MINNEAPOLIS — Pioneering use of “point of care” research in a new study at the VA might finally answer the question of whether hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) or… Read More

Bill Expanding Veteran Access to Immunizations Ignites Controversy

Bill Expanding Veteran Access to Immunizations Ignites Controversy

Pharmacists Take a Lead Role in Increasing Vaccination Rates By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — An effort in the U.S. Senate to ensure that veterans have access to all recommended immunizations was about as routine as legislation gets, simply clarifying… Read More