Non-Clinical Topics

DoD: Wounded Warrior Programs Still Needed Despite Combat Wind Down

DoD: Wounded Warrior Programs Still Needed Despite Combat Wind Down

WASHINGTON – While military wounded warrior programs are caring for fewer combat-wounded troops than at the height of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan

How Effective is Chiropractic Care in Dealing with Veterans’ Pain, Disability?

Recent Study Suggests Mixed Results By Brenda L. Mooney CANANDAIGUA, NY – When alternative therapies are discussed as options for pain relief without medications, chiropractic care often is on the list. For many clinicians at the VA, however, a key… Read More

Secretary Proposes ‘Rightsizing’ VA by Closing Underused Facilities

Secretary Proposes ‘Rightsizing’ VA by Closing Underused Facilities

Political Battles Expected WASHINGTON – The VA needs to “right-size” by shifting resources to areas of the country where the veteran population is growing and by disposing of more than 10 million square feet of excess space that is costing… Read More

Military Pharmacies Expand e-Prescribing Option to Civilian Providers

Military Pharmacies Expand e-Prescribing Option to Civilian Providers

By Annette M. Boyle FALLS CHURCH, VA – A recent expansion of e-prescribing at all military treatment facility (MTF) pharmacies brings them in line with their civilian counterparts by allowing them to accept electronic prescriptions from providers located off-base. “This… Read More

VA Seeks to Simplify Services Into a Newly Drawn Five-Region Map

VA Seeks to Simplify Services Into a Newly Drawn Five-Region Map

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the VA divided its services into at least nine sometimes overlapping maps of the United States, delineating numerous regional networks involving literally hundreds of programs.

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

WASHINGTON – DoD should replace TRICARE with a selection of commercial insurance plans, similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a recent report suggested.

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

By Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO – Your patient presents with wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Is it asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or both? The diagnosis and decision about treatment are not so simple, however. In fact, they… Read More

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

DURHAM, NC – While evidence is growing that bariatric surgery can improve survival among the severely obese, past research hasn’t been as useful for some of the patients who would benefit most from weight loss.

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

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

FALLS CHURCH, VA – The DoD has successfully reversed a trend toward increased use of opioids by engaging pharmacists in oversight and management of polypharmacy patients in Warrior Transition Units.

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.

December 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on HIV-HCV New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs Pharmacy Update Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization… Read More

November 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on Oncology Increasing Cancer Treatment Delays Have Plagued VAMCs for Nearly a Decade Male Breast Cancer at the VA Rarer Than the Female Disease, but More Deadly Pharmacy Update Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for… Read More

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

Defense Health Agency: Good First Year, Challenges Ahead

Defense Health Agency: Good First Year, Challenges Ahead

By, USAF, director, Defense Health Agency We just completed a remarkable first year in the Defense Health Agency.  In December, you will all be receiving our first Annual Report on what we have accomplished, and where we are headed in… Read More