Category: Non-Clinical Topics

VA Care Delays Implicated in Veteran Fatalities; Lawmakers Express Anger

VA Care Delays Implicated in Veteran Fatalities; Lawmakers Express Anger

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Veterans have died from delayed or never delivered medical care at VA facilities, according to lawmakers who accused the agency of not addressing the problems in a transparent way. “When errors do occur, and they… Read More

Privacy Laws Prevent Commanders’ Awareness of Potentially Violent Servicemembers

Privacy Laws Prevent Commanders’ Awareness of Potentially Violent Servicemembers

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, TX, last month, questions were once again being raised about how effectively the military can identify servicemembers with mental health issues who are prone to violence.

Distance from VA Transplant Centers Affects Survival Rates for Liver Patients

Distance from VA Transplant Centers Affects Survival Rates for Liver Patients

PHILADELPHIA — Where they live can be a life or death issue for veterans who have been deemed eligible for liver transplants, according to new research.

Congress Frustrated About Slow Progress Toward DoD/VA Shared Health Data

Congress Frustrated About Slow Progress Toward DoD/VA Shared Health Data

WASHINGTON — Slow progress by the DoD and VA in achieving the seamless sharing of standardized health data continues to frustrate members of Congress.

VA Notes Major Demographic, Technological Trends in Strategic Document

VA Notes Major Demographic, Technological Trends in Strategic Document

WASHINGTON — The VA is facing a tide of demographic and technological changes that will affect the way it will provide care in the next decades.

Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Call for More Services for Victims

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Military sexual trauma (MST) survivors told a Senate subcommittee that improvements still are needed to ensure rape victims get all the help they need in the DoD and VA healthcare systems. “Good counselors are the… Read More

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.