Non-Clinical Topics

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

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Studies Show Unique Needs of Hispanic, Veteran Populations By Annette M. Boyle NEW YORK – Since 2003, the proportion of new military recruits who identified as Hispanic has increased by more than 50% and the number of Hispanic veterans has… Read More

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Alliance Research Not Limited by Private-Sector Restraints By Annette M. Boyle  BETHESDA, MD – In celebration of its second anniversary, the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, announced plans to substantially expand its… Read More

Bill Seeks to Give VA Providers Leeway in States Allowing Medical Marijuana

Bill Seeks to Give VA Providers Leeway in States Allowing Medical Marijuana

WASHINGTON – Should VA healthcare providers have more leeway in providing recommendations and options to veterans regarding participation in a state marijuana programs, even though possession of the drug remains a federal offense?

Senate Committee Chairman Decries High Costs for Potential HCV Cure

Senate Committee Chairman Decries High Costs for Potential HCV Cure

VA Suggests High Price Could Be Offset Future Savings

New Analytics May Help Army Predict Which Soldiers Are at Risk for Suicide

New Analytics May Help Army Predict Which Soldiers Are at Risk for Suicide

Rate Spikes after  Psychiatric  Hospitalization New Analytic Methods May Be Able to Better Predict Who’s at Risk By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – Soldiers are at astronomical risk of suicide within the first year following hospitalization for a psychiatric disorder,… Read More

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

Legislators: Only Four Senior Executives Removed by Mid-November

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

WASHINGTON – New VA Secretary Robert McDonald continues to methodically tackle the issues that have caused a breakdown in efficient veteran care over the last few years, now pushing the agency to undertake the largest reorganization since its founding.

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

Controversial Scheduling System Will Be Replaced in 2015

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Higher Pneumonia Vaccine Rates Urged By Brenda L. Mooney PROVIDENCE, RI – With influenza season each year comes an even greater challenge for VA hospitals — a spate of pneumonia cases in older veterans. Recent research suggests the problem will… Read More

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Free Shots Available at Walgreen’s Locations By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO – The VA typically has influenza vaccination rates well above the national average but is trying some innovative measures to do even better. As part of the effort to increase immunizations,… Read More

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

Walter Reed, USUHS Lead Efforts to Improve Hospital Inpatient Hand Offs

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – When researchers at Harvard University determined that standardizing communication during patient handoffs could significantly reduce medical errors and improve patient care, they reached out to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and… Read More

Canakinumab Is Option for Patients Intolerant of Other Therapy

SAN DIEGO – Treating gouty arthritis is problematic in patients who have contraindications for, or are unresponsive or intolerant of, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine. A new study has found, however, that canakinumab (CAN), a selective, fully human, anti-IL-1β… Read More

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The November midterm election results that strengthened Republican control of Congress, coupled with planned retirements, will mean significant changes for key committees working on military and VA issues when Congress returns in January. Among those… Read More

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

WASHINGTON – U.S military personnel are battling Ebola virus disease, the dreaded hemorrhagic fever, on two fronts