Policy

NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Obesity Research

WASHINGTON—Recent months have seen a reinvigorated commitment to research targeted at curbing the obesity epidemic in the United States, including a number of completed studies from VA and DoD and the release of a new strategic plan from NIH. Plan… Read More

In Effort to Reduce Costly Medical Errors, Military Facilities Set Up Anonymous Reporting

WASHINGTON—A study published in the April issue of Health Affairs found that medical errors cost the United States more than $17 billion a year. And, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, medical errors and near miss events,… Read More

VA Improves Follow-up In Colon Cancer Screening But Still Falls Short of Goal

WASHINGTON—In 2005, VA initiated a Colon Cancer Care Collaborative (C4) to help improve the timeliness of follow-up after positive fecal blood occult tests (FOBT). The initiative was in reaction to studies released at the time showing considerable delays between screening… Read More

Schoomaker: Military Personnel Left Confused by Different Evaluation Systems at VA, DoD

WASHINGTON—Despite significant efforts by DoD and VA to revamp the disability evaluation process, the new system remains “complex and adversarial,” the top Army doctor told a congressional subcommittee. DoD and VA agreed on a new disability and evaluation system to… Read More

New House Bill Seeks to Relax Benefit Requirements for Victims of Military Sexual-Assault-Related PTSD

WASHINGTON—In June 2010, legislation was passed making it considerably easier for veterans diagnosed with PTSD to receive service-connected benefits and care from VA. Prior to the law’s passage, veterans were required to show a diagnosis of PTSD, prove that they… Read More

Study: Resistant Infections Plummet at VA Hospitals Because of MRSA Initiative

WASHINGTON—A nationwide initiative by VA to reduce the spread of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within its facilities has resulted in a dramatic drop of more than 60% in hospital-acquired infections in less than three years, according to a recent… Read More

Army Battles Sexual Assault Within Troops, Improves Follow-Up Care of Victims

WASHINGTON—Not that long ago, a woman who had been sexually assaulted might have gone to an Army Military Treatment Facility (MTF), had a forensic examination and then would go home without anyone at the MTF knowing what became of her.… Read More

New Forms Document Radiation Exposure for U.S. Military Personnel, Families in Japan During Disaster

WASHINGTON—Military personnel and dependents who were in radiation-exposed areas in Japan during the massive earthquake, tsunami and partial nuclear reactor meltdown are being asked to fill out forms available at MTFs to document their presence in those areas. The forms… Read More

Despite Success in Managing Warfarin Usage, VA’s Anticoagulation Units’ Role Likely to Change With New Drugs

Some 148,000 patients in the VA system receive anticoagulation therapy to prevent and treat cardiac disease, stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but the primary anticoagulation drug, Warfarin, which has been in use since the 1950s, is complex to manage,… Read More

With 90% of U.S. Influenza Deaths in Elderly, New High Dose Vaccine Seeks Lower Mortality, Morbidity Rates

Despite the widespread availability of seasonal flu vaccines, influenza continues to be responsible for significant morbidity and mortality in the United States. Each year, influenza causes 3.1 million hospitalization days and 34.1 million outpatient visits at an estimated direct medical… Read More