The nominee for new VA secretary has served as the White House physician for the last three presidential administrations.
In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about increased risk for suicidal ideation and behavior for patients taking anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).
OAKLAND, CA—Data from more than 1.3 million VHA patients was used to help validate a practical tool for identifying people with diabetes who are at the highest risk for being admitted to an emergency department... View Article
By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—Concerned about how much time clinicians spend reading and responding to emails, the VA is changing its messaging system so that more of their focus can be on patient care. The... View Article
The time for injured and ill servicemembers to get through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System process from their date of referral to their notification of benefits has been slashed more than half in the last decade.
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—After announcing VA’s decision earlier this year to replace VistA with the same electronic health record (EHR) that DoD is using, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, made a trip to Capitol Hill... View Article
In a move that reanimated a long-standing controversy in cardiology, a recently published study supports and extends the findings of landmark research done by the VA more than a decade ago.
Study Uses MHS Data to Create Guidelines for Painkillers BOSTON – How long should patients use opioids after common surgical procedures? Until now, there hasn’t been much consensus on the answer. A new study analyzing... View Article
Diabetes Guidelines Don’t Include Specific Pharmacotherapy Advise By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON —The VA and DoD Evidence-Based Practice Work Group has recently released five updated clinical practice guidelines. They cover common conditions such as Type... View Article
Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy appears to be an effective alternative to regular in-person meetings with a therapist for military personnel with insomnia, but it still is only about half as effective as traditional methods.
An initiative that promises faster processing of certain claims has now been made available at all VA regional offices, the agency announced last month.
President Donald Trump signed a bill last month aimed at reforming a backlogged claims appeal process by creating three “lanes” for veterans’ appeals.
Influenza hits veterans hard, and older veterans with cardiovascular disease face a substantially increased risk of complications and death from the common ailment.
By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON—VA physicians in facilities across New England increasingly turn to infectious disease specialists at the VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS) with questions about antibiotic resistance, Lyme disease and other issues, but... View Article
The chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has called for a “top-to-bottom review” of all VHA capital assets.
By Annette M. Boyle CHARLESTON, SC—Each year about 15,000 veterans suffer a stroke. For many stroke survivors, regaining walking ability and, ultimately, walking speed is a primary goal of rehabilitation. Recent research might offer a... View Article
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA has done a “significant job in improving access to care for clinically urgent veterans,” but veterans are still waiting too long for new appointments in primary care and mental health at... View Article
Antiretroviral therapy has extended the lives of veterans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by decades, but a new threat could cut back their longevity.
Over the next year or so, the remarkable transformation of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment at the VA will likely reach some type of equilibrium, a new study suggested.
If a new law is passed, veterans living in facilities such as VA nursing homes would have only 90 days to phase out smoking in their rooms, according to veteran service organizations expressing concern about the proposal.
By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — VHA is hampered by outdated human resources processes, as well as competition from the private sector, when it comes to hiring medical professionals, agency officials told lawmakers. “We are striving... View Article
SALT LAKE CITY — Severe illness caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is now the most common hospital-acquired infection in the United States. A new VA-led study suggests, however, that it is not always being treated appropriately.
PORTLAND, OR — Not long ago, less than a third of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients survived five years and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) patients had an even shorter life expectancy, according to the National Cancer Institute. Now significant numbers of patients with these cancers live for another 10 years after diagnosis.
After the release of the SPRINT research in 2015, the question about treating hypertension in older adults appeared to be, “How low can you go?”
While, at the population level, obesity is associated with prostate cancer (PC) mortality, little information is available on how obesity affects long-term PC-specific outcomes after initial treatment, according to a study in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.
For many veterans, the onset of epilepsy is terrifying, and a confirmed diagnosis does little to provide relief.
Abuse and neglect of children of Army personnel appears to be under-reported, according to a new report which also suggests a breakdown of communication between civilian child protective services and the military.
A retrospective cohort study recently evaluated warfarin prescription, quality of international normalized ratio (INR) monitoring and of INR control in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) at the VA
Telehealth tools are showing promise in helping save the lives of schizophrenic veterans with a high risk of suicide, but the VA is facing a setback in using them.
With chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prevalence increasing among aging HIV-infected patients, a recent study sought to determine how that relates to frailty in veterans treated at the VA.
Recent clinical studies have suggested that the common diabetes drug metformin holds promise in improving colorectal cancer survival, but the small number of patients and inconsistencies related to diabetic severity have limited the significance of that research.
Military veterans at the Nevada test site (NTS) during the SMOKY atmospheric nuclear weapons test in 1957 were reported to be at increased risk for leukemia in 1979, but this increase was not evaluated with respect to radiation dose.
It’s a story VA primary care providers often hear from patients who need to lose weight: Even though they were constantly pressured to maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness while on active military service, veterans never learned much about healthy diets.
The U.S. government must do more to help troops who were exposed to open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan
What are the patterns over time of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use among individuals receiving medical care, and when are integrated screening and treatment strategies warranted?
Recent research has focused on some etiological factors to help predict who is at risk for developing cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which occurs disproportionately in veterans.
By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—The White House’s announcement this summer of new steps to address the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic had a mixed message for the VA: While the administration specifically praised the VA’s... View Article
SAN DIEGO – Past research has shown that patients with HIV infection vaccinated early in the flu season are generally more likely to contract influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI), compared with those receiving late vaccination.... View Article
WEST HAVEN, CT—Use of chiropractic services at the VA rose by more than 800% between 2004 and 2015, at least partly because of the high rate of musculoskeletal injuries in recent conflicts, according to a... View Article
DENVER—Endocrinology telehealth consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional face-to-face visits in a veteran population with diabetes, according to a new study.The article published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology noted... View Article
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.
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.
Multiple myeloma has been classified as exhibiting “limited or suggestive evidence” of an association with exposure to herbicides in Vietnam War veterans.
Some Veterans Still Wait Months for AppointmentsBy Sandra BasuWASHINGTON—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... View Article
PORTLAND, OR — What is the association between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a population of older women?Answering that question was the goal of a prospective cohort study at four... View Article
Pharmacists Take a Lead Role in Increasing Vaccination RatesBy Annette M. BoyleWASHINGTON — An effort in the U.S. Senate to ensure that veterans have access to all recommended immunizations was about as routine as legislation... View Article
New Hepatitis C ‘Cure’ Is One issueBy Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — Is VA doing enough to assert ownership rights of inventions made by VA employees using federal funds?The question was raised recently by lawmakers, who focused... View Article
The VA is seeking to end what it considers an arbitrary 80-hour per federal work period requirement which complicates hospital staffing, especially in emergency departments.
By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — Michael Missal told lawmakers that, if he becomes the next VA Inspector General, one of his goals will be to work “to promote an improved environment” for whistleblowers.“I will also take... View Article
‘Presumptive’ Process Expected to Take a YearBy Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — About 15,000 veterans would be eligible for expanded disability compensation because of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, NC, between August 1953 and December... View Article
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