Six months after President Donald Trump signed the VA MISSION Act–a bill that will, among other things, streamline and expand veterans’ access to non-VA healthcare providers–many legislators are concerned whether VA has the ability to implement the extensive provisions in the bill without the painful speed bumps experienced with past legislation.
Despite intense scrutiny of wait times for veterans seeking VA care over the last three years, a new study pointed out that delays in the private sector weren’t statistically less in 2014 and that, possibly because of the focus, wait times now are significantly shorter for the VA compared to private-sector healthcare facilities.
Venous thromboembolism, which includes deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, is the most common preventable cause of hospital death, according to the VA.
Recent problems with initiatives implemented by the Veterans Benefits Administration point to much larger, systemic issues in how the agency rolls out new programs, according to the VA Office of the Inspector General.
Using multiple sources to get prescribed pain medications and other Schedule II through V drugs increases risks for veterans, a new study finds.
Three VAMCs that formed a collaborative group to optimize use of a shared clinical surveillance system saved more than $2.3 million in two years.
A review of outsourcing by the Veterans Benefits Administration raised issues about the quality of contractor examinations and also questioned whether a proposed solution will work as intended.
Clinician input will play an important part in decisions that need to be made regarding VA's new EHR, VA officials assured lawmakers last month.
VA's announcement that it would eliminate paid union-related official time for medical professionals, as of Nov. 15, has drawn a lawsuit from unions representing the agency's employees.
A tool developed by the VA has raised the profile of pharmacists as critical members of patient care teams at the VA, leading to a doubling of the number of pharmacists serving as providers.
Rates of suicide among younger veterans (ages 18-34) “increased substantially in recent years,” climbing from 40.4 suicide deaths per 100,000 population in 2015 to 45 suicide deaths per 100,000 population in 2016, according to a new report.
More than half of 15 VAMCs classified as “high risk” in the October 2017 Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning report moved out of that category in the most recent update. But one, the DCVAMC in Washington declined and is now considered “critical.”
Increased obesity among veterans and the general population might be leading to more hospitalizations for infections and greater instance of failed treatment in patients who have been hospitalized.
Who is responsible for VHA's sterile processing reusable medical equipment is unclear, and the lack of accountability needs to be addressed, agency officials told lawmakers.
A three-year pilot program to provide undergraduate students a clinical observation experience within VA is called for in a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives.
How much will implementation and integration of a new electronic health record slow down processes at the VA, which already struggles with delays in care?
While mental health conditions are a strong predictor of who is likely to try to take their own life, that doesn't account for a sizeable percentage of soldiers at risk of suicide, according to a new study.
When time is of the essence, good design saves lives. That was the lesson of a recent experiment in Pittsburgh that tested whether anesthetist trainees would grab the right medication in a stressful simulated operating room scenario or make a potentially fatal mistake.
VA remains on track for implementing its new disability appeals system by the February 2019 deadline, VA officials told lawmakers at a recent hearing.
VA officials told lawmakers last month that it opposes a bill that would expand the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to Vietnam veterans who served offshore because the "science is not there."
The DC VAMC has addressed or resolved six of 25 recommendations made by the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) and is working to resolve the remaining ones, the facility announced last month.
Ian Weissman, a radiologist with the Milwaukee VA, can trace his desire to be a doctor back to one source. “I grew up watching 'The Waltons.' There, the primary care doc was part of the community,” he explained. “That was my dream.”
In a bill recently signed into law, Congress signaled its intent to give the Defense Health Agency (DHA) greater control over the administration of military health care and medical research.
Patients taking a single tablet to control HIV had better viral suppression and stayed in care at higher rates than patients who took multiple pills.
VA leaders said loud and clear that the agency “will not tolerate” whistleblower retaliation.
The theme of this year’s Harlem Fine Arts Show—the largest touring African diasporic art show in the United States—is “Health and the Healing Power of Art.”
Robert L. Wilkie took office as the 10th VA Secretary after the U.S. Senate voted 86-9 to confirm him.
With pharmacists from across the DoD and VA clamoring for spots in the Clinical Pharmacy Course at Army Medical Department Center and School (AMEDDCS) in Fort Sam Houston, TX, organizers offered back-to-back programs this spring, with another scheduled for August.
VA Secretary nominee Robert L. Wilkie promised lawmakers he would not privatize VA healthcare if he is confirmed.
The VA and its partners are pursuing research, including six major studies, to better understand the potential health effects of burn pit exposures.
Despite changes in leadership, VA is planning to move forward with restructuring efforts, including redesigning its VISN system.
Since the launch of the Opioid Safety Initiative in 2012, the VA has implemented a number of steps designed to reduce the use of opioids and the risk of addiction and overdose among veterans.
Legislation that would streamline VA’s community care programs into one program and expand VA’s caregiver program to veterans of all eras was signed into law earlier this month..
The VA is leveraging its position as the country’s largest integrated healthcare system to slow the development and spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO).
Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to require more input from medical professions is being considered in Congress.
Gene L. Dodaro became the eighth Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on December 22, 2010, when he was confirmed by the United States Senate. WASHINGTON... View Article
Draft legislation that would expand the Family Caregiver Program but make eligibility for the program more restrictive raised concerns for several veterans’ groups.
FALLS CHURCH, VA — As of January 2018, 54% of prescriptions filled by MTFs were submitted electronically, exceeding the initial goal of 50% set when the e-prescribing program first rolled out three years ago.
WASHINGTON — Legislation under consideration by Congress would increase oversight of VA’s adoption and implementation of its forthcoming electronic health record (EHR) system.
The nominee for new VA secretary has served as the White House physician for the last three presidential administrations.
WASHINGTON — Veterans from earlier eras should have expanded benefits related to family caregiver, but only if they are severely injured, VA officials have told Congress.
WASHINGTON—Anyone who’s ever worked in a hospital knows how much energy a facility of that size consumes. From the electricity to keep the lights on and the technology running to the water used to keep everything sterile, medical facilities can be far from energy efficient.
VA patients dying of cancer are far less likely to receive excessive and unnecessary end-of-life interventions than those treated by Medicare.
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order directing the DoD, VA and Homeland Security departments develop a plan to ensure that all new veterans receive mental healthcare for at least one year following their separation from service.
In the fall, failure of a pharmacy refrigerator and its monitoring system resulted in 1,540 veterans and staff receiving potentially ineffective shots.
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
VA officials sought to reassure lawmakers that the agency is responding appropriately to an oversight report finding that several medical providers who gave harmful care to patients were never reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) or state licensing boards (SLB).
In response to complaints that clinicians at VAMCs lack adequate medical and surgical products to care for veterans, VA conceded it needs to make its product formulary more robust.
VHA does not have the right protocols in place to ensure applications for enrollment are processed in a timely manner or that enrollment determinations are accurate, according to a new report.
An intense effort by the VA to improve end-of-life care is paying off, with hospice use increasing more among veterans than nonveterans.
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