More Cardiac Events for Diabetic Veterans Started on Sulfonylureas NASHVILLE--While metformin generally is considered first-line treatment for diabetes, many recently-diagnosed patients are started on sulfonylureas, often because of side-effect issues. A new study of more than a quarter million veterans calls that practice into question, however, citing a surprising increase in risk of acute myocardial infarction, stroke or death. More
Manhattan VA Facility Remains Closed After Storm WASHINGTON—Having sustaining damage from Hurricane Sandy,the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan facility remains closed for now, the VA announced. According to officials, the basement and ground floor of the facility were flooded, resulting in failure of electrical switches, mechanical systems, steam and the fire suppression system. In addition, clinical equipment, including a Magnetic Resonance Imaging unit used in outpatient clinic areas, also was destroyed. More
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NOVEMBER ISSUE
Many Healthcare Providers Lose VA Retention Bonuses WASHINGTON - In response to congressional criticism and an Inspector General’s report last year, VA has restricted use of retention bonuses across its health system, in effect reducing compensation for more than 6,700 employees. The bonuses are intended to help facilities retain high-quality employees, attract candidates in fields with short supply or even out disparities between salaries in the private sector and those in VA. More Please read this article and participate in this month's online opinion poll whether VA should be allowed to rescind retention bonuses for healthcare providers without explanation or recourse?
Another Hit to Pocketbook: Federal Pay Freeze Continues WASHINGTON - Federal civilian healthcare professionals hoping that the federal pay freeze would be lifted this holiday season will have to wait a little longer. President Obama signed legislation at the end of September that will extend the two-year federal pay freeze through March 2013. The pay freeze had originally been set to expire in December 2012. In a letter to Congress in August, President Obama explained that he supported a 2013 0.5% across-the-board pay increase for federal employees but said that it should only take effect when the FY 2013 budget is passed and not during the period of a continuing resolution. More
Wayne Jonas, MD
Complementary Therapies Highly Effective for PTSD SAN DIEGO - Only a few sessions of two complementary medicine techniques worked as well or better than more standard therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder in active-duty servicemembers, according to a recent study. Six sessions over three weeks of guided imagery and healing touch significantly reduced PTSD symptoms. In addition to the improvement in PTSD symptoms, patients in the intervention arm also reported a 10-point drop in scores on the Beck Depression Inventory. More
Federal Medicine Organizational Meetings — Tarred with the Same Brush?
Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA
The recent General Services Administration (GSA) Las Vegas conference scandal, involving clowns and a mind reader (I could not dream this stuff up if I tried), must seem like manna from heaven for the likes of John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Admittedly, I derive great entertainment from the seemingly endless gaffes by our federal government. At the same time, as a federal medicine employee, I grieve for the good people who are the brunt of these jokes.
Why am I going on about this? Unfortunately, in the process of banishing that absurdity, we have nearly regulated military medicine out of the business of holding federally-sponsored medical meetings. More