Over $2 Billion in Retroactive Benefits Paid to Agent Orange Victims WASHINGTON, DC--More than $2.2 billion in retroactive benefits have been paid to approximately 89,000 Vietnam veterans and their survivors who filed claims related to one of three new Agent Orange presumptive conditions in the last year. In 2010, VA amended regulations to add ischemic heart disease, hairy cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias, and Parkinson’s disease to the list of diseases presumed to be related to exposure to Agent Orange. More http://www.usmedicine.com/news/2011/09/02/over-2-billion-in-retroactive-benefits-paid-to-agent-orange-victims.html
VA Hospitals Have Same Readmission Challenges as Other Facilities WASHINGTON, DCNew data released to the public this week shows that VA has just as much trouble as private health facilities in controlling the number of unnecessary patient readmissions. Patients 65 or older who were suffering from heart attacks, heart failure, or pneumonia returned to the hospital at the same rate as Medicare patients, according to VA information now included on the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. Worst performers were VAMCs in Baltimore; Lexington, KY; New York City, St. Louis; Chicago; Dallas; Tampa, and Providence, RI. More
Bioethics Commission Reports on "Unconscionable" Guatemalan Studies WASHINGTON, DCThe Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues publically released the results of its investigation into Public Health Service studies conducted in Guatemala in the 1940s. The research involved deliberately exposing and infecting vulnerable populations to sexually transmitted diseases without the subjects’ consent. The Commission concluded that the experiments involved “unconscionable basic violations of ethics” and that the officials who approved, conducted, or funded the experiments are “morally culpable to various degrees for these wrongs.” More
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE
Think VA’s Budget Has Grown Rapidly? You May Not Have Seen Anything Yet VA’s medical-care budget has grown rapidly since 2001 $27 billion or 130% but government budget officials suggest that is a minor increase compared to what is coming: the lifetime costs of treating troops who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of OEF/OIF veterans accessing VA care has grown 100,000 per year for the past several years. During the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the costs for treating them will total between $40 billion and $55 billion, depending on the number of military personnel deployed overseas during that timeframe. More
Not All Federal Physicians Eligible for Extra Pay Allowance Actually Get It WASHINGTON Of the nearly 19,482 full-time civilian physicians employed by the federal government, about 9% were eligible for Physicians Comparability Allowance (PCA) payments, but only 7% actually received it in FY 2010.That information was included in an annual report on the PCA this summer by the Office of Personnel Management. The report found that the largest users of PCA were the Department of the Army, Bureau of Prisons, and the NIH. These agencies comprised of 62% of all PCA recipients. More Please read this article and participate in this month's online opinion poll about whether physicians working for the federal government are paid fairly in comparison to those in the private sector?
A Sea Change for Military Medicine: Walter Reed Joins Navy Medical Center WASHINGTON A new chapter in military medicine is set to begin this month with the opening of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The completion of the new medical center comes after six years of a carefully-orchestrated plan to integrate staff, patients and equipment from two major medical centers in the military health system--National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington. More
Treating Multiple Sclerosis—Complimentary CME Publication Read today to review strategies for assessing and treating your patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) within the federal healthcare system. Learn more about the role of disease-modifying treatments, current methods for monitoring treatment response, approaches to wellness and symptomatic management, and the unique characteristics of and resources available to patients with MS who are being managed within the Veterans Health Administration system. Visit www.Med-IQ.com to read today.
This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
“The prayer that has been mine for 20 or more years, that I might be permitted in some way or sometime to do something to alleviate human suffering, has been answered!” Walter Reed (1851-1902)
Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA.
This quote was from a letter Walter Reed wrote from Columbia Barracks, Quenados, Cuba, to his wife and daughter during the last few minutes of the 19th century, 11:50 p.m., December 31, 1900.
Though his life would tragically be cut short in November 1902 from complications arising from appendicitis, Walter Reed’s legacy of military medical research and desire to serve his fellow man would reverberate for the next century in the halls of a new Army hospital named after him in 1909. Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) officially cased its colors Wednesday, July 27, 2011, with many hospital staff, families and former patients in attendance. More