Non-Clinical Topics   /   This Year in Federal Medicine - Outlook 2013

Introduction: A Top-Level Look at the Future of Federal Medicine

USM By U.S. Medicine
February 9, 2013

By Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA

Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA.

Looking back on 2012, I do not think anyone could make an argument that the year was dull. We are well into our 11th year of war. As a country, we completed one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent memory, and to our credit and the world’s amazement, did it bloodlessly.

Superstorm Sandy, likely the most expensive hurricane on record, slammed into the East Coast, raising the specter of global warming and its geopolitical consequences in the public psyche. And the “fiscal cliff” continues to cast long shadows on federal medicine as a still divided partisan Congress struggles to agree plans to avert, if you believe the political pundits, financial Armageddon.

During these turbulent times, a clear understanding of the direction leadership is steering the organization is essential for every federal medicine provider as we travel into the financial fog that is the federal budget in 2013. As in years past, U.S. Medicine’s Outlook excels in providing our community a first look into the issues and concerns that will be informing our leader’s decisions in the coming year.

Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Travis, Air Force Surgeon General; Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, Army Surgeon General; and Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, Navy Surgeon General, each provided a synopsis of their service priorities in 2013. Interestingly, all three commented on the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles within our patient population, beyond and in addition to providing world-class healthcare, as a means of controlling costs in the present budget constrained environment.

This focus on the importance of a healthy lifestyle is reinforced by Jonathan Woodson, MD, assistant secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) and director of TRICARE Management Activity who notes that disease “prevention is a key to success, and health is more significantly impacted by lifestyle than anything a medical professional does for a patient during an annual physical.” This re-emphasis on disease prevention is, from my perspective, long overdue and will allow federal medicine to provide both an example and leadership to the country as the nation struggles with exploding healthcare costs.

Robert A. Petzel, MD, under secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, focuses on the impact telehealth is having on the VA, with more than 200,000 telehealth visits servicing 80,000 veterans last year.

Yvette Roubideaux, MD, director, Indian Health Service, outlines the progress in improving the IHS in response to expanding need for services. Federal medicine’s commitment to the IHS is demonstrated by a remarkable increase in the IHS budget by 29% since 2008.

Rear Adm. Scott F. Giberson, RPh, MPh, assistant Surgeon General and chief pharmacy officer, U.S. Public Health Service, and VA pharmacists Anthony P. Morreale, PharmD, MBA, BCPS; Heather Ourth, PharmD, BCPS, CGP; and Julie A. Groppi, PharmD, CDE, provide insight into the importance of pharmacy services in the medical-team model to support the increasingly complex medication therapeutics used in treating patients today.

U.S. Medicine and Outlook are your sources for the latest information and innovation in federal medicine. Our team will continue to strive to provide providers timely articles on topics that will impact federal medicine in the coming year. As always, we welcome and encourage your comments to guide our decisions on content that you, the reader, would like to see. Thank you for your continued participation and interest in U.S. Medicine in the coming year.


Related Articles

VA Takes the Lead to Prevent Spread of Multi Drug-Resistant Organisms

CINCINNATI — 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). The need for leadership is critical; in April, the national... View Article

Military E-Prescriptions Exceed 50% Goal Set Three Years Ago

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.


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From pharmacy

Pharmacy

VA Takes the Lead to Prevent Spread of Multi Drug-Resistant Organisms

SYRACUSE, NY — Despite limited evidence to support the practice, testing for Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection is recommended for work-up of unexplained iron deficiency anemia (IDA). A study published in the journal Gastroenterology Report sought... View Article

Pharmacy

Military E-Prescriptions Exceed 50% Goal Set Three Years Ago

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.

Pharmacy

San Diego Revises Alert System in Wake of Administration of Compromised Flu Vaccine

In the fall, failure of a pharmacy refrigerator and its monitoring system resulted in 1,540 veterans and staff receiving potentially ineffective shots.

Pharmacy

Shortage of Supplies Might Have Delayed Medical Procedures at VAMCs

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.

Pharmacy

Army Pharmacy Finds Shorter Hours Reduces Wait Times

The pharmacy team at McDonald Army Health Center (MCAHC) on Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia had a common problem—longer than desired wait times for patients to pick up prescriptions.

Facebook Comment

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up