2016 Issues

August 2016

More Comprehensive Data Shows Lower Average Veteran Suicide Rate

Serious Concerns Remain About 20, Not 22, Suicides A DayBy Sandra BasuWASHINGTON—A recent veterans suicide analysis indicates that an average of 20 veterans died every day in 2014—slightly less than a 2010 estimate—but VA is... View Article

August 2016

Inferior VA End-of-Life Care Reported for Some Noncancer Conditions

Although most patients in the United States die of another condition, cancer is the focus of most end-of-life care studies.

August 2016

TRICARE Launches Urgent Care Pilot, Simplifies EHR Sharing

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) launched two programs this summer to ease access to care and improve communication between military and civilian healthcare providers.

August 2016

VA Clinical Pharmacists Have Broader Scope, Better-Than-Average Pay

According to job site Glassdoor, clinical pharmacists in the U.S. make about $113,000 on average. At the VA, they do a little better, averaging nearly $115,000, based on salaries reported to the site.

August 2016

VA Chiropractic Care Shows Dramatic Increase

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

August 2016

Military Knee Injuries Could Be Linked to Hip, Thigh Strength

TULSA, OK—Knee overuse injuries are the most common musculoskeletal complaints in military trainees and are common in active-duty warfighters, according to a new study which suggested a possible link between lower hip and thigh strength... View Article

August 2016

Recent Servicemembers Have More Severe Orthopedic Injuries

EL PASO, TX—Of the around 60,000 U.S. military servicemembers injured in combat during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, 40% have suffered fractures, traumatic amputations and injuries to the spine.With about 64% percent of those with... View Article

August 2016

Despite Legislative Complaints, Media Frenzy, TB Outbreak Never Occurred at VA Facilities

In February, five U.S. representatives from California blasted the VA in a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald, alleging the Palo Alto Medical Center failed to follow public health protocol regarding potential tuberculosis (TB) exposure.

August 2016

Army Research Produces Zika Vaccine Candidate in Record Time

Drawing on deep experience with flaviviruses that started with its namesake’s research on yellow fever in the 1800s, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and collaborators brought two Zika vaccine candidates through early testing in just four months this spring.

August 2016

GAO: VA, DoD ‘Years Away’ From EHR Interoperability

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON—A modernized VA electronic health record system that is fully interoperable with DoD’s system “is still years away,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).“Uncertainty and important questions remain about what the department... View Article

August 2016

Telehealth Found Equally Effective in Lowering Blood Sugar

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

August 2016

CVD Rates Higher in Black Patients With Diabetes, CKD

SEATTLE—Blacks have high rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality, as well as diabetes and chronic kidney disease, and risk factors for cardiovascular mortality in the general population are common among blacks.A report published recently in... View Article

August 2016

How Treatment Intensification Affects Veterans’ HbA1c

NASHVILLE—How do common type 2 diabetes treatment intensification regimens  at the VA affect glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and body mass index (BMI)?A study published recently in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders sought to answer that question.1A... View Article

August 2016

Commission Report Calls for Overhaul of VHA Structure

Panel Suggests Most Care Be Community-BasedBy Sandra BasuWASHINGTON—Calling the Veterans Choice Program “flawed,” a key report puts forward an alternate framework for VA to broaden provider options: an “integrated, community-based health care network” in what... View Article

August 2016

Intellectual Property: VA Tightens Research Reporting Requirements

Congress expressed concern that VA will miss out on any future ownership rights to inventions, such as new drug therapies, but agency officials said they are revising their policies to force more complete disclosures of inventions.

August 2016

It is curious that physical courage should be so common…

Like many Americans, I find the nightly news of late has been increasingly less palatable and more disturbing.

August 2016

Veterans More Likely Than Other Americans to Put Off Medical Care

When a scandal involving the falsification of records to hide long wait times by veterans seeking VA care came to light in 2014, the short-term consequences were fairly obvious: Among them, more than 120,000 veterans had been left waiting or never got care

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