Study: Genetic markers could identify troops at risk for PTSD | Report finds problems with Army's substance abuse treatment efforts | How Tricare Choice would affect active-duty troops, reservists, retirees

March 18, 2015
AMSUS SmartBrief

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Study: Genetic markers could identify troops at risk for PTSD
British and American scientists found genetic markers in the blood that could indicate a service member's predisposition to developing PTSD. The study, published in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, found that genes control immune response and interferon signaling, which are connected to PTSD. Future studies may investigate factors that trigger interferon release, according to lead researcher Dr. Dewleen Baker of the Veteran Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, in hopes of preventing and treating the condition. The Monitor Daily News & Media (El Paso, Texas)/Consolidate Times (3/12)
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The Key To Positive Cash Flow
Every business is cyclical with cash flow ups and downs. The key is to find a way to keep the cash coming in as predictably as possible. Seem impossible? Well it's not. There are systems and processes that make it easier to collect the cash you've earned so your small business can grow. Learn how these small-business owners set up their businesses for success.

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Report finds problems with Army's substance abuse treatment efforts
The Army's substance abuse treatment program has multiple problems, including low staff morale and substandard care, and is turning away thousands, an investigation has found. "Our goal is to give treatment to soldiers. And (the bosses) see that as inconsequential," said psychologist Wanda Kuehr, who retired last month as the program's director of clinical services. The Army denies that the program has declined. USA Today (3/12)
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How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

Veterans Health Administration
Report: VA underused telehealth for veterans in noninstitutional care
An audit from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General found that opportunities to better serve veterans through a telehealth program were missed because of a lack of focus on reaching patients receiving noninstitutional care. The report found the telehealth program had a 4% decline in fiscal 2013 for enrolled NIC patients but a 51% increase in the number of chronic care management patients. (3/11), FierceHealthIT (3/10)
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Treasury Department protests VA OIG findings
In response to a report by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General claiming that a former VA procurement officer now working at the Treasury Department directed $15 million in uncompetitive contracts to a friend, Treasury said the charges were unfounded and suggested they were payback for a complaint filed by the officer over a hostile work environment. A top official in the VA OIG told a congressional committee on Monday that she stands by the report. The rebuke comes amid accusations that the VA is withholding reports from a congressional panel, including information about excessive wait times at VA hospitals. Associated Press (3/18)
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National Health Care
One-fifth of vaccinated adults got flu shot at a pharmacy
About 20% of vaccinated adults in the U.S. went to a pharmacy to get a flu shot, according to the CDC, and two-thirds of the nation's pharmacists are certified to provide flu shots and other vaccinations. The federal government, as well as other public and private health plans, is endorsing vaccines given at pharmacies because of the cost savings and greater availability. Beneficiaries of the military's Tricare health plan are covered for any CDC-recommended vaccine provided by a community pharmacy. Drug Store News (3/13)
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Health and Medical Research
Military tests alternative to anti-rejection drugs in face transplant patients
The U.S. military has paid for full face transplants and follow-up treatment for some civilians in an effort to learn how to help young, seriously disfigured troops. Charla Nash, who received a full face transplant after her employer's pet chimpanzee mauled her face and hands, is participating in a military-funded study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in which doctors will try to suspend her anti-rejection drugs and use interleukin-2 instead. The Associated Press (3/10)
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Check out the latest Military Medicine articles from the online AMSUS Journal library
The Strategic Genius of Jonathan Letterman: The Relevancy of the American Civil War to Current Health Care Policy Makers and other journal articles are free to AMSUS members and subscribers who have registered and subscribed to access more than 100 issues of Military Medicine journals online. Subscription rates and membership eligibility are available on the AMSUS website.
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Student membership at an all-time high
AMSUS has grown its student membership population from 84 to over 800 students in five years. Students now represent 13% of AMSUS membership. Special thanks to CAPT Sandra A. Yerkes, M.D., MC, USN (ret.); COL Cathy Nace, MD, MC, USA; LCDR Erin A. Griffith, MC,USN; and Kelly Adams (AFIT) for including AMSUS in your newsletters, communications and websites. Also, we are particularly grateful for the help and leadership of the USPHS as well as all the professors and students who help spread the word about AMSUS student membership. Have ideas or suggestions on how to reach other groups of potential members? E-mail:
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-- Logan Pearsall Smith,
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