How the VA coordinates care for the nation's veterans | Survey shows military docs unprepared to support gender reassignment | DAA use increases hepatitis C cure rate among VA patients
March 15, 2017
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How the VA coordinates care for the nation's veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs health care system balances clinical care, research and training, and it is organized into regional networks of inpatient medical centers and outpatient clinics. Dr. Sunil Rao, section chief of cardiology at the VA Medical Center in Durham, N.C.; and Dr. Rich Schofield, national program director of cardiology in the VA's Office of Specialty Care, discuss in this interview complexities of care delivery and research, the VA's EHR system and technology diffusion.
Medscape (free registration) (3/8) 
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Military Health System
Survey shows military docs unprepared to support gender reassignment
Only a handful of the 180 military health care professionals responding to a survey said they felt sufficiently trained to prescribe hormone therapy for transgender personnel. The survey results, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, show that additional training in transgender care is needed, the researchers wrote in a news release accompanying the study.
HealthDay News (3/13) 
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Veterans Health Administration
DAA use increases hepatitis C cure rate among VA patients
The hepatitis C cure rate among patients in the Veterans Affairs health system increased 21-fold from 1999 to 2015 because of the use of direct-acting antiviral drugs, according to a study in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. "Further increases in funding and cost reductions of DAAs in 2016 suggest that the VA could cure the majority of HCV-infected Veterans in VA care within the next few years," the study authors wrote.
Medscape (free registration) (3/15) 
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Former Camp Lejeune troops exposed to tainted water can apply for benefits
A new federal rule allows former Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune troops exposed to contaminated water there to apply for veterans disability benefits. As many as 900,000 veterans may be affected by the rule, which could cost more than $2 billion over five years.
Military Times (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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National Health Care
Senate panel considers bill requiring independent IHS audit
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is considering a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and supported by tribal leaders that would instruct HHS to hire an independent entity to audit the Indian Health Service.
Gray Television Washington News Bureau (3/9) 
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Health and Medical Research
Researchers study deep-brain stimulation to treat brain disorders
Human brain display
(Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images)
Massachusetts General Hospital psychiatrist Darin Dougherty, neurosurgeon Emad Eskandar and neuroengineer Alik Widge are collaborating on a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to see whether deep-brain stimulation can relieve depression and other mental health conditions. Some studies have shown promise while others have fallen far short of goals, and the research team is trying to define exactly what constitutes "normal" and identify neuro-signatures of various disorders.
Pacific Standard online (3/13) 
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March/April special issue of Military Medicine
Take a look at the most recent special issue of Military Medicine, Proceedings of the 2015 Military Health System Research Symposium. Authors highlight the value of a "physical therapy first" approach to orthopedic care. The articles in this supplement demonstrate how the MHSRS has evolved to reflect the "life cycle" of service member care.
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Call for Abstracts
Abstract submission for the 126th Annual AMSUS Meeting is open. The theme of this year's meeting is "From Battlefront to Homefront" in recognition of the wide range of skills and specialties that must work synchronously to care for those who go in harm's way, as well as for their families. Find details on submission and deadlines on the meeting website.
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