Congress adds new reporting requirements for DOD's EHR implementation | Humana sends new contracts for Tricare behavioral health in South | Grand jury indicts suspended VA official on improper-prescribing charges
The 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations Act requires the agency to submit quarterly updates to Congress about its Cerner EHR system implementation, including the new system's schedule, timeline, costs and progress. The legislation further states that the systems of the DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs "must be completely and meaningfully interoperable."
Humana sent Tricare contract packets for 2018 to behavioral health therapists in the 10-state South Region offering reimbursement rates 30% below Medicare maximum allowable charges. Humana Military Chief of Staff Matt Paynter said the contracts are not take-it-or-leave it, and Tricare Health Plan Deputy Director Capt. Edward Simmer said patients would be immediately referred to another provider if their therapist leaves the network.
Suspended Cincinnati VA Medical Center deputy chief of staff Barbara Temeck was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of prescribing drugs for a former VA nurse injured on the job, which was not allowed under Temeck's Drug Enforcement Administration license. Temeck's lawyer said the suspension and indictments are in retaliation for her resistance to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health's influence at the VA medical center.
The CDC Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee published a guide online in JAMA Surgery for preventing surgical site infections based on a review of literature from 1998 through April 2014. The guide covers preoperative antimicrobial prophylaxis, the use of topical antimicrobial agents, intraoperative skin preparation, oxygen administration and transfusion.
A small clinical trial led by the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver is investigating whether ingesting Lactobacillus reuteri can relieve post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in veterans. Studies in animals showed the bacterium may provoke an anti-anxiety response.
Plastic surgeon Lee L.Q. Pu describes a comprehensive approach to lower extremity free-tissue transfer with a 100% success rate in 28 patients. Free-tissue transfer is the only means in some cases to salvage a limb in patients with a complex traumatic wound, and Pu writes that his approach improves the chance that the procedure will succeed.
The May/June 2017 abstract issue of Military Medicine is now available on the AMSUS website. Nonmembers -- like what you see but can't access the entire piece? Join AMSUS now to receive full access. Print copies have been mailed to members, and full access is available on the journal website.
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