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
May 10, 2017
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Congress adds new reporting requirements for DOD's EHR implementation
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."
Healthcare IT News (5/3) 
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Military Health System
Humana sends new contracts for Tricare behavioral health in South
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.
Montgomery Advertiser (Ala.) (tiered subscription model) (5/9) 
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Veterans Health Administration
Grand jury indicts suspended VA official on improper-prescribing charges
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 Cincinnati Enquirer (tiered subscription model) (5/4) 
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National Health Care
CDC recommends hygiene, antimicrobials to prevent SSIs
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.
MedPage Today (free registration) (5/4) 
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Other News
Health and Medical Research
VA tests effects of probiotic on PTSD symptoms
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.
Scientific American online (5/9) 
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Comprehensive approach improves odds of success in limb salvage procedure
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.
Medscape (free registration)/Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery -- Global Open (5/4) 
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Other News
May/June edition of Military Medicine
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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2017 AMSUS Award nominations are open
AMSUS award plaque
AMSUS acknowledges the abilities of many outstanding federal health care individuals each year through the distinguished Awards Program. So many individuals do outstanding work in their fields, yet are never recognized publicly for that work. If you know of someone who should receive recognition, please make time to submit a nomination. Nominations are open through June 30.
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