Fanning confirmed as Army secretary | House, Senate committees differ on Tricare overhaul | VA expands telemedicine to improve veterans' access to care
May 18, 2016
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Fanning confirmed as Army secretary
Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Eric Fanning To Be Secretary Of The Army
Fanning (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Eric Fanning has been confirmed by the Senate as the next secretary of the Army. The confirmation comes after Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., removed his hold on the confirmation after he said he received assurances from the White House that Guantanamo Bay detainees would not be relocated to his home state.
Military Times (tiered subscription model)/Defense News (5/17) 
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Military Health System
House, Senate committees differ on Tricare overhaul
A draft Senate bill would consolidate Tricare into Tricare Prime and Tricare Choice and add a supplement for beneficiaries who have other health insurance plans. The proposal is similar to a House bill but does not include charging enrollment fees for new beneficiaries.
Military Times (tiered subscription model) (5/16) 
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Veterans Health Administration
VA expands telemedicine to improve veterans' access to care
Problems with veterans' access to prompt health care have pushed the Veterans Affairs health system to explore new ways to provide care, including telemedicine, VA Under Secretary for Health David Shulkin said at an American Telemedicine Association conference. Some 2.1 million episodes of care were delivered remotely last year, including mental health care and genetic counseling, Shulkin said. The VA has created telehealth hubs from which various kinds of care can be delivered, and Shulkin announced the creation of five new hubs for mental health care. (5/17) 
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Deployment of new VA EHR platform nears
Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs expect to implement the Enterprise Health Management Platform, a Web-based modular EHR platform, at all VA facilities by the end of this summer to improve interoperability within the VA and between the agency and the Defense Department. The VA hopes the new platform will fully replace the agency's view-only Computerized Patient Record System by the end of 2018, said David Waltman, chief information strategy officer at the VA's Veterans Health Administration.
Federal Computer Week (5/17) 
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Other News
Think beyond hospital walls when managing population health.
Social, environmental and behavioral factors account for about 60% of the public's health. To address these social factors, healthcare programs must integrate a community's non-medical data with clinical insights to yield positive results.
National Health Care
IHS chooses contractor to run Great Plains hospitals' EDs
Arizona-based AB Staffing Solutions will run the emergency departments at the Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Winnebago reservation hospitals under a one-year contract with the Indian Health Service that can be renewed for up to four more years and could be worth as much as $60 million.
The Seattle Times/The Associated Press (5/17),  Sioux City Journal (Iowa) (5/17) 
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Health and Medical Research
Genital transplant performed at Mass. General
A penile cancer patient received a transplanted penis in a procedure that was the first of its kind in the US. The goal of the experimental surgery is to help combat veterans with severe pelvic injuries, accident victims and cancer patients. Surgical team leader Curtis Cetrulo, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, said surgeons will work on perfecting the procedure and minimizing the need for immunosuppressant drugs before training military surgeons and treating injured veterans.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/16) 
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Other News
Welcome and reminder to AMSUS members
Whether you joined AMSUS via referral from a current member, for the subscription to Military Medicine and discounts to the Annual Meeting or any other reason -- WELCOME! A special thank you to our newest 30-year Life Member -- AMSUS appreciates your many years of support. See other member updates, including Member-Get-a-Member. And a reminder: the 2016 Member-Get-a-Member campaign ends May 31.
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Hotel reservations at 2016 AMSUS Annual Meeting
Housing for the Meeting is already open. So, book your hotel room now for the 2016 AMSUS Annual Meeting from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Non-government employees, please choose "government" from the pull-down menu. You are eligible to receive this rate for the Meeting.
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