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White House says no sequestration for vets' health care programs | Army looks to update PTSD diagnosis approach | Tricare plan for Philippine retiree system overhaul hits delay
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April 25, 2012
AMSUS SmartBrief
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White House says no sequestration for vets' health care programs
Funds for veterans' health care programs and benefits will not be subject to sequestration if lawmakers don't reach agreement on a 10-year, $1.2 trillion budget deficit-reduction plan, the White House said Monday. The Defense Department has the authority to provide a similar shield for military benefits, but officials haven't said whether they intend to do so.
Air Force Times (free registration) (4/23) 
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Ten Predictions for 2012 on Smartphones in Hospitals
Smartphones have kicked off a communications revolution in healthcare, including federal agencies. Given this changing environment, we assembled a roundtable of industry and technology experts to compile this list of what 2012 will mean for smartphone use in hospitals. Download white paper report now.
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Military Health System
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Military Health System
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Army looks to update PTSD diagnosis approach
The Army Surgeon General's Office has released new policy guidelines for the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in U.S. service members. The updated approach discounts tests used previously to assess whether individuals were faking symptoms. A separate review by the Europe Regional Medical Command found no difference between services offered to troops with PTSD returning to active duty or being discharged.
The Seattle Times (tiered subscription model) (4/22),  Stars and Stripes (tiered subscription model) (4/24) 
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Tricare plan for Philippine retiree system overhaul hits delay
Tricare has announced a delay in plans to launch a closed system of health care providers for retirees in the Philippines to replace an existing insurance system plagued by years of increasing costs and fraud. The new network, originally scheduled to begin this spring, will now open in Philippine cities with major populations of retirees in January 2013 before going countrywide in 2014.
Stars and Stripes (tiered subscription model) (4/24) 
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Inspector general report questions VA data on mental-health patients
Department of Veterans Affairs data misrepresent how quickly veterans seeking mental-health assistance are seen for evaluation or treatment, according to a recent report from the Inspector General's Office. While the Veterans Health Administration said 95% of new patients are evaluated within 14 days, the report found only 49% of patients were seen within that window.
The Hill/DEFCON Hill blog (4/23),  The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/At War (4/23) 
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Veterans groups concerned by VA enrollment proposal
A proposal brought forward by Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., that would automatically enroll veterans into the Veterans Affairs health system has received a mixed response from veterans groups. "It could prove polarizing and send the message to nondeployed veterans that they do not qualify for VA health care," said Shane Barker, VFW senior legislative associate.
Air Force Times (free registration) (4/18) 
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Health and Medical Research
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Breast cancer categorization could help tailor treatment
An analysis of 997 tumors resulted in 10 different breast cancer categories, ranging from easily treated to very aggressive, which may help precisely target therapies and prevent unnecessarily toxic treatments in patients, researchers reported in the journal Nature. "This is going to have a huge impact on the way we think about breast cancer. Together with other data coming out in the next few months, I think the whole landscape of research, discovery and treatment is going to change," said Harvard Medical School professor Raju Kucherlapati, who was not part of the study.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/19),  BBC (4/18) 
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Don't miss the sustaining member quarterly meeting
The AMSUS-SM section is made up of some of the finest companies that provide medical and scientific products and services to federal health care agencies. The quarterly meetings, for members only, are designed to present topics of current interest and bring private industry health care representatives together with key DOD, DVA and USPHS decision makers, as well as to conduct the business of the section. Registration for the June 13 meeting will open in early May. Our annual corporate golf outing will be held at Andrews Air Force Base on June 12. New member companies are elected at each quarterly meeting. To be considered for membership, applications must be submitted at least 30 days prior to each meeting.
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Check out the latest Military Medicine articles from the online AMSUS Journal library
"A Noncognitive Temperament Test to Predict Risk of Mental Disorders and Attrition in U.S. Army Recruits" and other journal articles are free to AMSUS members and subscribers who have registered and subscribed to access over 100 issues of Military Medicine journals online. Subscription rates and membership eligibility are available on the AMSUS website.
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Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
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