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Physical Well-Being

  • VA releases plans for sweeping health care overhaul

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials on Monday presented Congress with their formal plan to ease rules concerning veterans seeking medical appointments outside the VA system at government expense, potentially sending tens of thousands of new veterans into the private sector for care.

    The proposal once again raises questions about the long-term goals of the VA medical system and potential privatization of veterans care, issues that have already caused infighting among some veterans groups and Capitol Hill lawmakers.

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  • New Pentagon rules aim to broaden reviews of 'bad paper' dismissals

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans advocates are hopeful that more veterans with “bad paper” dismissals will be able to upgrade their discharge status now that defense officials have released clearer guidance of how to handle a host of mental health and injury cases.

    The new memo, released Monday by the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness office, states that reviewers must take into consideration “conditions resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, sexual assault or sexual harassment” when deciding whether to upgrade a veterans’ status.

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  • In Norfolk, VA Secretary outlined 5 priorities for overhauling veterans' care

    Type of content: News

    Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin described the VA system much like he might a patient.

    “The VA has a lot of problems right now, and I describe it as being in critical condition,” Shulkin told reporters Wednesday. “That means we need to intensively monitor the progress of the organization, but I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”

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  • Veterans' health-care gap creates 'greater risk' for opioid abuse

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — The information about the veteran is scant, clinical in tone, yet disturbing.

    "At the time of his death, the patient was a male in his forties with a past medical history significant for PTSD, chronic low back pain, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, and depression," the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general reported.

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  • New tools let vets schedule appointments, meet with doctors through their phones

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans will be able to schedule medical appointments online and consult with physicians on their mobile phones through an array of new telehealth offerings unveiled by the White House and Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday.

    The move is part of broader VA reforms promised by President Donald Trump and should expand access to department medical care for tens of thousands of rural and homebound veterans across the country. In some cases, federal money will pay for upgraded mobile phones and tablets to help veterans use the new medical technologies.

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  • Future Unclear for Veterans Choice Program After House Bill Falters

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Congressional lawmakers struggled on Tuesday to reach an agreement to prop up a popular multibillion-dollar health care program that allows veterans to see a private doctor at government expense.

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  • Trump Promises Huge Increase in Private Sector Care for Veterans

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening promised to triple the number of veterans “seeing the doctor of their choice” in coming months as part of an ongoing, ambitious reform plan at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The comments, which came at a veterans rally in Ohio, are likely to again stoke concerns among administration critics of large-scale privatization of VA responsibilities.

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  • Using Veterans' Health Data, Oak Ridge National Lab Takes On Massive Medical Research Project

    Type of content: News

    What might be the most ambitious health care data analysis to date is happening in East Tennessee.

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working through a massive batch of records from the Department of Veterans Affairs — the records that VA doctors keep on their more than 22 million patients. About a quarter of a million veterans have also donated their genome sequence — basically, their DNA — to the VA, which has been handed over to the national lab.

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  • Gulf War Veterans Face More, Longer Delays at VA, Government Report Says

    Type of content: News

    Gulf War veterans often wait four times longer for care and their claims at the VA are three times more likely to be denied, according to a report released Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

    The GAO report is the most recent indication that the VA itself acknowledges some of its own shortcomings in training, knowledge of medical conditions and the inner workings for which veterans across the country continually blast the VA.

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  • Veterans' Health Care Data Could Lead to Rapid Medical Breakthroughs

    Type of content: News

    Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a secure platform for researchers to access the healthcare data of 22.5 million military veterans, accelerating the timeline for medical research breakthroughs.

    Scientists from ORNL's Computational Sciences and Engineering Division started building the platform as part of the laboratory's involvement in a national partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Energy Department.

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