Proposal would reshape Tricare fee structure, encourage managed care | Surgical teams risk life and limb removing unexploded ordnance from patients | House approves VA disability exams by local doctors
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Military Health System
Surgical teams risk life and limb removing unexploded ordnance from patients Air Force Maj. Travis Newberry, a head and neck surgeon, and colleagues described in the Journal of Neurosurgery how they removed a metal bullet that they thought might have been unexploded ordnance from a pregnant patient's cheek in Afghanistan. Though such procedures are uncommon, they do require special precautions, and the Army is due to release updated guidelines this month for removing unexploded ordnance from patients.National Public Radio (2/12)
IG's report highlights shortcomings at VA crisis hotline Some calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs' 24-hour suicide prevention hotline main call center in Canandaigua, N.Y., have gone to voicemail or to backup centers, where staff have left some calls unanswered, according to a VA Inspector General report. The VA said it will implement the report's recommendations, including setting specific expectations for backup centers and quality assurance criteria for all calls, by Sept. 30.Daily News (New York) (2/16)
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National Health Care
US surgeon general urges Flint, Mich., health practitioners, leaders to help residents Health practitioners, community leaders and faith leaders should get involved in educating residents about the issues they face regarding the water crisis in Flint, Mich., said US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. "I understand that after everything that Flint residents have been through, that they would have some trust issues when it comes to the water and to the information that they're getting," he said. "That's why it's so important in this community that trusted voices speak out, and help people get the information they need."Detroit Free Press (2/15)
Health and Medical Research
IOM: Gulf War vets should be monitored for ALS, cancer Despite spending more than $500 million on research between 1994 and 2014, the US government still has not definitely identified the health effects of serving in the 1990-91 Gulf War, an Institute of Medicine committee reported. Gulf War veterans appear to be at increased risk for chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive disorders, mental health conditions, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and sexual dysfunction, the federally funded report said. The Department of Veterans Affairs should monitor Gulf War veterans for degenerative brain diseases, such as ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as for cancer, the IOM said.HealthDay News (2/11)
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