Posts Tagged ‘Veterans Health Care’

VA Focusing More Research on Female Veterans’ Health Issues

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Over the past decade the number of female veterans seeking health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has nearly doubled. With the number of female soldiers on the rise – nearly 20% of new recruits are women – the VA health system is stepping up to increase the availability and quality of women’s services at their facilities.

Across the nation, 37 VA health centers are taking part in the Women’s Health Research Network, which studies women’s health care issues. Some of the topics the researchers are focusing on include pregnancy and infant care, military sexual trauma, and how certain service-related conditions and diseases impair women differently than men.

Another main area of focus is heart health, which has been a growing concern for both civilian and veteran women. According to Dr. Sally Haskell, director of comprehensive women’s health for the Veterans Health Administration, female veterans between the ages of 45 and 65 are the most commonly seen age range for heart health issues.

For female veterans facing disabilities due to a combat-related injury or illness, gaining access to the benefit of health care from the VA is made simpler when you file for veterans’ disability. Applying for veterans’ disability benefits can be a long and frustrating process – one that is often made easier by working with a veterans’ disability attorney.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today  1-888-234-5758.

 

Bill Proposed to Reorganize VA Health Care Organizational Structure

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Senator Richard Burr, the ranking Republican senator on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, has proposed a new bill to reduce the administrative overhead he feels is spreading the resources of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) too thinly.

Currently, there are 21 regional medical offices, known as Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) across the country. Burr’s bill aims to trim that number down to 12, allowing resources to be consolidated and brought to the areas that are in the most need.

VISN offices handle the VA affairs in their geographic region, from budgeting to resource management. They also oversee the operation of all VA hospitals and facilities in their area. The original intent for VISNs was to take over administrative needs so the health care centers could focus on patients; however, Burr feels that their operational costs are detracting from the budget that could be going to medical care.

There are many services and resources available to veterans and military families when they are in need of medical care. Veterans who face disabling conditions related to their military service may qualify for veterans’ disability benefits by filing a claim with the help of a veterans’ disability attorney.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today  1-888-234-5758.

Additional Options for Disabled Veterans Seeking Health Care Coverage

Monday, May 7th, 2012

While the main source of health care and resources for disabled veterans comes from disability benefits, run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are also additional veterans’ health care programs you should be aware of.

TRICARE is one of the most notable health care programs associated with the U.S. Military. It provides health insurance to servicemembers and certain family members. There are multiple levels of benefits to suit personnel of all levels, from active duty with children to veterans with spouses.

TRICARE allows participants to seek health care at the VA facilities and certain medical networks outside the VA. While there are additional fees for the TRICARE program services, they are often more affordable and flexible to the special needs of military families.

For some veterans they may also qualify for supplemental insurance through their employer or a spouse’s employer. For other types of insurance, such as injury coverage with auto insurance, many providers offer special discounts for military members and veterans, so it is important to ask for these benefits as you buy new insurance policies.

Before you begin the hassle of looking for health insurance to cover a disability, you should consider applying for veterans’ disability benefits. A lawyer can help review your case and determine the best options to provide you and your family with the services you deserve, after providing your own service to our country.

 If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today  1-888-234-5758.

Gulf War Veterans Health Care: Improvements Made in Services

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released the second in a series of reports published annually by the Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Task Force (GWVIT). This report contains input from hundreds of Gulf War veterans and hopes to serve as a plan of action for enhancements for care and services provided to this specific population.

Gulf War veterans are from an era where many of the combat-related exposures are just now manifesting as disabling diseases and conditions. The term “Gulf War Syndrome” was coined from these seemingly unconnected ailments and has been a subject of extensive research for several years.

The GWVIT focuses their concerns on providing health care and services to Gulf War veterans who may now be experiencing service-connected disabling conditions and need good quality care. A new clinical care model is detailed in the report, as well as the need for creating better links to specialized care and treatment methods for illnesses developed from that war era.

It’s important for Gulf War veterans to keep a good record of their health after service, as many new illnesses have been connected to exposure to the combat conditions in these areas. Regular checkups from your VA clinic can help with early detection of some of the illnesses that may qualify you for veterans’ disability benefits.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today 1-888-234-5758.

VA and Defense Collaborate to Improve Health Care for Veterans

Friday, November 11th, 2011

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has plans to work toward building a fully integrated electronic health record (EHR) with the Department of Defense (DoD). According to an article in Health Care IT News, The VA recently determined to share its information with the DoD so more veterans with disabilities can be able to receive more comprehensive care.

With the VA not sharing information with the DoD, it restricted progression of understanding and treatments for veterans with specific disabilities or conditions. It also created a serious threat for veterans receiving negative drug interactions.

Specifically, it refused to share any records on veterans being treated for:

  • sickle cell anemia;
  • alcoholism or alcohol abuse;
  • drug abuse; and
  • HIV.

By updating the VA’s regulation and removing the restrictive provision, the VA can be able to work in much closer collaboration with the DoD. In the end, it means veterans can now receive better, more informed, and timelier services, treatments, and benefits.

The only way to provide the best possible, and highest quality health care is with all available updated  information and the restrictive provision the VA had in place interfered with the ultimate goal of EHRs, and served as an impediment, according to VA Sec. Eric Shinseki.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today 1-888-234-5758.

John Cochran VA Cancels Surgeries After 2nd Bout of Feared Contamination

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

A year ago it was dirty dental equipment that put the John Cochran Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in the news. Improperly sterilized dental equipment lead to the John Cochran VA possibly exposing 1,800 veterans to HIV with their contaminated equipment. Now, the John Cochran VA Hospital is in the news again because of another potential contamination issue. According to the hospital’s medical director, surgical tools that appeared to be dirty forced the VA hospital to cancel and reschedule 35 surgeries.

The canceled surgeries were the last, although very necessary step. The John Cochran VA has been suffering a series of complaints focusing on the hospital’s allegedly unsanitary and detrimental conditions. Once the potentially contaminated surgical equipment was discovered, hospital personnel examined and tested all the other surgical equipment throughout the entire facility as well as any piece of equipment that could even come into contact with a surgical environment.

There have been hundreds of complaints made about the hospital, and a full investigation is planned concerning the possibility for infection the dirty surgical tools caused. Although VA hospitals boast of their superior health care, two contamination issues under a year in the same hospital scream of incompetence. Guaranteeing top-ranked health care for veterans is something for which every VA medical center should always strive.

It is not known how many veterans could have been affected by this latest possible contamination issue. The VA is working with those veterans whose surgeries needed to be rescheduled to make sure everything is as smooth as possible. There is no indication as to when the hospital will be back to performing surgeries.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.

More Soldiers Being Diagnosed With Concussions

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Keeping soldiers healthy and combat ready while in combat is a very delicate balance commanders must maintain. New protocols that have been initiated place  parameters on how commanders must maintain their soldiers’ health. New rules mandate soldiers within 165 feet of a blast, to include any soldier in buildings and vehicles hit by bombs, must be removed from the battlefield for at least 24 hours. During that time, they will be examined for concussions.

The result? Hundreds of soldiers are being diagnosed with concussions where they would not have been without the new rules being put in place. If soldiers suffer a second concussion before the first one is completely healed, the chances that soldier will develop permanent brain damage is increased.

This means for the last 8 years, potentially thousands of troops have suffered unnecessary brain damage. The new rules were implemented in July, and the amount of soldiers diagnosed with concussions rose to 370 from 62 in June. July to September produced over 1,000 soldiers diagnosed with concussions. By means of comparison, that is over double the amount of soldiers diagnosed with concussions the entire 4 months prior.

While knowing that thousands of soldiers are sustaining concussions on a regular basis is unsettling, it is much better to know of the conditions, treat them, and be able to prevent more severe brain damage from occurring. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) need to be given this type of attention considering the long-term damage they can cause.

The most frequent source of injury for soldiers are roadside bombs. They have become so commonplace, however, that most soldiers are just told to drive after suffering the blast. More studies must be completed in order to determine if a person’s brain is completely healed in the absence of symptoms.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.

VA And DoD Integrated Health Care One Step Closer

Monday, October 11th, 2010

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) have been working on a fully collaborative effort in designing a first ever, fully-integrated health care network.

Right now, the focus is on a fully integrated health care center. The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center couples resources from the North Chicago VA Medical Center and the Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes. Both military family members, retirees, and veterans will be able to receive health care alongside active duty soldiers and Naval recruits going through boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Station.

This health center is unique in that DoD and VA medical facilities have always separated their chains of command and their funding sources. The new Lovell Center, however, will operate with a single chain of command. According to the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act mandates, it will also have a single funding source.

The Lovell Center is going to stand as a lighthouse for collaborative efforts between the VA and the DoD. It will be the type of model for others to emulate and will provide state-of-the-art health care to those deserving the best possible care the military can offer, according to VA Sec. Eric Shinseki.

This new facility is very much a one-stop shopping  health care clinic, except the building is spread over several different buildings and is split into two separate campuses. In the end, joined resources and couple capabilities save taxpayer money and allow for more convenient and capable services.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.

Armory May Find New Use As VA Medical Center

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

The Florida National Guard controls the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in West Tampa. What to do with the armory, which is a historic site, has been the subject of much discussion over the last couple of years. Finally, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-Tampa) may have an answer: use it to house a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center.

Rep. Castor wrote a letter to acting Haley VA Center administrator Nancy Resissener proposing and supporting her idea. There are a large number of veterans in the immediate area of the armory, making the location very significant.  A VA clinic in the middle of Tampa would serve a great number of veterans and would be very accessible.

Heritage Square LLC purchased the land in 2007. Leaving the armory building on the property, Heritage built a hotel and a resort on the armory land. Earlier this year the National Guard declared the property was once again for sale as Heritage was apparently no longer interested in the property.

The National Guard is under contract to give back ownership of the property to Tampa. Rep. Castor saw this as a prime opportunity to contact Mayor Pam Iorio and Councilman Charlie Miranda and ask both of them for help in making her vision for a VA medical clinic a reality.

Castor is pushing for a VA clinic in downtown Tampa. She sees building the clinic as a great accomplishment because it would bring VA health care to so many veteran in the area.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.

Some PTSD Symptoms may be Connected to Anger

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Because so little is known about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), research is constantly being done to get to the root of the disorder and its symptoms.  Researchers in Chapel Hill are looking into the possibility of zeroing in on specific symptoms as a way to treat Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from PTSD and anger management issues.

Researchers expected their results to follow where the data was pointing, which was that certain PTSD symptoms were connected to aggressiveness on a consistent basis. Instead, they found those soldiers suffering from anger, hostility, and aggressiveness following their deployment were more likely to be related to hyperarousal symptoms. Those symptoms include:

  • Sleep problems;
  • Being “on guard” all the time;
  • Jumpiness;
  • Irritability; and
  • Difficulty concentrating.

Studying the 676 veterans participating in the study, researchers identified some features related to anger and hostility. According to their conclusions, these features increase the likeliness soldiers will develop issues adjusting to civilian life following their deployment.

Veterans suffering from hyperarousal symptoms, serving more than 12 months on deployment, experiencing combat during their deployment, and experiencing family violence prior to joining the military were all likely to be unable to control violent behavior.

More than other veterans, those veterans with hostile dispositions were more likely to suffer hyperarousal symptoms and come from a background of childhood abuse or familial mental illness. Those veterans struggling to manage their anger also suffered hyperarousal symptoms as well as other stressors.

Learning how to manage risk factors such those associated with PTSD and hyperarousal is of critical importance to both veterans and their families.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.