About 5.6 million veterans are living in rural regions of America, but public planners still have too limited a view of their struggles to effectively reach them, advocates warn. Officials from the Housing Assistance Council have held their annual summit on rural veterans issues to push for more attention, outreach and resources for those individuals, who make up more than 11 percent of the total vet population. Veterans in rural areas are generally and more likely to own their own homes, but less likely to …Read More »
In the face of recent practices of some compounding pharmacies targeting TRICARE, the Defense Health Agency is taking aggressive action to help TRICARE beneficiaries. According to one spokesman: “Compounding pharmacies definitely have a role in medical care — a very important role”. But a phenomenon that’s arisen recently involves compounding pharmacies “that are charging unsupportable costs for some of these products, and expanding into areas where there is not good evidence to support the products’ safety,” he added.
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The House approved a series of bills aimed at helping veterans win government-paid jobs, get small business loans or obtain other assistance. The Senate Appropriations Committee is working on its bill to fund the VA Department next year. Differences will eventually be resolved in a joint conference committee.
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A recent Herald Independent article addresses three veteran related topics:
Secretary of Veterans Affairs McDonald announced the award of nearly $93 million in Supportive Services for Veteran Families grants that will help homeless and at-risk veterans and their families
How to access potential VA Health benefits regarding chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune
Electronic health records modernization.
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The four-year battle for medical benefits waged by Westover Air Reserve vets who were exposed to Agent Orange while flying the C-123 planes after the Vietnam War could be over by the end of the month. VA Secretary McDonald said he plans to make an announcement within a few weeks about care for the crews who flew the planes after many were used to spray the chemical over the Vietnam countryside. A number of veterans organizations have been lobbying to support the C-123 veterans.
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Testifying before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) National Legislative Director Joseph Violante proposed a new four-part framework for reforming the Veterans Affairs health care system. “The framework we are proposing today addresses critical areas to rebuild, restructure, realign and reform the VA health care system to meet the needs of America’s veterans well into the future”, he said.
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Earlier this year, the Pentagon adopted guidelines for screening hundreds of veterans who were exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq. Among those to be offered medical examinations are roughly two dozen soldiers from the 811th Ordnance Company and others who worked with or treated them after their exposure in 2003. After repeated requests, the Army has declassified a document that appears to answer the question: What was in the barrels – some of which were leaking – that the soldiers had contact with?
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Veterans will soon be able to log in to just one website to manage their benefits, apply for doctors’ appointments, and determine their eligibility for programs. By the end of the year, vets will be able to use Veterans.gov to manage more than 350 benefit programs without having to switch websites, call multiple numbers or file large amounts of paperwork.
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