Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day is an annual celebration that recognizes a remarkable group of veterans.  Officially, the date of the observance is March 30 – as decreed by the U.S. Senate –a time to honor all who served honorably and bravely in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and elsewhere in the Southeast Asia war zone.

THANK YOU VETERANS for your service and dedication!

Read more: http://bit.ly/1CVmfNI 

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VA drops “net worth” as eligibility requirement for care

The Veterans Affairs Department no longer will include net worth as a factor in determining whether a veteran is eligible for VA health care. The change could lower health care costs for nearly 190,000 low-income and non-service connected veterans in the next five years, according to VA.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1BcYhq9

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Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to look into VA’s 40-mile rule.

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will examine how the VA is implementing a new program that allows veterans to get private medical care.

The panel will hold an oversight hearing on March 24 to examine the criteria the department is using as part of the “choice card” effort.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/1BIcUBI

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Tricare to tighten compound drug rules

The Defense Department on May 1 will begin putting the brakes on specialty drug prescriptions — a move Pentagon officials say will improve patient safety and could save the department money. Tricare officials said that pharmacy contractor Express Scripts will begin screening every ingredient used in compounded medications to ensure that all substances in these custom prescriptions are approved by the FDA.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1APqofT

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Tricare Choice Proposal: A Comprehensive Overview

Washington policymakers will soon begin consideration of the biggest overhaul of the military health care system since Tricare replaced CHAMPUS in the early 1990s — changes that would shift millions of beneficiaries to commercial, private-sector health plans.  The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which proposed the Tricare Choice program in its recently issued final report, says the move would save the Pentagon billions of dollars while greatly enhancing health services for nearly 9.2 million active-duty family members, retirees and their dependents.  The Military Coalition, a group …

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VA Accelerates Deployment of Nationwide Opioid Therapy Tool

The Department of Veterans Affairs is accelerating the deployment of a state-of-the-art tool to help protect Veteran patients using high doses of opioids or with medical risk factors that put them at an increased risk of complications from opioid medications.

The tool, referred to as the Opioid Therapy Risk Report, is being made available now to all staff in the Veterans Health Administration.

Read more: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2681

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Air Force Reservists Seek Recognition of Agent Orange Exposure

U.S. troops and others in Vietnam were exposed to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. Some Air Force reservists may also have been exposed to the chemical after the war — not in Vietnam, but in the U.S. That’s because the planes used to spray Agent Orange were used for another decade by the Air Force reserves. Vets who worked in those planes have been pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs for recognition, and they’re starting to get it.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/2015/02/19/386984176/air-force-reservists-say-effects-from-agent-orange-exposure-still-linger AND http://wyso.org/post/c-123-vets-could-win-changes-agent-orange-exposure-soon

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Bipartisan Bill Would Expand VA Agent Orange Coverage

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) have introduced legislation that would extend Veterans Affairs Department benefits to “blue water” Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Vietnam War veterans who served at sea are currently denied VA disability and health benefits for illnesses caused by Agent Orange.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1Mqp6iO

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Center for Women Veterans turns 20

The Center for Women Veterans (CWV), established with the support and urging from DAV and other veterans service organizations,celebrated two decades of serving women veterans in November.  “Our nation has 359,000 women serving right now— about 16 percent of the active, Guard and Reserve force,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald during a ceremony recognizing the center’s anniversary. “Women veterans represent 10.5 percent of all veterans in the United States. They have earned the title of veteran, and we’re proud to honor them all.”

Read more: http://bit.ly/1BYN2GU

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“Fixing Veterans Health Care” Report

The “Fixing Veterans Health Care” report issued recently by Concerned Veterans For America proposes sweeping changes to the VA health care system.  Veteran organizations are concerned that it does not address some fundamental questions about how the proposed new system would be funded, governed, and held accountable.  Related, the American Legion National Commander presented a wide-ranging legislative agenda to the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs.

Read more: http://bit.ly/195iLv6 and http://bit.ly/1E1cyIa.

The Fixing Veterans Health Care Report can be downloaded at:  http://bit.ly/1BZeTYt

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