RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

Archive for the 'Veterans Health Care' Category

TRRx UPDATE September 14, 2006

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

The government’s cost of providing brand-name drugs to military beneficiaries through Tricare’s vast retail pharmacy network (TRRx) is falling by 25% as new law forces drug manufacturers to expand price discounts. The change won’t affect co-payments charged military family members and retirees who have 60 million prescriptions a year filled in retail drug outlets. But Department of Defense pharmacy costs will be cut by more than $700 million next year and by higher amounts in following years. The cost savings flow from a provision in the fiscal 2008 defense authorization act that requires drug makers to extend federal pricing discounts to brand-name medicines dispensed to military beneficiaries through drug stores, supermarkets and other commercial outlets.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Military Health Care, Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

VA TELEHEALTH UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

Exploring how best to extend telehealth services to veterans living in rural areas will be one of the key missions of three Veterans Rural Health Resource Centers to be opened by the Veterans Affairs Department on 1 OCT. The centers, to be located at the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont, at the Iowa City VA Medical Center, and at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center, will serve as satellite offices for VA’s Office of Rural Health. Patricia Vandenberg, assistant deputy undersecretary of veterans affairs said in an interview, “The rural resource centers are envisioned not to be providers of services but rather enablers of systematic care for veterans in rural communities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

MEDICAL PRICING September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

Healthcare providers and insurers put a dollar value on medical services using policies so inscrutable that they leave patients unable to determine a fair price for any treatment. This is most evident in trying to evaluate the differences between what medical providers bill and what insurers’ pay. “It’s a Byzantine system,” said Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Assn. of Southern California. “There’s no question about that.” Peggy Hinz, a spokeswoman for Anthem Blue Cross, said the insurer “relies on the latest medical pricing data and experts in the field” to determine how much it will pay for specific services. “We always strive to reimburse a fair amount based on a provider’s cost and based on what is reimbursed to other providers for like services,” she said. Most physicians will not discuss how they arrive at their billing amounts and often claim they have nothing to do with setting prices for their practice or negotiating contract terms with insurers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Medicare, Military Health Care, Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

FLU SHOTS UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

The nation is set to receive between 143 million and 146 million doses of flu vaccine this fall, a record amount that comes as the government is urging more children than ever to be inoculated. Each year, influenza causes 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The elderly, young children and people with chronic illnesses are at greatest risk for severe illness, but the CDC recommends that a wide variety of people get vaccinated:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

VA SUICIDE PREVENTION UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

A blue-ribbon panel has praised the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its “comprehensive strategy” in suicide prevention that includes a “number of initiatives and innovations that hold great promise for preventing suicide attempts and completions.” Among the initiatives and innovations the group studied were VA’s Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK. The lifeline is staffed by trained professionals 24 hours a day to deal with any immediate crisis that may be taking place. Nearly 33,000 veterans, family members or friends of veterans have called the lifeline in the year that it has been operating. Of those, there have been more than 1,600 rescues to prevent possible tragedy. Other initiatives noted included the hiring of suicide prevention coordinators at each of VA’s 153 medical facilities, the establishment of a Mental Health Center of Excellence in Canandaigua, N.Y., focusing on developing and testing clinical and public health intervention standards for suicide prevention, the creation of an additional research center on suicide prevention in Denver, which focuses on research in the clinical and neurobiological conditions that can lead to increased suicide risk and a plus-up in staff making more than 400 mental health professionals entirely dedicated to suicide prevention.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Military Health Care, Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

VA RURAL ACCESS UPDATE September 14, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 14th September 2008

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will open 10 new Rural Outreach Clinics by 2009 to increase the convenience of care for thousands of veterans living in rural areas. The clinics will provide primary care services, case management and mental health services. Each outreach clinic will be part of a VA network, maintaining VA’s quality standards and access to larger VA facilities for specialized needs. The 10 new clinics include a facility recently put in operation in

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

VA HEALTH CARE FUNDING UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

Hoping to avoid annual problems with veterans’ health care budgets that are too late and too small, a coalition of nine veterans groups proposes a radical change in how Congress funds Department of Veterans Affairs medical programs. The Partnership for Veterans Health Care Budget Reform (PVHCBR) which includes the American Legion, AMVETS, Blinded Veterans Association, Disabled American Veterans, Jewish War Veterans of the USA, Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and Vietnam Veterans of America is trying to solve two problems.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

VA SAH UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

A change in the law will increase the amount of grants available to seriously injured veterans seeking to modify their homes to accommodate their injuries. Prior to the change, eligible veterans and servicemembers could receive special adaptive housing grants of $10,000 or $50,000 from VA only once. Now they may use the benefit up to three times, so long as the total grants stay within specified limits outlined in the law. VA has averaged about 1,000 adaptive housing grant applications per year during the last 10 years, providing more than $650 million in grants to about 34,000 seriously disabled veterans since the benefit began in 1948. Eligible for the benefit are those with specific service-connected disabilities entitling them to VA compensation for a “permanent and total disability.” They may receive a grant to construct an adapted home or to modify an existing one to meet their special needs. VA has three types of adapted housing grants available:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Veterans Compensation, Veterans Health Care, Veterans Interest | No Comments »

HOSPITAL DEATH RATES August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

Until recently, hospital death rates were closely guarded secrets, discussed in board rooms but beyond the reach of patients whose lives are on the line. Now anyone with access to a computer can directly compare a local hospital with the one across town to see how it stacks up against the biggest medical institutions nationwide.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Military Health Care, Veterans Health Care | No Comments »

VA CATEGORY 8 CARE UPDATE August 29, 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 29th August 2008

VA CATEGORY 8 CARE UPDATE 06: Congress is moving to reopen the VA health care system to many more thousands of Priority Group 8 veterans – those who aren’t poor, at least by government standards, and have no service-related ailments. Disabled American Veterans and some partner organizations support such a move but with two caveats, explained DAV representatives.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Veterans Health Care | No Comments »