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Archive for the ‘veterans’ Category

New From the GAO

December 12, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Health Care: Information on Coverage Choices for Servicemembers, Former Servicemembers, and Dependents. GAO-15-4, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-4
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667487.pdf

2. Hurricane Sandy: FEMA Has Improved Disaster Aid Verification but Could Act to Further Limit Improper Assistance. GAO-15-15, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-15
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667470.pdf

3. VA Health Care: Improvements Needed in Monitoring Antidepressant Use for Major Depressive Disorder and in Increasing Accuracy of Suicide Data. GAO-15-55, November 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-55
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666841.pdf

4. College-and-Career Readiness: States Have Made Progress in Implementing New Standards and Assessments, but Challenges Remain. GAO-15-104R, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-104R

5. Grants Management: Programs at HHS and HUD Collect Administrative Cost Information but Differences in Cost Caps and Definitions Create Challenges. GAO-15-118, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-118
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667506.pdf

6. Grant Program Consolidations: Lessons Learned and Implications for Congressional Oversight. GAO-15-125, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-125
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667482.pdf

7. Aviation Security: Rapid Growth in Expedited Passenger Screening Highlights Need to Plan Effective Security Assessments. GAO-15-150, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-150
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667464.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/667489

8. Medicaid: Federal Funds Aid Eligibility IT System Changes, but Implementation Challenges Persist. GAO-15-169, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-169
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667485.pdf

9. Missile Defense: Cost Estimating Practices Have Improved, and Continued Evaluation Will Determine Effectiveness. GAO-15-210R, December 12.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-210R

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CBO — Comparing the Costs of the Veterans’ Health Care System with Private-Sector Costs

December 10, 2014 Comments off

Comparing the Costs of the Veterans’ Health Care System with Private-Sector Costs
Source: Congressional Budget Office

Legislation enacted in 2014 calls for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to expand the availability of health care to eligible veterans. That legislation provided temporary funding to expand VHA’s capacity to deliver care and to increase the amount of care purchased from the private sector.

CBO has conducted a limited examination of how the costs of health care provided by VHA compare with the costs of care provided in the private sector. Although the structure of VHA and published studies suggest that VHA care has been cheaper than care provided by the private sector, limited evidence and substantial uncertainty make it difficult to reach firm conclusions about those relative costs or about whether it would be cheaper to expand veterans’ access to health care in the future through VHA facilities or the private sector. Uncertainty about relative costs in the future is compounded by uncertainty about how VHA would structure contracts with private-sector providers.

This report briefly describes some of the features that distinguish the health care system run by VHA from health care provided in the private sector. It also examines the available evidence about the relative costs of VHA and private-sector care and explores possible reasons why costs might differ in the two settings and why they can be difficult to compare. Finally, CBO briefly considers some factors that could influence the cost-effectiveness of alternative means of expanding health care services to veterans in the future.

VA Mental Health Services Public Report — November 2014

December 10, 2014 Comments off

VA Mental Health Services Public Report — November 2014 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The following report is designed to give Veterans, their families, and the broader community information about the mental health treatment programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It documents the rapid growth in demand for VA mental health services during the past decade, some of the challenges this has created, and ways in which VA has responded. VA measures the resources available to address Veterans’ mental health needs, and this report highlights some of these, including budgeting for mental health care, staffing and space for mental health programs, and use of technology to improve access to treatment. The report also presents information about Veterans’ experience of care, including the types and amount of mental health services received and Veterans’ opinions about access and quality of care. VA has ongoing efforts to use this information to address areas of concern and improve the quality of VA mental health treatment.

New From the GAO

December 3, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Testimonies
Source: Government Accountability Office

Testimonies

1. Federal Data Transparency: Effective Implementation of the DATA Act Would Help Address Government-wide Management Challenges and Improve Oversight, by Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-15-241T, December 3.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-241T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667269.pdf

2. Children’s Health Insurance: Cost, Coverage, and Access Considerations for Extending Federal Funding, by Carolyn L. Yocom, director, health care, before the Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-15-268T, December 3.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-268T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667273.pdf

3. VA Health Care: Improvements Needed to Manage Higher-Than-Expected Demand for the Family Caregiver Program, by Randall B. Williamson, director, health care, before the Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. GAO-15-245T, December 3.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-245T

Full-Time, Year-Round Employment More Prevalent Among Gulf War Veterans Than Nonveterans, Census Bureau Analysis Finds

November 18, 2014 Comments off

Full-Time, Year-Round Employment More Prevalent Among Gulf War Veterans Than Nonveterans, Census Bureau Analysis Finds
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

A new report, “The Employment Status and Occupations of Gulf War-Era Veterans,” looks at those Gulf War veterans who began service on or after August 1990, the official start of the first Gulf War. It differentiates between “Gulf War I” veterans — those who served only during the August 1990 to August 2001 period — and “Gulf War II” veterans — those who served September 2001 or later or served in both periods. “Working age” is defined as between the ages of 18 and 64.

According to the report, during the 2011-2013 time period:

Men and women veterans from both Gulf War eras were more likely to be employed in full-time, year-round jobs than their nonveteran counterparts.

New From the GAO

November 17, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. VA Health Care: Actions Needed To Ensure Adequate And Qualified Nurse Staffing. GAO-15-61, October 16.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-61
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666537.pdf

2. NOAA’s Observing Systems: Additional Steps Needed to Achieve an Integrated, Cost-Effective Portfolio. GAO-15-96, November 17.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-96
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666947.pdf

3. Information Security: VA Needs to Address Identified Vulnerabilities. GAO-15-117, November 13.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-117
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666901.pdf

4. Financial Audit: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Financial Statements. GAO-15-146R, November 17.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-146R

5. Financial Audit: Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Financial Statements. GAO-15-147R, November 17.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-147R

6. Financial Audit: Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Financial Statements. GAO-15-166R, November 17.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-166R

Special Publication

1. GAO Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2014. GAO-15-1SP, November 17.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-1SP

Arthritis Among Veterans — United States, 2011–2013

November 12, 2014 Comments off

Arthritis Among Veterans — United States, 2011–2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Arthritis is among the most common chronic conditions among veterans and is more prevalent among veterans than nonveterans (1,2). Contemporary population-based estimates of arthritis prevalence among veterans are needed because previous population-based studies predate the Persian Gulf War (1), were small (2), or studied men only (2) despite the fact that women comprise an increasing proportion of military personnel and typically have a higher prevalence of arthritis than men (1,3). To address this knowledge gap, CDC analyzed combined 2011, 2012, and 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data among all adults aged ≥18 years, by veteran status, to estimate the total and sex-specific prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis overall and by sociodemographic categories, and the state-specific prevalence (overall and sex-specific) of doctor-diagnosed arthritis. This report summarizes the results of these analyses, which found that one in four veterans reported that they had arthritis (25.6%) and that prevalence was higher among veterans than nonveterans across most sociodemographic categories, including sex (prevalence among male and female veterans was 25.0% and 31.3%, respectively). State-specific, age-standardized arthritis prevalence among veterans ranged from 18.8% in Hawaii to 32.7% in West Virginia. Veterans comprise a large and important target group for reducing the growing burden of arthritis. Those interested in veterans’ health can help to improve the quality of life of veterans by ensuring that they have access to affordable, evidence-based, physical activity and self-management education classes that reduce the adverse effects of arthritis (e.g., pain and depression) and its common comorbidities (e.g., heart disease and diabetes).

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