August 2008

ARMED FORCES NEWS
PHS TO PROVIDE MENTAL HELTH CARE
August 1, 2008


The U.S. Public Health Service will provide more mental health care to service members, their families, and retirees, under an agreement the agency struck with the Defense Department. "Thanks to this agreement, the U.S. Public Health Service will send us mental health professionals with all disciplines, and the military services will place them in locations with the greatest need," said Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. The Public Health Service has a commissioned corps of 6,000 officers, and is one of the seven uniformed services.
 

ARMED FORCES NEWS
ALSO FROM QRMC: CHANGE RETIREE HEALTH CARE
August 8, 2008

Fees for health care provided by military treatment facilities should be made equitable for all retirees, says a panel of experts who conducted a the Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation. "Retiree fees ought to relate to how much the plan is worth," said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jan D. "Denny" Eakle, who chaired the panel, on Aug. 5 at the Pentagon. "Higher-value plans should have higher premiums associated with them." Fee schedules, she said ,"Ought to reflect how much income an individual has, so that if they make more money and are therefore better able to pay for a system, they should do so." Among the proposed changes: Retirees under age 65 who are covered by Tricare for Life should pay 40 percent of their Medicare Part B premiums, just as their civilian counterparts do, and pay a small fee for electing Tricare Standard and Extra coverage.
 

HILL COUNTRY VETERANS COUNCIL
AUGUST MEETING MINUTES
August 19, 2008
 

Hill Country Veterans Council Meeting Tuesday August 19, 2008

1. Dr. Greg Smith, Medical Director for Kerrville V. A. Medical Center, briefed the council on the attached Performance Dash Boards. He has broken out the Kerrville Division. It is evident KVA is comparatively quite good. Due to the much smaller sampling, the percentage of dissatisfied has a greater impact on the rating.

a. Quality of patient care at KVA is rated 9th when compared with all the V. A. nationally.

b. STVAHCS is one of 32 class 1A systems in the National V. A. and is rated 6th.

2. Good news:

a. Dr. Swanzy is not retiring. The pink team will continue as before.

b. Work has been started on rehab and expanding the G.I. clinic.

c. Several local doctors have been V. A. certified and are now available to fill in when needed for team doctors or emergency room.

d. Work is almost completed on the new C.T. Scan Lab.

e. New digital equipment and training of personnel should be completed by 30 Oct. 08 which will enable all radiological test to be read and reports made to doctors almost in real time.

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