Claims based on the effects of tobacco products. Final rule.
This document amends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adjudication regulations governing determinations of whether disability or death is service-connected. These changes are necessary to implement a statutory amendment providing that a disability or death will not be service-connected on the basis that it resulted from injury or disease attributable to a veteran's use of tobacco products during service. (+info)
Schedule for rating disabilities: disabilities of the liver. Final rule.
This document amends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Schedule for Rating Disabilities (38 CFR part 4) by revising the portion of the Digestive System that addresses disabilities of the liver. The intended effect of this action is to update this portion of the rating schedule to ensure that it uses current medical terminology and unambiguous criteria, and that it reflects medical advances that have occurred since the last review. (+info)
Extension of the presumptive period for compensation for Gulf War veterans' undiagnosed illnesses. Interim final rule with request for comments.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its adjudication regulations regarding compensation for disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses suffered by Persian Gulf War veterans. This amendment is necessary to extend the period within which such disabilities must become manifest to a compensable degree in order for entitlement for compensation to be established. The intended effect of this amendment is to ensure that veterans with compensable disabilities due to undiagnosed illnesses that may be related to active service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War may qualify for benefits. (+info)
Diseases specific to radiation-exposed veterans. Final rule.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its adjudication regulations concerning presumptive service connection for certain diseases for veterans who participated in radiation-risk activities during active service or while members of reserve components during active duty for training or inactive duty training. This amendment adds cancers of the bone, brain, colon, lung, and ovary to the list of diseases which may be presumptively service connected and amends the definition of the term "radiation-risk activity." The intended effect of this amendment is to ensure that veterans who may have been exposed to radiation during military service do not have a higher burden of proof than civilians exposed to ionizing radiation who may be entitled to compensation for these cancers under comparable Federal statutes. (+info)
The psychological risks of Vietnam for U.S. veterans: a revisit with new data and methods.
In 1988, the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) of a representative sample of 1200 veterans estimated that 30.9% had developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during their lifetimes and that 15.2% were currently suffering from PTSD. The study also found a strong dose-response relationship: As retrospective reports of combat exposure increased, PTSD occurrence increased. Skeptics have argued that these results are inflated by recall bias and other flaws. We used military records to construct a new exposure measure and to cross-check exposure reports in diagnoses of 260 NVVRS veterans. We found little evidence of falsification, an even stronger dose-response relationship, and psychological costs that were lower than previously estimated but still substantial. According to our fully adjusted PTSD rates, 18.7% of the veterans had developed war-related PTSD during their lifetimes and 9.1% were currently suffering from PTSD 11 to 12 years after the war; current PTSD was typically associated with moderate impairment. (+info)
The effect of standardized, computer-guided templates on quality of VA disability exams.
BACKGROUND: The costs and limitations of clinical encounter documentation using dictation/transcription have provided impetus for increased use of computerized structured data entry to enforce standardization and improve quality. The purpose of the present study is to compare exam report quality of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability exams documented by computerized protocol-guided templates with exams documented in the usual fashion (dictation). METHODS: Exam report quality for 17,490 VA compensation and pension (C&P) disability exams reviewed in 2005 was compared for exam reports completed by template and exam reports completed in routine fashion (dictation). An additional set of 2,903 exams reviewed for quality the last three months of 2004 were used for baseline comparison. RESULTS: Mean template quality scores of 91 (95% CI 89, 92) showed significant improvement over routine exams conducted during the study period 78 (95% CI 77, 78) and at baseline 73 (95% CI 72, 75). The quality difference among examination types is presented. DISCUSSION: The results of the present study suggest that use of the standardized, guided documentation templates in VA disability exams produces significant improvement in quality compared with routinely completed exams (dictation). The templates demonstrate the opportunity and capacity for informatics tools to enhance delivery of care when operating in a health system with a sophisticated electronic medical record. (+info)
Extension of the presumptive period for compensation for Gulf War veterans. Interim final rule.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this interim final rule to amend its adjudication regulations regarding compensation for disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses suffered by veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War. This amendment is necessary to extend the presumptive period for qualifying chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses that must become manifest to a compensable degree in order that entitlement for compensation be established. The intended effect of this amendment is to provide consistency in VA adjudication policy and preserve certain rights afforded to Persian Gulf War veterans and ensure fairness for current and future Persian Gulf War veterans. (+info)
US Department of Veterans Affairs disability policies for posttraumatic stress disorder: administrative trends and implications for treatment, rehabilitation, and research.
An accumulating body of empirical data suggests that current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) psychiatric disability and rehabilitation policies for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are problematic. In combination, recent administrative trends and data from epidemiological and clinical studies suggest theses policies are countertherapeutic and hinder research efforts to advance our knowledge regarding PTSD. Current VA disability policies require fundamental reform to bring them into line with modern science and medicine, including current empirically supported concepts of resilience and psychiatric rehabilitation. (+info)