VA is implementing a comprehensive national VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP) to give enrolled Veterans and CHAMPVAbeneficiaries the opportunity to purchase dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost. Participation is voluntary.
Purchasing a dental plan does not affect Veterans’ eligibility for VA dental services and treatment. VADIP opens November 15 for the purchasing of plans, with coverage beginning January 1, 2014.
Covered services include diagnostic, preventative, surgical, emergency and endodontic/restorative treatment. Delta Dental and MetLife are offering multiple plans. Each participant pays the fixed monthly premiums for coverage and any copayments required, depending on the type of plan selected.
Dependents of Veterans, except those eligible under CHAMPVA, are not authorized to participate in VADIP. Those individuals may be eligible for separate dental insurance coverage offered by these carriers.
For more information about VADIP, explore our Fact Sheet or our Frequently Asked Questions brochure.
Scientists at Integrated Tissue Dynamics LLC (Intidyn) and Albany Medical College (AMC) have made a major discovery that should provide a more certain diagnosis of fibromyalgia, significant insight into the source and symptoms of the disease, and new strategies for its prevention and treatment. The discovery has been published in the June issue of the journal Pain Medicine (the journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine) where it was featured on the cover and accompanied by a laudatory editorial by Robert Gerwin, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
What the team uncovered was an enormous increase in sensory nerve fibers at specific sites within the blood vessels of the skin in the palms of the hands. These critical sites are tiny muscular valves, called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts, which form a direct connection between arterioles and venules. The discovered pathology involving the nerve endings to the shunts provides a logical explanation not only for extreme tenderness in the hands, but also for the widespread deep pain and fatigue symptomatic of fibromyalgia.
The excessive sensory innervation to the glabrous skin AVS is a likely source of severe pain and tenderness in the hands of FM patients. Importantly, glabrous AVS regulate blood flow to the skin in humans for thermoregulation and to other tissues such as skeletal muscle during periods of increased metabolic demand.
Therefore, blood flow dysregulation as a result of excessive innervation to AVS would likely contribute to the widespread deep pain and fatigue of FM. SNRI compounds may provide partial therapeutic benefit by enhancing the impact of sympathetically mediated inhibitory modulation of the excess sensory innervation.
"...at the root of cognitive issues in GWI patients are profound working memory deficits that correlate with a unique brain change visible in the fMRI scanner. These results support an empirical link between exposure to neurotoxic chemicals, specifically sarin nerve gas, and cognitive deficits and neurobiological changes in the brain."
“Implementing interventions that improve working memory could have positive effects on many aspects of daily life from the ability to complete a shopping list, match names with faces, all the way to elevating mood.”
Stand Up for Veterans Update
October 9, 2013
Congress Blog: Time to Put Veterans Funding First
In The Hill's Congress Blog, DAV’s Washington Executive Director Garry Augustine says that the current government shutdown, and the harmful effect it is having on veterans, “…is outrageous and unacceptable; worse it was predictable and preventable.” He points out that VA medical care programs are currently protected from budget battles thanks to the enactment of advance appropriations several years ago. “Given the demonstrated success of advance appropriations for health care programs, and the continuing budget stalemates, Congress should vote to extend advance appropriations to all VA discretionary and mandatory programs,” Augustine concludes.
VSOs Continue Assisting Veterans With Claims Despite Shutdown
Although VA has not released details about whether, when, or how VA regional offices will be closed to the public when carryover funding runs out as early as next week, DAV and other VSOs have vowed to continue providing their free services to veterans. In a news report by Military.com, DAV’s Jim Marszalek said that, “…if the veterans are not allowed to access the buildings to initiate their claims, we are going to set up our mobile service offices.” Marszalek said that DAV services officers would even set up tents near closed VA regional offices if necessary in order to ensure that veterans get the help they need to file claims for benefits.
Bills to Expand Advance Appropriations Could Have Shielded Veterans During Shutdown
Military.com reports that the VA still does not back pending advance appropriations legislation even though it could have shielded all VA programs from the current government shutdown. According to the Military.com report, “…the Department of Veterans Affairs will not say if it will support legislation -- first filed in February -- that would provide the entire agency with full funding a year in advance.” House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (FL), who sponsored the bipartisan legislation (H.R. 813) with Congressman Mike Michaud (ME), said his goal was, “…to keep VA services from becoming a casualty of partisan politics.” Companion Senate legislation (S. 932) was introduced by Senators Mark Begich (AK) and John Boozman (AR), but has yet to be approved by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Accordingly, as a minimum, please be prepared to discuss the following:
1) the effect of a lapse in mandatory appropriation across all benefit programs, both in terms of timing and scope of payment interruptions;
2) the effect of a lapse in discretionary appropriation on claims processing, to include decisions regarding overtime pay; and
3) the apparent decision by the Administration to suspend international briefings to Congress, even if personnel providing those briefings are a) fully funded via advance appropriations or b) excepted personnel (either in active pay status or not).”
"Yes, we just heard this afternoon that the October 28-29 RAC meeting has been cancelled due to the govt. shutdown. The VA is open for patient care but they have cancelled all meeting travel for the month of October (at least) to conserve funds. The RAC is still OK in terms of funding for now.Following a contentious June 19, 2012 meeting in which the RAC issued a "no confidence" report regarding VA's Gulf War research actions, the RAC was prevented by VA staff from holding several of its regularly scheduled meetings spanning the course of an entire year.
"Instances such as the RAC-GWVI comments and recommendations to suspend conducting VA’s follow-up study of a national cohort of Gulf War and Gulf War-era veterans (Gulf War Follow-Up Study) and to the changes made to the post-January 23, 2012, version of VA’s Gulf War Research Strategic Plan are cause for great concern with the direction of VA GWI research."
"contribut[ing] to the lagging interest among researchers who would otherwise commit themselves and their careers in Gulf War illness research, further marginalizing ill Gulf War veterans."