Emerging Healthcare Procedures Hold Promise for Troops and Veterans

War is covered everyday around the globe in news headlines, and the extent of American foreign policy in those events. Lesser reported is the consistent funding that goes into Veteran healthcare for those who served in previous conflicts. The U.S. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget for 2024 is hundreds of billions of dollars ranging from healthcare spending, disability pay benefits payments, home loans, cemeteries and a plethora of other purposes.

Health and quality of life in the military and veteran population has emerged as a key topic for future spending. Defense leaders understand the cost of war in future years increases when combat exposures become better known.

To that end, many health care leaders and entrepreneurs have been moving ahead with new and innovative treatments that are having positive impacts in this area. Treatments involving stem cell therapy, degenerative discs treatments, and others are being heralded as modern medical strategies to improve and maintain health in troops and veterans.

Looking at stem cell treatments, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may in the future expand access to stem cell treatments as regulators catch up with medical innovation in this area. While Veterans cannot currently receive stem cell treatments at VA companies such as Bioxcellerator have provided extensive treatments in acts of charity to Veteran patients, many injured in war. These treatments have had resounding successes.

Some regenerative disc related treatments which are currently provided to patients are having a positive impact with back pain. Treatments like this (in one example provided by Vivex Biologics) are helping out with back pain. While covered by some insurance, some of the defense healthcare stakeholders are not able to provide full coverage. With so many emerging healthcare related procedures, it is imperative that doctors and health policy makers have the flexibility to approve these treatments. In relation to troops and veterans it is a moral imperative and smart policy to liberalize approval channels so that new and effective treatments are available. Certainly, an opportunity exists within Tricare to expand access to new treatments which can yield further data on healthcare outcomes.

Positive healthcare outcomes improve national security, the military population, the veteran population and improve health and productivity. When looking at health policy Congress and defense leaders should provide legislative and regulatory flexibility  to ensure that valuable treatments are provided to our warfighters and veterans.

This includes roundtable discussions with industry leaders and defense leaders to include members of congress and doctors in the field. The synergy of leadership in the private and public sectors has much promise in this area. Medical advancements and the availability of the treatments that stem from work in this area will be a victory from a medical and moral standpoint. It will create a healthier service member and veteran population and our troops are worth it.