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U.S. House of Representatives Passes TBI Amendment

There will be increased federal funding for research and treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) thanks to a U.S. congressional representative from Texas. Earlier this month, Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) secured the money as an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill of 2012.

The amendment allows active duty and veteran TBI patients to receive cutting-edge therapies and treatments for TBI and PTSD. Under a five-year pilot program, the military patients have access to treatments not currently available in military hospitals. Participating doctors can receive compensation through the Department of Defense (DOD) or Veterans Affairs (VA) if they can prove that their treatment resulted in demonstrable patient improvement.

The justification for the “pay-for-performance” compensation system is that it reserves payment for only the treatments that work. The amendment gives $10 million to the Defense Health Program to fund the “pay-for-performance” system.

According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, about 90 percent of TBI injuries are mild, and most service men and women can resume normal lives. However, the moderate and severe cases of TBI can have life-long symptoms that make daily life difficult. The Center encourages veterans to seek rehabilitation from experienced TBI professionals and to involve their families in the rehabilitation process.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

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