Cassidy to introduce bill for vets with TBIs - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Cassidy to introduce bill for vets with TBIs

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WASHINGTON (KNOE 8 News) – Today, Congressman Bill Cassidy introduced legislation to extend and enhance treatment services available for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is an original co-sponsor of the bill.

A leading health problem, Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Care Improvement Act of 2014 seeks to improve the quality of life of veterans affected by the disorder by expanding rehabilitation services available.

According to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, more than 280,000 service members have been diagnosed with a degree of TBI in the past 10 years, and more than 19 percent of veterans may have some form of this disorder.

"Our service men and women put themselves in harm's way to defend our freedoms. We must commit to giving them the care and treatment they need when they return home," said Representative Bill Cassidy, M.D. "This legislation ensures that we honor this commitment to those suffering from traumatic brain injury by extending a program with proven results."

This legislation would modify a current pilot program by substituting the benchmark for treatment from "assisted living," to "community-integrated rehabilitation (CIR)" services. This would increase the treatment options available to include neurobehavioral programs, residential programs, comprehensive holistic (day treatment) programs, and home-based programs.

The program would extend from 5 to 8 years, allowing veterans to receive these services for an additional 3 years.

The program performance would be measured by participant satisfaction and outcome success.

Additionally, this legislation ensures the program is easily accessible and exists in each Veterans Affairs health care region that contains a VA polytrauma center.

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