House Passes Sessions’ Traumatic Brain Injury Amendment

U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX-32), a Member of House Republican Leadership, today secured House approval of his amendment to expedite new and innovative treatments, not currently available within military and veteran medical facilities, to our nations’ veterans and active duty soldiers suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Originally introduced in January as the TBI Treatment Act (H.R. 396), Sessions’ TBI treatment expansion initiative was adopted as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

I am pleased that the House has recognized the critical need to provide expanded treatment options for thousands of service men and women who have returned from combat with TBI and PTSD. These brave men and women have sacrificed for their country, and we as a nation have a solemn duty to ensure that they have access to the most effective treatments available, whether through government or private health care.

My TBI treatment legislation creates a five-year pilot program that allows active duty and veteran TBI patients to receive health care from private physicians who are utilizing an array of leading-edge, successful therapies to treat TBI and PTSD. Through a “pay-for-performance” plan, physicians may qualify for payment from the Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs after proving through independent pre- and post-treatment neuropsychological testing, accepted survey instruments, neurological imaging, or clinical examination that a patient has experienced demonstrable improvement. Treatment and reimbursement safeguards in the legislation ensure immediate access to innovative private health care treatments while reserving payment only for treatments that work.

To reach the long-term objective of incorporating leading-edge medical practices into military hospitals, my TBI treatment legislation requires an annual report to Congress on the results of the program and how each Department Secretary plans to integrate successful methods into their own medical facilities. This process will help encourage a constant flow of new and innovative treatments into military medicine.

As we approach Memorial Day, I believe that we can most honor our service members and veterans by making their health a top priority. To ensure that brain-injured soldiers and veterans receive the best quality care available, my legislation prioritizes treatment results over location. Our soldiers and veterans have made costly sacrifices for American security and prosperity, and they deserve unwavering support from a very grateful nation.

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