U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and Pete Sessions (TX-32) announced that funding for their bipartisan legislation to improve treatment options for active duty soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) was approved by the House of Representatives.
The funding was approved through H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014. The Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) innovative treatment program was authorized in June 2013 through H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014.
The funds will allow servicemembers to access innovative treatments offered outside military and veteran medical facilities.
“This funding will make sure that our troops get the very best care America has to offer,” said Thompson. “We know that oftentimes the best treatments for TBI and PTS aren’t available at military medical facilities, but rather at places like the Pathway Home in Yountville. By putting this funding in place, we will make sure that when our heroes return from combat they get the best care, no matter where it’s provided.”
“I’m pleased that our colleagues in the House have once again joined us in supporting our nation’s soldiers and veterans who return from combat suffering from TBI and PTSD,” said Sessions. “These brave men and women have sacrificed for our country and we have a solemn duty to ensure that they have access to leading-edge treatments.”
H.R. 2397 provides $10 million in funding for a new five-year pilot program created by Thompson and Sessions that allows military patients to receive treatment from health care facilities outside of the Department of Defense (DOD) that are utilizing an array of cutting-edge, successful therapies to treat TBI and PTS.
Under this pilot program, physicians and residential treatment centers like The Pathway Home in Yountville, Calif., may qualify for payment from DOD through a “pay-for-performance” plan.
This means they must prove that a patient has experienced demonstrable improvement. Treatment and reimbursement safeguards in the amendment ensure access to innovative private treatments while reserving payment only for treatments that work.
To reach the long-term objective of incorporating cutting-edge medical practices into military hospitals, Thompson’s and Sessions’ TBI treatment initiative requires an annual report to Congress on the results of the program, encouraging a constant flow of new and innovative treatments.
H.R. 2397 will now go to the Senate for approval.
Congressman Mike Thompson represents California’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.