U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas), a Member of House Republican Leadership, today secured approval of his amendment with Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA-01) to expedite new and innovative treatments to our nations' veterans and active duty soldiers suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Originally introduced by Sessions in January 2011 as the TBI Treatment Act (H.R. 396), the TBI treatment expansion initiative was adopted as a House amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013.
"I am pleased that my colleagues have joined me in recognizing the importance of providing treatment options not currently available within military and veteran medical facilities to those who return from combat with TBI or PTSD," said Sessions. "As we approach the Memorial Day holiday, I believe we can best honor our nation's active duty soldiers and veterans by ensuring that their health is a top priority and that they have access to the most effective treatments available."
Sessions' TBI treatment initiative creates a five-year pilot program that allows military patients to receive health care from private physicians who are utilizing an array of leading-edge, successful therapies to treat TBI and PTSD. Physicians may qualify for payment from the Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs through a "pay-for-performance" plan, meaning 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 leading-edge medical practices into military hospitals, Sessions' TBI treatment initiative requires an annual report to Congress on the results of the program. It also requires a report on how each Department Secretary plans to integrate successful methods into their own medical facilities, encouraging a constant flow of new and innovative treatments.
"Our soldiers and veterans suffering from TBI and PTSD need help and hope immediately," said Sessions, "and I will continue to stand up for those who have made costly sacrifices for American freedom and prosperity. By prioritizing treatment results over treatment location, my initiative ensures that our nation's brave service men and women receive the highest quality care in America."