U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas), a Member of House Republican Leadership, secured approval of his amendment with Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) to expedite new and innovative treatments to our nation's veterans and active duty soldiers suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Originally introduced at the beginning of the 112th Congress as the TBI Treatment Act(H.R. 396), Sessions' TBI treatment expansion initiative was adopted as an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
"Thousands of our nation's soldiers and veterans return from combat suffering from TBI and PTSD," said Sessions. "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."
Sessions' 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' 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 troops suffering from TBI and PTSD are in need of treatment immediately, and I am pleased that the House approved my initiative to prioritize treatment results over treatment location," added Sessions. "Our nation's brave service men and women have sacrificed for the security and prosperity of our great nation, and they deserve nothing less than to receive the highest quality health care in America."