Gabrielle Giffords has been a living model of how brain injury can be treated with the utmost care and rehabilitation, to help a near-fatal injury. After the U.S. Rep. was shot in the head, she has fought hard and continued to receive the best care for her brain injury. But, is she getting care that is not available to the average person who is living with traumatic bran injury.
Giffords has held town hall meetings and panel discussions, arguing that everyone should get the full spectrum of treatment, ranging from the intensive care that ultimately saved her life to the rehabilitation therapies that are helping her return to brain health.
However, many soldiers and veterans are coming home with traumatic brain injuries and are being refused treatment, such as cognitive rehabilitation. There is a huge medical void that needs to filled in order to make sure our veterans are probably being cared for.
Right now, there is a lack of knowledge and care among medical professionals for treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
The estimated National Institutes of Health funding for research on traumatic brain injuries is $85 million. A single patient with brain injuries can cost anywhere from $2 million to $4 million. According to a report by Lisa McGuire of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last year the estimated cost of brain injury was $76.3 billion.
While research needs to continue for enhanced treatment, Gifford survival story does demonstrate how well brain injury treatment can be – the question is how applicable it is. Treatment does differ on states, insurance plans, hospital and those who are advocating. Of course, Gifford was highly advocated for as a U.S. Rep., which is unlikely in most cases.
Insurance coverage, from health to car insurance, generally provide some coverage for TBI, but plans do vary widely. Most plans do cover intensive care right after the injury, but very few cover long-term rehabilitation therapies. The long-term rehabilitation programs are what save most victims from traumatic brain injury, in order to return to their normal life.
After Giffords was shot at a meeting in Tuscon, Ariz., the public witnessed amazing brain-injury care, which seemed nothing short of miraculous. Gifford now works to champion the rights of others, to also receive the highest standard of care. She argues that everyone should be eligible for the full treatment – intensive trauma care and the rehabilitation therapies that are allowing her to return to her life.
Researchers say the lack of the access to brain injury treatment is twofold: the lack of research to discover the best route of treatment and the lack of access to treatment.
Giffords was able to receive exceptional care because she had great coverage from her federal workers’ compensation, which is roughly available to three million federal employees.
Brain injuries can require treatment and monitoring for the rest of your life, depending on the severity. Physical abilities include muscle strength, balance, and reflexes. Cognitive abilities include memory, problem solving, attention and emotional aspects include anxiety, depression and irritability.
If your insurance plan cover long-term treatment, it is hard to say whether they will actually pay.
Another aspect is going to the right medical center for treatment. The hospital does matter. Gifford went to a hospital that renowned for their treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
Best Brain Injury Lawyers in Washington State
One of the top reasons for brain injury is car accidents. The attorneys at Davis Law Group have been successfully advocating for brain injury victims for many years. Founder and principal attorney Chris Davis has represented many victims of high profile cases. He is known for her success and knowledge in the field of personal injury. Call our office today at (206) 727-4000 to schedule a free consultation.