To provide appropriate insurance coverage and medical care for acquired brain injury survivors in the state, the Brain Injury Association of California (BIACAL), is sponsoring Senate Bill 190 (Beall, D-San Jose), the Brain Injury Access to Rehabilitation Act of 2015 (BIARA).
Senate Bill 190 will enable access to treatment of acquired brain injury to specialized licensed facilities that offer cost-effective care in California. Enactment would ensure coverage on par with other major medical conditions, which have no time limitations on treatment.
Current rehabilitation provisions are designed for orthopedic conditions, rather than neurologic injury. As a result, patients can incur physical, mental and financial hardships that also affect their families, the workplace, and the community.
"Many patients are left with various levels of disease and disability due to inconsistent access to treatment," said Mark J. Ashley, Sc.D. and immediate past chairman of the board of directors of BIACAL. "Without proper care, they can become disabled, indigent, and impoverished. Institutionalization then places a huge financial burden on the public sector. Fewer than half of all patients with acquired brain injury get the rehabilitation they need to maximize their recovery because of inappropriate insurance restrictions. We want every person in California who suffers an acquired brain injury to have necessary treatment to achieve a successful outcome."
"This bill will increase continued treatment for people who have suffered a brain injury. Changing the law will help many people to better cope with their injuries and live more productive lives. Secondarily, California will be able to save a projected $2 billion in lifetime costs for every 100 patients who are appropriately treated under SB 190," said Senator Jim Beall, District 15.
Acquired brain injury is an alteration in brain function initiated by an external force or a vascular, toxic, metabolic or infectious cause. More than 100,000 Californians visit emergency rooms annually for traumatic brain injury and 25% do not return to work. Denial of treatment increases the state deficit by shifting costs to public health and government programs.
Current policy language promotes denial of specialized acute and post-acute rehabilitation. SB 190 will grant patients access to the most effective treatment for neurologic recovery and achieve the greatest reduction of disability.
Brain Injury Association of California