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Senate Proposal to Expand Health Care for PTSD and TBI

Veterans and service members seeking diagnosis or treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries would be able use non-government health care facilities during a five-year pilot project proposed by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Inhofe’s plan would require VA to pay for treatment or diagnostic testing for veterans. Inhofe introduced his proposal Monday as a potential amendment to the Senate’s version of the 2011 defense authorization bill. Under the proposal, a civilian facility could be paid as long as any drug or device used to treat a service member or veteran is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The treatment has to be approved by an institutional review board, must be voluntary, and the patient must show improvement. To make this more than a normal pilot program that applies to only a few people, Inhofe’s amendment would require the Defense Department and VA to notify anyone with a service-connected injury or disability of the opportunity to receive private care at government expense.  For more information, please see: www.militarytimes.com/news/2010/09/military-health-care-PTSD-TBI-inhofe-092110w/.

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