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Real help for brain-injured children

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  • David Freels
    Hello, In the best interest of brain-injured children, a new listserv has been formed to help parents and advocates access 3rd-party reimbursement of
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2002

      In the best interest of brain-injured children, a new listserv has been formed
      to help parents and advocates access 3rd-party reimbursement of Hyperbaric
      Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).


      New subscribers will automatically receive a pdf file explaining how the US
      federal Medicaid law for children specifically applies to HBOT. New
      subscribers also receive a pdf of the Georgia court decision overturning
      Georgia Medicaid's denial of HBOT.

      Since federal law is applicable in all 50 US states, this court decision
      could be used as a model for other states. In addition, many countries
      around the world base their healthcare decisions on what happens in the
      United States.

      Since this listserv began on September 21, 2001, five states have indicated
      they will change their policy decisions on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for
      brain-injured children: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Texas, and Florida.

      Additionally, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and
      Missouri have reimbursed Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for brain-injured
      children. Let's keep this list growing.

      The off-label use of Hyperbaric oxygen has been proven to improve recovery
      in brain-injury. There are reports that over 90% of all brain-injured
      children who receive HBOT receive improvement. However, it is currently not
      accepted by pediatric neurology as a standard treatment of care for our
      children. Because of this nonacceptance parents are forced to pay for
      hyperbaric oxygen out of pocket. Many parents have already taken out 2nd
      and 3rd mortgages to pay for this incredibly safe, noninvasive,
      life-changing, permanent therapy.

      The goal of the MedicaidforHBOT listserv is to change this status. Once
      Medicaid reimburses HBOT and universal improvements occur, the insurance
      companies will quickly follow suit. At the same time, this will force
      accountability onto Pediatric Neurology, as pediatric neurologists will
      have to publicly explain how 90+% of every brain-injured child can improve
      from HBOT when most have said such improvement is impossible.

      The practice of pediatric neurology is primarily the administration of
      palliative care. This branch of medicine is predicated on the obsolete
      belief that brain-injury is irreversible and that nothing can be done to
      recover lost function.

      The vast majority of patients in pediatric neurology are children who
      suffer from some sort of seizure disorder. Consequently they are prescribed
      anti-convulsants. 100% of the anti-convulsants prescribed for brain-injured
      children by pediatric neurologists have never been subjected to randomized,
      double-blind controlled studies where children were the subjects in the
      study--which means these drugs are not FDA approved and are prescribed
      off-label for pediatric use.

      As parents we are asking for this same standard--the off-label use of HBOT,
      a treatment modality that has been proven to improve recovery from
      brain-injury. HBOT permanently and safely *repairs* the source of the
      problem where typically prescribed treatments (Speech Therapy, Occupational
      Therapy, and Physical Therapy) might briefly alleviate symptoms but never
      address or repair the core problem.

      Unfortunately, at this time, the Pediatric Neurology community typically
      reacts emotionally rather than rationally to the science supporting
      hyperbaric oxygen for brain-injury. Most will not even discuss the issue.
      Because they hold credentials of perceived expertise, these palliative-care
      physicians have been allowed to dismiss HBOT out of hand.

      This is frustrating for care administrators and parents as we all seek to
      help our children. It is hoped and anticipated that the MedicaidforHBOT
      forum will help bridge this gap.

      Please join us. If this issue has not reached your office yet, it soon will.

      Knowledge and informed decision-making can avoid the adversarial stance
      taken in Georgia and truly help these children maximize their full
      potential. Your list membership guarantees free access to a library
      (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medicaidforhbot/files/) of 50 downloadable
      pdf files relating to the efficacy of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Take
      advantage of it.

      Since improvement and even recovery from stroke, multiple sclerosis,
      Alzheimers, Parkinson's, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has also been
      demonstrated with hyperbaric oxygen, it's quite possible that the full
      potential of HBOT can obviously save millions of heartaches and
      billions--if not trillions--of dollars.

      While each US state is free to administer their Medicaid program according
      to however they want, each state must comply with the federal Medicaid law
      for children--which specifically stipulates that a treatment like HBOT must
      be paid for by state Medicaid plans--whether it is "covered by the state
      plan or not".

      Through this forum we as parents, caregivers, advocates, physicians,
      journalists, therapists, and administrators will be able to exchange
      information, tips, and advice on how to access HBOT for our children. This
      is called freedom of assembly and freedom of speech as guaranteed by the
      first amendment in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United
      States of America.

      Together we can make a difference.

      Separately we may never make a difference.

      Please participate in this discussion and worthy pursuit.

      Again, in addition to invaluable conversation, education, and
      encouragement, list members can also download 50+ pdf files that can be
      used to successfully put together a request for Medicaid reimbursement
      through their own state agencies. There is also documentation from the
      several states mentioned that already reimburse HBOT for brain-injury.

      These files are available for download from
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medicaidforhbot/files/ .


      David Freels
      2948 Windfield Circle
      Tucker, GA 30084-6714
      770/491-6776 (phone and fax)
      509/275-1618 (efax, sends fax as email attachment)
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