Real help for brain-injured children
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
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
2948 Windfield Circle
Tucker, GA 30084-6714
770/491-6776 (phone and fax)
509/275-1618 (efax, sends fax as email attachment)