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W. Virginia Seeking to Help TBI Victims at Home

The state of West Virginia is seeking a federal Medicaid waiver so it can offer a program that will help people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) remain in their homes, rather than forcing them into nursing homes or other facilities.

Earlier last month, the West Virginia state Supreme Court upheld a County Circuit Court ruling that issued a requirement that the Department of Health and Human Resources had to seek the waiver from the federal entity and that they had to get funding for the program.

A DHHR spokesman told a Lawyer that the program will begin when the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approves the waiver. Though the agency can’t pinpoint when the waiver will be approved, they did say it plans to provide services to 75 people in the first year, 100 in the second year, and 125 at the third year of the program.

The estimated program costs will be $2 million a year. The State Legislature has already appropriated $800,000 for necessary services such as physical therapy and home health visits.

Back in 2009, a judge ordered the DHHR to seek the waiver and secure funding, but the state appealed, stating that the circuit court had overstepped its bounds. The State Supreme Court called that claim “devoid of merit” and recently rejected the DHHR’s appeal.

The spokesman said Thursday that the waiver application was submitted while state officials awaited the appeal ruling. This speeds up the process since the waiting part has already begun.

Advocates of the program in Staten Island and Suffolk have long complained that West Virginia fails to offer adequate brain injury care. Such inadequate care can cause depression, personality changes, and loss of coordination and memory.

A man whose 39-year-old son suffered a brain injury as a child at the hands of a drunk driver gives others a glimpse into the life of TBI patient. “They can’t plan a meal, they can’t balance a checkbook, and they can’t go to the store on their own.”

Once the waiting is over, this program can help many residents of the state receive the care they probably would not have gotten otherwise.

When struggling to make ends meet under the pressure of mounting medical bills, call a New York Brain Injury Attorney. This professional legal counselor can help you navigate and file any claims you can make against responsible parties and government entities.

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