Dale Hull, MD, MPA | Executive Director, Neuroworx
Individuals affected by paralysis often do not have access to extended therapy after being discharged from the hospital because of financial issues. Either their insurance benefits are short-lived, they can’t qualify for other assistance or they lack the personal resources to pay privately. Yet many of those individuals could progress to a higher level of functional mobility, greater personal independence, better health, and have an enhanced quality of life if they were able to obtain more rehabilitative therapy. An advocacy effort resulted in the State of Utah passing legislation in 2012 that created the SCI/BI Rehabilitation Fund to provide after-hospital physical, occupational, and speech therapy for individuals experiencing a spinal cord injury or brain injury who have the potential to make progress but do not have adequate resources to access the appropriate care. The individuals must be a Utah State resident and the fund functions as a payer-of-last-resort. The success of the program led to additional funding in 2017. Program monies are generated through DUI vehicle impound fees and the registration of motorcycles and off-highway vehicles. The fund is administered by a seven member committee made up of legislators, state administrators, and citizens appointed by the governor with oversight by the Utah Department of Health. Services are provided by rehabilitation clinics that meet the requirements specified in the legislation. Reimbursement is made directly to the clinics on a fee-for-service basis. During the first five years, funded individuals met or exceeded the functional goals and outcomes established by the oversight committee.
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