Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal functioning of the brain due to a bump, blow, jolt or penetrating head injury.
Approximately 2.5 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury annually with 50,000 dying. The leading causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes, being struck by or against objects and assault.
While most of these injuries are mild, resulting in a short-term disruption, such as a concussion, many are severe, resulting in prolonged unconsciousness or amnesia and occasionally leading to permanent disability or death.
Every year in the United States, TBI is estimated to have direct and indirect costs of $70 billion on top of the emotional burden faced by family and friends of someone who suffers a TBI.
Programs and services for TBI patients are funded through various federal and state sources. At least 20 states currently operate a Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver targeting certain patients with TBI. HCBS waivers are active in 47 states and the District of Columbia, providing funding for cost-effective services to those at risk of being institutionalized due to a medical condition.
Many states aim to effectively prevent and diagnose cases of TBI, and to respond and rehabilitate TBI patients. Between 2009 and 2014, 50 states and the District of Columbia passed laws to address traumatic brain injury. The majority of these states enacted legislation targeting youth sports-related concussions. Other introduced legislation addresses traumatic brain injury in veterans, appropriates funds to traumatic brain injury prevention or treatment programs, and would require insurers, hospitals and health maintenance organizations to provide insurance coverage for survivors of traumatic brain injury.
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Below is a list of enacted legislation between 2009 and 2014 to address traumatic brain injury. To view current state actions related to TBI and other injury and violence prevention topics, please visit NCSL's Injury and Violence Prevention Legislation Database.
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