We are living in unprecedent times. Many never thought they would live to see a pandemic, but here we stand. As we navigate COVID-19, we have learned it has long lasting cognitive effects that cannot be ignored. Long term effects include anxiety, dementia, confusion, seizures, and stroke. These symptoms are commonly noted in individuals who have a brain injury.

For the past 30 years, Michigan has had a thriving brain injury rehabilitation industry that could be instrumental in helping COVID-19 survivors return to their previous level of functioning. Yet, laws have changed that may affect opportunities for medical rehabilitation.

Hospitals are exceptional with saving lives and jumpstarting the recovery process. With COVID-19 circulating throughout the community and hospitals, patient discharges must occur as soon as possible to reduce the risk of infection. COVID-19 and the change in insurance approval has significantly reduced the options available for discharge. There are many programs that treat brain injuries in danger of closing due to recent changes in Michigan “No Fault” Insurance.

The most common ways of sustaining a brain injury are slip and fall, sports injury, and car accident. Science is still gathering data on the percentage of post-COVID patients with symptoms of brain injury. Regardless of how someone acquired their brain injury, it is important that rehabilitation is available for all ages.

Many brain injury rehabilitation providers are expected to cut half of their staff, which is expected to be around 20,000 jobs lost. This drastic change can significantly reduce the level of care available to individuals who acquire brain injuries.

The No Fault reimbursement system will have a funding cut in July of 2021, as well as additional costly requirements that brain injury specialty providers must complete for compliance. The additional costly requirements may result in the closure of several small businesses that were built on the No Fault system—and could now aid in the recovery process of post-COVID patients.

Many states have mandated that health insurances cover brain injury rehabilitation, allowing providers to treat auto accidents, slip and falls, and sports injury related brain injuries. With changes to the No Fault law, these resources may not be available treatment options for post-COVID patients. How do we save jobs, save our workforce, and save lives?

Irvine Head Injury, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary treatment center in Southfield, Michigan that has evaluated, treated, and cared for individuals with a known or suspected brain injury for more than 30 years. The center is licensed by the State of Michigan and is CARF accredited. Learn more about Irvine Head Injury at irvineheadinjury.com.

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