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Passage of Bill is Big News for Brain Injury Community

May 11, 2014

Seven words can make a big difference.

On Friday, May 9, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 160 which removed seven words from a Colorado law that limited the amount of time a person with a brain injury could stay in a transitional living program (TLP). “Transitional living” means a nonmedical residential program that provides training and twenty-four-hour supervision to enhance the recipient’s ability to live more independently.

The previous law limited the length of stay in a TLP to 6 to 12 months, making it difficult to find a place to live for people who had maladaptive behaviors following a brain injury.

SB160 was sponsored by Colorado State Senator Linda Newell and State Representative Dianne Primavera. The Colorado Brain Injury Collaborative with Brandeberry – McKenna Public Affairs helped lead the initiative to remove the restrictive timeframe.

“What all this means is that individuals who have suffered a brain injury and need intensive rehab services in a residential facility can now receive those services for an unlimited period of time. And facilities have appropriate reimbursement rates for this service,” said Gavin Attwood, CEO of the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado.

Craig Hospital’s Melissa Abate, a clinical case manager for patients with traumatic brain injury testified twice on behalf of the hospital in support of the bill.

“Removal of the time limit is in line with neurological recovery timeframes. The extension in timeframes will allow people with severe brain injuries to receive intensive neurobehavioral rehabilitation and habilitation in a community residential setting. The Transitional Living Program has not been available under Medicaid for over 5 years and is an essential part of the continuum of care for survivors to successfully transition to a home setting.”

Thank you to Colin Laughlin, Adult Waiver Specialist Lead, Home and Community Based Services and the Colorado Dept. of Healthcare Policy and Financing (HCPF) for your support on this important initiative.