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Massachusetts Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Seek to Leave Nursing Homes

Some 2,000 Massachusetts nursing home residents suffering from traumatic brain injuries may soon leave the homes. The move could be the result of an all-but-final court settlement stemming from a lawsuit filed last year by advocates estimating that at least 25% of the 8,200 TBI patients residing in nursing home want to live somewhere else.

The plaintiff’s contended that federal law grants TBI residents the right to live as normal a life as they can. However, until recently, brain injury patients that needed Medicare to cover their long-term intensive support could only receive that care at nursing homes. That is, except for the Medicaid “wavier” granted to 100 people to receive community care.

The settlement is expected to increase how many people can receive this community care exception and redirect Medicaid funds from nursing homes to community care. New living arrangements for TBI patients could range from group homes to residing with families, as well as in special apartments.

The settlement is expected to be approved soon. The settlement would give the state of Massachusetts six months to get permission from the federal government to grant 300 TBI nursing home residents the option of moving into new living situations. Some 200 other residents would receive help from a broader Medicaid program each year.

Some specialists say that nursing homes don’t necessarily provide TBI patients with the resources they need for their condition to improve. Thrust into nursing homes because there are no other options, the condition of some TBI patients may even suffer.

Approximately 5 million Americans are suffering from traumatic brain injuries. Many of these injuries are a result of personal injury accidents that are caused by other parties’ negligence, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, and medical malpractice accidents.

Many brain injury patients poised to quit nursing homes for freer lives, Boston.com, August 14, 2008
Settlement would move some brain-injured from nursing homes, BostonHerald.com, June 2, 2008

Related Web Resources:

NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC
An experienced Massachusetts TBI lawyer can help you with your case. Contact one of our Boston personal injury lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP to schedule your free case evaluation.