IDVA Promises to Seek Indiana Inclusion in New Federal Program
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 1, 2018) — Senate Bill 96, authored by State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) has passed out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations with a unanimous 10-0 vote. SB 96 now moves to the Senate Floor to be voted on by the full Senate.
Hoosier veterans will have access to a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Pilot (HBOT) no later than July 2018. SB 96 simply extends the end date of this previously created pilot from 2019 to 2020.
“Making sure our veterans are taken care of remains a top focus of mine,” Sen. Delph said. “It’s important that we are able to give the very best treatment to those who voluntarily served our state and nation. HBOT could be a game changer for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”
Additionally, Sen. Delph announced his work with Indiana’s Director of Veterans Affairs, Jim Brown, who is actively working to get Indiana included in the new federal HBOT program.
“U.S. Veterans Affairs is now, after years of consideration, going to study the possibilities of the usefulness of HBOT for veterans,” Brown said. “I appreciate Sen. Delph’s passion for helping fellow veterans and his dedication to working on their behalf.”
Sen. Delph is chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Military.
HBOT is a medical treatment that enhances the body's natural healing process through inhalation of 100 percent oxygen in a total body chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. The procedure increases oxygen in the body, under pressure, to encourage healing. Currently, HBOT is commonly used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, divers’ sickness, enhanced healing of some wound problems, skin grafts, heat burns, crush injuries and other acute health-care issues that involve too little blood flow to a part of the body.
Editor’s Note: Please find below the press release from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ announcement of the new HBOT treatment option.
Contact: Bretton Judy, Deputy Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 29, 2017
VA to Provide Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Some Veterans with Chronic PTSD
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a treatment option for a small number of Veterans with persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms resistant to standard options.
Providers from the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System and the VA Northern California Health Care System will partner with HBOT providers at the Tulsa Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center at Oklahoma State Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base, California, respectively, to provide this care.
“There is nothing more important to us than caring for our nation’s Veterans, and that care must include finding different approaches that work best for them,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We have to explore every avenue, particularly for our most medically vulnerable Veterans, and be open to new ideas and strategies for their optimal health and well-being.”
HBOT is a procedure that increases oxygen in the body, under pressure, to encourage healing. Currently, HBOT is commonly used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning, divers’ sickness, enhanced healing of some wound problems, skin grafts, heat burns, crush injuries and other acute health-care issues that involve too little blood flow to a part of the body.
This use of HBOT for treatment of PTSD is considered an “off-label” use and will occur under the supervision of a trained physician. Separately, VA and the Department of Defense are planning a multisite research study to examine more fully the use of HBOT for patients diagnosed with PTSD.
As health-care leaders interested in innovative approaches to care, the VA Center for Compassionate Innovation (CCI) is facilitating use of HBOT for a subset of Veterans who have noticed no decrease of symptoms after receiving at least two evidenced-based treatments. CCI uses innovative approaches to treat conditions where traditional methods have been unsuccessful. VA will monitor the HBOT clinical demonstration project and the HBOT research study to help inform the potential for HBOT usage to treat a larger number of Veterans with PTSD.
For more information about VA’s Center for Compassionate Innovation, go to https://www.va.gov/healthpartnerships/