New Health Plan Offers Coverage of Brain Injury Care for Student Athletes
A new health plan offered in the Sacramento region could be a bellwether for managing brain injuries in young athletes, the Sacramento Bee reports.
According to CDC, emergency departments in the U.S. treat more than 170,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries in children and teens annually.
Parents and teachers in California and around the nation are trying to find ways to manage such injuries.
On Jan. 1, a new state law (AB 25) took effect that requires student athletes suspected to have had a concussion to be prevented from returning to athletic activity until they receive approval from a medical professional.
Details of the New Plan
Wells Fargo's Student Insurance Division is offering the Play It Safe Concussion Care plan.
Under the plan, student athletes' memory and response functions are tested and recorded at the beginning of a season. Any students suspected of sustaining a concussion retake the test to determine if there have been any changes in response times.
The insurance plan covers any treatment costs above what the student's personal health insurance covers.
The level of coverage and testing traditionally has been available only to professional athletes, according to the Bee. Coverage costs $350 for teams that have up to 117 members, and the initial brain function test costs about $2.
Training Medical Providers
Wells Fargo is providing training sessions for clinicians on using the diagnostic test and standards for concussion treatment.
In the Sacramento area, Kaiser Permanente, Mercy, Sutter Health and UC-Davis Medical Center staff have received training (Rubenstein, Sacramento Bee, 1/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.