Medical Care Issues for Adolescents with Brain Injury

[Dr. Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa] One of the things we learned 2 years ago is many teens do not have a coordinated medical home. They are seeing physicians in the community at urgent cares or not at all. We see teens who are many years post injury. Our average length of time since injury is about 2 years. While we do have kids who are 6 months post, we see many kids that are—ten or 17—years later, and they aren't connected to medical care, in part because they aren't insured. At age 18, kids who had medical care before age 18 sometimes lose it. Now with the good news of the Affordable Health Care Act, teens can stay on their insurance until they are 26—that's really good news. That's if there parents have insurance. In our program, we primarily see teens who are on Medicaid for their hospital care and when they turn 18, they're so longer eligible—they have to reapply. If the brain injury happened early in life, they may not have that eligibility. They may have changed—they may have graduated from high school. So access to care and some of the services they may need long-term is a huge issue, and also understanding what they need as they move forward.

Not having coordinated medical care after a TBI can complicate matters, especially for adolescents who are trying to transition to independent adulthood.

See more video clips with Dr. Haarbauer-Krupa.

Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa

Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD has 30 years of clinical experience in brain injury and has developed various pediatric rehabilitation programs. She is a researcher/speech pathologist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and adjunct faculty, Department of Pediatrics, Emory School of Medicine.

Posted on BrainLine July 2, 2013.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Justin Rhodes, and Lara Collins, BrainLine.

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