National Public Radio wrote and spoke about the "Battle Over the Science" of Tricare not paying for cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT) for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) "despite pressure from Congress and the recommendations of military and civilian experts, the Pentagon’s health plan for troops and many veterans does not to cover” cognitive rehabilitation therapy — a “limitation that could affect…tens of thousands of service members who have suffered brain damage while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.” See article in Veterans Today: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/12/21/battle-over-science-money-blocks-widely-recommended-tbi-therapy/ and the NPR story: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/21/132203864/philanthropist-provides-care-that-the-pentagon-wont
It turns out that Tricare hired a research company that it knew (or maybe told to) would find this well-researched therapy to be "not scientific", despite unanimous by 50 clinicians and researchers on a special governmental commission. The reason: It didn't want to pay. CRT is expensive. And necessary. Thousands of military people are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with TBI's from exposure to roadside bombs. The shock waves from these explosions move through brains, temporarily jellifying the tissue and causing lasting cognitive problems and difficulties with affect regulation. CRT helps people learn to cope and manage despite brain damage. It's necessary therapy.
This is reminding me of Tricare's refusal, until just this week, to pay for EMDR therapy for vets, despite EMDR's acceptance by the VA, the APA, and other entities as an "evidence-based practice". This was more about politics than money. Cognitive behaviorist and exposure people had colonized Tricare's committees, not allowing support for other effective therapies. I'm sorry that our active duty people and veterans have been victimized by the political and financial b.s. at Tricare. They deserve better.
In my experience, many "researchers" quote studies that support their beliefs and not the ones that support the facts. Or else cling to lab-based double-blind studies. Many effective therapies were not hatched or researched in labs. They work despite the lack of studies. Some, even after the "appropriate" research is complete are debunked because of the belief systems of the meta-researchers. My belief: Do what works for the client in front of you.
I am going to take the time to comment because I have personally witnessed the effects on veterans while spending nights on the street with the homeless in order to understand the social problem of mentally disturbed individuals that are left to sleep in 19 degree weather (A couple days ago) I am also a mental health patient with DID, and therapy has made it possible for me to remain an outpatient. Eventually ignoring the problems that can only be helped with therapy will cost the government more because these veterans will become inpatients, so denying such coverage is a blatantly ignorant (In the face of many, many scientific studies showing the effectiveness of therapy to help these people cope), and economically foolish decision that was either made by complete idiots, or people that are not even worthy to express their opinions concerning the issue. A bid thumbs down to the policy makers on this one. Shame on you all for denying these people that have risked their lives for you the care that they need. (And it doesn’t take a scientist to see that they need help)