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Media Advisory

For Immediate Release


March 6, 2019

Contact:
Andrew Justvig
Legislative Assistant for Representative Eric Hutchings
435-313-5819 | andrew.justvig@gmail.com

H.B. 461 Pediatric Neuro-rehabilitation Fund

What:
On Thursday, March 7, 2019, at 4:00 p.m., Rep. Eric Hutchings will be presenting ​H.B. 461 Utah
Pediatric Neuro-Rehabilitation Fund​ to the House Health and Human Services Committee. The
purpose of this bill is to provide funding for children with non-progressive neurological conditions,
such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida, and who have experienced an acute change in their
functional status, and will benefit from continued physical and occupational therapy.

Individuals with disabilities and their families will be testifying before the committee on how
continued physical and occupational therapy changed their lives. Some families and individuals will
also testify on how their insurance denied or limit coverage of physical and occupational therapy
which prohibited them from attaining these therapies for their child because of out of pocket costs.

Who:
Representative Eric Hutchings
Children and individuals with neurological conditions with their families
Community Therapists
Community Members

Where:
East Senate Building - Room 210

When:
Thursday, March 7, 2019, at 4:00 p.m

More Information:
On Thursday, March 7, 2019, at 4:00 p.m., Rep. Eric Hutchings will be presenting ​H.B. 461 Utah
Pediatric Neuro-Rehabilitation Fund​ to the House Health and Human Services Committee. The
purpose of this bill is to provide funding for children with non-progressive neurological conditions,
such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida, and who have experienced an acute change in their
functional status, and will benefit from continued physical and occupational therapy.

If it passes, the bill will be the first of its kind in the United States. Rep. Hutchings has been
working for months with a group of community pediatric therapists and physicians determining
where the need is greatest and how to have the most immediate impact on children with these
conditions. The committee identified a sub-group of children who will experience a decline in
functional ability either because of co-existing conditions or in conjunction with surgical procedures
designed to eliminate complicating factors. Despite this, these children show increased neurological
recovery and improved functional capability when intense, focused, and expertly applied
rehabilitative therapy is provided.

This type of therapy requires frequent, repeated sessions applied over an extended period.
Unfortunately, most outpatient therapy insurance coverage is limited to twenty sessions per year,
which is insufficient for this specific need. Private pay options are typically outside the realm
possibility of most families. The problem this bill addresses is a group of children who have the
potential to improve but cannot access the necessary expertise and interventions due to inadequate
resources.

Children given this rehabilitative opportunity will have greater mobility, increased personal
independence, less need for durable medical equipment and medical care, and have an improved
ability to participate in school, community, and family activities. This translates into a more capable
individual with a greater potential for employment and, consequently, is less dependent on state
assistance. This, in turn, may relieve parents of caregiver responsibilities that kept them out of the
workforce.

“We are hopeful this bill will be groundbreaking not only in Utah but serve as a framework for
other states to follow”, said Rep. Hutchings. The bill has the support of the Utah Physical Therapy
Association.

H.B. 461 Utah Pediatric Neuro-Rehabilitation Fund​ is endorsed by The Utah Physical Therapy
Association; The American Physical Therapy Association; The Academy of Pediatric Physical
Therapy; Neuroworx; Shriners Hospitals for Children; Now I Can Foundation; and several
physicians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists associated with Primary Children's
Hospital and the University of Utah Hospitals.

About Rep. Hutchings: https://house.utah.gov/rep/hutchek/

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