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New Utah bill would provide therapy funds for children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida

KUTV Utah capitol 092017.JPG
A new bill would provide funding for Utah children with non-progressive neurological conditions. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) -- A Utah lawmaker is looking to provide funding for children with non-progressive neurological conditions.

Rep. Eric Hutchings will announce the new legislation on Monday.

The new bill is meant to help fund continued physical and occupational therapy for children with conditions, such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida.

If it passes, the bill will be the first of its kind in the nation.

Hutchings says this bill is a follow-up to a program he stated over 5 years ago.

"It acts as the payer of the last resort when insurance will not cover the costs," Hutchings told 2News.

The Utah representative says the bill would most likely be funded by one time general fund.

"The biggest benefit is on medical and welfare type supports as kids develop the skills to go to work and support themselves and a family," Hutchings said.

Cerebal palsy is a form of brain injury that occurs while the baby is still in the womb or shortly after birth. People who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy often need speech and language, occupational and physical therapy. Some undergo surgery, if they have severe contractures or deformities, according to mayoclinic.org.

Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. Babies who are diagnosed can have surgery before or after birth, according to mayoclinic.org. Children need close follow-up care, observation and treatment, including: physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, special education teachers and dietitians.





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