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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program

The Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program's purpose is to provide all eligible residents who sustain a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury the opportunity to obtain the necessary services that will enable them to return to an appropriate level of functioning in their community. Funding for the program is through traffic-related fines, temporary license tags, motorcycle specialty plates and general revenue.  

The Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) is administered by the Florida Department of Health. The program is funded through a percentage of traffic related fines, surcharges for driving or boating under the influence, fees on temporary license tags, and a percentage of fees from the motorcycle specialty tag.
The BSCIP general program provides direct case management and resource facilitation as its primary services. This is accomplished by employing a statewide system of case managers and rehabilitation technicians. Children receive services from the employment of Children's Medical Services nurse care coordinators and human services counselors. The program also employs regional managers who supervise staff in their region and who oversee locally the operation, development, and evaluation of the program's services and supports.

Services include: case management, acute care, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, transitional living, assistive technology, home and vehicle modifications, nursing home transition facilitation; and long-term supports for survivors and families through contractual agreements with community-based agencies.
In addition to providing resource facilitation and funding for the services above, the program funds education, prevention, and research activities. It expands its services by funding a contract with the Brain Injury Association of Florida and the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association. Other services are provided through working relationships with the Florida Centers for Independent Living and the Florida Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Florida Statutes 381.76 requires that an individual must be a legal Florida resident who has sustained a moderate -to-severe traumatic brain or spinal cord injury meeting the state's definition of such injuries; has been referred to the BSCIP Central Registry; and must be medically stable to be eligible for services. There must also be a reasonable expectation that with the provision of appropriate services and supports, the person can return to a community-based setting, rather than reside in a skilled nursing facility.

The State Definition of a Brain Injury-An insult to the skull, brain or its covering, resulting from external trauma, which produces an altered state of consciousness or anatomic, motor, sensory, cognitive or behavioral deficit.

The State Definition of a Spinal Cord Injury-A lesion  to the spinal cord or cauda equina resulting from external trauma with evidence of significant involvement of two of the following-motor deficit, sensory deficit, or bowel and bladder dysfunction.


Referrals may be called into the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program's (BSCIP) Central Registry toll free number or may be faxed to the program. Florida law (F.S. 381.74) requires that all hospitals, attending physicians, public, private, or social agencies refer all new traumatic moderate-to-severe brain or spinal cord injuries to the Central Registry. Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and require services and supports to sustain their health and safety in the community may refer themselves to the BSCIP Central Registry. A BSCIP Case Manager or Children's Medical Services Nurse Care Coordinator representing the program will contact the reported individual within 10 working days. The case manager will work with the individual and family to determine program eligibility and provide information about federal, state, and community resources. When appropriate and necessary, an individual community reintegration plan may be developed and implemented.
Central Registry Toll-Free Number: 1 (800) 342-0778
Central Registry Fax: (850) 410-1975

The BSCIP supports two comprehensive statewide resource centers. These centers maintain information on the most up-to-date information pertaining to brain and spinal cord injury, assistive technology, medical, social and financial resources, and other information. They provide linkages to related initiatives and specific information to help individuals and their families cope with injury and its aftermath.

The BSCIP also supports prevention and education activities through contracts with our community-based partners. The program supports research in brain and spinal cord injuries at the University of Florida and the University of Miami.

For those individuals eligible for Medicaid and needing lifetime supports, the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program also provides home and community-based services for individuals who are at risk of nursing home placement. The purpose of the waiver is to provide Medicaid eligible individuals who meet the state definition of brain and spinal cord injury and who meet nursing home level of care with the long-term community-based services and supports required to live safely and independently in the community. The annual cost is not to exceed that of skilled nursing placement.

For more information about the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program, please click the Program Information link on the navigation bar to the left.

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