Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Current Affairs

Brain Injury Association of America files motion in federal court disputing the terms of NFL settlement

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) filed a motion today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking permission to appear as a friend of the court )amicus curiae to explain concerns it has with the proposed NFL brain injury settlement..

Similar to concerns raised by my partner, Shana De Caro who chairs the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Group and myself in our numerous op-ed pieces that have appeared on the Huffington Post and in the National Law Journal,  the Brain Injury Association believes that the settlement unfairly discriminates among different groups of players and fails to provide any compensation to the majority of NFL players who sustained life altering traumatic brain injuries as a result of playing professional football.

Following are some of the areas of concern noted in the affidavit filed in support of the motion to intervene:

•The settlement excludes numerous physical and behavioral consequences of brain injury from the list of qualifying diagnoses for treatment and compensation. A concussion results in a wide range of neurological, physical, cognitive, and neuropsychological impairments that can appear immediately or many years after injury, requiring specialized treatment on an ongoing or intermittent basis.

•The approach to diagnosing impairment is “deeply flawed” and will exclude many former players from receiving compensation. The determination of eligibility is heavily weighted towards those with severe memory dysfunction and/or evidence of neuromuscular abnormality. If a player has impairment in language or visual function, but not in executive function, learning or memory, he will not qualify.

•The downward adjustment of compensation based on the number of seasons played, the age of the player at the time of diagnosis, and incidence of stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI) prior to being admitted to the class, demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of concussion and mild TBI. A single concussion, whether diagnosed or not, can result in debilitating physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments that interfere with the activities of daily living and require a lifetime of treatment. Therefore, the nature and extent of the impairment – not the number of seasons played – should be the determining factor in any monetary award.

•The limitation of pharmacy vendors to mail order pharmacies. Some medications require distribution that controls for temperature, light, vibration, and other conditions and cannot be reliably distributed by mail order.  In addition, use of mail order prevents a physician from making quick and immediate medication changes.

 •The BAP Supplemental Benefits program fails to recognize the full extent of the treatment team that may be required. The standard of care for patients with TBI dictates that rehabilitation and other medical treatment plans are developed and carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of licensed, credentialed clinicians working in specialized settings and accredited programs. These include endocrinology, physical medicine, ophthalmology, neuro-optometry, otolaryngology, psychiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, and neurobehavioral therapy, among others.

 Copies of the motion and affidavit filed by BIAA can be obtained on their website.

 

September 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

Brain Injury Association of New York State Gala Event

The 7th Annual Journey of Hope Gala fundraiser is scheduled for October 28, 2014 at the Union League Club in New York City. Tickets are available on the BIANYS website. This year, the Gala recognizes Wayne A. Gordon, PhD, ABPP with the Champion of Hope Award, Joseph Sandford, PhD with the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award, Judith Avner, Esq. with the Leadership Award, Steven Miller with the Victory Award. Click here for updates and honoree information.

September 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Traumatic Brain Injury Act Reauthorized-Great Work by Brain Injury Associaton of America

The following legilsative update was prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) who successfully led the coaltion for reauthorization of the TBI Act.

BIAA is pleased to announce the United States Senate passed the TBI Reauthorization Act of 2014, S. 2539, on Tuesday, September 16.

 

The TBI Act reauthorizes appropriations through FY2019 for TBI prevention and surveillance or registry programs. BIAA worked closely with Senate staff to add language to the legislation that requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a review of the scientific evidence relating to brain injury management in children, identifying ongoing and potential opportunities for research, and to report to Congress on the results of this review.

 

Susan Connors, BIAA's president and CEO commended the Senate for directing CDC to conduct more research into the management of brain injuries in children. BIAA thanks Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) for introducing the bill on the Senate floor and Sen.  Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for moving it through the Senate HELP Committee.

 

Originally passed in 1996 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2008, the TBI Act represents a foundation for coordinated and balanced public policy in prevention, education, research, and community living for people with TBI. The TBI Act specifically allocates federal funds for programs supporting individuals with brain injury to federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute for Health (NIH) and the Health Resources Administration (HRSA).

 

The House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the House version of the TBI Act in a floor vote on June 24, 2014.

The Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Hatch on June 26 and passed out of the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on July 23. The House of Representatives will vote on the TBI Act during the lame duck session which begins November 12. BIAA thanks the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) for their collaboration on TBI Act reauthorization.

 
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Webinar
Please join Peter Thomas

September 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information

Vermont Brain Injury Association Annual Conference

The Brain Injury Association of Vermont will be holding their 26th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the Sheraton Conference Center, Burlington, VT For a brochure and more information, click here

September 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information

Vermont Brain Injury Association Annual Conference

The Brain Injury Association of Vermont will be holding their 26th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the Sheraton Conference Center, Burlington, VT For a brochure and more information, click here

September 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

October 2014 Brain Injury Conferences

The following brain injury conferences scheduled for October  2014 may be of interest to my readers:

October 7-11
ACRM Annual Conference
Toronto, ON, Canada
703 435-5335 click here

October 10
13th Annual Neuro-Rehabilitation Conference
Loma Linda, CA
909 558-3500 click here

October 10-11
Brain Injury Association of Montana, Annual Conference
Bozeman, MT
800 241-6442 click here

October 11-12
Brain Injury Association of Illinois Annual Conference
Oakbrook Terrace, IL
800 699 6443  click here

October 18
Brain Injury Association of Missouri Annual Conference
St. Louis, MO
800 444-6443 click here

October 27-30
25th Annual State of the States in Head Injury Meeting
Philadelphia, PA
802 498 3349  click here

 

 

September 2, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

Michigan Brain Injury Association Annual Conference

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan's Annual Conference will take place this year on September 11- 12 in Lansing, Michigan.

The purpose of this two-day conference is to provide state-of-the art information about brain injury treatment and therapies, which will foster maximal rehabilitation and a good quality of life. This conference is designed to benefit persons engaged in therapies with persons recovering from injury as well as caregivers and persons with brain injury.

 For further information, click here.

 

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts

Parent's Guide to Concussions-Free Webinar

The Brain Injury Association of New York State is offering a free Webinar, A Parent's Guide to Concussions in the Classroom on   Thursday, August 28, 2014 from 3:00-4:15 p.m. EST

Topics to include:

What to do when my child sustains a concussion?
What is the school district’s responsibility when a student is concussed?
Neurocognitive testing, what is it for?
Return to play protocols
Return to school protocols|
Available resources for managing a complex concussion

Click here to register

 

August 14, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

August 2014 brain injury legislative update

The following August federal brain injury legislative update was prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA):

TBI Act Reauthorization

The United States Senate planned to pass TBI Act Reauthorization this week but further action on the bill will be taken in September. BIAA thanks Sens. Harkin (D-Iowa), Alexander (R-TN), Hatch (R-UT) and Casey (D-PA) for their continued leadership on passing this important legislation to the brain injury community.

Assisted Living TBI Pilot Program Extension

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a $16 billion overall to the Department of Veterans Affairs Thursday night which included a three year extension to the Assisted Living TBI Pilot Program. Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Extension Act, S.2607. The AL-TBI Extension Act authorizes the continuation of a critical VA program that provides intensive care and rehabilitation to veterans with complex brain injuries. AL-TBI consists of community-based residential/transitional rehabilitation programs around the country in which veterans are immersed in therapies for movement, memory, speech, and gradual community reintegration. This model of care allows veterans facing similar challenges to live together while receiving 24/7 care, which has yielded impressive results and helped rehabilitate hundreds of veterans from severe injuries that are notoriously difficult to treat. BIAA thanks Sens. Booker and Heller for their leadership and to Congress on extending this vital program to our Veterans with TBI.

U.S. Department of Education

On Tuesday, BIAA staff attended a meeting with Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services and other senior leadership at the Department to discuss New York State's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver extension which included a provision to test students with disabilities two grades below their enrolled grade level. On Thursday, the Department approved New York's ESEA Waiver Extension without Amendment 1. Amendment 1 was the provision that would have allowed NY to test students with disabilities at two grades below their enrolled grade. BIAA could not be more pleased that this provision was not included in the waiver - its removal means that thousands of students with disabilities including brain injury won't be taken off the track to graduation.

SAFE PLAY Act Introduced

On Thursday, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA-24) introduced the Supporting Athletes, Families and Educators to Protect the Lives of Athletic Youth (SAFE PLAY) Act, a bill that would promote youth safety in athletic activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, participation in organized sports is on the rise. Almost 30 million children participate in youth sports in the U.S. This increase in participation has also led to an increase in injuries - more than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year, 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among U.S. children are associated with sports participation, and children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals.

To address this, the bill would take a multipronged approach of research, community education, and federal support for school district to adopt best practices to keep kids safe, focusing on several areas, including heat exposure, CPR and AED training, concussion response, and energy drink consumption, to ensure children's safety in athletics and on campus.

Specifically, the SAFEPLAY Act would direct the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to:

•         Develop recommended guidelines for the development of emergency actions plans for student athletes

•         Develop information on the ingredients used in energy drinks and the potential side effects of energy drink consumption

•         Recommend guidelines for the safe use of energy drink consumption by students

•         Report to Congress on the number of sports related fatalities and catastrophic injuries and the cause

•         Develop and disseminate information about the health risks associated with exposure to excessive heat and humidity, and how to avoid heat-related illness

•         Assist schools in developing and implementing an excessive heat action plan to be used during all school-sponsored athletic activities that occur during periods of excessive heat and humidity

The bill would also help local education agencies develop and implement safer schools. The bill would provide assistance for school districts to develop and implement a standard plan for concussion safety and management and set up concussion management teams to respond to incidents on campus. It would also support schools by providing access to critical resources to teach students across the country the life-saving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use automated external defibrillators (AED).

Congress is out of session for the month of August and will return to Washington D.C. on September 8, 2014. Policy Corner will resume on September 12, 2014.

August 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information

Brain Injury Association of America Legislative Update

Here is the most recent legislative update from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) who deserves our thanks for all of their efforts on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families

TBI Act Reauthorization

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), lead by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) approved the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Reauthorization Act of 2014 as part of a package of bipartisan bills. S.2539 was introduced by Sens. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

First enacted in 1996, the TBI Act is the only federal law that authorizes agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct research and public education programs and to administer grants to states and protection and advocacy organizations to improve service system access and coordination for the 2.4 million civilians who sustain traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. each year.

The authorization bill includes an increased focus on brain injury management in children and gives the HHS Secretary discretion to determine which agency within the department will administer the grant program for states and protection and advocacy organizations.

The United States Senate is likely to vote on the bill next week before Congress breaks for August recess. The House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the TBI Act in a floor vote on June 24, 2014. BIAA thanks Sens. Harkin, Alexander, Casey and Hatch for their leadership in reauthorizing the TBI Act.

Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veteran with TBI Extension Act

Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Extension Act, S.2607. The AL-TBI Extension Act authorizes the continuation of a critical VA program that provides intensive care and rehabilitation to veterans with complex brain injuries. AL-TBI consists of community-based residential/transitional rehabilitation programs around the country in which veterans are immersed in therapies for movement, memory, speech, and gradual community reintegration. This model of care allows veterans facing similar challenges to live together while receiving 24/7 care, which has yielded impressive results and helped rehabilitate hundreds of veterans from severe injuries that are notoriously difficult to treat.

AL-TBI began as a five-year pilot program established in the FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act. Although it took the Department of Veterans Affairs over two years to implement the pilot program, the program-which has been operational for only three years-will expire this year if Congress does not act. The VA has stopped admitting new veterans into the program. If the program is allowed to expire, the VA will have to discharge veterans in the program even if they have not had the full benefits of this model of care. In fact, the VA will begin discontinuing services for at least half of those in the program in mid-September. The VA has indicated it will carry out individual transition plans for veterans currently enrolled in the pilot, but it offers no alternatives that replicate the AL-TBI's model of residential, community-based treatment.

August 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack