Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Save VA Benefits for Brain Injured Veterans

The Brain Injury Association of America has just issued the following Action Alert:

 

Protect Access to Care for Veterans

Call Congress Today!

 

As a member of the large and growing community that understands the importance of thoughtful, comprehensive care for individuals living with brain injury, we wanted to inform you of an important program for America's veterans that is in danger of shutting down if Congress does not act soon. 

 

Established by Congress in 2008, the Assisted Living TBI Pilot Program has made it possible for hundreds of wounded warriors to receive specialized, post-acute brain injury rehabilitation in the community.The program provides critical, real-life skills to help veterans return to their homes and communities. It has been a lifeline for dozens and dozens of veterans.

 

Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that it will end the pilot program on September 30, 2014 unless Congress takes action to extend it. This means that the VA will soon begin to discharge veterans from the program.The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the importance of the program and the challenges faced by many if Congress doesn't act soon.

 

We need your help to make sure the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with TBI continues to make a meaningful difference for America's heroes.

  

Please call your Member of Congress and make sure they know how important the program is to veterans and urge them to support extending the pilot program. You can reach your Representatives and Senators by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 where you will be transferred directly to their offices. Thank you for your crucial contribution to this effort.

July 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

Brain Injury and Concussion Awareness Day at Citi Field Sponsored by Brain Injury Association of New York State

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) will again be hosting Brain Injury and Concussion Awareness Day at Citi Field with the New York Mets on September 28, 2014.

BIANYS is selling field level tickets to see the Mets take on the Houston Astros at the last regular season home game of the year. You can obtain more information and purchase your tickets by clicking here.  

July 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

August and September 2014 Brain Injury Conferences

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

August 1
Brain Injury: The Family's Journey
Sioux City, IA
855 444-6443. click here

September 11-12
Brain Injury Association of Michigan Annual Conference
Lansing, Michigan
810 229-5880  click here

September 24-26
Brain Injury Association of Canada Annual Conference
Gatineau, QC, Canada
613 762-1222 click here

 

 

 

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July 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Brain Injury Association of America July Legislative Update

The following legislative summary was prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA): 

BIAA Presents at Congressional Briefing Highlighting Study on Outcomes for People with TBI: 

Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) president and CEO Susan Connors presented at a Congressional briefing hosted by Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on Thursday, July 10. The briefing was held to announce the results of a study on outcomes for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke conducted by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC. 

The study, Assessment of Patient Outcomes of Rehabilitative Care Provided in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities and After Discharge, is the most comprehensive national analysis to date examining the long-term outcomes of clinically similar patient populations treated in inpatient rehabilitation settings and skilled nursing facilities. The research shows that people with TBI and stroke who were treated in inpatient rehabilitation settings had better long-term outcomes than those who received care in a skilled nursing facility.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) passed the House of Representatives this week. WIOA will provide better employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Senate passed the bill with a 95-3 vote. It is expected the President will sign the WIOA bill into law soon. This legislation is considered the most important disability legislation passed since the groundbreaking Americans with Disabilities Act which was passed in 1990. BIAA applauds Congress for working together to pass this important legislation that will improve the lives for individuals living with disabilities caused by brain injury.

Congress Introduces the IMPACT Act

On June 26, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), as well as Congressmen Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sandy Levin (D-MI) introduced the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act. They introduced the bill almost three months after releasing a bipartisan discussion draft. During the past few months, Senate and House committee staff have been meeting with a series of stakeholders on the bill including the Brain Injury Association of America.

The IMPACT Act lays out a framework for collecting standardized assessment data across post acute care (PAC) settings, which could then be used to transition Medicare's current silos of PAC payments from a fee for service payment structure to a pay for performance reimbursement structure. This payment structure would be prospective, unified across settings, and based on patient assessment data, as opposed to being dependent on the PAC setting in which the patient is treated.

TBI Act included in Mid-Year Committee Report

This week, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) released a report on the accomplishments of the committee in the first six months of 2014. The TBI Act, HR 1098, which was passed by the House of Representatives in June 2014, was included in the report.

Congressional Brain Injury Task Force Hosts Crash Reel Screening

The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, co-chaired by Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) and Tom Rooney (R-FL), will host a Congressional screening of the film Crash Reel on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2103. BIAA is sponsoring the screening of Crash Reel. The film features Kevin Pearce, a professional snowboarder, who sustained a TBI at the height of his career. This event will feature a discussion with Kevin Pearce who is now retired from professional snowboarding.

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

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

NFL settlement fails to provide redress for majority of players

It  is unfortunate that the U.S. District Court Brody granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement of the NFL class action lawsuit without first holding a hearing to examine significant issues affecting the ability of players to obtain the compensation they deserve. 

I am hopeful that hearing scheduled for November 19th, will explore the obstacles, roadblocks, and hurdles that players in all classes of injury must overcome before receiving compensation under this settlement proposal.  The majority of players suffering with brain injuries are not embraced within the settlement and will receive no compensation.

The revised settlement is flawed in many respects.  The proposal neither recognizes nor compensates the majority of players who suffer the long-term consequences of brain trauma, but merely carves out certain, small and discrete groups.  The majority of players who have physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments will remain uncompensated under this settlement.

Though this settlement proposal purports to generously provide financial stability for the futures of thousands of players who suffer from traumatic brain injury and its consequences, closer scrutiny reveals something entirely different. An examination of the terms and conditions of the settlement reveals a design to systematically exclude players from participation and reduce payments to the small group who meet the arbitrary criteria.  It imposes unfair and illogical restrictions on the categories of compensable injuries and requires players to have participated in NFL play for excessively long periods, implicitly denying that a player can sustain a life-altering concussion after only a short NFL career.  The plan is replete with complex, arbitrary, and overlapping omissions in its unwieldy and overly intricate criteria, which are then further reduced by offset for liens.      

July 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Traumatic Brain Injury Act unanimously passes U.S. House of Representatives

Late last evening the United States House of Representatives unanimously approved passage of H.R. 1098, the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization (TBI) Act of 2013. 

Approximately 2.5 million Americans experience TBI each year and an estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with long-term, severe disabilities as a result of brain injury.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and its executive director, Susan Connors as well as the leaders of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Tom Rooney all need to be thanked for their hard work in passing this important legislation.

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).

BIAA and other TBI Act stakeholders are continuing to work with the United States Senate to introduce a companion bill.

June 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information

Major study of brain injury rehabiliation services-Researchers needed

How much rehabilitation should adults with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) receive, in what setting, and at what time?

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has partnered with the Brain Injury Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to answer these questions. Clinicians with expertise in post-acute rehabilitation are needed to participate in a three-year investigation beginning July 1, 2014.

Individuals who sustain TBIs rarely have access to rehabilitation of sufficient timing, scope, duration, and intensity that would allow them to recover to the maximum extent possible. That's because treatment decisions are controlled by payers - insurance companies and public policymakers - instead of by doctors, patients, and family caregivers. When a person's care is delayed, discontinued, or denied altogether, the result is often increased re-hospitalization rates and greater levels of disability. This creates a cycle of joblessness, homelessness, and dependence on public programs.

BIAA and Mount Sinai are addressing this problem through the development and widespread distribution of Guidelines for the Rehabilitation and Disease Management of Adults with Moderate to Severe TBI. The goals of this project are to:

1.Identify and fully describe the continuum of care available following TBI;

2.Determine the evidence for various rehabilitative treatments and, based on that evidence and/or expert opinion, make recommendations for treatment and management in various settings;

3.Produce a document that supports improvements in the quality and consistency of rehabilitation treatment; and

4.Broadly disseminate the recommendations to payer, provider, patient and advocacy communities in an effort to increase access to and quality of care.

Fifty of the nation's top researchers and clinicians are needed to review and assess evidence in functional, medical, cognitive, behavioral, and social domains. If you have expertise in any one of these subject areas and are interested in serving on one of the panels, you can send your CV to Marianna Abashian, BIAA Director of Professional Services.  Indicate which panel interests you. Panels have limited membership. 

June 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

Latest Developments in Brain Injury

The field of brain injury is rapidly evolving with new findings announced, almost daily.  It is difficult for health care professionals and the legal profession to keep pace with all the new changes that are taking place.

I am pleased to be co-chairing a program with Dr. Steven Flanagan, M.D., Medical Director, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center on the latest developments in the field of traumatic brain injury identification, rehabilitation and treatment sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of New York.  The all day program will be held on Thursday, June 5th in Albany, New York. 

The program covers important areas including sports concussion recognition and management; neuroimaging, assistive technology; management of behavioral problems; neuropsychology and return to learn protocols.

Program and registration information can be found at the Brain Injury Association of New York State web site.

May 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information

Brain Injury Associations June Conferences

The following state brain injury associations will be holding annual conferences during the month of June:

Brain Injury Association of New York State
June 5-6, 2014, Albany, New York
Click here for further information

Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania
June 15-17, 2014
Click here for further information

May 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

White House Sports Concussion Summit

The White House has announced that President Obama will hold a summit on youth sports and concussions on May 29th at the White House entitled, The White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together young athletes, academics, parents and others to raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries in our nation’s youth as a result of sports.

According to a press statement,  the administration will announce new commitments by the public and private sectors to raise awareness among athletes, parents, coaches, schools and others on how to identify and treat concussions and to conduct research to help understand how sports-related concussions affect young athletes.

 

May 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack