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Legislative Update from the Brain Injury Association of America

The following is the November 2013 legislative and policy update from the Brain Injury Assocation of America (BIAA):

TBI Act Reauthorization 2013

The Brain Injury Association of America along with the TBI Act stakeholders, National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), continue to work with Senate staff on reauthorization. The TBI Act should be introduced in the Senate this fall. National Conference on Youth Sports Safety BIAA was invited to participate in the first National Conference on Youth Sports Safety in Washington DC. The conference was led by Dr. David Satcher, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General. Dr Satcher is currently the Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. The Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety (PASS) initiative seeks to initiate a sustained national conversation on changing the culture of sport so we can better protect our young athletes. PASS will continue to bring together the nation's thought leaders to take the discussion to the next level. Over the next two years, the conversation will lead to the development of a set of national guidelines that identify best practices proven to help 1) significantly reduce youth sports injuries including concussion and 2) provide parents with information they need to make good decisions about involving their children in youth sports. BIAA looks forward to working with PASS to make all sports safer for student athletes.

NDD United

This week BIAA attended the Nondefense Discretionary (NDD) United Congressional Briefing. NDD United is a campaign of 3,200 national, state, and local organizations working to protect nondefense discretionary investments. As we enter into the next critical phase of budget negotiations, we are urging Congress to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

Future Care Coalition

BIAA continues to lead the Future Care Coalition with United Spinal Association meeting with the Office of Financial Management at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to inform them of our concerns related to the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) for Medicare Secondary Payer Future Medicals. In the ANPRM, CMS proposed 7 options for a beneficiary to reimburse CMS for future medical costs. The Future Care Coalition believes there needs to be strong protections in place for the beneficiary in terms of access to care if CMS were to move forward with collecting future medical costs. The rule is currently at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where it is reviewed by OMB staff. BIAA and other members of the Future Care Coalition met with OMB staff to share our concerns about the ANPRM as they move through the review process. The coalition continues to meet with Congressional offices to build Champions on the hill related to this important issue. BIAA and members of the coalition met with staff in Reps. Jenkins (R-KS) and Kind (D-WI) and Sens. Kirk (R-IL) and Portman (R-OH) during the past week.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid DMEPOS Bidding Program

BIAA was invited to participate in a meeting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) that was led by United Spinal Association and the Independence through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition which BIAA is a member of to educate CMS regarding the DMEPOS bidding program that provides wheelchairs to Medicare beneficiaries. Wheelchair suppliers also attended the meeting. Even though CMS has opened up the rules to allow non-contract suppliers to repair wheelchairs in addition to contract suppliers, there is no enforcement of non-contract suppliers making repairs for those that need them. The implementation of the bidding program is an added obstacle in ensuring affordable, quality coverage and access to critical medical equipment, supplies and related services to an already vulnerable population; seniors and people with disabilities that must rely on a smaller number of providers for their medical equipment.

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