Webinar: Unique Needs of Veterans and Returning Service Members with Traumatic Brain Injuries

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is sponsoring a webinar: The Unique Needs of Veterans and Returning Service Members with TBI to be broadcast on April 7, 2014 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. ET

Military personnel are at an increased risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to the nature of military service, but many with a TBI may not come forward because they are unaware of their injury, unsure if help is available, or fear stigma of asking for help.

Being part of military culture presents unique challenges that are not always understood by professionals delivering their care in a civilian community. For example, some veterans and returning service members have co-occurring conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, along with TBI, that make it difficult to diagnose and treat appropriately.

How are states identifying military service members who have a TBI to make sure they get referred for appropriate screening and treatment?  How are states building cultural competence among health professionals and others who interact with this population? What supports and services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to individuals with a TBI and their families could complement state efforts?

These issues will be explored on the webinar n April 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET when HRSA grantees and a representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs will discuss:

•         How to reach veterans and returning service members when they have not come forward or do not know they have a TBI

•         Examples of successful outreach to veterans, returning service members, and their families

•         Unique issues facing veterans and returning service members, including women and people of color

•         Training and outreach to health care providers, college/university staff, and other professionals to help them better understand the military culture

•         Collaborations between the VA and the civilian medical system to help ensure access to appropriate care and services

•         Ways that the VA supports veterans and returning service members with TBI nationally and how these programs can complement efforts at the state-level                                

RSVP by clicking here   

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

Webinair: Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities in School

The Brain Injury Association of New York State is sponsoring a webinair, "Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities in School" on Monday, March 31, 2014 from 1:00-2:15 pm EST

This workshop offers an overview of the laws that prohibit the bullying and harassment of students with disabilities, including guidance from the US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights and the Dignity for All Students Act.  The workshop will also discuss advocacy tips to address bullying and harassment in schools. 

Registration information: Reserve your webinar seat by March 30, 2014 by clicking here

For more information on the Brain Injury Association of New York, visit their website

 

March 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill-2014

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill.  I intend to partipate in the day's events to advocate on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families and look forward to you joining me.

Here is an updated schedule of the day's events:

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair
First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2014 Exhibitors
Brain Injury Assoc. of America
American Association of Hyperbaric Awareness
BAE Systems
BrainLine
Brain Trauma Foundation
Centers for Disease Control
DVBIC/ DCoE
Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute
NICoE
VA Office of Research and Development
VISTA Life Sciences
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Radiology
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Arms Forces
"@" Attention Fund
Assoc. of Rehab Nurses
Blinded Veterans
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
BrainScope
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Cheer USA
ConcussionWise
Disability Rights New Jersey
Disability Services Center, JBS International
Elder Hart
FITBIR
Gallant Few
Higher Ground
HRSA
International Brain Research Foundation
JFK Rehabilitation Center
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center
NASHIA
National Disability Rights Network
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey Brain Injury Association
NIH
Rehabilitation Specialists
ReMed
Rusk Rehab at NYU Lagone Medical Center
Team River Runner

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury" 
Panelists
John O'Neill, Ph.D., CRC
Director, Employment and Disability Research
Kessler Foundation 

Dr. Grant Baldwin
Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control 

Dr. Jim Kelly
National Intrepid Center for Excellence
Walter Reed

Sgt. John Irwin
Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
United States Army

Brian Nichols
Warrior to Work
Wounded Warrior Project

Daniel Chamberlain, JD 
Moderator
Brain Injury Association of America                                  

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM    
Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building

 

 

March 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill-2014

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill.  I intend to partipate in the day's events to advocate on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families and look forward to you joining me.

Here is an updated schedule of the day's events:

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair
First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2014 Exhibitors
Brain Injury Assoc. of America
American Association of Hyperbaric Awareness
BAE Systems
BrainLine
Brain Trauma Foundation
Centers for Disease Control
DVBIC/ DCoE
Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute
NICoE
VA Office of Research and Development
VISTA Life Sciences
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Radiology
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Arms Forces
"@" Attention Fund
Assoc. of Rehab Nurses
Blinded Veterans
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
BrainScope
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Cheer USA
ConcussionWise
Disability Rights New Jersey
Disability Services Center, JBS International
Elder Hart
FITBIR
Gallant Few
Higher Ground
HRSA
International Brain Research Foundation
JFK Rehabilitation Center
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center
NASHIA
National Disability Rights Network
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey Brain Injury Association
NIH
Rehabilitation Specialists
ReMed
Rusk Rehab at NYU Lagone Medical Center
Team River Runner

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury" 
Panelists
John O'Neill, Ph.D., CRC
Director, Employment and Disability Research
Kessler Foundation 

Dr. Grant Baldwin
Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control 

Dr. Jim Kelly
National Intrepid Center for Excellence
Walter Reed

Sgt. John Irwin
Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
United States Army

Brian Nichols
Warrior to Work
Wounded Warrior Project

Daniel Chamberlain, JD 
Moderator
Brain Injury Association of America                                  

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM    
Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building

 

 

March 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Strategies for Teaching New Skills to Individuals with Brain Injury: Brain Injury Association of America Caregiver Webinar

Strategies for Teaching New Skills to Individuals with Brain Injury: Brain Injury Association of America Caregiver Webinar

March 6, 2014 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) 

Learning new skills is often one of the most challenging things for a person with a brain injury. This webinar, presented by Laura Turner, M.S., BCBA of the May Institute, we will focus on applied behavior analytic and evidence-based strategies that can assist in the process of learning and mastering new skills. Applied behavior analysis uses the basic principles of learning and systematic measurement to teach functional and meaningful skills to improve the quality of life of individuals with brain injury and their families. Register by 5:00 PM (ET) on March 4, 2014.  Click here to register.

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

Brainline Military February Newsletter

The February 2014 issue of the Brainline Military Newsletter is now on line.

topics of interest:

Using Art to Help Veterans with TBI and PTSD

Video: Don't Let Your Diagnosis Define You

Video: How Do You Help Patients with PTSD Regain Their Confidence

you can access the newsletter by clicking here.

February 13, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The risk of concussions and soccer

In a paper published this week in the journal, Brain Injury, researchers conducting a review of the medical literature on the risks of concussions while playing soccer, warned that heading the ball in soccer and the long term consequences of repetitive heading needs further research and study.

With considerable attention being focused on the potential long-term cognitive and behavioral consequences for athletes who suffer acute or repeat concussions or multiple "sub-concussive" head impacts -- blows to the head not causing symptoms of concussions the researchers observed,   "The practice of heading, which might occur thousands of times over a player's career, carries unknown risks, but may uniquely contribute to cognitive decline or impairment in the short- or long-term," said Dr. Schweizer, a neuroscientist. "Thus, soccer players present a unique opportunity to study whether cumulative sub-concussive impacts affect cognitive functioning, similar to that of concussions."

The study looked at research papers that studied the incidence of concussion in soccer, and found that concussions accounted for 5.8 per cent to 8.6 per cent of total injuries sustained during games. One study found that 62.7 per cent of varsity soccer players had suffered symptoms of a concussion during their playing careers, yet only 19.2 per cent realized it.  Another found that 81.8 per cent of athletes who had suffered a concussion had experienced two or more and that players with a history of concussion had a 3.15 times greater odds of sustaining another one than those who had never had a concussion. One study found concussions sustained during soccer accounted for 15 per cent of the total number of concussions in all sports.  In particular, girls' soccer accounted for 8.2 per cent of sports-related concussions, the second highest sport after football.

Studies on the long-term effects of heading found greater memory, planning and perceptual deficits in forwards and defenders, players who execute more headers. One study found professional players reporting the highest prevalence of heading during their careers did poorest in tests of verbal and visual memory as well as attention. Another found older or retired soccer players were significantly impaired in conceptual thinking, reaction time and concentration. The few studies that used advanced imaging techniques found physical changes to the brains in players who had concussions.

February 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014 in Washington DC

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill will be on Wednesday March 12, 2014.

Here is the schedule of the day’s events:

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair

First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury"                                         

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM                

Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month

The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building

All are welcome to attend the day's events

If you plan to attend please make appointments with your Congressional  Representative and Senators to advocate for funding for TBI programs and research.

I hope to see you in Washington, D.C. this March!

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

Important request from the Brain injury Association of America--Protect access to rehabilitation care

NATIONAL CALL-IN CAMPAIGN 

TO PROTECT ACCESS TO REHABILITATION

 

ATTENTION DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION COMMUNITY:

 

Congress is currently debating behind closed doors how they will offset the cost of fixing the Medicare physician fee schedule which has been in need of reform for years.  One of the most likely targets to save money is by reducing funding and restricting access to rehabilitation services provided in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units as well as outpatient clinics.

 

These are the services that assist people in regaining health and function lost to illness or injury.  These cuts and restrictions in access to rehabilitation care would disproportionately impact people with disabilities, chronic conditions, and those with injuries and illnesses.  Without these services, fewer Medicare beneficiaries, including 8 million people UNDER age of 65, will be able to return to their homes and live as independently as possible.

 

Please call your Congressional Representative and two Senators TODAY and throughout February, toll-free, and tell Congress to protect access to inpatient hospital rehabilitation and outpatient therapy services.  Simply dial this toll free number:

 

1-888-254-3840

 

You will be provided instructions and talking points before you are patched through to the offices of your elected officials.  Tell your representatives:

  • Do not      restrict access or cut funding for medical rehabilitation provided      in Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units, and Outpatient      clinics.  No more caps, cuts or restrictions in access to rehab!

Our timeline is very short. We need you to make these calls as soon as possible, and to spread the word to your family, friends, and colleagues.  The more calls to Congress from the disability and rehabilitation community, the greater protection of access to rehabilitation!

February 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Secondary Education for Returning Service Members

Consequences of Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Post-Secondary Education among Service Members will be the subject of a webinar sponsored by The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) on February 6, 2014 3:00 p.m. ET..

The webinair will review etiology and symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD among returning service members; provide an overview of the transition, social, and academic experiences shared by many service members entering post-secondary education; explain how self-regulated learning and social-cognitive theory may be applied to study post-secondary outcomes; present findings from recent research illustrating the impact of TBI and PTSD on self-regulated learning; and offer suggestions for applying research findings to support improve learning and social outcomes for service members with TBI and/or PTSD.

Registration information can be obtained by clicking here.

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

Legislative News Update from Brain Injury Association of America

Legislative alert from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)

2014 Advocacy Message

As the second session of the 113th Congress begins, BIAA looks forward to the next year with enthusiasm for our legislative priorities. Even though Congress will face midterm elections this year, BIAA is hopeful for TBI Act reauthorization in 2014!

With the budget accord reached before the winter holiday recess by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, appropriators can now finish work on a fiscal 2014 omnibus spending bill before funding runs out on January 15. The budget accord established overall discretionary spending levels for both fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 that will make it easier for lawmakers to move some of the 12 fiscal 2015 appropriations bills that it has been handled by Continuing Resolution in recent years. BIAA will continue to monitor appropriations and advocate for funding of TBI programs in the President's Fiscal Year 2015 budget. Appropriations increases in 2014 are unlikely with the current political environment, but BIAA still has opportunity to elevate our cause in Congress.

As in 2013, BIAA looks forward to collaborating on our policy agenda in 2014. Our champions on Capitol Hill, Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Tom Rooney (R-FL) will lead our efforts to reauthorize the TBI Act and will host Brain Injury Awareness Day with the members of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force on March 12, 2014. The TBI Act, H.R. 1098, was voted out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce at the end of 2013 and BIAA looks forward to floor debate in the full House of Representatives early this year. The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force will assist BIAA in promoting our other policy goals that include increasing access to high quality care and maintaining vital brain injury research.

BIAA will also be monitoring the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to ensure individuals are not denied brain injury services which would be a violation of the ACA. BIAA will collect quantitative and qualitative data throughout 2014 and report the information to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

BIAA will also continue to monitor and comment on the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs' research and treatment for active duty military, their dependents, and Veterans in 2014.

BIAA will collaborate with our federal agency partners in 2014, including Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Administration for Community Living, and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education, and continue to participate in the many health and disability coalitions whose members share our goals.

BIAA appreciates all the efforts and involvement of our grassroots in the legislative process. Thank you! In 2013 you witnessed your hard work in action as the TBI Act, H.R. 1098 moved successfully out of committee in the House of Representatives. BIAA will continue to count on its grassroots advocates to show members of Congress how important brain injury is to their constituents in 2014. You have all truly made a difference and we hope to continue that excitement and dedication in 2014! 

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill will be on Wednesday March 12, 2014. As in years past the day will begin with the Brain Injury Awareness Fair in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer followed by a Congressional Briefing which will be held in the Capitol Visitor's Center, meeting room south. The day will end with a reception in the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room to celebrate Brain Injury Awareness Month. All are welcome to attend the day's events! Additional details regarding the awareness day will be posted in Policy Corner. If you plan to attend please make appointments with your Representatives and Senator's to advocate for funding for TBI programs and research. BIAA thanks Reps. Pascrell (D-NJ) and Rooney (R-FL), co chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, for leading Brain Injury Awareness Day. BIAA is committed to assisting the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force plan a successful event. I hope to see you in Washington, D.C. this March!

 

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

December Legislative Update-Brain Injury Association of America

The following is the December legilslative update from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA):

TBI Act Reauthorization 2013

The TBI Act Reauthorization of 2013, H.R. 1098 was approved by voice vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee markup on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health passed the bill in markup on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 with the following changes:

  • Inserted  authorization levels for the TBI Act programs based on current appropriations.
  • Removed Health  Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) giving the discretion to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to elevate the TBI state grant programs and the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) programs within HHS.

H.R. 1098 will be debated on the House floor early next year. Please contact your member of Congress and ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 1098. 

BIAA continues to work with our Senate Champions to have a companion bill to the TBI Act introduced early in 2014.

Therapy Cap Repeal

This week the Senate Finance Committee released legislation which would permanently address the Sustainable Growth Rate which includes therapy cap repeal. The package includes: 

  • Repeals the Therapy Cap  immediately upon enactment of the legislation.
  • Continues manual medical review  only through 2014. Manual medical review expires at the end of 2014.
  • Requires the Secretary of HHS to establish a new prior authorization medical review process to begin on      January 1, 2015.  The Secretary retains discretion on what level to  apply the review (spending threshold) and in what settings to apply the  review.
  • In addition, the Secretary  would identify the services for medical review, using appropriate factors,      which could include (but would not be limited) the following:


(1) Services furnished by a therapy provider whose pattern of billing is higher compared to peers.
(2) Services furnished by a therapy provider who, in a prior period, has a high claims denial percentage or is least compliant with other applicable requirements under this title.
(3) Services furnished by a therapy provider who is newly enrolled in the Medicare program.
(4) Services furnished by a therapy provider who has questionable billing practices, such as billing medically unlikely units of services in a day.
(5) Services furnished to treat a type of medical condition.
(6) Services identified by use of the standardized data elements required to be reported.
(7) Services furnished by a single therapy provider or a group that includes such providers.
(8) Other services as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

A therapy provider could submit  for multiple visits under each prior authorization claim and the      information necessary for medical review could be submitted by fax, by  mail, or by electronic means. As soon as practicable, but not later than  24 months after the date of enactment, the Secretary would have to make      available the electronic means necessary to receive information.

The Secretary would make a  prior authorization determination within ten business days of receipt of      the necessary medical documentation or; otherwise, be deemed to have found      the services to meet the applicable requirements for Medicare coverage.

The new medical review system  will be established through rule making and will allow for stakeholder  input.

The GAO would conduct a study on the new medical review process.

Following a  series of defined steps (which include opportunity for stakeholder input- comment, stakeholder townhalls etc), The Secretary will establish a new  data collection system to replace the current functional limitation      reporting system.  Depending on the date of enactment of the  legislation, this could occur around the beginning of 2017.  Like  functional limitation reporting, therapy providers would be required to      report on these items to be paid for a claim.  Data elements that the  Secretary could include in the new data collection system could include:

(1) demographic information

(2) diagnosis

(3) severity

(4) affected body structures and functions

(5) limitations with activities of daily living and participation

(6) functional status

(7) other domains determined to be appropriate by the Secretary

The Secretary is allowed but not required to create a web portal to allow for the submission of this data.

No later than 18 months after the date the data reporting system is operational (depending on the date      of enactment this could be in 2018), the Secretary would submit a report to Congress on the design of a new payment system for outpatient therapy services. The report would include an analysis of the standardized data elements collected and other appropriate data and information. It would  consider (1) appropriate adjustments to payment (such as case mix and  outliers), (2) payments on an episode of care basis, and (3) reduced      payment for multiple episodes. The Secretary would consult with  stakeholders regarding design of such a new payment system.

The bill would also require that each request for payment, or bill submitted on or after January 1, 2015, by a therapy provider for an outpatient therapy service furnished by a therapy assistant include an indication that the service was furnished by a therapy assistant. 

December 13, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Metro North Train Accident Victims Need to Act Quickly To Protect Their Rights

The tragic metro north rail accident in the Bronx earlier this week will undoubtedly lead to law suits on behalf of the injured victims.  But, the victims need to know that there are special Laws in New York which require that a Notice of Claim be filed within 90 days of the train accident against both Metro North and the MTA to preserve their right to comence a law suit.  Unless this written notice of claim is filed, the victims will be precluded from suing for their injuries. 

I was interviewed in an article appearing in today's Journal News regarding this train accident.

Probe also looking at brakes, tracks

 

 

December 3, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brain Injury Association of America-Legislative Update Nov 2013

The following legislative update has been prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA):

TBI Act Reauthorization 2013

The Brain Injury Association of America testified before the House Subcommittee on Health hearing "Examining Public Health Legislation to Help Local Communities" on November 20, 2013. The Subcommittee on Health is chaired by Rep. Pitts (R-PA) and Rep. Pallone (D-NJ) is the ranking member.

The TBI Act, H.R. 1098 was included with six other public health bills in the hearing. Dr. Drew Nagele, member of BIAA's board of directors testified on behalf of the TBI Act. BIAA is pleased to see the progress of the TBI Act in the House of Representatives. We ask you to contact your Senator's and urge him or her to introduce a companion bill in the Senate for H.R. 1098, the TBI Act.

Safe Kids Capitol Day

BIAA was invited to participate in the second annual Safe Kids Capitol Day hosted by the Congressional Kids Safety Caucus and Safe Kids Worldwide. The event promoted prevention of brain injury including wearing helmets and included concussion education. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also participated in the Safe Kids Capitol Day.

The TBI Act, which BIAA advocates for provides funding to the CDC to conduct surveillance, prevention and public education programs on TBI. CDC provides free resources through the Heads Up Concussion Campaign for youth sports, schools, high school sports and practitionersBIAA is proud to partner with the CDC and to be a part of Safe Kids Capitol Day.

 

November 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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.

November 15, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Veterans with brain injuries, how to obtain benefits

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) has scheduled in new webinair, “Overview of Benefits for Veterans with Brain Injury” for Friday, November 22, 2013 from 1:00-2:15 p.m. EST.  This webinar will provide an overview of benefits available to Veterans who have sustained a TBI, their families and caregivers.  For more information and to register, click here

November 8, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Helmets cannot prevent concussions

Concussions and traumatic brain injury occur as a result of the rapid movement of the brain within the skull. The brain floats within the skull cavity.  When the brain moves forward or backward and rotates, it brushed up against the sharp ridges and protrusions of the skull. 

A helmet may be effective in preventing or reducing the chances of a skull fracture or scalp laceration but despite misleading claims by helmet manufactuers, a football helmet or any other sporting helmet cannot protect against the shearing, brusing or tearing of brain tissue that takes place when the brain moves within the skull.

A paper presented at the recent meeting of the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics, National Conference in Orlando, Florida found that "neither any specific brand of football helmet nor custom mouth guards result in fewer concussions in kids who use them"  The study authors conclueded, "Despite what manufacturers might claim, newer and more expensive eqipment many not reduce concussion risk."

 

 

November 7, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Coaches and players cannot make return to play decisions

The New York Times contains an interesting opinion column today, Time to Remove Coaches From Concussion Decisions, discussing the importance of letting health care professionals rather than players or coaches determine when an athlete should be removed from a game because of a suspected concussion. 

Without a doubt, the decision to be removed or to return to play cannot be left to the athlete or the coach who are both vested with conflicts in their decision making and judgment on this important issue.

Here is some of the important opinions contained in the article:

"What sports has to do, though, is remove the coach and the player in deciding if an athlete can return from a blow to the head. Player and coach are driven by adrenaline and by impulse, and are not qualified in medical matters."

"No coach should make that decision with head injury, and no team physician either. Neurologists and other experts studying the brains of deceased soccer players and investigating former boxers, hockey and rugby players and equestrian riders have the same mantra. They would never attempt to fully diagnose on the field the repercussions of what is going on inside the skull of an injured player. A tiny bleed can lead to a clot, and it might take days to develop."

 

 

November 6, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Depression in children following concussion and brain injury twice as likely as general population

A presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrated that children who had suffered brain injury or concussion were twice as likely to develop symptoms of depression as their peers.

“Wylie MC, Gjelsvik A, Linakis JG, Vivier P. Depression in Children Diagnosed with Brain Injury or Concussion. American Academy of Pediatrics Presentation. 2013.

For more details, click here.

October 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Let's get serious about concussions

The following editorial was published today in the Boston Globe:

NHL should get serious about violence and head trauma

Despite Having nothing to do with the actual sport of hockey, which at its best is a blend of grace and power on skates, fighting has become an inseparable part of the pro hockey experience. While other team sports are cracking down on on-field violence, the National Hockey League implicitly accepts fighting as a part of the sport — or, more cynically, a vehicle for riling up fans. But it’s time for the league to reassess the role of fistfights in its games, both for the safety of its players and the example they set for young athletes.

Evidence is now emerging that repeated head trauma, of the type meted out by team “enforcers,” can lead to the same chronic traumatic encephalopathy that is striking football players. On the opening night of the NHL season, a fight resulted in a Montreal Canadiens player being knocked unconscious as his head hit the ice. A preseason fight resulted in a concussion and broken jaw for a rookie for the Buffalo Sabres.

Finally, some leaders within the sport are saying that enough is enough. At a conference on concussions recently, Michael Stuart, chief medical officer for USA Hockey and codirector of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine center, said it was time to ban all fighting.

Whether it is the upright blows to the head or the crashing of heads to the ice, Stuart said, “Those forces acting on the brain are alarmingly high.” Joining him in the call was Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden, who declared, “Science has responded to the game on the ice. Now it’s time for the game to respond to the science.”

The game should respond to the science with automatic ejections, suspensions, and major fines for players who fight on the ice. Fighting is banned in American collegiate hockey and in youth hockey leagues in North America. It is time for the professionals to follow suit.

October 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brain injury and the affordable health care act--free webinair

The Brain Injury Association of America has announced a new webinair to explore the new Obama, health care legislation and its implications for those with traumatic brain injury entitled, “One Month Into Health Care Reform: An Update on Health Insurance Exchanges”

Participants will learn:

1. The status of how the new health insurance marketplace is operating
2. How individuals with brain injury fit into overall health care reform
3. What the changes mean for providers and consumers of brain injury benefits

Date and Time Fri, Oct 25, 2013 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

Panelists Peter Thomas, Principle The Powers Firm Theresa Morgan, Legislative Director The Powers Firm
Registration Register at this link 
Webinar ID: 147-022-147
Audio Participants can use their computer's microphone and speakers (VoIP) or telephone. United States Toll: +1 (909) 259-0012 Access Code: 205-103-885 Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar

October 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Genetic predisposition may predict recovery following traumatic brain injury

An individual's recovery months after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is difficult to predict, and some of the variability in outcomes may be due to genetic differences according to an article published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

The genes that regulate a person's inflammatory response to injury can impact clinical outcomes in TBI, according to the study. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website by ciicking here

October 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The injustice of the NFL brain injury settlement

Today's New York Times reports, Many Ex-Players Many Be Ineligible to Share in Concussion Settlement.

it is shameful that this settlement excludes players suffering the effects of the post concussion syndrome, complicated mild traumatic brain injury and cognitive, behavioral and emotional difficultes that do not impair all of their activities of daily living.

I am honored to have been consulted and quoted in this story. Click here.

October 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In response to NFL Commissioner Goodell

I am honored that the Huffington Post has published the response of Shana De Caro, chair-elect of the traumatic brain injury litigation group and myself  “Players and Public Lose While NFL Reigns Victorious,”  to
Commissioner Goodell’s recent comments on the NFL settlement and the amazing expose on what the NFL knew and when they knew it which aired last night on PBS, Front Line documentary, “League of Denial”

 

 

October 9, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A critical investigative report on what the NFL knew and when it knew it-The concussion crisis in professional football

A documentary produced by FRONTLINE which promises to be a critical analysis of the concussion crisis in the NFL is scheduled to be aired on Tuesday, October 8th, beginning at 9 PM, EST. The film entitled, “League
of Denial” has already received a great deal of publicity based upon the abrupt withdrawal of joint sponsorship by ESPN. News reports suggest that ESPN was pressured by senior NFL officials to end their association with this film.

In the film, FRONTLINE investigates the hidden story of the NFL’s response to head injuries. Through interviews with former players, scientists and other experts on the concussion issue, it examines what the NFL knew about the risks of such injuries, and when it knew it.

You can learn more and see previews by clicking here.

October 7, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hyperbaric chamber found not to be effective for brain

An article in USA Today, Hyperbaric chamber treatments did not help with mild TBI reports a study, published this week in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, which reports that using hyperbaric oxygen therapy
does not improve the outcome in soldiers suffering from traumatic brain injuries.  This study confirms an earlier study published in 2011 with similar results.

This is the latest study to test the hypothesis that using oxygen under high pressure to perfuse brain tissue promotes healing of damaged brain cells.  In studies sponsored by the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration, this therapy has been found to be ineffective for treatment of traumatic brain injury.

September 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Youth football is not as safe as NFL wants you to believe

Today's edition of USA Today has an important story on youth football and the spin that the NFL wants to place on safety.  You can read my comments quoted in the story and the story by clicking here.

August 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tenth World Congress on Brain Injury: Call for Abstracts

The abstract submission site for the Tenth World Congress on Brain Injury is now open. The deadline for abstract submissions is October 11, 2013.  To submit an abstract, click here.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the Congress’s International Scientific Committee, which  will determine the most appropriate presentation format (oral  presentation or poster) for each abstract accepted.

The 2014 abstract submission categories mirror the educational themes of the Congress as follows:

Neurotrauma – basic research

Neurotrauma – prevention and public health

Neurotrauma – case reports/clinical research

Neurotrauma – health services and outcomes

Technology – basic research

Technology – clinical research/applications

Neurorehabilitation – basic research

Neurorehabilitation – case reports/clinical research

Neurorehabilitation – activities and participation

Neurorehabilitation – public policy and advocacy

Congress Overview

The Tenth World Congress on Brain Injury will take place in San Francisco, California on March 19 - 22, 2014. 

The IBIA World Congress is the largest gathering of international professionals working in the field of brain injury. Delegates are comprised of physicians, psychologists and neuropsychologists, therapists, social workers, nurses, case managers, legal professionals, advocates and all others working in the field of brain injury.

The Tenth World Congress program will feature internationally recognized invited speakers, platform lectures, workshops, short oral presentations and poster sessions.  The theme of the congress will be Neurotrauma, Technology, and Neurorehabilitation.

The aim of the Tenth World Congress is to provide an opportunity for establishing collegial relationships with international professionals focused on the care and/or service of persons with acquired brain injury and/or the science of brain injury research. State of the art research will be presented dealing with information spanning from basic science to clinical (coma to community) aspects of brain injury.

For more information, please click here.

Congress Location and Hotel

The 2014 IBIA Tenth World Congress on Brain Injury will be held on March 19 - 22, 2014, in  San Francisco, California at the Hyatt Embarcadero Hotel.

August 25, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Concussion Management Protocol For Schools-Webinair

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is offering a free webinar: From the Desk of the School Nurse: How to Implement A Concussion Management Protocol.

Time and date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (EDT)

Overview: The presenter, Patricia McLaughlin, RN, will focus on the importance of taking a multi-disciplinary team approach to concussion management and how best to implement a concussion management protocol in a school district setting. Patricia McLaughlin is a parent and a registered nurse with 25 years of experience. She is a current member of the staff at Albany Medical Center Coronary Care Unit. Mrs. McLaughlin also works as a full-time school nurse at Pine Bush Elementary School K-5, where she has been for 6 years.

For more information, please click here

August 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brain Injury Business Practice College-Save the Date

The Brain Injury Association of America will present the 2014 Brain Injury Business Practice College at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa in Las Vegas (Henderson), NV, January 21-23, 2014.

 

The 2014 College will offer sessions to enable rehabilitation executives, managers, and professionals to improve their business methods and metrics, and the Planning Committee has chosen Innovation as its theme. The full schedule will be posted on the BIAA website.

August 15, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)