SDBIF Advocacy Group
On February 24, Senator Cardin (D-MD) introduced S. 539, the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act of 2015. This legislation would create an outright repeal of the Medicare cap on outpatient rehabilitation therapy services and would ensure patients are not denied vital coverage for much needed therapy services. This legislation was introduced in the Ho use, H.R. 775, in early February and already has 69 cosponsors.

Please contact your members of Congress today and request they cosponsor to this important legislation!

For more information on this issue, please visit ASHA’s Therapy Cap Advocacy Center or contact Ingrida Lusis, ASHA’s director of federal and political advocacy, at


So much to think about for San Diego’s future. Weigh in on transportation network options for the future in San Diego.

Over the past two years, SANDAG has been working with residents and stakeholders across the region to develop the building blocks of our future transportation system and help align our region’s transportation needs with available resources. All this work has included developing revenue projections, identifying and ranking potential transportation projects, and integrating emerging technologies and innovative ideas for getting around into the development of a future transportation system for our region. Weigh in today to make sure the voices of our community gets heard!

California Department of Mental Health – TBI Report is now available on line at:

Action Alert form the Brain Injury Association of America – October 1, 2014

Help Elevate Rehabilitation Research at the National Institutes of Health! Call Your Senator today and ask them to eliminate the Medicare Therapy Caps!

  • S. 1027 is designed to enhance the stature of rehabilitation and disability research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • S. 1027 is bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), two individuals who know first-hand the impact that quality rehabilitation services can have on one’s ability to regain health, function independently, and return to work, following an illness, injury, disability or chronic condition.
  • S. 1027 was introduced in 2013 and the bill seeks to elevate the stature of rehabilitation science, better coordinate the $300 million spent annually on this type of research, and deliver the maximum return on the federal investment. The bill is expected to be budget neutral.

This legislation is important to the brain injury community. It is critical to maximize the outcomes of rehabilitation and disability science in order to translate findings into better treatments for individuals with brain injury.

Please join your colleagues, Sens. Kirk, Hatch, Murkowski and Johnson and co-sponsor S. 1027.

Please call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and you will be connected to your Senators Office. Please tell the staff you are a constituent, ask to speak to the Health staffer and please use the above talking points.

Specifically, BIAA is asking the following Democratic Members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to cosponsor this important legislation.

Democratic Members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee:

Barbara A. Mikulski (Maryland)
Patty Murray (Washington)
Bernard Sanders (Vermont)
Robert P. Casey (PA)
Kay R. Hagan (NC)
Al Franken (Minnesota)

Michael F. Bennet (Colorado)
Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island)
Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin)
Christopher S. Murphy (Connecticut)
Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts)

News from the Brain Injury Association of America

Policy Corner E-Newsletter – January 31, 2014
a weekly update on federal policy activity related to traumatic brain injury

In This Issue:
• Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014
• FY 2014 Appropriations Bill Signed Into Law
• Home and Community Based Services Final Rule Released
The Policy Corner is made possible by the Centre for Neuro Skills and Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Centers & Specialty Hospital. Brain Injury Association of America gratefully acknowledges their support for legislative action.

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!

FY 2014 Appropriations Bill Signed Into Law

President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill which will fund the federal government through September 30, 2014. $1 trillion is in discretionary spending meaning it must be spent on non defense related programs funded by the federal government. The omnibus bill also replaces $45 billion in sequestration with ‘targeted cuts’ not across the board cuts that was originally proposed in sequestration. The passage of this appropriations bill also returns Congress back to its regular budget order meaning they will not have to pass Continuing Resolutions (CR) to fund the government for a short period of time at existing funding levels. The Labor-HHS-Education bill, which funds the TBI programs in HRSA, CDC and the TBI Model Systems in NIDRR, funding was reduced by $100 billion below the FY 2013 enacted level.

Some key factors of the budget as it relates to BIAA are:

  • $10 million funding for Health Resources Services Administration TBI programs
  • $6.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is an increase of $568 million over the FY 2013 funding level
  • $29.9 billion for National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is $714 million less than the 2013 fiscal year but $1 billion more than sequestration level funding
  • $1.1 billion for mental health programs, which is $136 million more than 2013 fiscal year funding
  • Department of Defense (DOD) Peer Reviewed Medical Research includes $125 million more than the President’s request for TBI and Psychological Health Research
  • $106 million for National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research which funds the TBI Model Systems

The White House announced President Obama will be releasing his Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget in March of 2014 one month after the February due date. BIAA will continue to monitor the President’s FY 2015 budget status and will provide analysis of the budget once it is released.

Home and Community Based Services Final Rule Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released the final rule for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). To read the final rule click here. CMS also released fact sheets on the final rule which can be found here.

CMS is moving away from defining home and community-based settings to “what they are not” and toward defining them by the nature and quality of participants’ experiences. The final rule includes a transition period for states to ensure their waivers and Medicaid state plans meet the HCBS settings definition. CMS will give states a one year period to submit a transition plan for compliance with the HCBS requirements of the final rule. The public will have the opportunity to provide input on states’ transition plans.