Brain Waves: UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Newsletter Volume 13 | Number 2

VOL 13 | NUM 2 2015 BrainWaves UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Digital Newsletter Headline News The University of Alabama at Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (UAB-TBIMS) provides Brain Waves twice annually as an informational resource for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). UAB-TBIMS Program Director: Thomas Novack, PhD Brain Waves Editor: Phil Klebine, MA 529 Spain Rehabilitation Center 1717 6th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35233-7330 Phone: 205-934-3283 TDD: 205-934-4642 Fax: 205-975-4691 WWW.UAB.EDU/TBI tbi@uab.edu /UABTBIMS /UABTBIMS /UABTBIMS The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number H133A120096). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. ©2015 University of Alabama Board of Trustees. The University of Alabama at Birmingham provides equal opportunity in education and employment. URGENT ACTION NEEDED! The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the US federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. On January 1, 2016, CMS plans a policy change to cut reimbursement rates for Complex rehab technology (CRT) components. The component are medically necessary, individually-configured manual and power wheelchair systems, adaptive seating systems, alternative positioning systems, and other mobility devices that require evaluation, fitting, configuration, adjustment or programming. These CRT components are absolutely vital to the health and quality of life of children and adult wheelchair users with the most severe disabilities such as ALS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. If CMS cuts reimbursement rates for CRT components, most insurance providers will be moved to follow CMS policies. This means it will become very difficult or, in most cases, impossible for people with severe disabilities to get the vital CRT components they need! Consumers from across the US as well as Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress have sent letters to CMS requesting that it rescind this planned policy change. However, CMS still plans on making the policy change despite all protests. To prevent the CMS policy change, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate have now proposed legislation to provide protection for CRT components and prevent CMS from making this policy change. Given the dire consequences if funding for CRT components is cut along with the urgent need to act before 2016, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UAB-SCIMS) is asking all readers to please take 5 minutes to click this link to send an email or call your legislators and ask them to co-sponsor the legislation to protect access to CRT components. Thank you. - Phil Klebine, Editor The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has published a supplemental issue of its journal devoted to the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)–Practice Based Evidence study. This 12 article supplement includes an introductory article describing in detail how the practicebased evidence methodology was applied in this investigation of TBI rehabilitation and the measures and methods used in the project. The articles aim to answer at least one of the following questions: • What patient and injury characteristics contributed to patient outcomes? • What clinical events occurred in the course of treatment that may have mediated outcomes? • What treatments were used in response to what clinical problems? • Where various treatment options were available, which one(s) is best, as demonstrated by superior outcomes achieved (taking into account TBI severity and other patient deficits and strengths that may affect outcomes)? These findings will provide guidance in developing guidelines for clinical decision-making and other evidence-based practices.