Nat’l Assoc. of State Head Injury Administrators: Washington Weekly UPDATE

Serving as President of Brain Injury Association of Hawaii and member of the state’s Neurotrauma Advisory Board, personal injury lawyer Ian Mattoch was updated on this week’s federal policies that affect persons who have suffered head trauma.  In this week’s edition of Washington Weekly, Susan Vaughn, Director of Public Policy for the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators reported the following:

Senate Confirms CMS Administrator
This week, the United States Senate confirmed Marilyn Tavenner as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Previously, Ms. Tavenner was the Acting Administrator for CMS, and prior to that, she served as Principal Deputy Administrator, over the agency that administers Medicare, and provides funds and guidance to all States for their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) programs. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March of 2010, Ms. Tavenner is also responsible for overseeing CMS as it implements the insurance reforms and Health Insurance Marketplaces included in the health reform law.

CORI Awards $88.6M in Funding for Comparative Effectiveness Research Projects
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) approved 51 new awards,
totaling $88.6 million over three years, to fund patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) projects under the first four areas of its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda. This announcement brings the total that PCORI has awarded for projects addressing these priorities to $129.3 million. PCORI committed another $30 million in funding for a series of pilot projects. The approved projects were selected through a review process in which scientists, patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders helped to evaluate proposals.

As described in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), one of the first responsibilities of the Patient — Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) was to establish and publish for comment a draft National Priorities for Research and a Research Agenda. The priorities and agenda are intended to lay the foundation for a portfolio of comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) that addresses PCORI’s statutory purpose.

CDC Announces Grants for Injury Control Research Centers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) NationalCenter for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is seeking applications from qualified organizations for Injury Control Research Center (ICRC) grants. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) CDC-RFA-CE14-001 “Grants for Injury Control Research Centers” was published on www.grants.gov, on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. These Centers will conduct high quality research and help translate scientific discoveries into practice for the prevention and control of fatal and nonfatal injuries, violence, and related disabilities to support NCIPC’s priorities and mission. ICRCs are expected to address important and relevant injury and/or violence prevention topic areas and to be a national leader in the area of injury and/or violence prevention.

NCIPC intends to commit approximately $3,600,000 in FY 2014 to fund up to five applications: three (3) comprehensive center awards and two (2) developmental center awards. The maximum award amount will be $900,000 per year for each of the three comprehensive centers, and the maximum award amount will be $450,000 per year for each of the two developmental centers. The application due date is November 4, 2013. The Letter of Intent due date is September 6, 2013. Learn more by viewing the Funding Opportunity Announcement or go to www.grants.gov and search by announcement number CDC-RFA-CE14-001.

RSA Publishes Notice of Grant Awards for CILs
Last Week, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) published in the Federal Register the notification of new awards for Centers for Independent Living for FY 2013. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications is June 10, 2013. Click here for more information.

Proposed Rule on Medicaid DSH Allotment Reductions
CMS has released a proposed rule on Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Allotment Reductions on May 13. As amended by the Affordable Care Act, the statute requires a gradual reduction in special federal payments to state Medicaid DSH providers. This proposed rule delineates a methodology to limit the reductions to two years, implementing the reductions for FY 2014 and FY 2015. The rule also proposes to add additional DSH reporting requirements for use in implementing the DSH health reform methodology.

OSERS Announces NIDRR Priorities
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has announced priorities and definitions for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Specifically, the announced priorities and definitions for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) are: Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Disabilities (Priority 1), Health and Function of Individuals with Disabilities (Priority 2), and Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (Priority 3). If an applicant proposes to conduct research under these priorities, the research must be focused on one of the four stages of research defined in this notice of final priorities and definitions. These priorities and definitions are effective June 6, 2013. For further information click here.

Reports and Resources
Kaiser Foundation Issues Brief on Costs and Use of Medicaid
On May 3rd, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued the brief, “What Difference Does Medicaid Make? Assessing Cost Effectiveness, Access, and Financial Protection under Medicaid for Low-Income Adults”, examining the cost and use of health care among low-income nonelderly adults who are covered by Medicaid relative to their expected service use and costs if they instead had employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage or were uninsured. The analysis controls for a wide array of factors that also influence utilization and spending in an effort to isolate the specific effects of Medicaid coverage. Consistent with previous research, the analysis underscores how Medicaid facilitates access to care for program beneficiaries. Click here to view the brief.

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