As President of Brain Injury Association of Hawaii, personal injury lawyer, Ian Mattoch received this week’s Washington Weekly. This update was prepared by Susan L. Vaughn, NASHIA’s Director of Public Policy. The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators assists State government in promoting partnerships and building systems to meet the needs of individuals with brain injuries and their families. Administration News NIDRR Launches 2012 Survey on Communications and People with Disabilities This week, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) launched a new 2012 Survey on Communications and People with Disabilities. The answers provided will be used to inform regulatory authorities and other professionals who are working to improve emergency response and disaster relief. Take the survey here. HHS Announces Henry Claypool’s Resignation Today is the last day for Henry Claypool who has decided to step down from his dual roles as Administration for Community Living (ACL) Principal Deputy Administrator and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s Advisor on Disability Policy. After a short break, he will continue his disability advocacy in a different role outside of government. Upon his departure, Sharon Lewis will serve as Acting Principal Deputy Administrator in addition to her current role as Commissioner of the administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Solis Resigns as Labor Secretary This week, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis announced her resignation. Secretary Hilda L. Solis was confirmed as Secretary of Labor on February 24, 2009. Prior to confirmation as Secretary of Labor, Secretary Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 – 2009. Reports and Resources CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention Releases 2011 Annual Report On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) released its 2011 Report. This report describes CDC’s public health activities in violence prevention and highlights the agency’s accomplishments in this area. Over the past two decades, DVP has played a critical role in shaping violence prevention efforts in the US and throughout the world. The report is available online. NIH Releases Study on Use of ED among Adults with Disabilities The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released a new study titled, “Use of Emergency Departments among Working Age Adults with Disabilities: A Problem of Access and Service Needs”. In the report, NIH researchers found that despite representing 17 percent of the working age US population, adults with disabilities accounted for 39.2 percent of total emergency room visits. Those with a severely limiting disability visited an urgent care department more often than their peers and were more likely to visit the department more than four times per year. The researchers concluded that given the volume of health conditions among people with disabilities, the emergency department will always play a role in their care. However, some of the visits could potentially be avoided if ongoing care were optimized. Upcoming Meetings and Webinars ACL Offers Enhanced Options Counseling Update Webinar to ADRC Grantees The Administration on Community Living (ACL) is engaged in a collaborative process with 8 States (CT, MD, MA, NH, OR, VT, WA, WI) that will serve as high performing national models for providing LTSS (Long-term Services and Supports) Options Counseling for all populations and all payers. ACL is hosting a webinar on January 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm (ET) to share with ADRC grantees some of the progress made by the Part A States including specific updates on the topic of Medicaid administrative funding and Options Counseling Training. Register here. Call-in: (866) 233-3852, Passcode: 277405#. ACL Hosts Webinar on Promising Practices for Medicaid Management LTSS On Tuesday, January 29, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) will continue its series of webinars on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act) and its impact on older adults, people with disabilities and the aging and disability networks, focusing on managed long-term services and supports. As an increasing number of States move toward developing and implementing managed long-term services and supports systems for older adults and individuals with disabilities, important lessons can be learned from those States that have already made this transition. This month ACL will examine promising practices for managed long-term services and supports from States with existing programs. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29, 3:30 – 5:00 pm (ET). Register here. BrainLine Offers Online Course on Treating Service Members and Veterans with mTBI Created for civilian healthcare providers, BrainLine Military’s free online course – “Identifying and Treating Concussion/mTBI in Service Members and Veterans” – covers symptoms of mild TBI, diagnostic criteria, treatment guidelines, and more. It features video interviews with experts and service members as well as articles and resources to help patients with TBI and their families. By taking this two-hour, self-paced course, you can receive two hours of free AAPA or AMA credits or an attendance certificate. Click here for more information. NSCIA Sponsors Webinar on January 30th on Health
Care ReformThe National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), as part of the United Spinal Association program series, is sponsoring a webinar on “Health Care Reform’s Impact on People with Disabilities: The Road Ahead” on January 30. This webinar will answer the tough questions regarding the Affordable Care Act, focusing on pre-existing conditions; the elimination of certain coverage limits; health insurance marketplaces; and State incentives to expand Medicaid coverage. Participants will have the opportunity to share their questions and comments, as well as discover ways to be proactive in their home State to get the best health care coverage. The presenter is Barbara Kornblau, JD, OTR/L, FAOTA, who serves as
a consultant to the American Association on Health and Disability and is the mother of 6 children with disabilities. She worked for Senators Harkin and Rockefeller on health and disability issues and health care financing. As a self-advocate, she served as the health reform policy advisor for the American Association of People with Disabilities. The webinar is hosted by NSCIA and the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD). Click here to register. NCOA Hosts Webinar Series on HCBS and Advocacy With support from the SCAN Foundation, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Friday Morning Collaborative are hosting a series of webinars to help State advocates prevent cuts to home and community-based services (HCBS) and promote the adoption of new options in the Affordable Care Act. The December webinar focused on “Development of the Home and Community-Based Services Experience Survey”. Click here to listen to that webinar, as well as past events. Other The American Tax Relief Act of 2012 Creates Long-Term Care Commission The American Tax Relief Act of 2012, which was signed into law by President Obama on January 2 to prevent the “fiscal cliff” and avert major spending cuts, includes a provision that mandates the establishment of a Commission on Long-Term Care. The Commission is to be responsible for developing a plan for “establishing, implementing, and financing” a “comprehensive, coordinated, and high-quality system that ensures the availability of long-term services and supports” for elders and people with disabilities. Language is included in the American Tax Relief Act that requires the Commission to address the following workforce issues in long-term care:
- Adequacy of the number of long-term care workers to meet the need;
- Necessary development of the workforce in order to provide high-quality services;
- Development of entities (i.e. public authorities) that can serve as employers and fiscal agents for home care workers; and
- Gaps in federal and State infrastructure that prevent the delivery of high-quality long-term services and supports.