BIANYS: The Voice of Brain Injury
Below are highlighted public policy priority areas. Please note, the Priorities are an attempt to focus our efforts on key issues, not an exclusive list of the only issues with which BIANYS is concerned. Additional BIANYS Policy Statements and past action details are available on the Additional Advocacy page.
Join with BIANYS in working for change! Contact your representatives in the NYS Senate and the NYS Assembly to tell them why brain injury matters. Become a BIANYS member today and visit our Advocacy Tools page to learn how to take part in our efforts!
Priority Issues and Legislation
TBI and NHTD Medicaid Waiver Programs: The TBI and NHTD Medicaid Waiver programs are scheduled to transition to the Medicaid Managed Care system in April 2018. BIANYS believes that the Waivers provide essential services to New Yorkers with brain injury and that Medicaid Managed Care would limit or eradicate these services. A full transition plan ensuring the safety of participants and the continuation of specialized services has not yet been issued. We are advocating that the transition be delayed unless and until safety and brain injury support services are protected. Resources on how to take action and background on the issue are available on the Managed Care page.
Uniform Assessment System (UAS-NY): The NYS Department of Health has implemented a Uniform Assessment System to evaluate the level of care for individuals receiving certain services via Medicaid. The tool does not adequately assess cognitive disabilities, impacting individuals with brain injury to a greater extent than individuals with other disabilities. The Department has acknowledged this issue and promised to make changes to the UAS-NY, but none have been made. They have implemented a plan that allows participants to receive a second UAS-NY assessment if they are assessed below qualifying levels, and to have a physician indicate the need for services, but this system is not fully in place. If you are experiencing Waiver service problems due to a UAS-NY assessment, contact BIANYS for assistance. For a more in-depth discussion of this issue, visit the UAS-NY page.
Creation of a TBI Trust Fund [S.3752 (Golden) / A. 0105 (Cahill)]: Many brain injury rehabilitation and support services, such as cognitive rehabilitation, are not covered by insurance, making them inaccessible to many New Yorkers. The Brain Injury Trust Fund addresses this by letting people with brain injury apply for financial assistance to access these services. Senate Bill 3752 (Golden) and Assembly Bill 0105 (Cahill) would create this needed program.
The Disability Integration Act: S. 910 (Schumer) / H. 2472 (Sensenbrenner)
The Disability Integration Act is a civil rights bill seeking to encourage community living for all people with disabilities. It strengthens existing disability integration laws, regulations, and court decisions related to access to community living, with stress on transportation and integrated employment, establishes oversight by the Department of Justice and input from the Department of Health and Human Services, includes nondiscrimination clauses, and legislates that community-based services must be offered to individuals with disabilities prior to institutionalization, with regular updates. BIANYS has issued a memo of support for the Act. Contact your Congressional Member in the House of Representatives to ask for their support.
More information about initiatives on the federal level is available on the BIAA Advocacy & Government Affairs web page
Please lend your support to these initiatives by contacting your representatives and asking them to support these bills, or to work with us to create new services. Resources are available on the Advocacy Tools page to help you locate your representative and speak out on this issue.