NYC Support Group Cancellations

There are two cancellations for BIANYS support groups this week. The BIANYS monthly support group scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at Brooklyn Center for Independence is cancelled for tomorrow. The group that meets at St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church on Christopher Street in Manhattan on Thursday evening is also cancelled. The groups will meet at their regularly scheduled time in May. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

Contact Your Representatives – BIANYS Advocacy Update

Your Congressional Representatives need to hear your voice during this Independence Day break.

Call your Senators and House Member and tell them to protect health care services for all Americans.

Millions of individuals with brain injury rely on Medicaid for routine healthcare, rehabilitation, and long-term services and supports as provided through a Medicaid State Plan, a home and community-based (HCBS) waiver program, or both. The House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), in combination with the Trump Administration’s Proposed Budget, present devastating cuts to this lifeline program, thereby shifting the burden of care to states and families that are already strained.

ACTION ALERT: Call Your Representatives Today!

Talking Points
VOTE NO on the Senate health care bill and VOTE NO to Medicaid per capita caps.

To protect access to care and long-term services and supports, lawmakers must:
•    Reject proposals to transform Medicaid to a per capita cap model
•    Protect incentives to provide home and community-based services over institutional care
•    Preserve essential health benefits, including rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, in Medicaid expansion plans
•    Maintain eligibility for schools as Medicaid providers
•    Fully fund the Medicaid Program

It is imperative that you call now, and then do it again tomorrow, and every day after that while this legislation is still active! The entire Disability Community is depending on you to make these calls and stop this legislation from moving forward.

BIANYS Mourns Passing of Dedicated Advocate

The BIANYS community was saddened to learn that longtime BIANYS advocate and former board member, David Hughes, has passed away. In addition to his service on the BIANYS Board of Directors, for many years Dave ran the Greater Amsterdam Chapter and support group, and organized a helmet design program for school-aged kids in Fulton, Montgomery, and Schoharie counties. Dave was a familiar presence at conferences and events throughout the region. Dave was a strong advocate for those with brain injury. He consistently assisted with efforts to increase awareness of brain injury and help survivors. Over the years, his talents were tapped to record public service announcements and his wonderful co-narration of the BIANYS documentary Coming Home, stands as a testament to his dedication. Dave’s friendship, humor, and tireless advocacy will be sorely missed.

A memorial celebration will be planned by the family for summer 2017. Dave’s obituary can be read online at!/Obituary

NYS Department of Health Releases Waiver Transition Plan

The NYS Department of Health has released a transition plan for the transition of TBI and Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Medicaid Waiver Programs into Managed Care.

The transition plan is available for download on the DOH website. DOH is seeking comments from the public on this plan until August 24, then will issue responses to those comments and an updated transition plan.Please look at the transition plan and accompanying documents and share any comments with the Department. It is vital that our community share our perspectives with those composing the plan.

BIANYS will have a response to the transition plan soon, and will post that on our website. Please check back for additional information.

Alert: TBI Waiver Participants Receiving Housing Subsidy [Updated]

UPDATE 6/24/16: The Department of Health reports that all payments for housing subsidy and assistance have been sent as of June 23, 2016. If you have any problems, please contact the Department at the number below.

UPDATE 6/20/16: The Department of Health has indicated that the contract has been approved with the housing subsidy contractor and that payments for June and July, plus any late fees incurred by this issue, will be sent this week to landlords of program participants.

Original Message:

BIANYS has learned that there is a problem with the payment process for the TBI Medicaid Waiver Programs’ Housing Subsidy. The Housing Subsidy covers housing and utility payments for qualifying participants. The June payments were not issued to billers due to an issue with the contract for the entity that handles payments.

If you receive the housing subsidy, contact your Service Coordinator for assistance. You, your Service Coordinator, and/or your landlord can speak with Marybeth Gnozzio at the NYS Department of Health at 518-474-5271 for assistance.

Please contact BIANYS at 1-800-444-6443 or 518-459-7911 if you are experiencing a problem due to this housing subsidy issue. We are in contact with Department of Health, other contacts in NYS government, and advocacy organizations to address the issue. We are compiling resources to provide assistance and advocating for a quick resolution to the problem.

We will update this message when more information is available.

BIANYS Applauds Delay of Medicaid Waiver Transition to Managed Care


The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) today applauded a decision by the State Department of Health (DOH) to delay for one year a plan to move New Yorkers with traumatic brain injury (TBI) into Medicaid managed care programs.
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