BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE FIGHTS PROPOSED STATE BUDGET CUTS WITH SERVICES, SUPPORT & SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES CAMPAIGN
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) today announced the Services, Support & Successful Outcomes campaign to help New Yorkers understand how changes proposed by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) in the 2016-2017 State Budget could lead to harmful service cuts for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
“DOH wants to move individuals with TBI into managed care programs, which will dramatically reduce the level and quality of care they receive, and we are working hard to keep that from happening,” said BIANYS Executive Director Eileen Reardon. “Individualized, coordinated services currently help New Yorkers with brain injury to remain safely in the community, close to their loved ones. Without such services, many would end up in nursing homes, homeless, or in prison – at far greater cost to taxpayers.”
Serious falls, assaults, car accidents and other incidents result in TBI for thousands of New Yorkers every year, and the impact of TBI varies greatly from one person to the next. For many, brain injury dramatically impacts cognitive function, resulting in the need for comprehensive long-term care. Some with TBI also struggle with behavioral issues that make it difficult for them to function in day-to-day life.
State Senate Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried have proposed legislation (S.6766/A.9288) to ensure that the existing level of services for those with TBI would be maintained in managed care programs. Other legislation currently under consideration would prevent any transition to managed care and instead require the state to continue to provide the existing level and range of services for individuals with TBI.
Current services for New Yorkers with brain injury address the specific cognitive, social, and physical needs of these individuals, many of whom struggle to reintegrate into family, community and employment or school because of the loss of ability to think and function. Service coordinators, community integration counselors, independent living skills trainers and other service providers offer individualized structure, support and assistance to help those with TBI live as independently as possible in their home communities.
BIANYS’s Services, Support & Successful Outcomes campaign will culminate with an Albany advocacy day on Wednesday, March 23, from 10 am to 3 pm at the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building. New Yorkers whose lives have been touched by TBI will rally and meet with legislators as they work to raise awareness of TBI – and fight to preserve the vital services that help keep those with TBI in their communities and out of costly institutional settings.
The budget deadline is April 1.