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BIAV Advocacy

Legislative Update

At the halfway point of the 2017 General Assembly session, restoration of some of the funding cut from brain injury services in 2016 looks promising.   The full amount of the cuts, $375,000, was included in the Governor McAuliffe’s proposed budget for 2018.   Additionally, the House and Senate have both included returning some of the funds this year as part of their budget packages.   The House version restores the full amount; the Senate version restores only $75,000. Obviously, we like the House version better!  Our hopes for additional funding were dashed for this year, as was budget language that would have required a multi-agency implementation team to improve brain injury data collection and analysis and develop funding strategies for a full continuum of brain injury care in Virginia.   The Senate budget contains an amendment that would require cost sharing for Medicaid long term supports and services; families of Virginians with disabilities provide billions of dollars of care at no cost to the Commonwealth, and this proposal would hurt thousands of them

The final amount will be decided by the Budget Conferees (listed below); please contact them and let him or her know:
We  SUPPORT Item # 332 #3h  - to restore $375,000 from the general fund for brain injury services
We OPPOSE Item 306 #14s  - which calls for the Department of Medical Assistance Services to develop a plan for cost-sharing requirements based on family income for individuals eligible for long-term services and supports

Stay tuned for other developing updates.

Conferee Talking Points
Sample Letter

Senate Budget Conferees
Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-District 3)
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-District 24)
Richard L. Saslaw (D-District 35)
Janet D. Howell (D-District 32)
Stephen D. Newman (R-District 23)
Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R-District 15)
Frank W. Wagner (R-District 7)
House Budget Conferees
S. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk)
M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R-Colonial Heights)
R. Steven “Steve” Landes (R-Augusta)
John M. O’Bannon, III (R-Henrico)
Thomas A. “Tag” Greason (R-Loudoun)
Luke E. Torian (D-Prince William)
 

Joint Commission on Health Care Report

On September 7, the Joint Commission on Health Care heard a report on “Expanding Access to Brain Injury Services and Barriers to Placement for Virginians with Challenging Behaviors that Result from Brain Injuries, Dementias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.” A link to the presentation can be found here.

Although the report only focused on brain injury when originally requested, it became a much broader study, and in the end included information on dementia and PTSD. This was disappointing in a number of ways; the extensive amount of information contained in the report was overwhelming and it did not (in BIAV's opinion) fully explain the impact the lack of access to certain types of care has on those who have been affected by brain injury. You can read the comments submitted by BIAV to the Joint Commission.

BIAV has been working with the Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Service Providers to develop our legislative agenda for the 2017 General Assembly session. We should be posting information on the items we will be pursuing soon, so keep an eye out for our call to action, because we need your help to create a better future for people we care about. 

We Need Your Help

Please remember that advocacy is a year-round activity and we hope you’ll consider contacting your legislators throughout the year to make sure that brain injury is at the front of their minds.

There are many ways you can support BIAV's advocacy efforts:

  • Sign up for the Advocacy list serve if you are not already on it. As a subscriber to the Advocacy list serve, if a call to action is needed you will be the first to hear!
  • Tell your story!  Whether you tell it to BIAV, to a local brain injury provider, to a member of the press or the General Assembly (we have provided a sample letter to help you get started), it is the real life day to day struggles and successes that make our needs known and compel people to action!
  • Our year-round advocacy efforts take considerable resources. Your generosity will provide BIAV with the personnel to be present at important meetings; if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!
Thank you to all for your ongoing advocacy efforts.  Your calls, emails and visits to legislators make a difference!

Other Information

We are always available to discuss these issues with you or answer any questions you might have, so give us a call or shoot us an email at info@biav.net.

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