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ACR 48 (Cooley) Introduced on Assembly Floor

On March 26, 2015, Assemblyman Ken Cooley introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution 48 on the Assembly Floor.  ACR 48 declares the month of March as Brain Injury Awareness, Treatment & Prevention Month concurrently.  The bill was passed and currently in the Senate where it will be heard on the Senate Floor in the coming days.  Click here to follow the progress of the bill.

Pictured on the Assembly Floor:  Assemblyman Jim Cooper, BIACAL Vice Chairman, Lynda Eaton, BIACAL Chairman, Dr. Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, Assemblyman Ken Cooley, Former NFL Player George Visger, and Miss Inland Empire, Madison Givens.

SB 190 Update

SB 190 (Beall), previously scheduled to be heard before the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, April 22nd, has been postponed.  Additional work is necessary to respond to issues raised in the required analysis from the California Health & Benefits Review Program (CHBRP).  This work cannot be completed in time to meet the deadline for the Health Committee hearing. BIACAL is committed to working with CHBRP, the Senate Health Committee Members, and the brain injury community to move the bill forward.  BIACAL will provide updates via email blasts and on this page.

It is imperative that our constituents continue to provide letters of support and/or signed petitions.  Sample letters and the petition form can be downloaded from the links in the article below.  Please return all support documents to Nahrain Antonaros at nantonaros@biacal.org or by fax to (661) 873-2508. 

BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA SPONSORS SENATE BILL 190 (BEALL)

The Brain Injury Association of California (BIACAL) is proud to sponsor Senate Bill 190 (Beall), the Brain Injury Access to Rehabilitation Act of 2015.  SB 190 will require insurance carriers to authorize appropriate rehabilitation following catastrophic brain injury and prevent cost shifting by insurance carriers to the public sector for undertreated disability.  Skilled nursing benefits will be preserved under most plans and SB 190 will reduce or may prevent disease progression after brain injury such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  Furthermore, SB 190 will protect vulnerable Californians and reduce disability, depression, joblessness, homelessness, and suicide after catastrophic brain Injury.

Support letters and signed petitions are needed throughout the entire legislative process.  You may also be asked to make phone calls to the Senators and/or Assemblymembers in your District.  If you are not already receiving BIACAL's email blasts, please send your email address to Nahrain Antonaros at nantonaros@biacal.org and ask her to add you to our list.

ALL signed petitions and letters should be returned to the BIACAL office to the attention of Nahrain Antonaros, Outreach Manager.  Please email them directly to her at nantonaros@biacal.org, send by fax to (661) 873-2508 or by mail to the BIACAL office at:  3501 Mall View Road, Suite 115 - Box 397, Bakersfield, CA  93306.  We will compile all of the letters and signed petitions and forward to Senator Beall's office.

Below are links to the SB 190 language, fact sheet, the petition and sample support letters.  By clicking on the links, you can download the documents and begin your advocacy effort.  We have included the "fill in the blanks" version to make it easy for all to complete, however, if you wish to expand the letter to elaborate on personal or professional reasons for your support, you may utilize the other sample support letters.  Individuals are encouraged to insert a paragraph that will highlight struggles to receive appropriate levels of rehabilitation due to the denials of the insurance carriers.  All hospitals, rehab facilities, other treating facilities and organizations should utilize the sample Corporate letter and submit letters on company letterhead.

Please direct any questions to Nahrain Antonaros at nantonaros@biacal.org

SB 190

SB 190 Fact Sheet

SB 190 Petition

SB 190 Sample Support Letter - Individual

SB 190 Sample Support Letter - Fill in the blanks

SB 190 Sample Support Letter - Corporate


SB 320 HELD OVER IN SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE - BECOMES A 2-YEAR BILL.

Following the overwhelming success of the passage of SB 320 in the Senate Health Committee on May 1st, and compelling testimony by Dr. Mark Ashley before the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 13th, we received word on May 23rd that SB 320 will be held in the Senate Appropriations Committee until January, 2014.  This is just a temporary setback as we will continue our efforts to move the bill forward to a successful outcome in early 2014. 

To view testimony provided at the May 13th hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, please click here and advance the time to 02:22:14 for SB 320.

Support for SB 320 is evident from the thousands of letters and signed petitions we received, and it did not go unnoticed by the legislature.  We will continue the effort and will be communicating any new developments via this website and our email blasts. 

SB 320 PASSES IN SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE

On Wednesday, May 1st, BIACAL and witnesses presented SB 320 before the Senate Health Committee.  The bill passed in a vote of 5-2.  Next step is a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 13th.  We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

 

ACTION ALERT - SAVE THE DATE

Senate Bill 320 (Beall) will be heard before the Senate Health Committee at the State Capitol on Wednesday, May 1st at 1:30 pm. in Room #4203.  All individuals able and willing to attend are encouraged to do so.  It is vital that we fill the room with supporters.  More information to follow as it becomes available.

Please keep the support letters coming in.  We will be accepting letters and signed petitions throughout the life of this bill.  We need to focus our attention on sending letters and making phone calls to the Members of the Senate Health Committee.  If you reside in the districts of one of the members, please make personal phone calls and/or write letters to them asking for their vote in support of SB 320 on May 1st.

Please continue to copy Nahrain Antonaros on all letters of support.  You mail email copies to nantonaros@biacal.org or fax to (661) 873-2508.

Click Here to view the Senate Health Committee Hearing on SB 320 held on May 1, 2013.  Scroll to the time of 18:20 to view the start of the SB 320 presentation.

SB 320 Status Update (May 13, 2013) - SB 320 is being held in the Suspense File in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  A decision about the future of the bill will be made on or before May 24, 2013.

BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA SPONSORS SENATE BILL 320 (BEALL)

The Brain Injury Association of California (BIACAL) is proud to sponsor Senate Bill 320 (Beall), the Brain Injury Access to Treatment Act.  SB 320 will enable access to treatment for acquired brain injury across an established continuum of licensed treatment settings specifically designed to provide the most clinically effective and cost efficient specialized treatment for acquired brain injury, and to ensure that acquired brain injury as a catastrophic health condition is treated on par with other major medical conditions which have no time limitations for treatment.

As evidenced by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (AZ) and ABC reporter Bob Woodruff, individuals who have sustained acquired brain injury can experience substantial progress in restoration of health and functioning if provided medically necessary and appropriate care, which includes specialized rehabilitation services and chronic disease management in the appropriate treatment setting.  The proper continuum of medical treatment settings for acquired brain injury, in existence for over 30 years, includes acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units, residential transitional rehabilitation programs, day treatment programs, outpatient clinics and home health agencies. 

SB 320 complies with the Institute of Medicine’s report on Essential Health Benefits to the Secretary of Health and Human Services that policies should:

  • Provide protections for catastrophic injury.
  • Provide access to the entire spectrum of care.
  • Duty to protect vulnerable populations.
  • Provide coverage to include care that improves or maintains health and functioning.
  • Avoid condition – specific limits or dollar limits within benefit categories.
  • Ensure that care is individualized to avoid discrimination.

The Brain Injury Association of California would like to ask for your support by way of writing letters and attending the Senate Health Committee Hearing in Sacramento (date to be determined).  Please address letters of support to Senator Jim Beall at the following address:

Senator Jim Beall

State Capitol, Room 2068

Sacramento, CA  95814

(916) 323-4529  Fax

Please send additional support letters to Members of the Senate Health Committee.  Please click here to download a copy of the Senate Health Committee Members and their contact information. 

Support letters and signed petitions are needed throughout the entire legislative process so please continue to send them in.  We also ask that you either email or fax a copy of your letters that you send to Senator Beall and the Members of the Senate Health Committee to the attention of Ms. Laura Sheridan at laura.sheridan@sen.ca.gov or fax to (916) 323-4529.  We also request that you send copies of ALL support letters to Nahrain Antonaros, Outreach Manager of BIACAL via email to nantonaros@biacal.org or by fax to (661) 873-2508.

Sample support letters and a petition supporting SB 320 can be downloaded from the links below. Please edit these letters as appropriate.  We have added the "fill in the blanks" version to make it easy for all to complete, however, if you wish to expand the letter to elaborate on personal or professional reasons for your support, you may utilize the other sample support letters.   All hospitals, rehab facilities, other treating facilities and organizations should utilize the sample Corporate letter and submit letters on company letterhead.  Individuals are encouraged to insert a paragraph that will highlight struggles to receive appropriate levels of rehabilitation due to the denials of the insurance carriers.

We are also urging all individuals to download a copy of the Petition below and obtain signatures from family, friends, co-workers, etc.  Please be sure to submit the signed petition sheets to Nahrain Antonaros at nantonaros@biacal.org or fax to (661) 873-2508.

Please direct any questions to Nahrain Antonaros at nantonaros@biacal.org

Sample Support Letter - Individual (Fill In The Blanks)

Sample Support Letter - Individual

Sample Support Letter - Corporate

SB 320 Petition

SB 320

SB 320 Fact Sheet

CONSUMER ADVISORYKNOW YOUR RIGHTS

If an insurance company denies a request for claim for medical treatment, insureds have the right to appeal to the company and also to then ask the department of insurance to review the denial.  Please click on the link below to download a copy of the consumer advisory information sheet.

Consumer Advisory Information Sheet

BIACAL wants to know the outcome.  Please contact Outreach Manager, Nahrain Antonaros, at nantonaros@biacal.org if the original denial was overturned, or you continue to be denied medical treatment.  Please contact Nahrain directly at (661) 873-6555 if you have questions.

U.S. REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS’ STAFF WORKS TO GET TREATMENT FOR ALL WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

Gabrielle Giffords Website

Below are links to recently published articles:

MSNBC News Article - February 8, 2011

ABC News Article - March 4, 2011

New York Times News Article - March 11, 2011

U.S. Department of Defense News Article - March 11, 2011

Arizona Daily Star News Article - March 13, 2011

Army News Service News Article - March 17. 2011

Chicago Tribune News Article - April 3, 2011

UPI.com News Article - April 7, 2011

Newsweek Article - April 13, 2011

Newsweek Article - April 19, 2011

Washington Post Article - April 21, 2011

ABC News Article - June 23, 2011 

McClatchy Newspaper - August 10, 2011

 

HEALTH CARE REFORM

Susan Connors, President / CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has provided the following memo that describes the most important reforms for individuals with brain injury and explains the critical role played by the BIAA in the legislative process.  A detailed analysis of H.R. 3590, as amended, is available from BIAA's website at www.biausa.org   When visiting BIAA's website, please consider making a donation to help support their ongoing efforts.

Health Care Reform Update

Health Care Reform - Bullet Point Fact Sheet

Senate Informational Hearings on Brain Injury - January 13, 2010

CALBIA recently participated in Senate Hearings at the State Capitol in Sacramento.  This was a historic event, as it was the 1st hearings on brain injury in California.  CALBIA would like to thank Senator Elaine Alquist and her staff for organizing these hearings, and CALBIA's legislative consultant Rick Rollens, who guided CALBIA and the volunteer panel of experts, (listed below) to make these hearings a huge success.  The call to action for attendance was very successful, as more than 100 interested people attended, and all those that wished to address the Senate Committees were allowed to do so at the end of the formal session.  To view the hearings, click on the link below (please note it takes a few minutes for the video to start, and at the beginning, other senate business takes place prior to the commencement of the hearings.) 

CALBIA's Expert Witnesses

Dr. Mark Ashley, Dr. David Hovda, Dr. David McArthur, Dr. Nathan Cope, Ms. Sharon Grandinette, Mr. Dave Woodruff.

CALBIA Senate Hearing Video

Senate Hearing Handout

The Brain Injury Association of California honored Senator Elaine Kontominas Alquist at the 4th Annual Greek Dinner & Dance For Thought on October 16, 2010 in San Jose. 

Pictured (Paula Daoutis, Administrative Director;  Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, Board Member; Senator Elaine Kontominas Alquist; Dr. Mark Ashley, Board Chairman)

BIAA releases 2011 Legislative Fact Sheets

Access to Care
Congressional Brain Injury Task Force
Research
Military
TBI Act

ADVOCACY TIPS FROM THE BIAA

BIAA POSITION PAPERS

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