The Brain Injury Assocation of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) advocates for the support and prevention of the brain injury community. BIA-MA advocates for the MRC to increase budgets (for brain injury supports and services), safety laws (seat belts and helmets), and legislation affecting commercial insurance coverage (Cog-Rehab Bill). Our legislative efforts are enhanced by the hard work of individuals across the state.
There are currently two BIA-MA advocacy efforts, click on the subject to see more informaiton:
Advocate for Brain Injury Services
Join BIA-MA to advocate for the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) FY'17 budget Ask. The testimony is limited to three minutes but you can also submit written testimony.If you are interested in testifying at the hearing on increasing funding for SHIP or have any other questions, please contact Kelly Buttiglieri, Advocacy Associate at Kbuttiglieri@biama.org
Advocacy Day at the State House - February 3, 2016
What a success! On February 3, 2016, BIA-MA held an Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House. Over 200 legislators, brain injury survivors, volunteers, and BIA-MA employees attended this event, held at Grand Staircase on the second floor. This event was held to emphasize the importance of continued legislation to bring services and supports to individuals with brain injury. read more
Mass Health Policy Forum - December 10, 2015
A Massachusetts Health Policy Forum on “Severe Brain Injury in Massachusetts: Assessing the Continuum of Care”, sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts and Supportive Living, Inc., was held at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston on December 10th, 2015. This forum examined the treatment and service disparities for survivors of severe brain injury in light of coverage expansions and health care system and financing changes under state and national reform.
Acquired brain injury is a major public health problem in Massachusetts, yet many patients with brain injury are not receiving services after initial treatment that are known to be effective, such as post-acute rehabilitation, case management and brain injury specific community programming. While good emergency care saves lives after a severe brain injury, access to rehabilitation in the chronic phase of severe brain injury is limited in Massachusetts, despite evidence that access at this critical phase improves outcomes.
A report and issue brief, prepared by Laura Lorenz, PhD, MEd and Gabrielle Katz, MPP candidate, was released at this forum and outlines recommendations to improve access across the continuum of care. Research was brought forward to quantify the problems, costs, and the potential consequences to both the brain injury survivors and the state as a whole. In addition the forum explored potential options and action steps to reduce disparities and move towards a more equitable distribution of critical resources.
A stakeholders panel was moderated by Christine Griffin, Executive Director, Disability Law Center, with panelists: Nicky Osborne, Commissioner, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; Marilyn Price Spivak, Neurotrauma Outreach Coordinator, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and co-founder and past president of the National Head Injury Foundation; and Mary Roach, President and founding partner, Neuro-Rehab Management, Inc.
The Massachusetts Health Policy Forum, located at Brandeis University, is an independent nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the health care system in the Commonwealth by convening forums and presenting the highest quality research to legislators, stakeholders and the public.
Advocacy in the News
BIA-MA instrumental in extra $1 million in MRC FY'16 budget!
As of March 2015 there were 3,022 individuals who had suffered a TBI and were eligible for services through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). The total amount of funding required to meet the needs of these individuals is $35 million. BIA-MA is advocating for an FY’16 Ask of $22.8 million (an additional $7.2 million over the FY’15 budget). Increasing funding on a proportional basis over the next three years will allow for full implementation of the service recommendations stated in the Brain Injury Commission Report.
2014 Epidemiology Report Identifies Gaps in Supports and Services
Gaps in services for survivors of brain injury in Massachusetts were identified in a report released by a statewide Brain Injury Commission. Under the bipartisan leadership of Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester) and Representation Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden). Members of the commission included representatives from healthcare, state government, and the private sector.
The final report was written in collaboration with the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA). Observed gaps in services include: case management services, day programs, social/recreation services, post-acute rehabilitation services, MassHealth PCA services, technical assistance, transportation, and other services needs.
BIA-MA's Legislative Successes:
- Instrumental in obtaining an extra $1 million for MRC line item 4120-6000 in FY'16 Ask
- Hutchinson v. Patrick Class Action Settlement
- Supported passage of Shaken Baby Syndrome Law
- Instrumental in passage of secondary Seat Belt Law
- Established HITS, financed by surcharges on drunk driving and speeding
- Instrumental in the establishment of the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP), which funds community-based and other support servies for persons with traumatic brain injury
For more information about Advocacy at BIA-MA, contact Kelly Buttiglieri at 508-475-0032 or firstname.lastname@example.org