Brain Waves: UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Newsletter Volume 13 | Number 2
VOL 13 | NUM 2
UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Digital Newsletter
The University of Alabama at
Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury
Model System (UAB-TBIMS)
provides Brain Waves twice annually
as an informational resource for people
with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
UAB-TBIMS Program Director:
Thomas Novack, PhD
Brain Waves Editor: Phil Klebine, MA
529 Spain Rehabilitation Center
1717 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233-7330
The contents of this publication
were developed under a
grant from the National
Institute on Disability, Independent Living,
and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant
number H133A120096). NIDILRR is a Center
within the Administration for Community
Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS). The contents of this publication
do not necessarily represent the policy of
NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume
endorsement by the Federal Government.
©2015 University of Alabama Board of Trustees.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
provides equal opportunity in education and
URGENT ACTION NEEDED! The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) is the US federal agency that administers Medicare,
Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. On
January 1, 2016, CMS plans a policy change to cut reimbursement rates
for Complex rehab technology (CRT) components. The component
are medically necessary, individually-configured manual and power
wheelchair systems, adaptive seating systems, alternative positioning
systems, and other mobility devices that require evaluation, fitting,
configuration, adjustment or programming. These CRT components
are absolutely vital to the health and quality of life of children and adult
wheelchair users with the most severe disabilities such as ALS, cerebral
palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and
traumatic brain injury.
If CMS cuts reimbursement rates for CRT components, most
insurance providers will be moved to follow CMS policies. This means
it will become very difficult or, in most cases, impossible for people
with severe disabilities to get the vital CRT components they need!
Consumers from across the US as well as Republican and Democratic
leaders in Congress have sent letters to CMS requesting that it rescind
this planned policy change. However, CMS still plans on making the
policy change despite all protests.
To prevent the CMS policy change, the US House of Representatives
and the US Senate have now proposed legislation to provide protection
for CRT components and prevent CMS from making this policy change.
Given the dire consequences if funding for CRT components is cut
along with the urgent need to act before 2016, the University of Alabama
at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UAB-SCIMS) is asking
all readers to please take 5 minutes to click this link to send an email
or call your legislators and ask them to co-sponsor the legislation to
protect access to CRT components. Thank you. - Phil Klebine, Editor
The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has published
a supplemental issue of its journal devoted to the Traumatic Brain
Injury (TBI)–Practice Based Evidence study. This 12 article supplement
includes an introductory article describing in detail how the practicebased evidence methodology was applied in this investigation of TBI
rehabilitation and the measures and methods used in the project. The
articles aim to answer at least one of the following questions:
• What patient and injury characteristics contributed to patient
• What clinical events occurred in the course of treatment that may
have mediated outcomes?
• What treatments were used in response to what clinical problems?
• Where various treatment options were available, which one(s) is
best, as demonstrated by superior outcomes achieved (taking into
account TBI severity and other patient deficits and strengths that
may affect outcomes)?
These findings will provide guidance in developing guidelines for
clinical decision-making and other evidence-based practices.