Brain Waves: UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Newsletter Volume 17 | Number 1

VOL 17 | NUM 1 2019 BrainWaves UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Digital Newsletter Headline News 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: Robert Brunner, MD Brain Waves Editor: Phil Klebine, MA 529 Spain Rehabilitation Center 1717 6th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35233-7330 Phone: 205-934-3283 TDD: 205-934-4642 Fax: 205-975-4691 WWW.UAB.EDU/TBI [email protected] /UABTBIMS /UABTBIMS /UABTBIMS The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DPTB0015). 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. ©2019 University of Alabama Board of Trustees. The University of Alabama at Birmingham provides equal opportunity in education and employment. Imagine if state or federal rules and regulations forced everyone to wear the same size shoes. Seems silly to think of this as reality, huh? One size does not fit all. The is the long-fought message that advocates continue to press to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about Complex rehab technology (CRT). CRT is 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. Back in 2016, advocates fought and won to prevent CMS from cutting reimbursement rates for CRT. Now the University of Alabama at Birmingham Traumatic Brain Injury Model System (UAB-TBIMS) is asking readers to consider supporting the aims of 2 proposed legislative priorities. S. 1223 is a bill that will stop CMS from applying set standards for manual wheelchair CRT and allow manual wheelchair users the same access to critical CRT as power wheelchair users. H.R. 2408 will create a separate category for wheelchair-related CRT similar to Orthotics and Prosthetics categories allowing for custom braces and artificial limbs. This bill no longer allows specialized CRT items to be grouped within Medicare’s “standard” Durable Medical equipment category and allow coverage, coding, and safeguard improvements for individual needs. This will allow for improvements in coverage policies, coding, and supplier standards to better address the unique needs of the individuals with significant disabilities and chronic medical conditions who rely on these specialized products and related services to manage their medical needs, minimize their health care costs, and maximize their function and independence. Visit to get CRT information, resources and tools. Thank you. - Phil Klebine, Editor A recent research summary was featured in Research In Focus from the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC). In the study, researchers at Project Career: Development of an Interprofessional Demonstration to Support the Transition of Students with Traumatic Brain Injuries from Postsecondary Education to Employment developed and tested Project Career, which combines Cognitive Support Technologies (CST) with individualized Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services for college students with traumatic brain injury (TBI). They wanted to find out what challenges the students with TBI had when they began the program, what kinds of CST they already used, and how the new program could help the students do better in college and find jobs. The researchers found that students most often described having challenges with memory, concentration, planning, organizing, feeling anxious or depressed, having trouble with social relationships, or having visual or hearing impairments. The most common types of cognitive support apps were those designed to help with planning and organizing, educational/academic topics, and notetaking. Some of the students also requested assistance with other issues like housing, health insurance, and Social Security Disability. Read the full summary