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Public Hearing 10/8: Brain Injury Services

Richard N. Gottfried, Chair
Aileen M. Gunther, Chair
David I. Weprin, Chair


SUBJECT: Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment and Services

Albany, NY
Thursday, October 8
10:30 AM
Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room C

Every year, traumatic brain injury (TBI) (injury to the brain or skull caused by an external force) results in more than 2,000 deaths, 19,000 hospital admissions, and over 100,000 emergency department visits in New York. Thousands of New Yorkers, young and old alike, live with brain injury and its consequences, including complex and unique cases in which symptoms may not have been noticed at first or weren’t considered “traumatic” at the time of injury. While many of these patients receive health care services in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, it is likely that some portion of individuals are not diagnosed or evaluated for services from which they could benefit. Emerging science on brain injury – its prevalence, causes, and effects – complicates the picture even further.

New York’s Medicaid “TBI Waiver” program provides Medicaid services in the home. The Department of Health recently agreed to delay the transition of TBI Waiver services from fee-for-service to managed care until January 1, 2017, and to form a work group to discuss this transition. Advocates, providers, and legislators called for this delay to ensure adequacy and appropriateness of services for this population.

The Assembly Committee on Health, Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, and Task Force on People with Disabilities are seeking oral and written testimony from patients and their families, clinicians, service providers, and the Department on topics including the incidence, severity and consequences of TBI; treatment and service appropriateness and availability, including the rights of patients sent out-of-state; and issues relating to the transition of the TBI Waiver program to managed care.

Oral testimony is by invitation only. Persons wishing to be invited to testify at the hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form by October 2. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation of the hearing. Persons who do not testify in person may submit written testimony.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes. All testimony will be under oath. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate receiving prepared statements in advance. Written testimony, whether presented in person at the hearing or not, should be e-mailed (as a Word or PDF document) before the hearing or as soon as possible to Mischa Sogut,

Please inform interested parties and organizations of the hearing.

In order to meet the needs of those with a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Questions about this hearing may be directed to Mischa Sogut of the Assembly Health Committee staff at 518-455-4941 or


Persons wishing to testify at the public hearing on traumatic brain injury treatment and services are requested to complete this reply form by October 2 and mail, email or fax it to:

Mischa Sogut, Legislative Aide
Assembly Committee on Health
Room 822 – LOB, Albany, New York 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4941, Fax: (518) 455-5939

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___ I plan to attend but not testify
___ I would like to be added to the Health Committee mailing list.
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