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    Health Care Policy & Legislation Updates

    Summary of Hearing on Concussions in Youth Sports

    May 2016—Following an initial roundtable discussion in March, the House Energy & Commerce Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing earlier this month to examine concussions and head trauma in youth sports. The hearing focused primarily on prevention and protection of young athletes from brain trauma, as well as next steps in developing evidence-based policies. Even though more than 30 million children annually participate in organized sports, there is a lack of substantial awareness, prevention, and research related to head trauma and injuries among child and adolescent athletes. Read More >>


    ACRM Members Call to Action: Critical legislation needs co-sponsors

    On 19 March 2015, companion bipartisan bills (S. 800; H.R. 1469) were introduced to enhance the stature and visibility of medical rehabilitation research at NIH. DRRC has been working with members of Congress and NIH for years to craft this bill and enthusiastically supports these companion bills. They send a powerful message that our Nation can and must improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and chronic conditions by enhancing medical rehabilitation research at NIH and, by so doing, improve the provision of rehabilitation services and devices. We urge you to contact your members of Congress in person when they are in the district, asking them to co-sponsor this critical legislation. 

    Summary of the Bills
    Section by Section Analysis of the Bills
    Talking Points for Bills
    Template for Letter to Senators
    Template for Letter to House of Representatives


    Priority Proposed for RRTC on Self-Directed Care to Promote Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

    The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living proposes a priority for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) Program administered by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). This notice proposes a priority for an RRTC on Self-Directed Care to Promote Recovery, Health, and Wellness for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness. We take this action to focus research attention on an area of national need. We intend this priority to contribute to improved employment for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) and co-occurring conditions. Comments must be received before 27 March 2015. Read More


    Policy and Legislation Committee Offers Draft Wording for Review

    On 22 July 2014, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The legislation includes significant changes to Title II of the Rehabilitation Act pertaining to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), including amendments previously proposed by ACRM and others. A draft ACRM statement applauding Congressional action that made these changes is available for review and comment. Responses to any questions will be announced in eNews.
    Review Draft ACRM Statement
    Submit Comments


    Congressional Leaders Announced Bipartisan/Bicameral Agreement Reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act and Rehabilitation Act (May 21, 2014)

    On May 21, 2014 congressional leaders announced a bipartisan/bicameral agreement reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The bill number is H.R. 803 and the short title of the bill is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. View the bill, a section-by-section analysis prepared by congressional staff, and a one-page summary here.

    The following documents may also be of interest to ACRM members. The NIDRR Reauthorization Agreement summarizes the key changes to Title II of the Rehabilitation Act (Research and Training).

    The Redline of Title II Amendments compares the language in the bill to current law by indicating deleted language by using “strike-through” and by indicating new language by using bold and underline.

    The Senate is expected to act within a month, followed by the House. The President has indicated he will sign the bill. You may contact Robert "Bobby" Silverstein, Principal of Powers, Pyles, Sutter and Verville, PC with questions, direct: 202.872.6754.

    DOD Request for Information: Ongoing Blast Injury Prevention Standards Recommendation (BIPSR) Process (February 6, 2014)

    The BIPSR Process is currently focused on Human Lower Extremities (LE) Blast Injury Prevention Standards. The LE includes: lower limb, femur, knee, tibia, ankle (talus), foot and heel (calcaneus). The BIPSR Process injury types of interest are Fracture, Vascular Injury, Nerve Injury, Muscular Injury, Ligament and Tendon Injury, Traumatic amputation, and Dermal Burns.

    The BIPSR Process identified a need to define injury criteria and test methods to establish thresholds for protective systems designed to protect the military service members' lower extremities from all blast injury categories and types in their respective operational environments. Read More

    January 2014 Status Update on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the U. S. Congress

    Reported by Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, PC

    The negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are currently at a stand-still in Congress. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last held a hearing on the matter on Thursday, 21 November 2013. During the hearing, testimony as given by Secretary of State John Kerry; Frances W. West, Worldwide Director, Human Ability & Accessibility Center; C. Boyden Gray, Former White House Counsel and Ambassador Read More

    DRRC Commends Senators Kirk and Johnson for Bipartisan Introduction of S. 1027 (July 1, 2013)

    Washington, DC: A large coalition of rehabilitation, disability, research, and provider organizations endorsed federal legislation intended to improve, coordinate and enhance rehabilitation research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address the needs of people with injuries, illnesses, disabilities and chronic conditions.

    The Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC) commended Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) for their bipartisan introduction of S. 1027, the Kirk/Johnson Rehabilitation Improvement Act, to spotlight the importance of advancing rehabilitation research at NIH and across other federal agencies. Read More.

    Analysis of the President's Budget  (April 25, 2013)

    On 10 April 2013, President Obama released his FY 2014 budget, two months after the official deadline by which the President is legally obligated to offer a spending proposal for the next fiscal year.  His budget totals $3.77 trillion for 2014 and includes $580 billion in tax increases and over $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years to achieve a total of $1.8 trillion of additional deficit reduction.  While the President’s proposal brings the deficit down to 1.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2023, it does not eliminate the annual deficit entirely. Read More

    House Bill Would Eliminate Agency

    Act locally to defend research funding. Now is the time to reach out to your Representatives and tell them that health services research, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, must be protected.

    Summary of FY 2012 Appropriations and Applicable Report Language (PDF)

    Senate Committee Report No. 112-84 (Sept 22, 2011) (PDF)

    Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
    FY 2012 Appropriation Bill

    ACRM Comments on AHRQ Draft Report, February 2012 (PDF)

    On February 6, 2012, ACRM submitted comments on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality draft report, Multidisciplinary Postacute Rehabilitation for Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. ACRM comments address concerns that the report reveals:

    • Inadequate understanding of TBI post-acute rehabilitation;
    • Deficiencies in the methodology;
    • Insufficient consideration of the unintended consequences of paper on individuals with TBI and their families;
    • Lack of recognition of the fiscal implications of the recommendations calling for a comprehensive research agenda; and
    • Lack of summary comments.

    House Democrats Introduce WIA and Rehab Reauthorization Bill (PDF)

    By Robert "Bobby" Silverstein, Principal
    Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville PC

    MARCH 21, 2012 – Yesterday, the House Democrats introduced the Workforce Investment Act of 2012. The provisions relating to NIDRR and disability and rehabilitation research are virtually identical to the provisions in the bipartisan Senate bill marked up last year. The Senate bill includes many of the recommendations made by DRRC. The House bill includes what is referred to as “cut and bite” amendments, which means that the bill amends current law by striking certain language and inserting other language. If you have not memorized current law, it is virtually impossible to figure out what is being proposed. To facilitate understanding of what’s in the bill, please review the red-line version of Senate draft (changes reflected in current law). There is no red-line version of the House Democrats bill. Below are the major categories of changes included in the House Democrats bill:

    1. Reaffirms the focus of NIDRR on the research domains of employment, community participation (independent living), and health and function as well as assistive technology and disability demographics.
    2. Promotes the implementation of evidence-based practices and emphasize the importance of knowledge translation and new methods of sharing and disseminating information.
    3. Expands the list of designated members of the ICDR.
    4. Directs ICDR to host a disability and rehabilitation research summit that will establish a strategic plan for disability and rehabilitation research conducted by federal agencies.