S.2539 – TBI Reauthorization Act of 2014 – Additional Information Added

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced S. 2539, the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act, which would authorize appropriations through fiscal year 2019 for traumatic brain injury (TBI) prevention and surveillance or registry programs. That bill also heads to the House.


Senators Pass TBI Act Reauthorization
The Senate passed the TBI Reauthorization of 2014, S. 2539, last week. As the bill is different than the H.R. 1098, the House of Representatives will need to take up the senate bill for passage after Members return in November. The Senate added a section directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a plan to improve coordination of federal activities with respect to TBI. Specifically, the provision requires the Secretary to review existing interagency coordination efforts with regard to TBI activities; to identify areas for improved coordination between relevant federal agencies and programs with a focus on serving individuals with TBI; to identify recommendations that have been/or has not been adopted; and to incorporate, as appropriate, stakeholder feedback, including feedback from individuals with TBI and their caregivers.

The Senate Committee also included a provision directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in consultation with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to conduct a review of scientific evidence related to brain injury management in children, such as the restriction or prohibition of children from attending school or participating in athletic activities following a TBI and identify ongoing and potential further opportunities for research. Both H.R. 1098 and S. 2539 removed HRSA from administering the Federal TBI Program (state grant and P&A), leaving the administration to the discretion of the HHS Secretary. Members of Congress have expressed their desire to move the program to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within HHS to coordinate and collaborate with other disability and aging programs providing an array of services and supports to individuals across the lifespan.