TITLE X
PUBLIC HEALTH

CHAPTER 137-K
BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD INJURIES

Section 137-K:1

    137-K:1 Purpose. – The purpose of this chapter is to support injury prevention efforts and to help meet the needs of individuals who have sustained brain and spinal cord injuries, who would otherwise be dependent on the public for their care and rehabilitation.

Source. 1997, 262:2, eff. June 19, 1997.

Section 137-K:1-a

    137-K:1-a Definitions. –
In this chapter:
I. "Brain and spinal cord injury" means any injury to the brain or spinal cord which causes death or requires medical care and treatment or results in long-term disability.
II. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
III. "Department" means the department of health and human services.
IV. "Prevention services" means organized activities which are capable of reducing the incidence and prevalence of brain and spinal cord injuries.
V. "Risk assessment" means the measurement and evaluation of the threat resulting from these injuries.
VI. "Facility" means a governmental or private agency, department, institution, clinic, laboratory, hospital, health maintenance organization, association, physician, or other similar unit diagnosing or providing treatment for brain and spinal cord injuries.

Source. 1999, 349:2, eff. Jan. 21, 2000.

Section 137-K:2

    137-K:2 Advisory Council. –
I. There is established the New Hampshire brain and spinal cord injury advisory council in the department.
II. (a) The advisory council shall consist of the following voting members:
(1) Two members of the Spinal Cord Injury Association, appointed by such association.
(2) Two members of the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire, appointed by such association.
(3) Two members of the professional community, one of whom shall be in a neurological specialty, appointed by the governor.
(4) Two brain and spinal cord injury survivors, appointed by the governor.
(5) Two family members of victims of brain and spinal cord injuries, appointed by the governor.
(6) One member involved in injury prevention, appointed by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
(7) One member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
(8) One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president.
(9) One vocational rehabilitation instructor, appointed by the commissioner of the department of education.
(10) One educator, appointed by the commissioner of the department of education.
(b) The following persons or their designees shall serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the council:
(1) The commissioner of the department of health and human services and any division administrators of the department of health and human services designated by the commissioner.
(2) The chief of the special education bureau of the department of education.
(3) The administrator of the division of vocational rehabilitation services of the department of education.
(4) The president or executive director of the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire.
(5) The president or executive director, New Hampshire chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association.
(6) The administrator of brain injury services, division of developmental services, department of health and human services.
(7) The administrator of the HCBC/ECI waiver, division of elderly and adult services, department of health and human services.
(8) The president or executive director of Granite State Independent Living.
(9) The president or executive director of the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council.
(10) Representatives of other related agencies or organizations as approved by the council.
III. Members should be appointed with consideration given to statewide geographic representation.
IV. Advisory council appointments shall be for 3 years. Terms shall be staggered so that 1/3 of the positions are elected each year. Upon the completion of 2 consecutive 3-year terms, a council member shall be ineligible to serve on the council for one year. A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Such appointment shall complete the original member's term.
V. The advisory council shall have the authority to draft and adopt by-laws addressing concerns such as attendance, presentations, and notice of council meetings.
VI. The advisory council shall meet at least quarterly. At the last meeting of the state fiscal year, the regular meetings of the following state fiscal year shall be scheduled. Special meetings may be held if necessary at the call of the advisory council chair.
VII. The advisory council shall:
(a) Identify unmet needs which should be considered for support.
(b) Investigate the needs of citizens with brain and spinal cord injuries, identifying the gaps in services to these citizens, and issue an annual report to the governor, the speaker of the house, the senate president, and the commissioner of health and human services by November 1 of each year.
(c) Recommend to the commissioner priorities and criteria for disbursement of any moneys received under paragraph VIII.
(d) Hold at least 2 public hearings annually, in different regions of the state, to generate input from the public on unmet needs.
(e) Consider the feasibility of establishing a brain and spinal cord injury trust fund.
(f) Review the status of the brain injury program, established under RSA 137-K:9, and recommend to the commissioner priorities and criteria for disbursement of appropriations available to the program.
VIII. The advisory council is authorized to solicit and receive any gifts, grants, or donations made for the purposes of this chapter, and the commissioner may disburse and administer the same for the purposes of this chapter.

Source. 1997, 262:2. 1999, 349:3. 2002, 245:1. 2006, 184:1, eff. May 25, 2006.

Section 137-K:3

    137-K:3 Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall, after consultation with the advisory council established in RSA 137-K:2, adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to:
I. Direct assistance, service coordination, family support activities for individuals with serious brain or spinal cord injuries and their families, and injury prevention activities which may be supported by any grants received under this chapter.
II. Eligibility criteria for direct assistance and family support services.
III. Procedures for disbursements of grants.
IV. Eligibility criteria and service requirements for care and rehabilitation services for individuals with serious brain and spinal cord injuries provided by the department through existing programs.
V. Conducting prevention and screening services and delivering education programs.
VI. Content and design of all forms and reports required by this chapter.
VII. Procedures for disclosure of information gathered by the brain and spinal cord registry, by monitoring and evaluating health data, and from completed risk assessments.
VIII. Eligibility criteria and objectives for the brain injury program, established under RSA 137-K:9.
IX. The protection of the rights, dignity, autonomy, and integrity of persons who have sustained brain and spinal cord injuries, including specific procedures to protect such rights.

Source. 1997, 262:2. 1999, 349:4, 5. 2002, 245:2. 2012, 171:7, eff. Aug. 10, 2012.

Section 137-K:4

    137-K:4 Duties. –
The commissioner shall:
I. Educate the public regarding factors associated with the risk of brain and spinal cord injuries.
II. Monitor the morbidity and mortality of brain and spinal cord injuries.
III. Evaluate available health data for use in delivering prevention services.
IV. Offer prevention services to population groups at risk of developing brain and spinal cord injuries.
V. Undertake risk assessment activities.

Source. 1999, 349:6, eff. Jan. 21, 2000.

Section 137-K:5

    137-K:5 Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Registry Established. – There shall be established in the department a brain and spinal cord injury registry for compilation and analysis of information relating to the incidence, diagnosis, and treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries.

Source. 1999, 349:6, eff. Jan. 21, 2000.

Section 137-K:6

    137-K:6 Reporting. – All facilities shall provide a report to the brain and spinal cord injury registry containing information regarding a brain and spinal cord injury diagnosed or being treated.

Source. 1999, 349:6, eff. Jan. 21, 2000.

Section 137-K:7

    137-K:7 Disclosure; Confidentiality. –
I. A report provided to the brain and spinal cord injury registry disclosing the identity of an individual, who was reported as having a brain and spinal cord injury, shall only be released to persons demonstrating a need which is essential to health-related research, except that the release shall be conditioned upon the individual granting authority to release the information and personal identities remaining confidential.
II. Analyses and compilations of data prepared under RSA 137-K:4 which do not disclose the identity of an individual and which cannot be used to surmise an identity shall be available to the public under RSA 91-A.
III. The physician-patient privilege shall not apply to reports prepared pursuant to RSA 137-K:6.

Source. 1999, 349:6, eff. Jan. 21, 2000.

Section 137-K:8

    137-K:8 Maintenance of Reports. – Reports provided to the brain and spinal cord injury registry under RSA 137-K:6, and analyses and data prepared under RSA 137-K:4 shall be maintained by the department in a manner suitable for brain and spinal cord injury research purposes, and shall be available to persons as prescribed in RSA 137-K:7.

Source. 1999, 349:6, eff. Jan. 21, 2000.

Section 137-K:9

    137-K:9 Brain Injury Program Established. – There shall be established in the department a brain injury program to provide direct services on behalf of individuals and their families affected by brain injuries, including, but not limited to, community resource coordination, support of a statewide toll-free number for information and assistance, family support, advocacy and vocational support; to administer the brain and spinal cord injury registry; and to fund the injury prevention effort.

Source. 2002, 245:3, eff. May 17, 2002.