SALT LAKE CITY, November 13, 2018 (Newswire.com) - The Behavior Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) was recently awarded a contract with Utah Medicaid to conduct an independent evaluation of Utah’s autism-related services coverage policy and implementation, and assist with identifying quality care providers in the state.
The Behavior Health Center of Excellence is the only accrediting body specific to Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA therapy, and has set a national standard for quality care. To assure the proper administration of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-related services program and the quality of services provided to Medicaid members, BHCOE will provide an independent evaluation of coverage policies and implementation practices.
BHCOE looks forward to working collaboratively with the state and the ABA service providers in the region to identify areas in which Utah Medicaid can better serve the autism population.
In addition to the general evaluation of current policy and practices, BHCOE will assist Utah Medicaid in defining the quality of services and provider qualifications beyond individual providers of ABA services and recommend standards for the companies who are responsible to hire, train, and supervise multiple individuals who provide ABA services.
Utah Medicaid began covering ABA therapy as a benefit under the Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Testing (EPSDT) program on July 1, 2015. Because Medicaid coverage of ASD–related services was a newly emerging policy, Utah employed research and analysis to develop coverage policy for these services. Now that coverage has been in place for nearly three years, Utah Medicaid contracted with BHCOE to conduct an independent evaluation of its coverage policy and implementation.
“We are thrilled that this partnership will help to enhance the quality of care for families receiving services through Utah Medicaid,” said Sara Gershfeld Litvak, CEO of Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. “BHCOE looks forward to working collaboratively with the state and the ABA service providers in the region to identify areas in which Utah Medicaid can better serve the autism population.”
The rising prevalence of autism, as well as increased insurance coverage for applied behavior analysis, or ABA therapy, is driving increased interest in autism services. Although autism advocates welcome an expansion of services, they also caution that unchecked growth could cause lapses in training or oversight. The Center of Excellence process is the first attempt at standardizing the quality of care for ABA therapy and has been widely adopted by therapy providers and payers across the United States.
For additional information about the project, please visit the BHCOE website (www.bhcoe.org).
Source: Behavioral Health Center of Excellence