Autism Groups, Hoosier Families Visit Statehouse to Advocate for Autism Services

The Indiana ACT for Families coalition and InPEAT recently hosted a joint advocacy day to speak with state legislators about maintaining access to autism services

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The Indiana ACT for Families coalition joined Indiana Providers of Effective Autism Treatment (InPEAT) for an Advocacy Day at the Statehouse on Wednesday, February 15. The organizations banded together with ABA providers, therapists, Hoosier families and autism advocacy groups to emphasize the impact that a Medicaid reimbursement rate cut would have on the access and quality of autism care in the state. 

Advocacy Day participants are speaking up due to concerns surrounding the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP)’s plans to change Medicaid reimbursement rates for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy – the most scientifically studied intervention for autism.

Christina Snider, a mother of a child with autism from Goshen, Indiana stated:

“A rate cut to Medicaid reimbursement will reduce quality healthcare for the most vulnerable and at-risk children.”

Throughout the day, members articulated the reasons why they decided to join the coalition.

The Arc of Indiana, a group established by parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities who joined together to build a better and more accepting world for their children stated:

“Increasing funding for these essential therapies would make it more feasible for families and children with autism and intellectual disabilities to access an adequate quality of care.”

Coalition members and InPEAT also continued to voice the concerns that they raised in a letter to OMPP sent earlier this month, which urged OMPP to consider “the need to increase access to these vital services for Hoosier children and their families.”

Autism Society of Indiana, an advocate group dedicated to ensuring that every individual and every family affected by autism in the State of Indiana receives the high-quality services they deserve stated:

“We must continue to advocate to ensure that children and their families continue to have access to the care they abundantly rely on. “

Donna Cox, a mother of two children with autism from South Bend, Indiana stated:

“The Governor has prioritized public health. Autism services are public health. There cannot be cuts to Medicaid coverage of these services if we are standing behind prioritizing public health.” 

Members also in attendance of the Advocacy Day also included: Hopebridge Autism Center (Fort Wayne, IN), Lighthouse Autism Center (South Bend, IN), Harsha Autism Center (Terre Haute, IN) and Circle City ABA (Evansville,IN).

Indiana ACT for Families is a broad coalition of Hoosier families, ABA therapists, ABA therapy providers, and stakeholders, including The Arc of Indiana, the Autism Society of Indiana and other advocacy groups, working to advocate in support of promoting access to high quality ABA therapy services in Indiana. For more information, please visit www.IndianaACT4Families.com.

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