The Arc of Indiana, families, therapists, and therapy services providers are joining forces to support fair funding for ABA therapies for individuals with autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Hoosier families, ABA therapists, ABA therapy providers, and other stakeholders, including The Arc of Indiana and other advocacy groups, are joining together to form a new coalition, Indiana Autism Care and Therapy (ACT) for Families. The coalition will raise awareness about the critical importance of maintaining and increasing access to high quality Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy services for Hoosiers with autism and other intellectual disabilities and their families.
ABA therapy is the most scientifically studied intervention for autism and helps children and adults build useful learning and behavioral skills that will help them lead better and more productive lives as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. Indiana is in the process of reevaluating Medicaid reimbursement rates for this important therapy.
“If the state decides to cut back on Medicaid coverage for ABA therapy, it would have a devastating impact on the children and families who rely heavily on these services by worsening the already-present problem with access,” said Hannah Carlock, Director of Public Policy for The Arc of Indiana. “Indiana ACT for Families will work to educate the public on why ABA therapy is profoundly different from other therapy services for children, and why vulnerable children with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities who depend on Medicaid must maintain access to high quality of care.”
Supporters expressed concern that in this inflationary environment, even a small increase wouldn’t keep pace with inflation and would still constitute a cut for families and providers. As the state emerges from pandemic disruptions in service, an equitable increase in reimbursement rates is necessary to protect access to high-quality services.
“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,” Carlock continued. “A higher Medicaid reimbursement rate for ABA therapy would help attract and retain more therapy providers, which would lessen the current issue with long waitlists at ABA therapy centers.”
This could make a life-changing difference for Hoosier families who are waiting for care, which also has a broader economic cost by pulling caregivers out of the workforce.
“As a parent of a child with autism, I am very concerned about how a potential cut to Medicaid reimbursement rates will affect our family,” said Christina Snider. “My son’s participation in ABA therapy also allows me to keep my career as a special education teacher. Without ABA therapy, I would likely not be able to have a full-time job since after care programs do not offer services for children with special needs. A rate cut to Medicaid reimbursement will reduce quality healthcare for the most vulnerable and at-risk children.”
Indiana ACT for Families will organize families, ABA therapists, providers, and other stakeholders to advocate directly to policymakers about the importance of ABA therapy during this rulemaking and legislative session.
Current Coalition Members include:
- The Arc of Indiana, Indiana Advocacy Group
- Christina Snider, Mother of ABA Therapy Client
- Autism Companion Services, Indiana ABA Therapy Provider
- Chyna McBride, Mother of ABA Therapy Client
- Council of Autism Service Providers, Founder of the Autism Commission on Quality
- Shine Pediatric Therapy, Indiana ABA Therapy Provider
- Deaidra Pullin, Mother of ABA Therapy Client
- Lighthouse Autism Center, Indiana ABA Therapy Provider
- Jenna Burkhard, ABA Therapist
- Piece by Piece, Indiana ABA Therapy Provider
Indiana ACT for Families is a broad coalition of Hoosier families, ABA therapists, ABA therapy providers, and stakeholders, including The Arc 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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