Center for Behavior Analysis
April 28, 2010
State legislation: California - SB 1282 would regulate the practice of applied behavior analysis
The bill would specify which individuals would be considered as qualified to practice applied behavior analysis services, and would prohibit an individual from holding himself or herself out as a practitioner unless he or she has complied with the act or another applicable licensing provision or is otherwise certified by certain nationally recognized entities.
It would authorize the organization to establish specified curriculum and continuing education standards, and establish a certification and registration process, in conjunction with the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA). It would require CalABA to implement the certification or registration process until the organization is established.
For specific language and full details of SB 1282, see the full text and history at the legislative website.
April 21, 2010
Wisconsin State Legislature passes S.B. 667
S.B. 667 covers the licensure and regulation of behavior analysts, insurance coverage of the services of behavior analysts for autism treatment, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule−making authority, and providing a penalty. The next step is Governor Jim Doyle's signature.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau [PDF]
The intensive-level and nonintensive-level services referenced relate to the Wisconsin autism insurance reform law coverage passed in 2009 that specifies a four year minimum of intensive services and thereafter nonintensive services. S.B. 667 is similar to the House measure, A.B. 789, however after amendment AB 789 (posted April 16, 2010) was tabled in the House on April 20.
April 19, 2010
Kansas' Governor Parkinson signs autism insurance bill S. Sub for HB 2160 into law
Providing insurance coverage for ASD; amends K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 75-6501 and repeals the existing section into law. It will require the Kansas State Employees Health Care Commission to provide for the coverage of services for the diagnosis and treatment of ASD in any covered individual younger than 19 years. Applied behavior analysis must be included if prescribed by a licensed physician, licensed psychologist or licensed specialist clinical social worker.
Reimbursement would be allowed only for services by
- a provider licensed, trained , and qualified to provide such services
The bill would require the Health Care Commission to submit a report to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on or before March 1, 2012. The report is to include information pertaining to the mandated ASD benefit coverage provided during the 2011 Plan Year.
The Legislature is permitted to consider whether or not to require the coverage for autism spectrum disorder to be included in any individual or group health insurance policy, medical service plan, HMO, or other contract which provides for accident and health services and which is delivered, issued for delivery, amended, or renewed on or after July 1, 2013.
April 16, 2010
Wisconsin legislation to reimburse autism services, create licensure
Under current law, health insurance policies, governmental and school district health plans cover services for the treatment of autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD if the treatment is prescribed by a physician and is carried out by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a certified or licensed social worker; a paraprofessional working under one of the aforementioned; a professional working under clinical supervision; an occupational therapist; a speech-language pathologist.
This bill proposes coverage to apply to BCBAs or by a paraprofessional working under a BCBA.
April 15, 2010
Governor Beshear signs autism insurance law, creates licensure board for Kentucky
On April 14th Governor Beshear signed into law HB 159 which increases the amount of coverage provided by health insurers for autism spectrum disorders to insured individuals in large and small group plans, as well as the state employee health benefit plan. It passed unanimously by the Kentucky Senate on April 1st.
Going into effect January 1, 2011, it also creates the Kentucky Applied Behavior Analysis Licensure Board for practitioners of ABA.
April 11, 2010
Alaskan legislature to establish ASD services including ABA and supervised certification experience
"An Act establishing a program for the provision of autism services within the Department of Health and Social Services."
Proposed is a database of evidence-based early intervention techniques including assessment and direct services by a “board certified autism specialist” (questionably interchangeable with “BCBA”). The Department of Health and Social Services would coordinate the programs and services. Alasaka has two autism insurance bills in the legislature; HB 187 and SB 250.
April 9, 2010
Missouri requests compromise on autism insurance bill
Insurance industry representatives requested that the Senate bill as it stands be rejected in preference to House bill HB 1311&1341, which has a lower age and annual treatment cap. HB 1311&1341 would establish a licensing requirement for supervision of ABA service delivery and practice of ABA, which the Senate bill does not. The Committee did not take action on SS/SB 618 on Tuesday, but compromises were discussed. A separate bill, SB1030, was submitted March 4th that would provide guidelines and penalties regarding the licensure of behavior analysts.
April 7, 2010
Kentucky licenses behavior analysts
KY HB 159/CS passed unanimously in the Senate. It is expected to be signed by the governor. The bill sets up a Behavior analyst licensing board with 4 BAs, 1 Psy.D., and 2 public/consumer members. The bill also has an autism insurance clause, which if I'm recalling correctly is $50K/yr through age 7, and $12/yr through age 19 or 21. That would apply to large group policies. Small group and individual policies is a much smaller amount.
March 12, 2010
'Vaccines court' rejects mercury-autism link in 3 test cases
The finding supports a broad scientific consensus that the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal does not cause autism, and will likely disappoint parents who are convinced otherwise.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
Los Angeles Times
March 12, 2010 | 12:57 p.m.
The government's "vaccines court" ruled Friday in three separate test cases that the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal does not cause autism, a finding that supports the broad scientific consensus on the matter but that is likely to disappoint parents who are convinced that their child's illness has been caused by vaccines.
The court had ruled 13 months ago that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, commonly known as MMR, does not cause the disorder, and the new ruling may finally close the bulk of litigation on the matter. More than 5,000 parents had filed claims with the court, formally known as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, seeking damages because they believed their children had developed autism as a result of vaccinations.
The cases that three special masters for the court chose to include in the omnibus proceeding were considered among the strongest, so the outlook appears grim for others making the same claim.
February 19, 2010
Dear APBA members and friends,
As you may know, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts adopted a position statement on the use of seclusion and restraint procedures as interventions for dangerous behaviors in November 2009. You may also know that federal legislation on the use of such procedures in schools is currently making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. In discussing that legislation with various parties recently, we determined that it would be helpful to supplement our position statement with a summary of research evidence on the safe, effective, and humane use of seclusion and restraint procedures, as well as other supporting information. The summary has been completed, and was just approved by our Board of Directors. It is attached, along with the position statement. We hope you find these materials helpful.
The House bill (HR 4247, The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act), was voted out of the House Committee on Education and Labor last week so will go to the floor of the House.
The Senate bill is S 2860. You can read both bills by going to http://www.thomas.gov/ and searching for the bill numbers.
If you have concerns about this legislation, we urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators right away to voice those concerns, and to ask others to do the same. Instructions and tips appear below.
Thanks so much for your support of APBA.
Gina Green, PhD, BCBA-D
Executive Director, APBA
6977 Navajo Rd. PMB#176
San Diego, CA 92119
The Use of Restraint and Seclusion as Interventions for Dangerous and Destructive Behaviors
Position Statement on the Use of Restraint and Seclusion as Interventions for Dangerous and Destructive Behaviors: Supporting Research and Practice Guidelines
February 17, 2010
Take a few minutes to look at the current policy initiatives for autism in the state of New Jersey. In particular, the story "New Jersey’s Autism Insurance Reform Bill – Are You Covered?" may tell you if your child's care is covered by insurance.
January 11, 2010
The Association of Behavior Analysis Internation (ABAI) President, Raymond Miltenberger, Ph.D., introduces The ABAI Model Licensing Act, Educational Standards, and the Protection of the Profession. This is an important development that all current practitioners and students should read.
December 4, 2009
Check out the great volunteer program at Rowan sponsored by Student Council for Exceptional Children:
'Change agents': Volunteer work with kids with special needs fuels Rowan's Student Council for Exceptional Children
November 25, 2009:
Help get behavior analysis and licensed behavior analysts and specialists included in the health care bill. Go to
and sign the petition to ensure that behavior analysis is in the health care bill.
October 28, 2009
California ruling denying coverage of behavioral treatment for autism
October 10, 2009
Two new Association for Behavior Analysis International committees are being formed to address issues related to practice and insurance. The Insurance Billing Committee will will be developing and submitting an application to the CPT Advisory Committee of the American Medical Association to create a set of procedure codes for behavior analysis services. It is the hope of the committee that by creating these codes, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies will recognize and reimburse applied behavior analysis services in the future. Committee co-chairs are Dr. Travis Thompson and Dr. Wayne Fisher. The second committee, which is chaired by Michael Dorsey, Ph.D., will focus on broader insurance issues, including providing training to practitioners on how to develop treatment plans, obtain pre-authorization for services, and billing for those services using existing CPT codes.
The Practice Board will sponsor several insurance-related events at this year's conference, including an Insurance Summit that will promote dialogue between ABA providers, advocates, legislators, and insurance industry representatives around the issue of the implementation of autism insurance mandate bills and funding of ABA services. Thanks to the hard work of many, there are now 15 states with such bills in-place and six more will shortly be considered in their respective state legislatures. The Insurance Summit will bring together representatives from ABAI, the BACB, insurance companies, Autism Speaks, and other advocacy groups.
Applied behavior analysis is in the process of becoming a licensed profession, as shown by independent initiatives in many states in the U.S. and in other countries. In response to growing developments in the field, the ABAI Council and the Practice Board have taken the time to study the implications of licensure. They are ready and able to assist affiliated chapters in the U.S. and internationally to respond when their legislative bodies take up the issue of licensure. Licensing laws have recently passed in Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, and legislation is currently in process in the Massachusetts legislature. As well, new initiatives for licensure are being proposed in New Jersey and Vermont, among other states. The ABAI Practice Board is now assisting chapter advocates in the development of licensure laws that protect the field and practicing behavior analysts. Conversations are continuing with the BACB to reach a consensus on a single model licensing act. It is our hope that we can join efforts to represent the field cohesively.
Hearings on licensing legislation were held last week in Massachusetts. ABAI members in the state received an e-mail earlier this month providing links to the language of the bills and the names of members of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure reviewing the licensing bill. The hearing on licensing was attended by over 100 individuals, with testimony supporting HB 181/SB 47 from MA State Senators and Representatives, the ABAI Practice Board, and numerous parents, professionals, and other interested individuals.
Nevada recently passed a bill mandating insurance coverage for applied behavior analysis services in the treatment of autism. One of the requirements of the bill was the inclusion of a behavior analyst on the Nevada State Board of Psychological Examiners. ABAI member Kimberly Nix Berens has been appointed to this position by Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons.
August 25, 2009
On August 13, 2009, Governor Jon S. Corzine enacted landmark legislation that, for the first time, requires New Jersey health insurers to provide coverage for screening for autism and other developmental disabilities as well as evidence-based behavioral interventions and any medically-necessary occupational, physical and speech therapy. Hosted by Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, the event represented the culmination of months of advocacy spearheaded by Autism New Jersey and families across the Garden State.
In attendance were more than 100 families and individuals whose lives have been touched by autism.
The legislation, S1650/A2238, requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies. The new law covers up to $36,000 annually for a child with autism who is 21 years of age or younger. Coverage includes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is recognized as an effective, evidence-based treatment for children with autism.
The bill was championed by New Jersey Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, Jr. (Primary Sponsor). Also providing critical leadership were Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman and primary sponsor Joseph Vitale, Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (Primary Sponsor), Assemblywoman Joan Voss (Primary Sponsor), Assemblyman Peter Biondi (Co-Sponsor), Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (Co-Sponsor), Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (Co-Sponsor), and Senator Loretta Weinberg (Co-Sponsor).
To learn more, visit http://autismnj.org/Learnaboutcurrentautismpolicyinitiatives.aspx
To access the legislation, visit http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/S2000/1651_U1.HTM
July 29, 2009
Read about the Colorado Autism Insurance Bill.
July 20, 2009
The New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis' Spring 2009 newsletter contains an interview with Dr. Murray Sidman, an article review about the effects of a casein/gluten free diet, a book review about effective practices for ASD, and a description of the ABA higher education programs at Rutgers University. Download it at www.njaba.org
July 15, 2009
A draft of the Pennsylvania law certifying Behavior Specialists has been released for comment.
June 30, 2009
Please support the Autism Treatment Acceleration Act by contacting your Senator and Representative today. You can find out how to advocate for this important national legislation here. Don't delay.
Oklahoma is First State to License Behavior Analysts
To read more about this groundbreaking legislation, please click here.
Location: Robinson Hall, First Floor
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