Date: 3/26/2013, 10:00am Eastern
YOU MUST Register here
After 10 years of effort, the Virginia Legislature passed a law mandating that insurance companies cover diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder including Applied Behavior Analysis. But what is Applied Behavior Analysis? Who provides the services? How do I access the treatment for my child with Autism? This presentation will provide some background on ABA and Autism, the new law, and those who provide the service. Then both parents and providers will be offered tips on accessing the insurance benefits.
Christy Evanko lives outside of Richmond, Virginia with her husband, two daughters, and one son who has Autism. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Christy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst(R) with a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. She is a co-owner of Snowflakes ABA, LLC and works with children on the autistic spectrum using Applied Behavior Analysis. She also created a piano program called Piano Foundations for Children with Autism and writes inclusion books under the label, Good Friend Books.
Christy devoted much of her time and energy in helping with the passage of HB1106 (2012) which was the licensing law for Behavior Analysts in Virginia. Don't miss out on this wonderful training!
Saturday, October 20th--Virginia Beach,
Tidewater Summit, 11:00 to 3:00
Tidewater Autism Summit
Quality Inn and Suitesl
Virginia Beach Oceanfront
705 Atlantic Ave.
Virginia Beach, VA
Autism insurance seminars are scheduled for 11:30, 1:00, and 2:30 (Free)
Autism Speaks will discuss Autism service changes for military families at 12:00 and 1:30.
The Board of Medicine and a working group made up of BCBAs and other licensed professionals had their first meeting on March 12, 2012. They are tasked with developing the license regulations for BCBAs under the law that would require reimbursement for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy and treatment by a BCBA for children with a diagnosis of autism.
Appointees to the working group are:
Eli Newcomb, BCBA
Faison School, Assistant Director
Theodore Hoch, BCBA
Kristin Helgerson, MS, BCBA
Lauren-Lee Askew, (Assistant) BCABA
Christine Evanko, BA, MBA-consumer
Anthony Pelonero, MD
Anthem Medical Director for Mental Health
Virginia Van de Water, Ph.D, Psychologist
Past member, Virginia Board of Medicine
Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists spoke to the group. He had two basic talking points. The first was that the VACP strongly urges the working group to consider Liscensed psychologists' extensive role in implementing behavior analysis in the past. They'd obviously like to be grandfathered into any licensing regulation w/o being made to acquire additional licenses. His second was that the group should take effort to increase the transparency of BCBA's billing practices. He claimed (falsely) that BCBAs currently bill for work their uncertified workers (tutors) do, without actually doing any work.
This false accusation was addressed by Kristen Helgerson, MS, BCBA on the panel.
The public is invited and welcome to attend the meetings.
The minutes of the meeting will be posted at http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/ and on www.dhp.state.va.us/medicine/medicine_calendar.htm
The public is invited and encouraged to attend these meetings.
Virginia required a license for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs) to practice Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in Virginia.
The process for developing the regulations included a Working Group of 3 BCBAs and a BCaBA as well as a consumer and two doctors. The Working Group met 3 times to develop draft regulations.
The original proposed draft regulations which staff introduced to the group were amended by the Working Group. The original proposed draft was not acceptable to the Working Group because it would have prevented unlicensed but supervised individuals from delivering ABA services. The working group listened to input from the public and BCBA professionals. They drastically changed the regulations to ensure the continued right to practice and supervise in Virginia. They amended the regulations and among other things, tied the licensure and renewal to the national certification board, the Behavior Analysts Certification Board (BACB). Equally as important and pivotal for the profession, they restored the supervision of trained, unlicensed individuals by BCBAs and BCaBAs.
These draft regulations were then presented to the full Board of Medicine on Thursday, June 21, 2012. The Board of Medicine ignored the Working Group proposed regulations, the public comment of the professionals, providers and family members and reverted to the staff’s original draft of the regulations, which was not voted on or approved of by the Working Group.
At this time, the proposed regulations from the Board of Medicine would not allow unlicensed but supervised therapists to deliver ABA in Virginia which would shut down the current services to children on the autism spectrum in Virginia.
This has sweeping implications for schools, Tricare beneficiaries, service providers, DMAS and anyone that uses unlicensed but supervised behavior therapists to provide ABA therapy. ABA therapy for children with autism is typically provided by trained behavior therapists or para-professionals under the supervision of licensed therapists. This service model is accepted by the federal government, the Tricare military insurance program, and the majority of commercial insurance carriers in almost 30 states around the nation.
- There are currently about 300 licensed BCBA therapists in Virginia.
- There are about 20,000 children with autism in Virginia.
- A direct-care therapist can service roughly 3-4 children per week.
- Assuming the above figures, Virginia would have to have 6,000 therapists to meet the existing need.
We are very concerned about the BOM's lack of consideration for the Working Group’s recommendations for the regulations that will govern the BCBA and BCaBA profession.
We are especially concerned because the regulations say that unlicensed people who are supervised by licensed behavior analysts cannot practice ABA. The definition of ABA covers all things that both certified and non certified individuals would do. The current wording would prohibit students in VA from completing fieldwork to become board certified and it would also prohibit certified behavior analysts from training others to implement behavior analytic techniques. But most concerning of all is the fact that thousands of children with a diagnosis of autism in Virginia and countless others that receive behavior analytic services stand to lose care they are already receiving, or will be denied care they need.
There are several more steps through which these proposed regulations need to go. Ultimately they will end up with the Governor for his approval. Stay connected with the Virginia Autism Project on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaAutismProject and Twitter @VaAutismProject. JOIN OUR MAILING LIST and tell other BCBA and BCaBA professionals to contact Megan Miller, M.S. BCBA at
We have a lot of work yet to do- but we won’t back down!
Virginia Autism Insurance Reform: What Does It Mean for You?
A Series of Workshops for Parents:
October 8, Saturday--Richmond, 10 a.m.
Hyatt Place Richmond Airport
4401 South Laburnum Avenue,
Richmond, VA 23231 (Free)
October 15, Saturday--Virginia Beach,
Tidewater Summit, 12:00 and 2:00
Tidewater Autism Summit , VAP
Double Tree Hotel
Virginia Beach Convention Center
1900 Pavillion Dr
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Summit hours 11:00-4:00
Insurance Breakouts at 12:00 and 2:00 (Free)
October 15, Saturday --Roanoke,
GRVAAG Conference (small conference charge)
1338 Rainbow Forest Drive
Troutville, VA 24175
At the Rainbow Forest Baptist Church
November 3, Thursday--Northern Virginia,
10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Ballston Office Center
4601 N Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203 (Free)
November 10, Thurs.—Fredericksburg 7 p.m.
Salem Church Library
2607 Salem Church Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22407 (Free)
December 3, Saturday-- Richmond, 10 a.m.
River Road United Methodist Church,
8800 River Road,
Richmond 23229. (Free)
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Families whose employer has 50 or more employees and whose medical insurance is NOT a self-funded plan.
After three years of work together in the Virginia Legislature, the Virginia Autism Project and Autism Speaks brought autism insurance to Virginia.
What can you do if you are entitled to coverage under the autism insurance mandate and you receive a denial letter?
Join us at one of our workshops!