World-renowned autism expert Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh testifies today, representing California autism treatment providers at a California Senate informational hearing to articulate challenges and successes of the autism mandate.
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, the founder and CEO of Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), testifies on behalf of California’s autism treatment providers before the California Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders at an informational hearing convened and led by Senate pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to review California’s autism insurance mandate on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at the State Capitol. Dr. Granpeesheh will address the increase in access to insurance-funded autism treatment and the issues that are still affecting families today. The California autism insurance mandate (SB 946) was implemented on July 1, 2012, and requires that most health plans cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
At the hearing, Dr. Granpeesheh will speak about the need for regional centers to be permitted and held responsible for paying the cost-sharing associated with insurance; the clarification required to ensure that health plans understand their responsibility for covering medically necessary treatment that occurs in a school setting; the inappropriate use of assessments to delay and/or deny treatment; the use of third-party administrators which deprives Californians of an adequate network of providers; and illegal caps on services.
In an effort to represent the concerns of all autism treatment providers, CARD reached out to CalABA, California Psych Care, Autism Speaks, Southern California Consortium for Behavior Analysis; and Autism Deserves Equal Coverage before the hearing and incorporated their concerns into her testimony.
“I am honored to present to the California Senate Select Committee the successes and concerns that directly impact the many families that are affected by autism,” said Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. “The informational hearing is a step in the right direction for California’s autism insurance coverage. We have to do more to remedy the problems that our families are encountering.”
In preparation for the meeting, CARD senior public policy analyst, Julie Kornack, worked with senate staff to address the issue of network adequacy and to make recommendations to ensure that Californians have access to a sufficient number of top-quality providers now and in the future.
CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of ABA, which is considered to be at the forefront of educational interventions for children with ASD. ABA is the only scientifically validated treatment for ASD, and research shows it is most effective when delivered early and at a high level of intensity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 88 children in America is diagnosed with ASD, making it more prevalent than pediatric cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatrics AIDS combined.