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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

October 31, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Autism therapy to be covered for children on Medicaid

Children with autism spectrum disorders insured by the state’s Apple Health program,  including those on Medicaid, will be covered for Applied Behavior Analysis  (ABA) therapy under a lawsuit settlement approved by U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones.

The lawsuit was filed by the Northwest Justice Project, a statewide legal aid program, in the wake of similar settlements in other class-action suits brought by law firm Sirianni Youtz Spoonemore against insurers’ limits or exclusions of neurodevelopmental and behavioral therapies. The state has already settled one lawsuit for ABA coverage under the Uniform Medical Plan for state employees and some school districts and local governments.

Scott Crain, staff attorney for the Northwest Justice Project, said his agency worked closely with the state’s Health Care Authority to craft the settlement, which could affect as many as 9,000 children. MaryAnne Lindeblad, Health Care Authority director, said recent evidence shows the therapy is effective and “deserves to be covered by our benefit structure.”

Parents and providers can get more information by contacting HCA at aba@hca.wa.gov.

0 Comments | Topics: ABA, Apple Heath, autism

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