ABA and COVID-19
COVID-19 is a virus that has the entire world on lockdown. Schools in many places have been cancelled through the end of the school year. Many people in the world are working from home, if they are working at all. This is an unprecedented event and ABA agencies, providers, and consumers are all simultaneously impacted. This page seeks to pull together resources, which may be of particular interests to the behavior analytic community at the time of the COVID19 crisis.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) services are considered medically-necessary services for individuals in all 50 US states. Commerical plans as well as Medicaid services consider ABA medically-necessary. For Medicaid this is specifically covered by EPSDT: Early Periodic Screening Detection and Treatment.
In many states, ABA services, if provided on a student's IEP, are classified as educational services. The laws guiding special education services vary considerably from the laws governing the delivery of medically-necessary services.
Many providers and families are considering the delivery of ABA services via telehealth. In some states, telehealth is a common practice for behavior analysts. In other areas, telehealth has not been approved and had not previously been provided for consumers. Due to the COVID crisis, however several funding sources (commercial health plans) and states are making exceptions and are actively working to remove barriers for providing telehealth services. Want to know more about telehealth?
Important opportunities for state advocacy exist around home and community based services! Because this is a national emergency, CMS is able to:
• temporarily increase individual eligibility cost limits,
• modify service, scope, or coverage requirements,
• exceed service limitations,
• add services to the waiver,
• provide services in out-of-state settings, and/or
• permit payment for services rendered by family caregivers or legally responsible individuals.
You can e-mail Judith Ursitti at firstname.lastname@example.org.