Welcome to Behaviorbabe
Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Welcome to Behaviorbabe

Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

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.

Essential Health Care Workers - Operationally Defined

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.

BACB Announcement: Ethics Guidance for ABA Providers During COVID-19

The BACB has updated the following information to provide a revised description of individuals who may be at increased risk of becoming very ill during the pandemic. The revised statement also clarifies the guidance provided to support certificants in making decisions around service provision. It is important to remember that the BACB cannot issue a blanket directive to continue or discontinue services due to the complexity of each individual situation and client. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly impactful on vulnerable populations and their service providers, we offer the following information to our certificants as they make critical decisions about service delivery during this difficult time. Please keep in mind that this information does not constitute legal or medical advice.

ABA and Special Education (IEP) Services - USDOE COVID19 Guidance

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

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. During the COVID-19 national emergency, which also constitutes a nationwide public health emergency, covered health care providers subject to the HIPAA Rules may seek to communicate with patients, and provide telehealth services, through remote communications technologies.  Some of these technologies, and the manner in which they are used by HIPAA covered health care providers, may not fully comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules. 

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 judith.ursitti@autismspeaks.org.

Looking for activities for clients? Check out: Cooped up with Coronavirus COVID-19