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Autism Speaks Reports Progress in New York ABA Dispute

March 04, 2013

NEW YORK (March 4, 2013) -- Autism Speaks today reported it is making progress with high-level Cuomo administration officials and legislative leaders in resolving a bureaucratic dispute which has limited access to ABA services provided under New York's autism insurance reform law which took effect last November.

Under emergency regulations issued by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), practitioners of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have to be state-licensed in order to qualify for insurance reimbursement. New York has no ABA license. In addition, the insurance reform law made clear that certification by the national Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) would be sufficient for practitioners to be covered under the law.

"Autism Speaks has been in conversation on this issue with high-level state officials, who now understand the problems and the urgent need for a remedy," said Lorri Unumb, Esq., Autism Speaks vice president for state government affairs. "We have devoted substantial resources, both political and legal, toward resolving this issue as quickly as possible. For now, we believe that it is in everyone’s best interest to allow the legislature to work on a fast-track legislative solution that would create state licensure for BCBAs already certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board."

Unumb said Autism Speaks continues to regard BACB certification as an appropriate standard for behavior therapists and that it would continue to keep all options open in order to bring a quick resolution to the dispute.