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New ABA Licensing Rules Finalized

September 19, 2012

RICHMOND (September 19, 2012) --The Virginia Board of Medicine has finalized emergency regulations for licensing ABA providers, removing a hurdle for Virginia families trying to access ABA care as a result of last year's autism insurance reform law.

The new state licensure regulations were signed and become effective today. Applications for providers will be posted on the Virginia Department of Health Professions webpage here. The Board is ready to issue licenses for BCBAs.

Virginia enacted autism insurance reform in 2011 requiring ABA coverage for children through age 6, but it required ABA providers to obtain state certification even though no such process existed. A subsequent bill enacted this year directed the state Board of Medicine to establish the certification procedure after hearing recommendations from a working group that included ABA providers.
 
Virginia currently has a small pool of BCBAs and BCaBAs because many families, prior to enactment of the autism insurance reform law, could not afford the treatment. Based on the experience in other states, the availability of insurance coverage is expected to increase the supply of providers.

The new emergency regulations will remain in effect for one year until permanent rules can be adopted.