Autism Speaks recognizes public health leaders for meaningful changes to Montana’s Medicaid Program for Children and Young AdultsDecember 21, 2022
On December 8, 2022, Autism Speaks recognized Lindsey Carter, Bureau Chief of the Developmental Disabilities Program at the Montana Department of Public Health, with a 2022 Public Service Award. We are grateful for her leadership in making important changes to the state’s Medicaid program that will ensure more individuals with autism receive the care they need.
Lindsey Carter and her colleagues re-vamped Montana’s Autism Treatment Services program in order to expand eligibility and treatment flexibility for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. Montana has covered ABA therapy along with other medically necessary care for people under age 21 with autism since 2017. However, the need for change arose out of concerns by state officials that too few eligible individuals were utilizing the benefit. Under the direction of Lindsey and her staff, community input and surveying helped identify beneficial adjustments to the benefit.
Montana Medicaid serves approximately 117,475 individuals (under age 21) throughout the state. Access, affordability and quality of health care service are crucial factors influencing their health outcomes, especially for people with autism who experience a higher rate of co-occurring health conditions. Lindsey and her team’s work will benefit thousands of individuals with autism in need of quality care and services. Their work and this year’s policy changes will have a lasting impact on the Montana autism community.
Photo: Award recipient Lindsey Carter and her colleagues at the Montana Dept. of Public Health's Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Division