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Autism Speaks: New York ABA Rules 'Ignore' 2011 Reform Law

January 28, 2013

NEW YORK (January 28, 2013) -- Autism Speaks today issued the following statement in response to new emergency regulations issued by the New York Department of Financial Services regarding the licensure of ABA practitioners:

"New emergency regulations issued today by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to implement the 2011 autism insurance law still do not address a prime concern of thousands of New York families. These rules continue to ignore the clear direction contained in the statute that behavior analysts, certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), are qualified to provide applied behavior analysis and be compensated by health insurers under the law.

"The DFS rules continue to require state licensure of behavior analysts despite the fact that state licensure does not yet exist in New York State for this profession. Because of this,  Autism Speaks, in working with legislative sponsors to enact the 2011 statute, specifically required that behavior analysts be certified by the BACB. The BACB certification is a national 'gold standard' for behavior analysts, but New York State continues to narrowly interpret the statute to the detriment of those seeking health coverage under the new law.

"Autism Speaks will continue its work and use all available means at its disposal to change this regulation so that it complies with state law."