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Court Accepts Autism Speaks' Brief in Florida Medicaid Case

February 01, 2013


MIAMI (February 1, 2013) -- A federal judge today granted Autism Speaks' request to file a supporting brief on behalf of the plaintiffs suing the state of Florida for denying ABA coverage under the state's Medicaid program.

Autism Speaks submitted a "friend of the court" brief in support of the plaintiffs, three young children who were denied Medicaid coverage for applied behavior analysis (ABA) by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lenard last March ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but the state has the case under appeal. The judge, in her trial ruling, found AHCA's claim that ABA was experimental "outrageous."

In its brief, Autism Speaks charged AHCA was trying to mount “serial rematches” against disabled children. The state already has the power to determine medical necessity, it was argued.

The plaintiffs contend Florida is discriminating against lower-income children by denying Medicaid coverage for ABA because it requires state-regulated private health plans to provide the coverage by law.