Medicaid Clarifies Autism Service Coverage Medicaid will cover a variety of autism spectrum disorder treatments for beneficiaries under age 21, according to recently released guidance from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Because Medicaid coverage for children with ASD has varied from state to state, establishing national requirements will have a widespread effect. CMS ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   September 01, 2014
Medicaid Clarifies Autism Service Coverage
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Practice Management / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   September 01, 2014
Medicaid Clarifies Autism Service Coverage
The ASHA Leader, September 2014, Vol. 19, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.19092014.12
The ASHA Leader, September 2014, Vol. 19, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.19092014.12
Medicaid will cover a variety of autism spectrum disorder treatments for beneficiaries under age 21, according to recently released guidance from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Because Medicaid coverage for children with ASD has varied from state to state, establishing national requirements will have a widespread effect.
CMS released the information in response to increased interest in and questions about what approaches are available under the federal Medicaid program for providing services to eligible individuals with ASD. The bulletin also clarifies that speech-language pathologists and audiologists may provide services to individuals diagnosed with other conditions.
CMS officials emphasized that Medicaid covers services for children with autism, noting that benefit requirements do not name a specific treatment, but instead address a child’s individual needs. The bulletin outlines four treatment categories available through Medicaid: behavioral and communication approaches, dietary approaches, medications, and complementary and alternative medicine.
The bulletin indicates that state Medicaid programs should ensure that “all covered services are available as well as to assure that families of enrolled children, including children with ASD, are aware of and have access to a broad range of services to meet the individual child’s needs,” including speech-language treatment, rehabilitative services and hearing services.
The most recent figures, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March, indicate that 1 in 68 American children is on the spectrum, reflecting a 30 percent rise in just two years. Some researchers, however, are questioning this figure based on the CDC’s research methods.
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September 2014
Volume 19, Issue 9