Insurers: Pay Attention to Efficacy Research on Stuttering Treatment Molina Healthcare recently denied the initial claim for stuttering intervention and a subsequent appeal from one of our clients, stating that “there is limited data on the benefit of speech therapy for stuttering.” The family was determined to continue with therapy and eventually received coverage from a different provider. However, ... Inbox
Free
Inbox  |   April 01, 2015
Insurers: Pay Attention to Efficacy Research on Stuttering Treatment
Author Notes
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Inbox
Inbox   |   April 01, 2015
Insurers: Pay Attention to Efficacy Research on Stuttering Treatment
The ASHA Leader, April 2015, Vol. 20, 7-8. doi:10.1044/leader.IN4.20042015.7
The ASHA Leader, April 2015, Vol. 20, 7-8. doi:10.1044/leader.IN4.20042015.7
Molina Healthcare recently denied the initial claim for stuttering intervention and a subsequent appeal from one of our clients, stating that “there is limited data on the benefit of speech therapy for stuttering.” The family was determined to continue with therapy and eventually received coverage from a different provider.
However, Molina’s position is problematic for people who stutter and for the speech-language pathology field. In stark contrast to Molina’s statement, readily available references document the efficacy of varied stuttering interventions for different age groups. A 2006 systematic review in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology presents studies supporting response-contingent treatments such as Lidcombe, prolonged speech methods and EMG biofeedback, among others, that reduce stuttering severity and improve social-emotional well-being. A 2010 Journal of Fluency Disorders article by Marilyn Langevin and colleagues presents evidence that combining speech restructuring and stuttering modification techniques is associated with maintenance of treatment gains over five years.
The increasing number of controlled intervention studies and meta-analyses of treatment outcomes highlights growing maturity in documenting quantifiable and comparable effects of intervention. It is puzzling that an insurance company would deny stuttering treatment given the current and growing body of efficacy evidence. We call on insurance providers to be open to speech-language pathology research by reviewing their policies regarding reimbursement for stuttering intervention. We hope this brief communication fuels our resolve to deliver and document the most effective, research-based stuttering treatments available.
Suzanne Nanney and Torrey Loucks, Champaign, Illinois

ASHA offers materials clinicians can use to help appeal their clients’ insurance denials for speech-language and hearing services. For example, research evidence is provided on the newly launched ASHA Practice Portal page on childhood fluency disorders at on.asha.org/stuttering-portal. For assistance, contact reimbursement@asha.org.

0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
April 2015
Volume 20, Issue 4