Autism Treatment Rates Rise Only Slightly, Despite Insurance Mandates In the District of Columbia and the 44 states with insurance mandates for autism treatment, the rate of autism treatment has gone up by only about 12 percent, according to a presentation by University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University researchers at the International Society for Autism Research. The figure ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   August 01, 2016
Autism Treatment Rates Rise Only Slightly, Despite Insurance Mandates
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   August 01, 2016
Autism Treatment Rates Rise Only Slightly, Despite Insurance Mandates
The ASHA Leader, August 2016, Vol. 21, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.21082016.10
The ASHA Leader, August 2016, Vol. 21, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.21082016.10
In the District of Columbia and the 44 states with insurance mandates for autism treatment, the rate of autism treatment has gone up by only about 12 percent, according to a presentation by University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University researchers at the International Society for Autism Research.
The figure pales in comparison to the ballooning rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the 2014 prevalence of ASD at one in 45 children; the rate in 2000 was one in 150.
The researchers used insurance claims data from 2008 to 2012 compiled by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on price transparency. The study did not include Medicaid plans, and the claims data were pulled from three large insurance companies in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
According to information from Kaiser Health News, there are several reasons why coverage requirements may not translate to treatment: wide variations in what insurers cover, differences in what insurers deem as “necessary” for ASD treatment, high beneficiary co-pays and low provider reimbursements for ASD treatments, and caps on the number of visits allowed or the age range of beneficiaries.
In addition, parents may not realize what services are covered, some insurers cover only certain aspects of treatment, and waiting lists are long for medical referrals for ASD-related issues.
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August 2016
Volume 21, Issue 8