Minn department of human services submitted their application for MA Reform 2020 to Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services in August of 2012.
What does it mean for autism children and families?
Well, they took off the age cap of 7 years old for early intervention therapy after many parents who now get early intervention mostly ABA under fee for service Medicaid protested and commented a lot.
So, now they put generic terms where they sort of explain the need to have holistic approach to autism services and therapies that will be paid by Medicaid regardless of fee for services or managed care Medicaid. As you all know ABA is not paid by managed care Medicaid which is usually given to low income kids.
DHS is also hiring an autism specialist and will be moving all autism services/resources under the disability services dept. Rather than mental health and disability which is very confusing for parents now. DHS formed an advisory council as well in terms which therapies have some research behind it. This council should be done by end of the year with their recommendations and has parents, advocates and professionals. There is also the HSAC which was requested by legislators and is mostly made up of medical professionals and insurance reps.
In sum, while nothing we can see, feel or touch has been changed. At least, DHS commissioner Jesson is no longer in denial about the need to reform autism services in Minnesota so that all children who are eligible for Medicaid get equal access. I think this is a good step in the right direction.