Friday, April 16, 2010

State legislation: Wisconsin - AB 789 would allow reimbursement for autism services by behavior analysts and create a behavior analyst license

Wisconsin currently has an amended substitute bill that was reported on April 14, 2010 from the Assembly Committee on Insurance with a do pass recommendation sent to the Committee on Rules, and is currently listed as "made a special order of business at 11:13 A.M. on (Tuesday) April 20, 2010 persuant to Assembly Resolution 23".
ASSEMBLY BILL 789: An Act to amend 632.895 (12m) (b) 4.; and to create 632.895 (12m) (b) 3m. of the statutes; relating to: insurance coverage of the services of behavior analysts for autism treatment.
Analysis by the legislative reference bureau of the introduced bill,
"Under current law, health insurance policies and self-insured governmental and school district health plans are required to cover a specified amount of intensive-level services and nonintensive-level services provided to an insured for the treatment of autism, Asperger's syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified as long as the treatment is prescribed by a physician and provided by any of the following providers who are qualified to provide intensive-level services or nonintensive-level services: a psychiatrist; a psychologist; a social worker who is certified or licensed to practice psychotherapy; a paraprofessional working under the supervision of any of those three types of providers; a professional working under the supervision of an outpatient mental health clinic; a speech-language pathologist; or an occupational therapist. 
This bill provides that the coverage must also apply to services provided by a behavior analyst, excluding an assistant behavior analyst, who is certified to practice behavior analysis by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc., or by a paraprofessional working under the supervision of such a behavior analyst, if the behavior analyst or paraprofessional is qualified to provide intensive-level services or nonintensive-level services."
The bill history shows that AB 789 was introduced on March 3, 2010, with the public hearing held March 11, 2010. An offered substitute and amendments to the substitute extends insurance coverage to Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors who meet specifications, and upgrades the certification requirement for Behavior Analysts to a licensing requirement. This license would be granted by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing and specifies the certification of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) (excluding Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs)). Among the stipulations would be: prohibition of rules requiring additional coursework conditions beyond those required for BACB certification, prohibition of requiring a licensed behavior analyst to practice behavior analysis under the supervision of, or in collaboration with, another health care provider.  An advisory group could be appointed to advise the Department of Regulation and Licensing on matters relating to the regulation of behavior analysts. Other prohibitions, conditions and regulation of practice are described in the full bill text and amendments.

For more information
History and text page of AB 789

Wisconsin Legislative Council Amendment Memo
Summary of AB 789 with substitute and amendments
Current as of 4/14/10

Wisconsin State Legislature

Wisconsin legislative notification system (bill tracking)

Past post
Thursday, March 11, 2010
State news: Wisconsin - Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Autism Treatment Working Group hammers out details of insurance implementation

© 2010 Regina G. Claypool-Frey
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