This measure is important because it allows us to monitor the number of Vermont Medicaid members who are receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services.
The Social Security Act requires state Medicaid programs to provide Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) services to all Medicaid eligible individuals under age 21, which includes ABA services. Practitioners recognize ABA as an evidence-based treatment service that best services children with diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). DVHA has made targeted improvements to the ABA benefit since it was implemented at the beginning SFY16. Improvements included an increase in ABA reimbursement rates in June 2016, implementation of a tiered case rate payment model in SFY20, and a change from prospective to post service payment delivery system in SFY22. All changes were intended to make administrative responsibilities and service delivery less burdensome for providers, therefore allowing them to possibly provide more services to VT Medicaid members.
The number of members receiving ABA services has significantly increased over the years from 38 in SFY16 to 301 in SFY22, which can be attributed to the changes in payment methodology noted above. The increase in members served slowed between SFY21 to SFY22; feedback from designated agencies and private sector providers notes that there was a lack of available mental health workers in the State. This resulted in providers being unable to expand the number of members being served.
Narrative last updated: 01/09/23