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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Regulatory Problem in California

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) has sent out an email about a proposed regulatory change in California:

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is attempting to implement new regulations that will negatively impact our ability to provide quality services to our clients. The proposed regulation gives DDS the ability to lower our reimbursement rates for therapy work and increases the experience requirement for our therapists. This means that in most cases we will not be able to afford to keep our current therapists on staff. Our Regional Center reimbursement rates are already very low and the planned 25% cut will make it financially impossible for us to hire, train and retain great therapists. Plus, most of our therapists come to CARD for their first clinical position and they do so because of our exceptional training program. However, if they don't apply to CARD with at least 6 months of previous experience, we won't be able to hire them. How are these bright people supposed to get experience if organizations like CARD can't hire them?

We need the current requirements to stand so that services are not disrupted or discontinued. The current Regional Center rates are already low. Please tell the DDS that forming a new position called Behavior Management Technician (Paraprofessional) is not a solution to the current crisis. Please take a few minutes to email the DDS and ask them to keep the existing requirements in place.

Send your comments by WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31 to AND

For more information, visit the following websites and read below:
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(b) Effective September 6, 2011, the following service code shall be assigned to the following type of service: Behavior Management Technician (Paraprofessional) - Service Code 616. A regional center shall vendor a group practice, vendored pursuant to Section 54319, for the above service. The Behavior Management Technician (Paraprofessional) shall practice under the direct supervision of a certified Behavior Analyst or a Behavior Management Consultant who is vendored within the same group practice. The Behavior Management Technician (Paraprofessional) implements instructional and environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in the consumer's behavior through skill acquisition and the reduction of behavior. The Behavior Management Technician (Paraprofessional) shall meet the following requirements: (1) Has a High School Diploma or the equivalent, has completed 30 hours of competency-based training designed by a certified behavior analyst, and has six months experience working with persons with developmental disabilities; or

(2) Possesses an Associate's Degree in either a human, social, or educational services discipline, or a degree or certification related to behavior management, from an accredited community college or educational institution, and has six months experience working with persons with developmental disabilities.

(12) Behavior Management Technician (Paraprofessional) - Service Code 616 Regional centers shall contract for Behavior Management Technician (Paraprofessional) services at no more than 75% of the regional center's median hourly rate or the statewide median rate for Behavior Management Assistant - Service Code 615, whichever is lower.