Before they even start, tutors in a state autism pilot project may be getting a raise.
Utah’s Medicaid department is looking into increasing how much it will pay tutors who will provide free applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy to children with the social and communication disorder. Authorized by the Utah Legislature, the pilot program will cover 250 children ages 2 through 6, through June 2014.
Few existing ABA therapists were interested in applying, saying the pay was too little for their experienced employees and wasn’t enough to train less-qualified applicants. The rate is also lower than other two state-funded pilots through the Public Employees’ Benefit and Insurance Program and the Autism Treatment Account.Medicaid set the rate for the tutors, who would provide 20 hours of in-home therapy a week, at $21.52 an hour. But they could make as little as $14.42 an hour because of insurance and other training costs.
Supporters hope the pilot projects will show good results and lead to broader autism therapy coverage.