To interest more therapists in treating children with autism in a new state pilot, Utah’s Medicaid program is planning to increase their pay.
It recently sought permission from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to boost what the reimbursement rate for tutors who will provide free applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA) to children with the social and communication disorder.
After surveying the therapists about what rate was practical, Medicaid bumped it to $28.32, based on satisfying three out of five providers who responded to the survey. As of Tuesday, seven providers had sought Medicaid contracts.
Still, as before, a tutor could make as little as $14.42 an hour depending on what providers allot for insurance and training costs.
To stay within the $15 million pilot budget, children will receive 15 hours of therapy a week, said Medicaid spokeswoman Kolbi Young. It won’t reduce the number of children served, she added.For young children, effective behavioral therapy requires at least 25 hours a week.