Bipartisan legislation that would require TRICARE to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) for all military children with developmental disabilities, including autism, at medically prescribed levels was introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sponsored by Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Tom Rooney (R-FL), the Caring for Military Children with Developmental Disabilities Act of 2014 marks the latest effort in Congress to improve and standardize medical coverage of ABA therapy under TRICARE, the military health system.
The bill, HR.4630, would provide access to ABA for all children with developmental disabilities, improve coverage to address medically recommended treatment levels, and allow for coverage of the ABA tiered service delivery model which includes Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and ABA Technicians.
In 2012, a similar bill passed both houses of Congress requiring expanded coverage, but the measure was whittled down in conference committee to a one-year pilot program which has been problematic and has served very few children.
TRICARE now has three different programs delivering ABA services in three different ways, and not one of them is permanent. Last month, TRICARE reported to Congress it plans to consolidate the three programs into a new demonstration which is also a temporary program. The new bill works to make ABA coverage a permanent medical benefit under TRICARE.
Friday, May 9, 2014
New TRICARE Bill
Autism Speaks reports: