Sandra Chereb writes at The Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Parents of autistic children and providers of early intervention services urged state officials Monday to increase Nevada's proposed rate of reimbursement for treating low-income children, saying to do otherwise will doom the program to failure and deny vulnerable children essential tools to lead productive lives.
They also told administrators for the Nevada Division of Health Care Financing and Policy that Nevada's proposed $29.61 hourly reimbursement rate through Medicaid does not take into account supervisory costs or national credentials that will be required when the program takes effect next year.
"The national examination goes into effect in December," said Charles Marriot, who provides autism treatment through his Las Vegas company, Autism Care West.
"Every individual is going to have to pass a national exam," he said, adding the requirement will severely limit the number of registered behavioral technicians, or RBTs, who work with autistic children one-on-one.
Nevada currently has fewer than 100 registered behavioral technicians and will require many more to help meet the demand once services are extended to Medicaid recipients.