As you can imagine, this newsletter is dedicated to an update on COVID-19 in Michigan, and its impact on ABA providers across the state. MiBAP has launched a COVID-19 Resource Page on our web site, containing a wide range of resources for our membership, along with MiBAP’s official position on providing services in lieu of Michigan’s designation of ABA as an Essesntial Behavioral Health Service.
MiBAP Position on ABA Services During the COVID–19 Pandemic
(Adopted Unanimously by the MiBAP Board of Directors, April 10 2020)
The State of Michigan has declared ABA to be an essential service (read CDC and state communications here). At the same time, the current risks associated with face-to-face medical services, particularly among children and vulnerable mental health patients, cannot be overstated. It is MiBAP’s position that decisions regarding ongoing ABA services must be made on an individual basis by the supervising medical professional in collaboration with the client and caregivers, and based on a careful evaluation of risk factors and medical necessity. In order to make this decision, the treatment team should follow the BACB’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code to complete a Risk-Benefits Analysis (BACB, 2014, to include Codes 2.09c and 4.05) as well as applicable state laws and payor requirements. We also urge ABA providers to make maximum use of telehealth and other remote alternatives for care, when medically appropriate, and to access all available resources in the evaluation of potential risks.
The MiBAP COVID-19 Resource Page also includes a wide range of additional policies, resources, and guidance in the areas of:
Below are quick updates from each of our committees, along with a few articles and papers you may find of interest. Stay safe!
Based on a survey conducted in 2019 and subsequent discussions, the Access Committee intends to spend time in 2020 focused on increased access to ABA through educational opportunities for the pediatric community. Given recent events, the implementation of these plans are expected to evolve over the next several months, and may include virtual meetings and other on-line content. MiBAP members interested in participating in these efforts should contact the Access Committee Chair, Adam Bennett, through MiBAP.
The Advocacy Committee has been extremely busy in Q1, despite recent events. We began on February 5 with our first-ever MiBAP Advocacy Day in Lansing, We had 50+ MiBAP members attend the event, and held meetings with 70+ members of the Michigan Legislature, including nearly all of the key appropriation and Health Policy members. We clearly made made significant progress in putting ABA and some of our key issues front-and-center. A special thanks to our lobbyist, Kelley-Cawthorne, for their hard work in organizing this event. It couldn’t have happened without them.
Since the onset of the coronovirus, we have continued to monitor and respond to specific issues impacting Michigan ABA services, to include the designation of ABA as an essential behavioral health service, on-line meetings with key legislators and staff, and participation in discussions to protect the Autism Program budget, and ongoing funding levels for ABA providers.
The Education Committee is dedicating its focus in 2020 to developing this quarterly newsletter, along with MiBAP News Alerts that we hope can help keep members on top of the latest Michigan ABA news. We have built out this Newsletter platform, and would ask each of you to share with others in your organization. All employees of a member organization are eligible to subscribe! Also, any member interested in supporting or contributing to future newsletters or other communication or education efforts could contact Maggie Moore, Education Committee Chair, through MiBAP.
The Quality Committee continues to study and discuss the appropriate role for MiBAP in defining, measuring, and reporting on ABA quality services and outcomes throughout the Michigan ABA community. Any members interested in joining this discussion should contact Zach Dugger, Quality Committee Chair, through MiBAP.
From the President
Dr. Joshua John Diehl
It’s amazing to think how far we have come as an organization in a year. MiBAP was created to address big issues, and we are now in the middle of perhaps the biggest issue providers have faced in the state of Michigan since the origin of the autism mandate. We are truly stronger together in times like these. In the coming months, we will be asking for your help help as we pursue a range of access, educational, and quality objectives, as well as in our continued efforts to preserve ABA reimbursement rates. I look forward to working with all of you on our shared mission to help people with autism and their families.