MiBAP Q1 2020 Newsletter
April 21, 2020
MiBAP Q3 2020 Newsletter
October 14, 2020
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MiBAP Q2 2020 Newsletter

This unprecedented and challenging year marches on, as the COVID pandemic continues and many Michigan ABA providers struggle to balance delivery of essential ABA services against health risks for clients, families, and staff. MiBAP is hard at work to support its members during these difficult times, with specific resources and guidance on our COVID-19 Resource Page. We have also continued to advocate on behalf of the ABA community on a wide range of other issues, including telehealth legislation, reimbursement rates, and ABA provider financial stabilization efforts underway within MDHHS. Read on for more details!

First, we’d like to again remind all ABA providers of MiBAP’s position on providing ABA services during the COVID crisis:

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.

If you are aware of any individual or organization attempting to prescribe or dictate the appropriateness of ABA treatment, independent of and/or in conflict with the individualized treatment plan and medical opinion of the supervising behavior analyst, please do not hesitate to engage MiBAP for help and support. In these difficult times, it’s more important than ever that we emphasize the critical expertise of the licensed behavior analyst, and of the organizations that support them.

MiBAP has also been busy on a number of other fronts:

  • Launch of our member-only web site: If you are an Active MiBAP member, you should have received a link and login password to our member-only resources page, with access to MiBAP Board and Member meeting minutes and other informational tools and documents. Reach out to us (info@mibap.org) if you need any help getting access to the site!
  • Issuance of Letters and Publications: Over the past few months, MiBAP has issued a number of letters and position papers in support of its members. These include a letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in support of telehealth initiatives, and letters to MDHHS regarding Direct Care Workers wage increases (with a temporary $2/hr wage increase achieved), the importance of financial stabilization payments to ABA providers (with these payments now in progress), and feedback on various FY20 and FY21 budget language for the Medicaid Autism program. We have also issued letters and requests to PIHP and CMH organizations in support of specific member questions and challenges related to new and/or revised policies and procedures.
  • Legislative Testimony: MiBAP provided testimony to the Michigan legislature in support of HB 5412 – 5416, regarding increased telehealth access. These bills passed and were signed by the governor in June.
  • Advocacy: MiBAP has continued its general advocacy and education efforts, with 30+ on-line meetings that have included Governor Gretchen Whitmer, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon, Senate Appropriations Chair Peter MacGregor, and many others.

Below are quick updates from each of our committees, along with a few articles and papers you may find of interest. Stay safe!

Access Committee
Based on a survey conducted in 2019 and subsequent dicussions, the Access Committee plans 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.

Advocacy Committee
MiBAP Advocacy continues to be extremely busy, with 30+ on-line meetings between MiBAP members and a wide range of stakeholders, from the governor to senators, state representatives, and payors. Moving forward, we hope to broaden our engagement with the payor community in support of specific member issues, including both private payors as well as Michigan Medicaid, PIHP, and CMH leadership.

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.

Education Committee
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.

Quality Committee
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
There has never been a more important time for providers to have a unified voice. We face challenges from multiple fronts – potential state budget cuts, inconsistent rules/regulation, and a global health crisis al threaten the stability of our young provider network. MiBAP has given providers the opportunity to have a seat at the table to get in front of these issues, rather than hearing about these issues after the decisions have been made. We exist to support you and advocate for you. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to have members of your organization to become active in one of our committees. Remember, we are stronger together!

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