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MiBAP Q4 2020 Newsletter

Happy New Year to all of our membership! Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for making it through 2020. This quarterly newsletter provides a recap of 2020, as well as updates on current activities for the association, to include each of our committees. It’s been a busy year!

  • MiBAP established legislative priorities for 2020 including feedback regarding two reports that may have impacted ABA services for TRICARE families: 1) “The Department of Defense Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration Annual Report June 2019”; and, 2) “The Department of Defense Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration Quarterly Report to Congress First Quarter, Fiscal Year 2019.” MiBAP represents providers of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) across the State of Michigan; our membership currently serves thousands of individuals and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including many TRICARE beneficiaries.
  • MiBAP held the first-ever ABA Advocacy Day on February 5, 2020 which included an all–day agenda to include member training, speakers, and 100+ meetings with Michigan legislators and staff. Over fifty MiBAP members attended the event, representing the majority of Michigan counties and districts. MiBAP members met individually with their legislators to discuss important issues, including the Michigan Autism Program budget, programmatic priorities, and potential policy changes that could improve services and results for individuals currently receiving ABA treatment.
  • Creation of a COVID-19 Resource Page with a wide range of policies, resources, guidance, and position statements. Additionally, MiBAP was busy advocating for providers and families adapting to COVID-19 by:
    • Issuing a position statement for Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Issuing a position statement for Medicaid-covered ABA services During Traditional School Hours
    • Legislative advocacy for temporary wage increases, the importance of stabilization payments, and various FY20 and FY21 budget language
    • Legislature Testimony in support of HB 5412-5416 regarding telehealth access
  • MiBAP Launched an Educational Webinar Series focused on teaching the business aspects of running an ABA company. The first webinar focused on hiring and retaining RBTs and the next webinar will focus on advocacy.
  • We have scheduled our second MiBAP Advocacy/Legislative Day for February 23, 2021. Be sure to register for this important event.

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
The Access Committee voted and has identified a set of potential speakers for its educational webinar on access to ABA in the schools and client education rights. This was identified in our MiBAP membership survey as a significant barrier, so we are excited to hear from experts in the field and speak with them regarding the specific troubles we’ve had as a group. A survey requesting information on specific barriers that members have experienced will be sent out to the membership soon so that our speakers can better prepare for this discussion. Additionally, many members also identified pediatrician knowledge of diagnostic routes as a significant barrier, so we have begun developing some of the language that will be used in upcoming educational handouts.

Advocacy Committee
In December, the Advocacy Committee welcomed new committee members as we began planning for a vigorous start to 2021.
Advocacy 101 is the next offering in the series of MiBAP Educational Webinars. This session, presented by Scott Schrum, CEO, Residential Opportunities, Inc. will provide a primer of advocacy skills to serve as the foundation for those new to advocacy. This session is available for all who are interested in attending and designed to generate participation in MiBAP Advocacy Day. MiBAP Advocacy Day is virtual in 2021 and is being planned for February 23, 2021. Our first Advocacy Day last year had over 100 participants and proved to be very effective. We are looking for even more participation from our membership! Watch for the announcements of each and we are looking forward to your participation.

Education Committee
The Education Committee is excited to focus on executing the MiBAP Educational Webinar Series into 2021. We were able to wrap up Q4 with our first webinar presented by TalentCare. We had over 35 attendees and are happy to see that this is a valued activity we are investing in. Please continue to check out our website to sign up for the new webinar each month. In addition to our webinar series, we also work to produce this newsletter each month. We are always open to additional content from our members that may be beneficial for our group at large. If you have any questions or suggestions related to this committee, please contact Mike Dow (MiBAP Executive Director) or Megan DiMartino (MiBAP Education Committee Chair).

Quality Committee
The Quality Committee has been busy working through a proposal to implement recommendations of the use of the Behavioral Health Index, developed by Dr. Gregory Hanley, BCBA-D in conjunction with Acorn Health. After evaluation by Quality Committee Members, this tool shows promise in the sensitivity necessary to show progress toward outcomes that are important to stakeholders. Following MiBAP board approval, the data collected by MiBAP providers may be contributed to Dr. Hanley for analysis of efficacy. Additionally, the Quality Committee has been developing a webinar on clinical operations prioritizing quality services.

From the President
MiBAP is committed to supporting our member agencies as we all move toward recovery and stabilization from the effects of the pandemic. MiBAP’s priorities for 2021 include reducing barriers to ABA for Michiganders affected by autism, protecting reimbursement rates so providers have the resources they need to continue to provide the highest quality services, establishing quality guidelines to demonstrate and quantify the strength of our providers, offering additional professional development opportunities and other resources to members, and, through these efforts, continuing to advocate for the best interests of Michiganders with autism and their families.

 
ABA IN THE NEWS: CURATED FOR YOU

COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard
Website Here
Includes information on where to sign-up, locations, and FAQs

COVID-19 and Brain Injury
Website Here
Clinicians are recognizing neurological consequences from COVID-19 and the effectiveness of ABA interventions

Employee Engagement Practices During COVID-19 Lockdown
Website Here
A conceptual paper dedicated to strategies to keep employees committed to the organization and motivated during the challenges of COVID-19

Behavioral Strategies for Reducing Disease Transmission in the Workplace
Website Here
Instructions are often not sufficient to change work behaviors and behavioral interventions may be needed. This paper reviews existing research.