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April 24, 2014

California Court of Appeals Ends State Regulator's Discrimination Against Autistic Children, Says Consumer Watchdog - PRNewswire
SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 24, 2014 Parents of autistic children scored a major victory in a California Court of Appeal decision issued late yesterday, which now bars state regulators and health insurers from discriminating against children on the basis of whether treatment providers...

Only One Year After Launching, Award-Winning Rising Tide Car Wash Has Made Unprecedented Strides in Empowering Young Adults with Autism - PRNewswire

PARKLAND, Fla., April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In its first year of business, Rising Tide Car Wash has not only made an extraordinary difference in helping people with autism to build a career and achieve an independent lifestyle, but it has also played a major role in inspiring...

US Drug Watchdog Escalates Initiative to Help Victims of Premature All-Metal Hip Implant Failure - PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Drug Watchdog is going to increase their national initiative focused on identifying recipients of all-metal hip implants because the group is not just worried about the costs associated with a all-metal hip implant replacement, they...

Professional Diversity Network Partners With Commonwealth Compact To Host Boston Conference - PRNewswire
CHICAGO, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- To help increase the visibility of and access to diverse professionals in Massachusetts, Professional Diversity Network, Inc. (Nasdaq:IPDN) and Commonwealth Compact will host a 'Diversity Networking Conference.' The event will take place on...

Motor Skills Lagging In Many With Autism - DisabiltyScoop
In addition to social and communication struggles, a new study finds that children with autism are often up to a year behind their typically developing peers in acquiring motor skills.

American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. Participating in Annual Face of America Bicycle Ride - PRNewswire
HOLBROOK, N.Y., April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, April 25, 2014, Team American Portfolios will participate for the eighth consecutive year in the Face of America (FOA) bicycle ride, hosted by World T.E.A.M. Sports (WTS), a not-for-profit organization that brings together...

Maryland To Require Autism Insurance Coverage - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

New regulations finalized, licensure bill for ABA providers heading to Governor

April 23, 2014

(April 23, 2014) -- The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) has finalized new regulations that will require coverage of autism benefits, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), for many private plans as well as state employees. Related legislation that would establish a state licensing procedure for ABA providers, meanwhile, is headed to Gov. Martin O'Malley in May.

The new requirements will apply to individual, fully funded small and large group plans, the state employee health plan and coverage purchased through Maryland's health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.The coverage includes a minimum of 25 hours weekly of ABA up to agesix, and then 10 hours weekly through age 18.

In addition, psychological care and speech, occupational and physical therapy for the treatment of autism are covered.

However, the regulations require ABA practitioners to be licensed by the state. Because Maryland has no license, legislation was moved through the legislature to create the license and will be sent to the Governor next month. Autism Speaks and other advocacy organizations had urged the state to accept professional certification to speed up the process, but MIA insisted on the need for a state license.

Rather than require autism insurance coverage through legislation, the Maryland Legislature in 2012 chose to create a task force to clarify the state's existing habilitative services statute to provide autism coverage. After a year of study, MIA first proposed regulations in September 2013, then issued a new proposal this year which ultimately was finalized.

Autism Speaks, Pathfinders for Autism and the Maryland Association of Behavior Analysts will host a series of information session in May to familiarize families and providers with the new regulations. Learn more here.

April 23, 2014

Traveling Poses a Unique Set of Challenges for People with Blindness - PRNewswire
SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Getting from "here to there" can be challenging and require patience from most everyone. But for people with blindness or visual impairment, overcoming mobility challenges often takes more than just patience – it takes...

Rethink Announces Addition of Student Activity Center, Making Their Model the First Comprehensive Special Education Solution - PRNewswire

NEW YORK, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rethink is pleased to announce the launch of its Student Activity Center, a newly developed interface for children featuring computer-based activities aligned with the platform's curriculum, reporting, and progress monitoring tools. The...

Cutting-edge Research to be Presented at 4th Annual International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in Santa Monica - PRNewswire

LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 7, 2014 global experts on malignant pleural mesothelioma will convene in Santa Monica, CA at the 4th Annual International Symposium on Lung-Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that results...

Boston Elder Care Expert A. Michael Bloom Named "Life Coach of the Year" Finalist for International Coach Federation of New England - PRNewswire

BOSTON, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second year in a row, A. Michael Bloom has been selected as a finalist for "Life Coach of the Year" honors by the International Coach Federation New England (ICFNE). Photo - ICFNE...

Andy Imparato, AUCD Executive Director, Speaks at Delaware Town Hall on How New HCBS Rule Would Change Options for People with Disabilities - AUCD
More than a hundred people gathered at the Embassy Suites in Newark Monday morning to discuss a new federal rule that could dramatically change options in housing, employment and other basics for people with disabilities. "This is an issue that has divided the [disability] community," Imparato said. "But there is a consensus that everyone should have the opportunity for a competitive work environment at the start of their working lives."
April 22, 2014

UN: People With Disabilities Free To Make Own Decisions - DisabiltyScoop
People with even the most severe disabilities have the right to make their own decisions, no matter if their choices are risky or ultimately turn out to be mistakes, a U.N. panel says.

Telemedicine Shows Promise For ABA Therapy - DisabiltyScoop
Using web-based technology to teach parents the strategies of applied behavior analysis could offer big gains for kids with autism, new research suggests.

Debate Surrounds Condition That Mimics Psychiatric Disorders - DisabiltyScoop
Experts say that treatable infections may be behind a growing number of children developing symptoms of psychological disorders seemingly overnight, but the idea remains controversial. Offers US Doctors Reputation Management Resources, As Well As a Platform for Getting Private Practices Noticed - PRNewswire
LAS VEGAS, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Doctor For Cash, LLC, a company focused on the cash-based medical practices of America, has recently released the web site. This new net destination serves as a kind of all-in-one toolbox for ambitious medical professionals, as...

Union MedTech and Rex Bionics to Exhibit at Master Investor 2014 Conference - PRNewswire

LONDON, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- REX hands-free exoskeleton technology to be showcased at London conference  Union MedTech Plc, a company focused on medical technology, will be exhibiting at the Master Investor 2014 conference on Saturday, 26 April 2014 at the Business Design...

TRICARE Plans Major Revamp of ABA Services For Military Kids - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Three different programs serving kids with autism will be rolled into one

April 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (April22, 2014) -- In a report to Congress,TRICARE announced it will be creating a new Autism Care Demonstration startingJuly 25 that willconsolidate all ABA programs into one uniform benefit for TRICARE beneficiaries with autism.

The new program will launch with the expiration of the current Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Pilot for non-active duty family members that has been problematic since its launch last year and has served very few children.

TRICARE intends to transition all beneficiaries receiving ABA services to the new demonstration by the end of 2014.TRICARE reports the new demonstration will extend through December 31, 2016 while the Department of Defense considers coverage of ABA as medical care.

Policy specifics of the new Autism Care Demonstration were not provided in TRICARE's report.Autism Speaks will monitor the release of the program details and encourage TRICARE to publish its proposed policies and seek public input into the process.

"Transparency is important here," said Karen Driscoll, Autism Speaks associate director of federal government affairs and military relations. "Military families need to be able to plan for their healthcare decisions.Engaging with families, service providers, and medical experts is also important to ensure final policies meet the needs of military children in a manner consistent with best practices."

Autism Speaks continues to work with Congressional champions to require ABA coverage for all military children with developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome,and at medically prescribed levels.Earlier this month, Autism Speaks hosted Congressional briefings for the House and the Senate to highlight the need for the legislation.

Links to the complete TRICARE Reports to Congress can be found HERE and HERE.

April 21, 2014

Group Homes' Decision To Bar Newlyweds From Cohabiting Upheld - DisabiltyScoop
A federal judge has thrown out a discrimination claim from a married couple with intellectual disabilities who were denied the opportunity to live together in the same group home.

Nebraska Becomes 36th State To Require Autism Coverage - Autism Speaks - Advocasy

Gov. Heineman signs bill requiring certain insurers to cover diagnosis, treatment

April 21, 2014

LINCOLN (April 21, 2014) -- Nebraska became the 36th state to enact autism insurance reform today when Gov. Dave Heineman signed legislation requiring certain insurers to coverthe diagnosis and treatment of autism up to age 20. The new law, which takes effect with new health policies issued for 2015, requires up to 25 hours a week of behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA).

Heineman said he was signingthe bill, LB.254, "on behalf of families who meet the challenges of autism every day.” The bill was sponsored bySen. Colby Coash of Lincoln, who has worked for years withfamilies and autism advocacy groups, such as Autism Speaks, in winning autism insurance reform.

“I care about this issue because I have seen the impact that this treatment can have on the future of a child with autism,” saidCoash. “Positive things can happen when they receive life-changing treatment. These families are strong willed and they never gave up on the bill, so I wouldn't either. Today is a special day.”

“This is a great day for Autism families in Nebraska,” said Vicki Depenbusch, Autism Speaks' advocacy chair for Nebraska. “It gives us hope that our children will be the best citizens that they can be.”

Depenbusch's son,Jacob, who has autism, and Heineman (pictured right with Vicki Depenbusch and Coash)metat a parent teacher conferencein 2010. The two have communicated regularly and attended events together over the last four years. Jacob calls himself the “Governor's Buddy.”

The new law requires coverage for speech, occupational and physical therapy, as well as pharmaceutical care for the treatment of autism. No visit or dollars are imposed on those services.

Behavioral health treatment, however, was cappedat25 hours per week andinsurers will be ableto reviewtreatment plans every six months.Certain state-regulated group and individual health policies, as well as state employees, will be covered.

In addition to Nebraska, Utah has enacted autism insurance reform in 2014 and Kansas expanded its 2010 law, which was limited to state employees, tocover its kids with autism. Similar bills remain active in Hawai'i and North Carolina, and legislation that would raise Maine's age cap from 5 to 10 was just sent to the Governor.

Last updated : April 24, 2014 - 12:24:05
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