Friday, July 14, 2006
Clinic Notes: Paying for ABA
Recently, I was in a meeting with the Commissioner Of Mental Health in Tennessee. After the meeting the psychologist who works for the Commissioner told me that TennCare, the states program for the uninsured, was now paying for ABA. Unfortunately, the reimbursement rate was only $27.00 per hour. Normally, ABA costs from $30,000 to $80,000 depending on the number of hours per week. Alberta Province in Canada pays up to $60,000 per year for ABA. At the Tenncare rate I would make $28,000 per year if I saw a child for 20 hours a week. When school systems and insurance companies agree to pay for ABA, which does not always happen, the pay rate is 2-3 time what Tenncare pays. I wonder who is doing ABA for $27 an hour? Probably not anyone qualified. It's unlikely that many kids on Tenncare are getting ABA. I guess if you want ABA for your child with autism and you cannot pay or get anyone else to pay do what many Canadians from other provinces are doing. Move to Aberta.