Last Friday, at the state’s Act 62 External Work Group meeting, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) released and reviewed the data collected by HealthChoices contractors during the April 2015 survey of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) service capacity. This point-in-time survey reflects what was at that time the level of ASD service capacity for the delivery of behavior specialist consultant and applied behavior analysis services.
Among the highlights in this data are service access trends as of April 2015, showing:
- A 19% level of service access delays of more than 31 days, with delays ranging by managed care organizations from 14% to 30% for children that had been accepted, evaluated, and authorized for services.
- The level and reasons given for staff recruitment challenges, showing a significant level of hiring challenges among providers, with the predominant reasons being the licensure requirements of
- At least one year of experience involving functional behavior assessments of individuals under 21 years of age; and
- At least 1,000 hours of in-person clinical experience with individuals with behavioral challenges or experience in a related field with individuals with an ASD.
During review and discussion of the data, OMHSAS Deputy Secretary Marion indicated that OMHSAS will begin to meet with the managed care organizations, to more closely analyze the data, and discuss approaches and solutions to the service access and professional labor pool challenges in provider networks.