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Bohacek: Ensuring health care coverage for vulnerable Hoosiers

Ensuring health care coverage for vulnerable Hoosiers

By State Sen. Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores)

As a state senator and a member of the Individuals with Intellectual and Other Development Disabilities Task Force and the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services, I am dedicated to ensuring that all Hoosiers receive proper health care coverage for necessary services.

Recently, I became aware of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration's (FSSA) new proposed reimbursement rates for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy from the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning. I'm concerned this proposal, should it be implemented, will prevent ABA service providers from catering to an already underserved Medicaid population in Indiana.

ABA therapy helps children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder learn how to improve certain skills using positive reinforcement. These therapy programs can help increase language and communication skills, decrease problem behaviors and improve attention, focus, social skills, memory and academics. Treatment plans are extremely flexible and can be adjusted based on the needs of each child.

ABA providers are currently reimbursed by Medicaid at a set percentage of billed charges for rendering services. Recent findings by FSSA state the current billing system has contributed to an increase in state spending for ABA services. Costs are anticipated to continue growing, and to attempt to curb this spending, FSSA's proposal establishes a preliminary rate of $55 per hour for services provided by a registered behavioral technician.

I understand Indiana currently lacks the capacity to meet the growing demand for ABA services, with many ABA providers in our state dealing with extensive waitlists. However, if FSSA moves forward with this proposal, the ability of providers to attract and retain essential personnel may be hindered, jeopardizing the availability and quality of care accessible to the children who need these services.

I am currently in communication with FSSA and have urged them to postpone moving forward with this proposal until a consensus can be reached between FSSA, lawmakers, ABA providers and individuals who need these services. I will continue to advocate for vulnerable Hoosiers during these conversations and will work to find a solution that serves Indiana's families and taxpayers in a constructive manner.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me by phone at or by phone at 800-382-9467.


State Sen. Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores) represents Senate District 8,
which includes Starke County and portions of LaPorte, Marshall and St. Joseph counties.
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