Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Virginia Autism Law Faces Delay

NORFOLK, Va. -- Families of children with autism celebrated the passage of a law earlier this year that would require insurance to cover a costly treatment for the developmental disorder.
But advocates who worked more than a decade for the law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012, were disappointed to find out that an amendment made by the governor could delay a key piece as long as two years.
One of the governor's amendments requires therapists of Applied Behavioral Analysis -- the gold standard treatment for autism -- to be licensed by the state of Virginia.
The regulatory process to set up a new license in Virginia takes 18 months to two years to complete, according to Karin Addison, a special adviser in the state's office of Health and Human Services. She said the law does not contain a fast-tracking clause, which could have sped up the process.

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