Insurer's cuts cloud future for autism therapists

FISHERS, Ind. (AP) — Indiana autism therapists are reducing staff and services following steep cuts by the state's largest health insurer.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1oxb1I1 ) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield began implementing the changes two years ago by directing that children age 7 and older receive a portion of their autism therapy from public schools.

In January 2013, the insurer cut its reimbursements for applied behavior analysis therapy by 40 percent.

The changes are a sharp departure in Indiana. The state in 2001 became the first to require health insurers to cover autism therapy in a meaningful way.

Providers say additional cuts could force them out of business.

The Indiana Department of Education says one in 77 Indiana children has a form of autism or pervasive developmental disorders.

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Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, http://www.ibj.com

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