Each day, 60 families in America will learn that their child has autism, a complex developmental disorder that impacts millions of Americans. Presently, 29 states have implemented laws mandating specific benefits coverage to help families manage the complex coordination of care for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and 14 other states are pursuing such legislation in 2012.
Magellan Health Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGLN) has been managing care for individuals with autism since 2008 through a program called Autism ConnectionsTM, developed in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics practice guidelines. Autism Connections helps payors, providers and families manage the complex clinical care needs for individuals with ASD, a challenge that has become increasingly important as legislation dictates specific requirements for care.
“Treating autism disorders often requires coordination with a multi-disciplinary team of medical and behavioral providers. The complexities can make it difficult for patients and their families, providers and payors to manage this type of care effectively,” said Martin Glasser, M.D., chief medical officer for HAI of California, a subsidiary of Magellan Health Services. Earlier this year, Dr. Glasser joined California’s Autism Advisory Task Force, chaired by Brent Barnhart, director of the state’s Department of Managed Health Care. The task force, convened as a result of California’s Senate Bill 946 requiring autism coverage, will provide recommendations to state leaders about behavioral health treatment for individuals with autism.
“While there is still a great deal to learn about autism spectrum disorders, there are excellent treatment options available that can help improve the lives individuals with autism and their families. Our goal is to help connect patients, providers and payors access consistent, appropriate care to improve treatment outcomes and manage the cost of care,” said Dr. Glasser.Dr. Glasser and Michelle Brennan-Cooke, Ph.D., Magellan’s vice president of western region network development, will present at a seminar hosted by the California Association of Health Plans on March 21, 2012, in Sacramento, Calif., examining the changes health plans can expect as they prepare for autism coverage legislation to take effect later this year. Their presentation, leveraging Magellan’s experience through Autism Connections, will address how health plans can develop their local networks of autism service providers in alignment with SB 946, which takes effect statewide on July 1, 2012. With Autism Connections, Magellan works with payors to supplement their behavioral benefits by providing comprehensive autism benefits management, including prior authorization, concurrent review, outcomes monitoring and claims processing. Families benefit from Magellan’s care management programs, access to Magellan’s Autism Specialty Provider Network of licensed providers with expertise in treating ASD, online resources and toolkits, and a comprehensive coaching support system, which provides parents with coaching sessions to help manage the ongoing coordination of care and support for their children and families.
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