Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Panel #393
CE Offered: BACB
Doing the Wrong Thing for the Right Reason: Ethical Quandaries in Autism Treatment Reimbursement
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: David Bicard, Ph.D.
Chair: Ashley Marie Lugo (Florida Institute of Technology)
REBECCA WOMACK (BlueSprig Pediatrics)
DARREN SUSH (Pepperdine University)
DAVID BICARD (Great Leaps Learning Center)

Behavior analysts, psychologists, and other behavioral health professionals have an obligation to provide clinically sound, effective, individualized, and appropriate treatment and intervention. For many individuals, access to such services requires review and determination by third-parties and managed care organizations. It is the ethical responsibility of behavior analysts, psychologists, other behavioral health professionals to advocate for the resources necessary to adequately meet their client’s needs, which often means securing authorizations from these funding sources. However, there can easily be a risk of blurring the ethical line between advocacy and integrity. This panel will discuss common pitfalls and challenges toward accurately and effectively advocating for clients, keeping in line with all aspects of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for the BACB and the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Guidance in preparing authorization requests will be addressed, as well as aspects that commonly hinder approvals, and suggested approaches toward navigating potential appeals.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Attendees should have a minimum experience of developing behavior intervention plans and submitting them to third party payers for treatment authorization.

Learning Objectives: (1) Describe how medical necessity is determined by payer. (2) Describe threats to adherence to the ethical code when seeking authorization and/or appeals. (3) Draft systems to safeguard against threats to integrity to the ethical code.
Keyword(s): ethics, insurance



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Modifed by Eddie Soh