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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Panel #344
CE Offered: BACB
Achieving Profitability With Clinical Quality in the Challenging World of Applied Behavior Analysis Services
Sunday, May 29, 2022
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 153B
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Coby Lund, Ph.D.
Chair: Coby Lund (BehaviorLive)
DOUGLAS MOES (STAR of CA, a Stepping Stones Group Company)

The industry for providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to individuals with disabilities has traditionally been challenging, but even more so recently due to COVID-related exposure risk. Even prior to the COVID pandemic and its related constraints on behavioral healthcare, the intricate variables related to providing ABA services (e.g., reimbursement rates, credentialing requirements, individualized programming and training) have required very thoughtful processes and implementation. For most providers, achieving a healthy level of profitability through operational efficiency has become a critical component in maintaining viability. To that end, direct therapy services have a significant impact on achieving sustainable contribution margin targets for an organization. Direct therapy reimbursement rates relative to behavior technician wage rates, along with behavior technician productivity, need to be maintained at high levels to ensure sustainable gross margins. Additionally, supervisor productivity needs to be high, while costs to manage supervisors are optimized. Such considerations are all crucial operational considerations—though not clinical—of an effective ABA practice. The panel will discuss variables contributing to the financial success and viability of ABA companies, as well as recommended considerations to achieving profitability in the challenging world of ABA services.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Target Audience:

ABA practitioners involved in the operational decision-making of their organizations.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify key metrics related to the financial health of an organization, such as gross margin, contribution margin, and operating expenses; (2) identify key considerations to achieving profitability, such as supervisor and technician productivity; and (3) identify recommendations for maintaining clinical quality and outcomes while operating with sustainable financial health.
Keyword(s): Contribution Margin, Gross Margin, Productivity, Profitability



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