New Autism Care Demonstration updates

  • Published
  • Staff, Communications Division, Defense Health Agency
In an effort to continually improve benefits, the Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration (ACD) was recently updated to reduce the potential financial burden of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services for non-active-duty families.

As of Oct. 1, all ACD cost-shares will match TRICARE Prime and Standard cost-shares for all ABA services provided by authorized ABA supervisors, assistant behavior analysts and behavior technicians. This change will allow cost-shares to contribute to the annual catastrophic cap for families and eliminates the 10 percent cost-share for assistant behavior analyst and behavior technician services, also known as “tiered” services, significantly reducing the potential financial burden of ABA services for non-active-duty families.

Revisions were also made to enhance the quality and safety of ABA services. All ABA providers will become trained in basic life support by Dec. 31, 2015. Many beneficiaries diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically have other medical conditions, and in the rare event that basic life support would be needed to save a life, all ABA providers will be trained. All behavior technicians are also now required to obtain certification from an accredited organization. Behavioral technicians certification ensures these providers are consistently well-trained in ABA services.

The TRICARE ACD covers all TRICARE eligible beneficiaries diagnosed with ASD under a single benefit. There are currently almost 13,000 beneficiaries receiving ABA through the ACD which runs through Dec. 31, 2018.

For more information about the changes to this benefit, visit the ACD page on the TRICARE website.