While COVID-19 was difficult for our providers, clients, families, schools, and pretty much everyone in the world, one good thing did come out of it, and that is the recognition of telehealth as a modality for Applied Behavior Analysis. Prior to the pandemic, many behavior analysts used telehealth for supervision, but now are free to use the modality for direct services and parent training.
It is important to consider what the best modality is for the client, and what will be the most effective before making a decision. DMAS has stated they will pay for services delivered by telehealth for both Behavioral Therapy and Therapeutic Consultation delivered through the DBHDS waivers. See their respective manuals for the guidelines. Private insurers may or may not pay for telehealth; it is important to check your particular contract or contact someone with the specific insurance company.
Below are some resources to help practitioners:
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center – https://www.matrc.org/
Memo from Medicaid on Telehealth – https://www.dmas.virginia.gov/media/3428/telehealth-services-supplement-updated-05-19-2021.pdf
Please see VABA’s Telehealth White Paper. Published November 2020.
Virginia’s Web site on telehealth – https://www.ehealthvirginia.org/
APBA – The Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (www.apbahome.net) has been providing webinars and resources on telehealth and business matters
CASP – The Council of Autism Service Providers (casproviders.org) has many webinars and resources on telehealth
BHCOE – The Behavioral Health Center of Ethics (www.bhcoe.org) has also been providing webinars and resources on telehealth and business matters
Click here for a resource from Empowered to guide your decision making on telehealth
Information about RBTs and telehealth:
According to the Department of Health Practitioners, “practitioners must apply existing laws and regulations to the provision of telemedicine.” Unlicensed persons cannot practice behavior analysis (via telehealth or otherwise) as defined in our scope of practice, but can deliver services under the supervision of the Licensed Behavior Analyst or Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst as appropriate based on each client, the experience and ability of the unlicensed person, and following the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB) and BOM regulations.
APBA has been giving guidance on this subject.