State extends licensing deadline for specialists to treat autistic children
The state Department of Public Welfare said on Friday that it will extend for a year a licensing deadline for behavioral specialists who treat autistic children.
The Tribune-Review reported this week that specialists were facing a May 26 deadline to meet new requirements and to be licensed in order for insurance to cover their treatments.
Agencies and support groups said the deadline would disrupt service.
The department said that of the 2,500 to 3,000 behavior specialists in Pennsylvania, 540 had applied for the license. Local agencies said some of their other specialists would qualify for the license, but they were still gathering paperwork to apply.
In a letter to parents, Beverly D. Mackereth, acting secretary of the department, said DPW told managed care organizations that they can pay for services by unlicensed specialists “who are reasonably likely to qualify for a behavioral specialist license during the transition period.”
Welfare department spokeswoman Carey Miller said organizations will pay specialists who applied if they believe they will be licensed by Jan. 1. The organizations also will pay specialists who could obtain the qualifications and apply for the license by Jan. 1, 2014.
The Department of State has until May 26, 2014, to issue licenses.
The Pennsylvania Medicaid Policy Center estimates 21,000 children in the state are autistic.
Luciana Randall, executive director of Aboard's Autism Connection of PA, said the extension “is OK for people now. Some will get through. Some will not.”
She added that she's still concerned that the requirement for 1,000 hours of hands-on training will keep some from obtaining a license.
“The pool of (specialists) is going to shrink,” Randall said.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Some Thomas Jefferson HS parents told to bring more appropriate clothes to school for their kids
- Paramedics rescue flip-flop-wearing man from steep hillside
- Steelers wrap lackluster preseason with loss to Panthers
- Young adults drive home rental trend in Western Pennsylvania
- Ex-Pittsburgh teacher settles discrimination suit
- End in sight for Route 28 construction
- Cause of Harrison mobile home fire can’t be found
- 10 awesome things you didn’t know your phone could do
- Moon man arrested on child porn charges
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- West Mifflin fire displaces family