Many people who need ABA therapy benefit from coming into the office for care. Yet, telehealth for ABA has proven to be highly effective for patients who prefer this approach, and it improves access for many people who don’t have another method of getting care.
The pandemic helped highlight the importance of connection — especially virtual connection — to clients. For many providers, offering ABA telehealth services has become critical to maintaining valuable connections and continuing care.
Read on to discover what telehealth ABA services are, how they work, and why they can be so beneficial.
What is Telehealth ABA?
Telehealth for ABA therapy is an alternative, remote means of providing in-person therapy in real-time. Telehealth ABA is usually conducted via two-way video conferencing, although it can also be done over the phone. Typically, these services are provided to patients who can’t physically make it to the practice or who lead busy lifestyles and prefer the convenience of telehealth.
Is Telehealth for ABA a viable solution?
The use of telehealth initially created several concerns for providers. Gray areas regarding insurance coverage, reimbursements, consent, and documentation weren’t fully understood when ABA and telehealth became more readily used. Furthermore, patients or their responsible parties had concerns of their own. Would telehealth ABA be covered by their insurance? Would the ABA telehealth activities and approaches be just as effective as if they were conducted in-person? Would there be any additional costs involved?
It’s true that telehealth ABA requires careful attention and perhaps a different approach to fulfilling patient requirements than in-office visits. However, it can be effective and, more so, completely acceptable when it comes to insurance provider coverage.
There are many studies that have been conducted demonstrating the effectiveness of an ABA telehealth method on patient progress, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. For example, a study published by Karen Nohelty in July 2021 sought to evaluate whether telehealth direct ABA therapy was effective, as measured by skill acquisition, in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The conclusion was that telehealth ABA treatment was indeed successful:
“All participants acquired their target skills to mastery criteria and demonstrated maintenance of skills post-treatment. Furthermore, when assessed, generalization to family members was also shown. This study targeted a wide range of skills (i.e., social, language, adaptive), indicating that telehealth direct therapy can be used to teach skills across domains. Moreover, this study demonstrated that both DTT and NET strategies may be effectively implemented via telehealth.”
There is another study worth delving into, entitled “Telehealth and Autism: Treating Challenging Behavior at Lower Cost that was published before the pandemic, in 2016. This study aimed to investigate whether young children with ASD and other developmental disabilities could be treated successfully at a reduced cost through telehealth, specifically training parents to implement various ABA techniques inside the home. The study looked at three service delivery models, namely in-home therapy, clinic-based telehealth, and home-based telehealth. The findings were positive:
“This research demonstrated that parents can use ABA procedures to successfully treat behavior problems associated with autism spectrum disorders regardless of whether treatment is directed by behavior consultants in person or via remote video coaching.”
Getting Started: Offering Telehealth ABA Services in Your Practice
It’s important to consider that additional clarity may be needed before offering ABA telehealth services. For example, it may be necessary to obtain authorization to move in this direction. It’s also essential to ensure that the care and treatment that you offer are coded properly. In short, while there are some differences in the way the process works, ABA therapy organizations can still confidently offer telehealth services.
Let Missing Piece Provide the Support You Need
Missing Piece has expertise in ABA billing to help facilitate the entire process for you. This includes the necessary documentation needed for billing and online authorizations. All the services provided by Missing Piece for in-office visits can translate into the telehealth component of your practice as well.
Having a reliable ABA authorization and billing process for telehealth ABA means you can maintain relationships with those clients who are no longer able to come into an appointment or who otherwise wouldn’t be seen. With the help of our ABA billing and telehealth solutions, you can assist more clients and make a bigger difference.
Missing Piece Offers Solutions for Your Practice
Our ABA solutions can solve many of the most common concerns about providing telehealth for ABA therapy. Missing Piece is capable and professional, and we can navigate the complexity of the ABA billing landscape for your telehealth needs. As an outsourced provider, you can trust that we can take care of the process efficiently, so you have more time to spend with your clients, both in-person and virtually.Contact us today to get started or for more information about how we can help you.