ROCHESTER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new study found that there aren’t enough therapists to treat children with autism.
The group AutismUp said the key problem is a lot of services can’t be billed through Medicaid.
A family in the Rochester area spoke out on the problem. Danielle Salamone’s daughter, Maddie, can only get treatment once a week because that’s all they can afford.
“There is no mechanism for the company to bill Medicaid, so she has a Medicaid secondary every time we go to CARD,” Salamone said. “We have a $30 copay. All of it is covered except $30. If we have to pay seven days a week $30, four weeks a month, 52 weeks a year, that adds up. We can’t do it.”
New York State has Medicaid coverage in its budget this year for therapy for children with autism, but there’s no way for it to be billed. AutismUp said that there needs to be structural changes within the state.
“It’s not enough for the state of New York to say, ‘we support you; we know this is a priority,'” AutismUp Dir. of Education Rachel Rosner said. “Those are just words. We need changes in the budget, and we need changes in those reimbursement rates.”
The group said it’s working with congressmen to look for a solution in the next legislative session.