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State Autism Profiles: Louisiana

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DEMOGRAPHICS

In 2000, 1,266 or 01.29% of children ages 3-21 who received special education services in Louisiana have autism. In 2014-2015, 4,690 or 5.92% of children with disabilities ages 3-21 who received special education services have autism.

Table 1-1: IDEA Part B - Children with Autism in Louisiana for 1999-2000 and 2014-2015
(Child Count by Age Group)

  1999-20002014-2015
Age 3-5

 121

493

Age 6-21

 852

4,197

Age 3-21

 973

4,690

Source: Reported by the State of Louisiana in accordance with Section 618 of IDEA to U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Table 1-2: IDEA Part B - Children with Disabilities in Louisiana for 1999-2000 and 2014-2015
(Child Count by Age Group)

  1999-20002014-2015
Age 3-5

 11,775

9,709

Age 6-11

 51,189

34,608

Age 12-17

39,497

30,426

Age 18-21

 3,461

4,502

Age 6-21

 94,147

69,536

Age 3-21

 105,922

79,245

Source: Reported by the State of Louisiana in accordance with Section 618 of IDEA to U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

STATE TASK FORCE

Louisiana has no active Autism Task Force at this time.

STATE INSURANCE COVERAGE

On July 1, 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal signed H.B. 958 into law a mandate requiring health insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders in individuals under the age of 17. Covered services include habilitative or rehabilitative care; pharmacy; psychiatric and psychological care, and therapeutic care, including applied behavior analysis (ABA). Individual and group plans of fifty employees or less are exempted. Benefits are subject to a maximum of $36,000 per year and a lifetime benefit of $140,000 per year.
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22:1050 (2008 La. Acts, P.A. 648; H.B. 958 of 2008)
http://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2011/rs/title22/rs22-1050

On June 28, 2012, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed H.B. 771 to expand Louisiana’s autism insurance reform law. The cap was raised to 21 years of age, and the $144,000 cap on lifetime benefits was removed. Also, families paying expensive insurance premiums can start continuing coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorder for children ages 16-20, beginning in 2013.

2012 La. Acts, P.A. 208 (2012 House Bill 771)
https://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=805656

ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS

Autism services including applied behavior analysis (ABA) are part of the Essential Health Benefits package offered by the state. Louisiana has categorized ABA under “rehabilitative and habilitative services.” The exchange is being run by the federal government.
(Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana; GroupCare PPO)

MEDICAID

Louisiana  Medicaid covers Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)  services for persons who are up to 21 years of age; determined by a qualified health care professional to meet the medical necessity and other requirements in regulations, diagnosed by a qualified health care professional with a condition for which ABA-based therapy services are recognized as therapeutically appropriate, including autism spectrum disorder; have a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation by a qualified health care professional; and have a prescription for ABA-based therapy services ordered by a qualified health care professional.
February 2014 Emergency Rule (Louisiana Register, Volume 40, Number 2).
http://www.doa.la.gov/osr/reg/1402/1402.pdf 
Louisiana Home and Community-Based Services Waiver: LA New Opportunities Waiver
Implemented on July 1, 2011 this waiver helps people ages 3 and above with developmental disabilities, including autism, who meet the ICF/MR level of care to remain living at home and in their community. Services provided include: center-based respite, day habilitation, employment related training, supported employment, supported living, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment and supplies, community integration and development, environmental accessibility adaptations, individual and family support, one-time transitional, PERS, professional services, and substitute family care. This waiver expires on June 30, 2016.
http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/283

Louisiana Home and Community-Based Services Waiver: LA Children's Choice CC Waiver
This waiver, implemented on July 1, 2014, provides center-based respite care, support coordination, specialized medical equipment and supplies, environmental accessibility adaptations, family support service family training, and housing stabilization for individuals up to age 18 with autism, intellectual disability, and developmental disabilities. This waiver expires on June 30, 2019.
http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/218

Louisiana Home and Community-Based Services Waiver: LA Supports Waiver
This waiver, implemented on July 1, 2014, provides day habilitation, habilitation, prevocational services, respite, support coordination, supported employment, housing stabilization service and transition, and PERS for individuals 18 and older with autism, intellectual disability, and developmental disabilities. This waiver expires on June 30, 2019.
http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1828

Louisiana Home and Community-Based Services Waiver: LA Residential Options Waiver
This waiver, implemented on April 1, 2013, provides day habilitation, prevocational, respite care-out of home, shared living services, support coordination, supported employment assistive technology/specialized medical equipment, dental, community living, companions care, environmental accessibility adaptions, host home, nursing, one-time transitional services, PERS, professional services, transportation-community access for individuals ages 0 and up with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism. This waiver expires March 31, 2018.

http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1875
http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Waivers/Waivers.html
http://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/by-topics/waivers/waivers_faceted.html

EDUCATION

H.B. 670 was introduced for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to manage services for individuals with autism and to establish a center of excellence for autism spectrum disorder within the Louisiana Office for Citizens with Disabilities and operated by the Louisiana Department of Education and related agencies, such as Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. The center will support services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and provide training to educators of individuals with autism. Services include early diagnosis and intervention, and education. The legislation was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 12, 2008.
http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/louisiana/la-laws/louisiana_revised_statutes_46-1301

Louisiana Behavioral Analyst Board
Act 351 of the 2013 Legislative Session created the Louisiana Behavior Analyst Board within the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Behavior Analyst Practice Act. Act 351 provides for the licensure, certification and registration of individuals practicing ABA in the state of Louisiana.
http://www.lababoard.org/

STATE LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR

The Louisiana State Legislature meets in regular session annually on the last Monday in March in even-numbered years and on the last Monday in April in odd-numbered years. The 2016 session convened on March 14, 2016 and is adjourn on June 6, 2016. The 2017 session is expected to convene on April 24, 2017 and adjourn in June of that year.
http://www.legis.state.la.us/

Sponsors of Autism Legislation

  • Rep. Franklin J. Foil (R-Baton Rouge) District 70

Prepared by Easterseals, Inc.; November 2016.

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