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Parents of Autistic Children Fight Back -- Warn HMO Regulator Against Siding With Insurers Refusing to Pay for Treatment
Date:2/25/2009

rrent Director of the Department of Managed Health Care, has received $1,089,850 in campaign contributions from health insurance companies and HMOs that commonly deny autism treatments. Schwarzenegger, who also is a longtime and vocal supporter of the Special Olympics and mentally handicapped children, must explain why his administration appears ready to support insurers' rejection of state laws, said Consumer Watchdog.

For years insurance companies refused to pay for autism treatments known collectively as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), on the grounds that it was "experimental." However, that has changed in light of new research studies finding proof that ABA is an effective treatment for autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the effectiveness of ABA as a medical treatment is now considered "well documented." As a result, the state Independent Medical Review organization now commonly overturns insurance companies' denials of coverage, and requires insurers to pay for the treatments.

Consumer Watchdog, formerly the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, is a non-partisan and non-profit public interest organization. For more information, go to www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.


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