Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 11, 2018. 


More than 12-hundred missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: a pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; plus concerns that proposed Green-Card rules favor the wealthy.

Daily Newscasts

New Services at Risk for More than 1,800 NV Children with Autism

Julie Ostrovsky says her 17-year-old son Mitchell has benefited from applied behavior analysis treatment for autism. Courtesy: Samantha Ostrovsky
Julie Ostrovsky says her 17-year-old son Mitchell has benefited from applied behavior analysis treatment for autism. Courtesy: Samantha Ostrovsky
October 7, 2015

LAS VEGAS - Intensive early intervention is considered to be key for effective treatment of autism, and it looked as if Nevada was going to reach out to thousands more children with new treatment - but advocates say that effort has stalled.

Autism Community Trust Inc. executive director Julie Ostrovsky, who has a son with autism, was happy to see Gov. Brian Sandoval work with lawmakers to approve a measure this year that authorized Nevada Medicaid to pay for applied behavior analysis, the best treatment available. Now, she said, few low-income children are going to get the treatment because of painfully low Medicaid reimbursement rates.

"It was really good news, but they didn't build in how much they would pay," she said. "The Medicaid rate would not even allow the providers to provide those services to low-income clients."

More than 1,800 low-income children are in need of the services of registered behavioral technicians, but providers say they need to be reimbursed at least $40 an hour, rather than the $29.50 per hour that has been proposed.

Ostrovsky said she was fortunate to be able to obtain these services for her son, Mitchell, when he was diagnosed with autism at age 3. She said he is now 17 and making great strides.

"He still does not speak, but he understands and he signs, and he's in vocational programs," she said, "but the behaviors have become a non-issue, the learning-to-learn has become a non-issue - and it's because of this intervention."

Charles Marriot, founder and owner of Autism Care West in Las Vegas, said he wants to provide these services, but would lose money at the reimbursement rate that Nevada Medicaid proposed at a public hearing in October. He said the other providers in the state are in the same boat.

"So, they've approved funding for an evidence-based service for a medically necessary condition, however they haven't set reimbursement rates at a level that will allow the treatment to actually be delivered," he said. "So, the whole program is pointless at the current reimbursement rate."

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV