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11/11/2019 03:01 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=28397
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 15, 2019 12:34 PM
From: Representative Thomas L. Mehaffie, III and Rep. Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Better Access To Treatment Act (‘BAT’): Recognizing Applied Behavior Analysis as an Independent Profession in PA
 


In the coming weeks we intend to introduce legislation to create a professional licensure for Behavior Analysts.

Pennsylvanians are struggling with many chronic conditions. Examples include addiction (such as to opioids and heroin), problems related to aging, PTSD and depression, feeding problems including obesity, and neurodevelopmental problems such as autism, intellectual disability, Down Syndrome and ADHD. Care for these individuals is very intensive and costly. Emotionally, these conditions take a huge toll on the entire family. Cost of healthcare is rising and access to mental health services is alarmingly difficult. That said, did you know there is a field whose practice addresses all of these things with decades of research to show it works? These professionals use the science of applied behavior (called applied behavior analysis – ABA) to improve the outcomes for individuals with these conditions.

It is long overdue for Pennsylvania to recognize this helping profession and those Behavior Analysts who are Board Certified in a way that protects the public. In our current state, there are shortages of qualified providers and there are individuals that claim to be using ABA when in fact they are not certified to do so. This is causing waste in our system and a lack of treatment efficacy which certainly causes harm to our most vulnerable. Without a license, these talented, well-educated providers cannot work with insurance to treat your loved ones like they are able to do in the 30 other states that have licensure laws.

Fixing a problem correctly the first time saves money. ABA, when implemented correctly by qualified and experienced providers, reduces health care costs – including reduced expenditures to Private Insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. Furthermore, we know that by licensing Behavior Analysts we can create thousands of jobs in our Commonwealth. Pennsylvania is currently an exporter of talented graduates who are educated here in our universities but seek employment in the other 30 states where the profession is licensed.

Let’s do the right thing and keep these talented professionals here in Pennsylvania, helping our constituents gain access to life changing treatment so they can lead a quality life and give back to the society that helped them succeed. Striking out is not an option. Let’s give every Pennsylvanian a chance at “BAT.”

Please consider joining us in co-sponsorship of this needed legislation.



Introduced as HB1900