Analyzing state autism private insurance mandates for allied health services: A pilot study

Megan D. Douglas, Teal W. Benevides, Henry Carretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Due to the prevalence, severity, and costs associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), it has become a public health issue. In response, state governments have adopted ASD-specific private insurance mandates requiring coverage of ASD screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Despite rapid uptake of these laws, differences exist in the type and levels of coverage, especially for allied health services including occupational therapy. We piloted a structured legal research methodology to code ASD insurance mandates that impact allied health service provisions. State private insurance mandates were obtained from WestlawNext. A coding methodology was piloted on 14 states and included variables for age and service limits, treatments covered, and medical necessity. Coding methods were feasible and highly reliable among raters. Ten of 12 states had a coverage mandate, many with specific provisions for allied health providers. A full analysis of all 50 states is warranted to identify provisions affecting allied health providers serving individuals with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalOTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Access
  • Autism
  • Insurance
  • Occupational therapy
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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