Successful Implementation of Florida’s BA Program

Beacon’s Behavior Analysis (BA) Utilization Management contract for Medicaid-eligible children and their families in the state of Florida went live in May 2017. Unlike similar programs in other states, BA services in Florida are not limited to children with an autism diagnosis, but are available to children with any diagnosis that would benefit from such treatment and support, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (CD), and unspecified behavioral or emotional disorders.

The BA Program provides highly structured interventions, strategies, and approaches designed to decrease maladaptive behaviors, and increase or reinforce appropriate ones. Services include behavior assessment, an individualized behavior intervention plan, and direct services implemented by approved Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) or licensed behavioral health professionals.

Beacon is committed to a quality BA program. We provide treatment plan reviews to ensure plans are measurable, achievable, and developmentally appropriate. Beacon also conducts initial and ongoing reviews to identify quality of care issues or treatment deficiencies, and we provide secure, HIPAA-compliant data entry and patient outcome tracking.

We have also developed ProviderConnect, a web-based provider intake system that enables providers to register, review, and submit treatment plans, as well as maintain correspondence and patient history files—all online.

Beacon continues to work with our Managers of Provider Partnerships (MPPs) to develop collaborative partnerships with our behavioral health providers throughout Florida to offer one-on-one clinical and administrative assistance, share data in order to identify opportunities for quality and clinical improvement, and assess best practices that drive innovations in treatment. Our MPPs also provide in-person training and monthly webinars as continuing education for enrolled providers.

We are proud of the work we are doing to support children with autism and other behavioral diagnoses in Florida. At the start of the contract, Beacon initially reviewed 4,862 active cases, and has received initial assessment requests for about 200 new cases each week since implementation.

Beacon remains committed to helping those who need us most. As we look to the future of our contract in Florida, our goal is to be able to auto-approve up to 30 percent of authorization requests submitted by providers.