IBJNews

Indiana lawmakers advance music therapist bill

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A bill that would certify Indiana therapists who specialize in using music to treat people with autism, Alzheimer's and other conditions is advancing in the General Assembly.

The music therapy bill cleared the Indiana House's Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee last week with unanimous support. If it clears the full House, the Senate would need to approve it.

The bill, which was sponsored by state Rep. Suzanne Crouch, R-Evansville, would create a new state board to certify music therapists in Indiana.

"It's a small, very specialized group of individuals," she said.

The Evansville Courier & Press reported Monday that about 160 music therapists in Indiana provide the kind of treatment that helped rehabilitate former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was wounded in a 2010 mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz. Among those they treat are people with Alzheimer's, and children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

"It is an evidence-based practice, and it's something that has great outcomes for the clients we serve," said Casey DePriest, owner of the Evansville-based Integrative Music Therapy.

DePriest, who chairs a task force pushing for Crouch's measure, said a state certification would help patients get their health insurance providers to cover a treatment that's already funded for some through Indiana's Medicaid waiver and other state programs.

Certification would also allow prosecutors to use the state's consumer fraud laws to prosecute people who bill themselves as music therapists but have no training in health care.

States that have adopted similar certifications have seen an increase in insurers willing to cover music therapy, DePriest said.

Four universities in Indiana — the University of Evansville, IUPUI, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College — have music therapy programs.

Kellie Schallert, a music therapy teaching assistant who is studying in IUPUI's master's program, works primarily with autistic children. She said the social skills of an 8-year-old client she's treating have improved dramatically.

She said the boy's mother said that since he began the therapy he's doing better in school and has been able to interact better with other children.

"I saw him come out of his shell in the music sessions," Schallert said. "He was communicating with me more and needing mom in the room less."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

ADVERTISEMENT