The tone of the [June 16] story “Insurance changes put state’s autism industry on edge” implies that an adversarial relationship exists between the autism community and insurers, including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. In fact, the opposite is true.
Ever since the autism mandate was enacted in Indiana, Anthem has recognized that a strong partnership with providers, parents and educational institutions is essential to ensure that Hoosiers with autism spectrum disorders receive care that has been proven to help, that’s given at the right time and in the appropriate setting.
As the director of provider contracting for Anthem, I can tell you we’ve always kept the lines of communication open with autism advocacy groups and with those who provide care to children on the spectrum. Last year, Anthem paid claims on behalf of 5,400 Indiana children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and reimbursed providers for nearly 500,000 office visits in an effort to help these children get the care they need to live happy and productive lives.
Anthem shares everyone’s concern at the rise in the number of diagnoses for autism spectrum disorders. Parents, providers, insurers and state officials must all continue to work together to help these children be successful.
Linda Barrabee, director of network management, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield