Did you know that individuals with developmental disabilities can now receive habilitation with oversight by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) at any age? Habilitation Consultation is a new service recently made available through the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). According to DDD, “Habilitation Consultation is a focused, consultative service that is intended to complete an assessment and develop an intervention plan. The plan identifies strategies to strengthen the skills of the member and his/her family/caregivers. This service assists a member to remain in his/her home or the home of their family/caregivers and to participate in the community activities by providing a variety of behavioral interventions.”
Habilitation Consultation can be put in place when regular hourly habilitation may not be effective without guidance and training from a BCBA, due to the nature or extent of the member’s behaviors. Habilitation Consultation services can occur in a member’s home or in the community. Services cannot be provided within a school setting or within certain institutional settings. Services may be comprehensive, focused or consultative, depending upon the assessment/evaluation of the child, and the ability/willingness of the caregiver to participate in the service.
In order to qualify for Habilitation Consultation, members must demonstrate medical necessity, must be approved for services through DDD and for Medicaid funding by the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS). Habilitation Consultation can be provided to an individual of any age, and is applicable to any DDD eligible diagnosis.
So how do you receive Habilitation Consultation services? All you have to do is ask! A simple verbal or email request to your assigned DDD Support Coordinator will suffice. Families are not required to fill out additional paperwork to request Habilitation Consultation, though supporting documentation may be requested if applicable (e.g., school IEP, past assessments, etc.). Authorizations are valid for six months, and extensions can be requested if the service continues to be medically necessary. An assessment is required for new members, with the exception of members graduating from the Habilitation, Early Childhood Autism Specialized (ECA) program that have a current evaluation.
If for any reason a family is informed by their support coordinator that the service is not available to the member, it is recommended that families request a written denial, also known as a Notice of Action (NOA). An NOA must be received within 14 business days of the initial request. This document will be helpful to understand the reason for the denial and to appeal the denial if necessary.
Please note, Habilitation Consultation will not be approved for a family that is already receiving Applied Behavior Analysis through another funding source, including private pay or if the member is receiving oversight by a BCBA via the Regional Behavioral Health Authority. Children enrolled in an ECA program are also ineligible for this service; however, Habilitation Consultation can be recommended within an ECA extension request or final addendum.
Arizona Autism United is an approved vendor for Habilitation Consultation. Please contact us for more information at (480) 302-5152 or familyoutreach@AZAunited.org.