Why home health giant Bayada is doubling down on ABA services

Why home health giant Bayada is doubling down on ABA services

Bayada Home Health Care is expanding its hybrid of center-based and on-site Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services in New Jersey with plans to expand the services elsewhere.

In August, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit home health care giant opened the Pennsauken Center for Applied Behavior Analysis Services in New Jersey.

The center is located in the company’s global support center and will serve adults and children in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.

Founded in 1975, Bayada is a home care provider. Its services include nursing, therapy, assistive care, housing, palliative care and behavioral health. It employs approximately 29,000 people and operates from 390 offices in 24 US states and in Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

The move marks the first time the company has expanded ABA services to a new state. Bayada acquired the Hawaiian assets of Lakewood, Colo.-based Trumpet Behavioral Health in 2014, just before the state law mandating minimum coverage for autism treatment services was passed.

Bayada has used Hawai’i ABA services as a model and test over the years. Today, the organization operates two centers and five offices in the state, Jessica Shea-Brown, Bayada’s regional director of behavioral health services, told Behavioral Health Business.

“We’ve always had the vision to be able to serve additional people,” Brown said, adding that the expansion effort resumed in April, the same month she joined the company. “The first driver for us is: is there a need? … Although there are other providers, there are always problems of access.

Families in the area expressed concerns similar to those in other states with limited access to ABA services — long waiting lists after a diagnosis and insurance issues, Brown said.

The center will take commercial insurance and Medicaid plans. It will also work with area schools to provide services to students.

New Jersey has a relatively high rate of autism among children. A 2021 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rate of autism among 8-year-olds in New Jersey was 1 in 35 in 2018.

The latest estimates of the autism rate in the United States suggest that between 1 in 32 and 1 in 29 children have the condition for life.

Bayada gives itself great leeway for growth by offering on-site and in-center care.

The center currently employs about 10 people, but will likely expand to 80 to 100 staff as it welcomes new clients, Brown said.

“At any given time, we can work with 50 to 60 people simultaneously in the center,” Brown said. “But with whoever we work with in homes or in the community, it’s kind of limitless because we don’t have the issue of space.”

Bayada intends to expand ABA services to the rest of the United States, but Brown declined to say when or where the organization will go.

Bayada has also launched the Bayada RBT Academy, a training center that will pay new employees to become board-certified and board-certified behavior technicians. This will help the company address the workforce challenges that plague many autism treatment providers.

RBTs are the frontline care providers in ABA settings and work under the direction of board-certified behavior analysts (BCBAs), providers with college-level education and training.

Bayada has partnered with community organizations and universities to also offer internships to providers in training.

“So far we’ve had success with that,” Brown said. “There is a very strong clinical infrastructure and support. »

While Bayada and other home health companies offer services that address certain behavioral health symptoms, it is not common to see dedicated behavioral health services at home.

The Starbucks Corp vet. (Nasdaq: SBUX) Kris Engskov has revealed a home health startup that will focus on caring for seniors with brain health and mental health issues, starting with dementia. Aware Recovery Care provides in-home addiction treatment and is the only large-scale provider of such services.

Others in the space are looking to bring autism services home through virtual modalities. For example, Brightline, a digital pediatric behavioral health provider, raised just under $220 million in funding. Additionally, Springtide, a tech-backed autism service provider, has raised $18.1 million to help provide virtual patient care.

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