Sep 6, 2016 by

Take Action!

We need this everywhere
     A recently passed bill in Illinois significantly strengthens the hand of individuals, parents and physicians when dealing with insurance companies over treatment for the many medical conditions that affect people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including,  “but are not limited to, allergies, autoimmune conditions, gastrointestinal diseases, immune dysregulation, metabolic disturbances, mitochondrial abnormalities, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and seizure disorders.” The bill, Public Act 99-0788, the Autism and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions Awareness Act, should serve as a model for reform in other states and nationally.

Please click on the Take Action Link above to send messages to your state and federal representatives asking them to introduce legislation that achieves the goals of the Illinois act.

The bill also reflects a significant change in our understanding of what “autism” is,  “The General Assembly finds that the medical consensus is that autism is an idiopathic disorder that has complex and multiple etiologies. The development of autism appears to be a complex interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Both the prevalence and incidence of autism has risen in recent decades.”

“While autism spectrum disorders have primarily been diagnosed in measuring deficits in the areas of communication, socialization, and behavior, recent clinical and scientific investigations have determined that co-occurring pathophysiological conditions may occur more commonly in persons also diagnosed with autism.”

Significant changes include:

Providers may consider, without limitation, whether specified substances may exacerbate an ASD or co-occurring condition and adopt appropriate measures to reduce such risks.

Any person with ASD or their parent who believes they have received inadequate care because of a co-occurring condition may report such treatment to the state licensing authorities.

A parent shall not be threatened with loss of parental rights for a person with ASD for pursuing additional medical expertise.

Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage following the refusal of treatment when the individual’s health care provider determines that such treatment is medically contraindicated.

Requires coverage of immune gamma globulin therapy (IVIG) for patients who are diagnosed with a primary immune deficiency.

Specified research shall be encouraged and disseminated,

Encourages the development of continuing education courses for providers who treat persons with ASD.

Encourages providers to evaluate a person diagnosed with ASD for co-occurring conditions when clinical symptomatology is present.

The bill is a significant step forward for families affected by autism and the physicians who treat people with ASD.  Many thanks are due to Laura Cellini of Vibrant Illinois for her determined and successful efforts to introduce and pass this bill.

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