Sara Gershfeld Litvak, MA, BCBA, works to improve the ABA field for the benefit of people with autism and related disorders as the founder and CEO of Behavioral Health Center of Excellence.

Every day in the world of ABA, at home, in schools, in clinics, and other settings, providers deliver services, parents worry about access to care, payors contemplate reimbursement structures, and private equity looks for opportunities to responsibly invest.

These 4Ps of ABA, Providers, Parents, Payors and Private Equity, each have different needs and interests, but together they make the ABA field go and grow with one common goal: demonstrated quality care for the ultimate P: patients.

Bringing providers, parents, payors and private equity into alignment has been a challenge to the ABA field, but patients are best served by their successful collaboration. Clearly documented clinical records for ABA play an essential role in unifying these 4P’s while making sense of their value to the delivery of care.

People who care about person-centered ABA care should care about clear clinical record documentation. 

Accurate and supportive clinical record documentation increases patient quality, safety and continuity of care by helping ABA providers evaluate and plan patient treatment, by ensuring timely and accurate payment for ABA services and by guiding responsible investment in the field.

Standards for documenting clinical records have been adopted by nearly every healthcare sector and it’s time for the ABA field to get serious about their benefits.  

BHCOE has been a leader in driving adoption of standards for clinical ABA records, starting with the formation of a cross-field commission to develop standards through a transparent, consensus-based process that resulted in the first American Standards for the Documentation of Clinical Records for Applied Behavior Analysis Services.

These standards are voluntary but provide documentation guidelines for ABA assessment activities, assessment reports, technician ABA therapy activities, qualified healthcare professional ABA therapy activities, and ABA progress reports.

The science of ABA stands firmly on a commitment to continuous improvement. The time is now for our industry to adopt standards of documentation that align with our convictions and that guide the efforts of our field’s many contributors toward one shared goal: demonstrated quality of care for our patients.

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