Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and Peach State Health Plan Announce Partnership to Advance Quality in Autism Treatment Outcomes

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LOS ANGELES & ATLANTA — (September 20, 2022) — Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), a data-driven healthcare accreditor, today announced a strategic partnership with Peach State Health Plan that will research and advance continuous improvement in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) treatment delivery and support access to quality services for people on the autism spectrum and related developmental disabilities.

This partnership brings together BHCOE’s quality measurement expertise as the international standards developer and accreditor for ABA therapy organizations with Peach State Health Plan’s commitment to delivering integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services in underserved communities across the state.

This collaboration will help better assess treatment outcomes and quality of care through formalized measurements of ABA services. These measures will allow benchmarking of national healthcare quality standards for behavioral health that aim to improve quality and efficiency. They will also be foundational in providing a differential reimbursement rate for organizations who demonstrate quality care within this value-based care framework.

This partnership comes at a critical time for ensuring access to quality ABA services. Recent findings from the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network found a higher prevalence of autism in children than ever before. In its latest report, the CDC states an estimated 18% increase in children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from 2016 to 2018. As ABA represents more than half of all healthcare services that individuals on the autism spectrum receive, these measures are urgently needed to develop accessible, comprehensive ABA solutions that meet member needs while assuring quality care.

“The CDC’s report on ASD prevalence is a call-to-action to the autism community to scale and adapt so it can responsibly build access to quality services now,” said Sara Gershfeld Litvak, BHCOE’s Chief Executive Officer. “The best way to do that is by adopting evidence and quality-based clinical standards for ABA that are quantifiable, demonstrate the beneficial outcomes of services received, and expand access by aligning care with value-driven reimbursement systems. BHCOE has created those measurable standards and our agreement with Peach State Health Plan represents our continued commitment to ensuring that families’ needs are met with quality services.”

“Peach State Health Plan shares a common goal with BHCOE to ensure access to equitable, high-quality ABA services for those with ASD,” said Wade Rakes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peach State Health Plan. “ABA is a growing need for the populations we serve, and this collaboration supports our commitment to ensure the highest quality standards using evidenced-based best practices that support our providers in delivering the best care to our members.”


Behavioral Health Center of Excellence® (BHCOE®) is an ANSI-accredited accrediting body within the autism field. Over the last seven years, BHCOE has dedicated itself to transforming care for people with autism and related developmental disabilities through a relentless focus on serving as a source for the autism community on how best to improve the quality of care, safety, well-being, and life for patients and families. To learn more about BHCOE, visit

About Peach State Health Plan

Peach State Health Plan is a Care Management Organization that serves the needs of Georgians through a range of health insurance solutions. Peach State Health Plan serves the Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® population in partnership with Georgia Families. The organization also focuses on under-insured and uninsured individuals through its federal insurance marketplace plan, Ambetter, and its Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. Peach State Health Plan is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise. For more information visit

Nate Rinehart

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