Our CEO Kathleen Stengel, MS, BCBA, LBA, was recently interviewed by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia on the topic of addressing gaps in healthcare delivery and how providers are addressing these challenges.
Where do you see gaps in the delivery of neurological, behavioral, and therapeutic care? How are providers solving for these challenges?
It is widely reported these days about the current prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The CDC (ADDM) reports a national average of 1 out of 59 children diagnosed with autism. This is an increase from 1 in 150 reported in the year 2000. As such, we must recognize the importance of early detection, along with expert and coordinated assessment and treatment across medical and behavioral services so that patients can achieve the best outcomes. Unfortunately, collaboration and coordination of care have been a significant gap in the delivery of patient-centered care for autism.
Typically, when concerns of an autism diagnosis exist for parents and guardians, the process to address these concerns can be daunting and stressful. Initially a referral must be made to a physician specialist, who may further refer to a psychologist or neuropsychologist, then referred again for treatment and therapy. In many cases, families need to navigate these services across different organizations and providers. This results in frustration for the parents and lack of coordination across specialists. Fragmentation of care can lead to misdiagnoses, delayed treatment opportunities, and stress, strain, and cost for the family and for the insurers. Patients and their families deserve better.
We, at NeurAbilities Healthcare, recognize the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach that brings autism evaluation, diagnosis and treatment services together for improved outcomes and optimized care. Caregivers can schedule with a neurologist or developmental pediatrician at one of our three locations (King of Prussia, PA; Voorhees, NJ or Wall Township, NJ). Then, if further diagnostic testing is needed, it can all be scheduled within our organization without burden on the patient. And, since these evaluations are conducted by experts within the organization, they communicate regularly on patient needs and progress.
For children requiring ongoing treatment, NeurAbilities provides integrated Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), an evidence-based best practice intervention and treatment for autism. And, if patients require medication to address symptoms, medical and therapeutic practitioners collaborate directly to ensure continuity in care and positive treatment approaches. The result of this coordinated interdisciplinary approach is more targeted diagnostics and effective treatment recommendations.
We may not be able to change the prevalence of autism, but, our coordinated and compassionate care can improve outcomes for patients and provide peace of mind for families. NeurAbilities serves individuals of all ages with a range of concerns including Autism, ADHD, Seizures, Migraine, Tics/Tourette’s, head injury, and much more.
NeurAbilities is a member of the Chamber’s Health Care Action Team (HCAT), a unique, cross-functional group of 135+ leaders working to leverage the region’s health care and technology assets and is transforming our 11-county community into the global leader in health care innovation.