|By PR Newswire||
|February 4, 2014 04:24 PM EST||
ATLANTA, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents, families and children who have autism rallied at the State Capitol today to urge the chairs of the Legislature's Insurance and Labor Committee to allow the committee to vote on Ava's Law for autism insurance reform, said Anna Bullard, the mother of Ava, for whom the proposed law is named.
Ava's Law (SB 191/HB 309), which is sponsored by Sen. John Albers and Rep. Ben Harbin, would require state-regulated health plans to cover medically necessary services for the evaluation, assessment, testing, screening, diagnosing and treatment of autism spectrum disorder. (A fact sheet on Ava's Law is here.) The bill has been in the committee, which is chaired in the Senate by Sen. Tim Golden and the House by Rep. Richard Smith, since 2009, but hasn't moved.
"Members of the Insurance and Labor Committee tell us they want to vote on Ava's Law, but they're not getting the chance," said Bullard. "We're here to urge Sen. Golden and Rep. Smith to let the committee vote. Sen. Golden and Rep. Smith: children are waiting."
Families of children who have autism and people who want children with autism to receive the treatment that can help them reach their full potential met at the Capitol to share their stories with legislators. Many brought pictures of their children to display on posters and created handmade signs reading, "CHILDREN ARE WAITING; LET THE INSURANCE COMMITTEE VOTE ON AVA'S LAW NOW."
Ava Bullard was diagnosed with autism at age two and denied coverage under the state employee health plan. Her mother was told Ava would never able to speak or be in a regular classroom. Ava did not feed herself, gesture, make eye contact or play with her sisters.
Anna searched for scientifically proven treatment and paid out of pocket for Ava to receive intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, resulting in significant improvement. Today, Ava is a fourth-grader in a general education classroom in Lyons, Ga., who no longer requires intensive treatment and loves playing with her sisters.
Georgia is one of only 16 states that do not require insurers to pay for autism therapy.
Families also wrote thank-you notes to Gov. Deal, who has recommended the state employee health plan cover treatment for autism. Claims data from states that have required similar coverage for several years indicates an average premium impact of 32 cents per member, per month – less than the cost of a postage stamp.
"On behalf of the families, interested stakeholders, legislators and health care providers who fought to make this legislation a reality, I plan to fight and make this bill the law in Georgia in 2014," Albers said. "I'm confident that Ava's Law is sound legislation that will go a long way toward providing the care needed for early behavioral and cognitive intervention. It is time for Ava's Law to be heard and voted upon. This is both morally right and fiscally conservative – in other words, a 'no-brainer.'"
Harbin said autism insurance reform makes ethical and economic sense for Georgia.
"With an average cost of 32 cents a month, autism insurance reform isn't a fiscal issue, it's a quality of life issue," Harbin, who sponsors the bill in the House, said. "Early intervention and Applied Behavior Analysis therapy are proven to help children with autism gain social and behavioral skills to reach their full potential and become contributing members of society."
"Thirty-four states and counting have passed autism insurance reform legislation," Judith Ursitti, vice president of governmental affairs for Autism Speaks, said. "Many self-funded companies are following suit. Yet Georgia families continue to struggle for access to meaningful autism coverage. It's time for the legislature to protect its most vulnerable citizens and move forward with passage of Ava's Law."
Lawmakers passed a resolution commending Ava "on her continued efforts toward the passage of Ava's Law in Georgia in order to benefit others with autism and recognize Feb. 4, 2014, as Ava's Law Day at the Capitol."
Ava addressed legislators, saying, "I'm grateful for my treatment. Please pass Ava's Law."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism now affects one in 88 children and one in 54 boys. According to Autism Speaks, it is the fastest-growing developmental disability, affecting 1.5 million Americans.
SOURCE Anna Bullard
The excitement around the possibilities enabled by Big Data is being tempered by the daunting task of feeding the analytics engines with high quality data on a continuous basis. As the once distinct fields of data integration and data management increasingly converge, cloud-based data solutions providers have emerged that can buffer your organization from the complexities of this continuous data cleansing and management so that you’re free to focus on the end goal: actionable insight.
Feb. 28, 2015 09:30 AM EST Reads: 1,570
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Feb. 28, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 1,160
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,827
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,598
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 940
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,196
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,026
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,249
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,056
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,164
Feb. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,763
Feb. 28, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,028
SYS-CON Media announced today that XebiaLabs launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal with close to 2,000 story reads in less than a day. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done.
Feb. 28, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,251
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understand...
Feb. 28, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 2,213
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
Feb. 28, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 2,832