Why we rebranded the company

Most of us know the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on people’s health. The pandemic, which has claimed nearly a million lives in the U.S. and over six million worldwide, also thrust into focus another crisis that it fuels—mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in the United States, one in five adults are diagnosed with a mental health condition. But sadly, only an estimated 46% receive treatment. Amongst youths, approximately 50% receive treatment.


The impact of people not receiving quality mental health care is extensive. People with mental health conditions have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Serious mental illness causes $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year. And 90% of people who die by suicide had shown symptoms of a mental health condition. These are just a few of the many consequences of a lack of mental health treatment.

So, what does all this have to do with branding?

At Therapy Brands, we’re mission-driven to help expand access to quality therapy services. Our platforms are used by over 30,000 practices in specialties that include mental and behavioral health, substance use recovery, applied behavioral analysis, and PT, OT, and speech therapy. Our solutions are designed by and for therapists. They make running a practice easier so that therapists can focus on caring for their clients providing mental health counseling and other essential services.


We recently facilitated a broadscale market research survey. Customers who were using our products were happy, but therapists who did not use our solutions said that our numerous offerings made it challenging to determine which one was right for them. I must agree. When it comes to practice management solutions, one size does not fit all, so we have built and acquired best-in-class solutions to meet the specific needs of therapists by practice specialty and size. That means lots of options, which can be tricky to present. A more integrated marketing approach was warranted. We wanted to make it easier for therapists to identify the best solution for them. We were also creating a lot of educational content to help therapists manage their practices. This content was getting lost in the numerous websites and social sites we supported.

How our resources looked before

How are resources look now

Our products before

Our products now

Beyond improving the user experience for therapy practices, we also had an internal need that we aimed to fill. The company has grown through both organic development and acquisition. It was time to celebrate our team as one team, one award-winning culture. A unified brand could help facilitate this appreciation for our collective value.


Our new branding is more than a logo change; it’s a way to express our fierce commitment to the people we serve. The visual identity is bold yet approachable. The messaging is down to earth–real talk for real people, not corporate speak. We have collapsed 14 websites into one, making it easy to access educational content and solution information. We have 16 Brand Ambassadors that are evangelizing the new brand and educating people about how it can make a difference in the work that our customers and our employees do every day. 


The rebrand was a team effort that incorporated every department and touched all employees and customers. I’m proud of the work and look forward to seeing how Therapy Brands can continue to help therapy practices thrive and serve more people with quality care.

Therapy Brands and BHCOE

Therapy Brands and BHCOE Form Partnership in Latest Effort to Support the ABA Community

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 4, 2020 — Therapy Brands and Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Accreditation (BHCOE) have announced a partnership that will align the two organizations’ efforts to assist Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) providers more effectively. 


BHCOE’s mission is to dramatically improve the quality of care for consumers across the world through the accreditation of organizations providing behavior-analytic services. Therapy Brands’ strives to  destigmatize mental health by providing technology solutions that serve the underserved populations of mental and behavioral health, Applied Behavioral Analysis, rehabilitation and substance abuse providers.


The new partnership will give BHCOE members first access to continuing education unit (CEU) courses and software discounts from Therapy Brands. Therapy Brands’ software options include a suite of solutions that empowers ABA providers to manage their businesses with tools for scheduling, data collection, telehealth, claims submissions, payment processing, revenue cycle management, and more. 


“Providing this additional benefit to our BHCOE members is something we’ve been working toward this year,” said CEO Sara Litvak. “Partnering with Therapy Brands will allow ABA leaders access to CEU courses for their staff and top-of-the-line data collection software services. We’re excited to build this relationship to benefit the autism community.”


About Therapy Brands: At a time when both topics of mental health and digital connectivity are at the forefront of the cultural conversation in the U.S., Therapy Brands is equipping tens of thousands of practitioners to effectively address the mental and behavioral needs of some of the country’s most vulnerable populations. Through fully integrated practice management and EHR solutions provided by Therapy Brands, mental and behavioral healthcare providers are able to improve patient quality of care and support better health outcomes for those they serve. Therapy Brands is headquartered in Birmingham, AL and employs more than 500 people nationally. For more information, please visit us at


About BHCOE Accreditation: BHCOE Accreditation is a trusted source that recognizes behavioral health organizations committed to continuous quality improvement. BHCOE offers a third-party measurement system that differentiates and provides independent feedback on clinical quality indicators. The BHCOE criterion features standards that subject-matter experts developed to measure effective applied behavior analysis services. 


For more information, visit


Media Contacts:

Emily Claypool:

Sarah Cox: 

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How-to Guide for Processing ABA Insurance Claims

By Christan Griffin, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

The practice and service model of ABA is still considered in the preliminary stages of development. Policies created or modified are done to protect the consumer and the practitioner. Change and modifications are inevitable in any company or field and are typically initiated to improve a flawed or outdated process. Beginning in the early 2000s, activists tirelessly worked with state legislators and congress members to have insurance approve ABA as a medically necessary treatment for ASD. 


It was not until 2010 that some health insurance agencies recognized ABA as a necessary medical treatment and included the benefit in health plans (“A decade,” n.d.). In October 2019, after almost 20 years of fighting for children’s rights to receive medical treatment for ASD, the last state was mandated to provide some level of coverage for ASD, including ABA (Autism insurance coverage now required in all 50 states, (Bernhard, 2019). There is still more work to be done, but the advances in coverage for children with Autism are nothing short of incredible.

Billing 101: ABA Claims Processing

Mandated ABA treatment

If you know a behavior analyst or two, you will agree they are a committed, steadfast, and benevolent group of individuals. The Autism Community, including caregivers, researchers, professionals from many backgrounds, lobbyists, advocates, and behavior analysts, have banded together to meet the needs of this underserved population.

As more research was released that rendered ABA an empirically supported treatment proven to alleviate symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder, it was not surprising to see the Autism Community call to action changes to policies governing the approved treatments for ASD. Let us review the claims process in more detail and recommendations from the content experts on managed billing.

Claim Defined

Claims Cycle Review

  1. Determine eligibility and demographic information to ensure the service is covered with the client’s health plan. Next, file the claim with the payer. The claim is completed and either sent to the payer directly or sent to the clearinghouse. The clearinghouse will review a claim for accuracy, determining the next steps.
  2. If the claim is free from errors, it can be sent directly to the payer. It is rejected, and there will be no explanation of benefits since the clearinghouse is the “middle person” vs. payer. Claims rejected at this stage can be considered an opportunity since they can be rectified before submission to the payer.
  3. The payer will review the claim, accept it, and process it in this phase. A claim denied at this stage is associated with the payer and directly affects the reimbursement of the service provided.
  4. Settlement or denial information is issued to the provider, along with payment (if applicable). An explanation of benefits (EOB) is given to the client.
  5. Any remaining balance would be the responsibility of the client. Client’s typically like paying through online means, so having software to support those transactions is beneficial to collect the remaining balances owed.

What is a Claims Cycle? 

Claims Filing  

How Can I File A Claim?  


There are a few different options for filing a healthcare claim. Follow along below as each of the four methods is reviewed to identify which one(s) might be the best option for you and your ABA agency.  


Option 1: Mail-In Claims – Form 1500 

  • Certified/Tracking: Whenever mailing supporting documents or claims, send them through certified mail with a tracking number.  
  • Supporting Documents: Whenever submitting a claim through the mail, ensure that you have included all the supporting documents. If you are resubmitting a claim, make sure you include any documents from the initial claim, such as the EOB. (Stall, Brinkman & Padula, 2021) 


This method is not ideal. The need to mail a claim could be because the payer does not accept claims through the clearinghouse or may not have a portal (Stall, Brinkman & Padula, 2021).  


Option 2: Electronically Online – Form 837p or 837i 

  • Online Portal: Most payers will have an online portal where the provider can create an account. The ABA provider would then fill out the corresponding form and upload it directly through the online portal.  

Be Vigilant: Pay close attention to the accepted forms through the online portals. Some ABA providers will fill out a 1500 and upload it, and the payer will accept it, while others may not. Note,  


  • “837p = HIPAA secure claims format for professional claims. 837i = HIPAA secure claims format for institutional claims.” (Stall 2021). 


Be prepared for variations in how the payers are requesting claims submissions. Have all necessary data, reports, and documents on hand and ready to submit with the claim. 



  • Providers can create and submit claims through the PMS or EHR systems connected to a clearinghouse.  
  • The clearinghouse completes editing first (i.e., before the claim goes to the payer) to ensure the claim is clean when the payer receives it.  
  • The ABA providers can set up PMS/EHR system with the Clearinghouse feature as an additional denial avoidance strategy. Still, fees would apply for claim scrubbing and submissions through the clearinghouse.  


Claims can be sent back for edits from the clearinghouse for claims’ payments and denial information if the claim is denied after the payer processes it. (Stall, Brinkman & Padula, 2021) 

Option 4: Option 4: THIRD-PARTY VENDOR 

  • Ensure that the third-party vendor is up to date on HIPAA regulations and guidelines to protect your practice/business. 
  • ABA providers should execute BAA (Business Associate Agreements)  
  • Terms (statement of work) should be clearly defined – roles/responsibilities of third-party vendors included in a signed agreement. 
  • KPI driven results – check in weekly or monthly to discuss RCM KPIs defined 
  • Automation capabilities for billing should be provided by third-party vendors (i.e., claim submission EDI, ERA (electronic remittance), and workflow automation. 


Partnering with a third-party vendor specializing in billing management and revenue cycle processing specifically for ABA agencies allows the practice to focus on providing and delivering care. There are other options available for ABA providers who are ready to move on from the aversive feeling of ongoing administrative work, denied claims, or missed opportunities for maximum reimbursement (Stall, Brinkman & Padula, 2021). 


Therapy Brands, CodeMetro’s parent company, and its partners are knowledgeable on the revenue cycle and have helped businesses maintain, and even surpass, the industry standard of 90-95% clean-claim submissions. Practice management solutions such as AccuPointWebABACodeMetro, and DataFinch offer many advantageous PMS and RCM options for ABA practices, both small and large scale.  

Key Takeaways

The field of Behavior Analysis has demonstrated an unwavering level of dedication to grow professionally, maintain good ethics and systematize a standard model of care to decrease the probability of adverse treatment effects on patients. Learning the standardized CPT codes will help ensure services can be provided consistently and claims will be paid, allowing ABA providers to continue to operate and take on new clients.  


While revisions to standard operating systems are involved during the initial stages, consistent implementation and sound knowledge of procedures will support the reform. Streamlined workflows RCM are essential to preserving the financial stability of ABA organizations. The ABA community has successfully demonstrated structural and operational transformations thus far. Likewise, the evolution of the BACB is comparable to the progression of the ABA billing process. When changes happen, we often get discouraged, which is understandable. Still, an excellent reminder for all ABA providers pioneering these changes is to look at the trend of success thus far. We have a consistent upward trend, and we all know how upward trends make an ABA provider feel!  


Additionally, partnering with a third-party vendor specializing in billing management and revenue cycle processing specifically for ABA agencies allows the practice to focus on providing and delivering care, which is what you do best! There are other options available for ABA providers who are ready to move on from the aversive feeling of ongoing administrative work, denied claims, or missed opportunities for maximum reimbursement (Stall, Brinkman & Padula, 2021). Explore this option today by setting up a free billing consultation with Therapy Brands


Want to learn more? Therapy Brands can help!  

Therapy Brands is a leading provider of Practice Management Solutions, including RCM, explicitly developed for ABA organizations, and delivered by one of many PMS organizations nestled under the umbrella of Therapy Brands. The most significant part of Therapy Brands being the motherboard connecting ABA agencies to a variety of PMS partners is that the services can be individualized and tailored to fit the needs and size of any ABA agency. 

Schedule your call today for a FREE billing consultation and see what Therapy Brands can do for your ABA organization!


What used to be only available for the more established companies now has options for everyone. Managed billing ABA providers the reassurance they are maintaining stable financial health while spending more of their valuable time with clients. 


What used to be only available for the more established companies now has options for everyone. Managed billing ABA providers the reassurance they are maintaining stable financial health while spending more of their valuable time with clients! 

Download Our In-Depth ABA Claims Processing White Paper

Christan Griffin, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Christan Griffin, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Christan Griffin has worked closely with neurodiverse learners in a variety of settings for over a decade now. Christan began her career in 2009 working 1:1 with a child diagnosed with Autism. This experience sparked a passion that ultimately led her to pursue her master’s degree in Special Education and certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Christan has experience with curriculum development and program implementation for ages ranging from 18 months to 30 years old across individuals diagnosed with Autism, as well as many of the common comorbid conditions. Christan currently serves as the Interim Director of Training, Clinical Supervisor, and a Senior Clinician at Behavior Change Institute. Her responsibilities include the development of BCBA supervision and training content, providing direct support and consultation for BCBAs, and case management for the Adult population. Outside of her daily clinical responsibilities, she is currently serving as a stakeholder on a committee conducting research through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and has recently published on telehealth implementation of ABA treatment in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Christan has a 12-year-old son who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. The personal experience coupled with her clinical experience, continues to fuel her motivation to invest time and increase knowledge in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.


A Decade of Progress – ABA Billing Codes. (2022). Retrieved 31 January 2022, from


Bernhard, B. (2019). Autism Insurance Coverage Now Required In All 50 States. Retrieved 1 February 2022, from


Stall, D., Brinkman, M., & Padula, N. (2021). Billing 101: Claims Processing – Ensuring Efficient Management of Your Revenue Cycle. Presentation, webinar.

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ABA Thanksgiving Best Practices

By Tania Duarte, M.S. BCBA, 

Thanksgiving is a holiday where everyone gathers with their friends or family to celebrate what they are thankful for that year. However, for many families, this holiday can be an incredibly stressful time. Why would this holiday be stressful? For the host, they might be overwhelmed with all the cooking, cleaning, and planning that goes into this annual event. For others, they may be nervous about family members they tend to get into disagreements with. Then, there are families who are in need of a lot more support to make their holiday a positive experience.  

Reflection: What Do I Have To Be Thankful For?

For families of individuals with developmental disabilities/ autism spectrum diagnoses, there may be some obstacles or additional stressors when it comes to holidays. It is not uncommon for concerning thoughts to race through their head. Will my child eat anything that is available? How will I get them to sit at the table? What if they start screaming or crying? How do I handle questions from my family? Should I even celebrate Thanksgiving? How can I do this? What do I have to be thankful for? Thankful can be a strong word, especially for someone experiencing a challenging time. So you may instead want to ask yourself, what makes you proud, happy, or optimistic? Is it when you see your child playing? Or how about when you see them smile? Maybe it is their first word, sign, or learning how to use a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Are they finally sleeping through the night? Did they recently start potty training? Although it may be challenging, try to find a few things that make you happy and reflect on what you look forward to in the future.  

Familial Support 

Having understanding family members can make a world of difference. However, sometimes if it doesn’t come naturally you will need to set the expectations. For example, if you don’t want to discuss certain topics or gain unsolicited advice about your child, you may need to make it clear in the beginning. You may say something like “we would love to share and focus on the positive things happening in our lives as we enjoy this holiday together, although we do appreciate your concern.” 

Making the Holidays Accessible 

It is important to also make sure your child is able to enjoy the holiday comfortably with everything they need to be successful. Does your child need any specific utensils, cups or dishware to eat? Do they only eat particular foods? If so, you want to make sure that it is available to them at Thanksgiving. For instance, some people may feel the need to dress up for Thanksgiving, however, if your child is not comfortable in those clothes how do you think that will impact them the entire day? Although Thanksgiving may seem like it is intended to be a formal event, comfort and accessibility are extremely important as well.  

Handling a Possible Crisis During the Holiday

You may be nervous that your child may engage in a tantrum. Has your family ever seen this before? You may want to tell them what it looks like and how you would like them to respond (or not respond) to their behaviors. When your child engages in undesirable behavior do you notice any triggers? How does your child do in large groups? Does loud noise bother them? You may want to consider bringing some items to help them feel more comfortable, like preferred toys or food. 

 Thanksgiving Dinner Prep List for Parents & Caregivers

  • ACC Device or PECS* 
  • Childs preferred food 
  • Favorite toys 
  • Any special cups, plates or utensils 
  • Headphones 
  • Music 

*Please note if your child uses an AAC device or PECS to communicate it is highly recommended it is brought everywhere with them. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Feeling thankful may be challenging when you are going through a challenging time with your child, however we would like you to take this time to reflect on what makes you proud, happy or optimistic about your child. What makes you smile? What makes you hopeful? What goals would you like to work on with them? 

Thanksgiving Skill Tracking Tool

The Therapy Brands ABA created a tool for you to evaluate your child’s current abilities this Thanksgiving. ABA therapists and professionals: this is a great tool to share with families. 

Utilizing this list of skills you can evaluate some of your child’s current skills and reflect on any you would like to work on to hopefully have your child perform next Thanksgiving when you fill this out again. Make sure to speak with your child’s treatment team regarding any goals you would like to start working towards with them. We hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Download your copy now. (You can use the fillable PDF as a digital tool, or print it out.)

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Back to School Tips for ABA Providers, Parents, & Practices

By Christan Griffin, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Many families, teachers and ABA practitioners are enjoying the final days of summer, while some are already daydreaming about the return of the pumpkin spice latte. It is the time of year we are all too familiar with, school bus, pick-up lines and picture day; although, this year will be slightly different. Our country will be returning back to school after a global pandemic that rattled the nation for the past 18 months. 


These unique circumstances will require additional planning and collaboration to ensure a smooth transition for children and their support system across all settings. You might be asking yourself; how will I best support my child, students or client throughout this journey? It may be beneficial to begin by reviewing the variety of evidence-based practices defined in Steinbrenner et al., (2020) EAB report published by the National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice Review Team. Evidence-based practices have been correlated with positive outcomes when utilized with autistic children and youth (Steinbrenner et al., 2020).  

Strategies for Parents & Caregivers

Caregivers of children with developmental or intellectual disabilities may be riddled with a mixture of emotions in the upcoming weeks ranging from excitement to anxiety. Planning ahead and organizing new or modified routines is an important step to helping your child feel comfortable and safe when returning to school. There are many procedures to choose from that may help you and your child have calm and stress-free morning routines. Starting the day with structured routine and ensuring your child has plenty of time to complete the routine without feeling rushed will help set a positive tone for the rest of the day. These strategies are not only intended to be meaningful for the child, but parents as well. 



Research suggests caregiver’s of children with disabilities are at a greater risk for experiencing long durations of chronic stress. Hume, K., et al. (2020) released a publication with The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute  discussing seven strategies for supporting individuals with autism through uncertain times.


The article highlights the need for caregivers to identify and prioritize their self-care routines during these unprecedented times. When parents fail to practice self-kindness and do not provide themselves the opportunity to recharge, then it is extremely challenging to be the best caregiver and show kindness in return (Hume, K., et al., 2020). Some simple but effective environmental and antecedent interventions to consider include: 


  • Visual supports such as breakfast menus and morning schedules
  • Provide choices whenever possible including what to wear, eat, sit or color of an item
  • Environmental modifications such as setting out 5 sets of clothes or pre-made lunches for the week
  • Priming of morning expectations and routines before bed
  • Acknowledge and validate your child’s fears and emotions through collaborative problem-solving
  • Set reasonable expectations and celebrate even the smallest step toward success


Another benefit of identifying routines in advance is it allows time to test the strategies or routines in advance and make changes to anything that isn’t working. It may also increase compliance with new routines when your child is provided opportunities to practice and provide input prior to the first day of school.

Considerations for ABA Practitioners

With school just around the corner, many ABA therapists are excited for the change of pace and eager to get back out in the field with their learners. Some ABA providers will only be assisting with the initial transition into the school, while some ABA therapists will actually support their learners in person throughout the school day. Regardless of the location of service, there are best practice strategies to consider when assessing how you can help increase the likelihood of success for the learner. Miller (n.d.) from The Child Mind Institute shared some helpful tips for establishing a positive partnership with your learner’s teachers as they enter the new school year. Let’s review some considerations for ABA therapists to be mindful of as they renter the school system with their learners, either virtually or in person. 


Consider the following tools as you navigate ways to assist your learner with having a positive experience when transitioning back to a full-day school routine. Attend the open-house and get pictures or videos of the room and teacher to review with the learner again prior to the start of school


  • Schedule an outing for back-to-school shopping to support the student’s preference and choices
  • Practice routines and schedules in advance with the learner and parents
  • Request information about new school policies or school modifications to review and practice with your learner
  • Provide the school and teacher with an informative, concise summary consisting of foundations of ABA, specific company information and contact information
  • Assess preferred methods of contact and a communication routine or schedule
  • Request the class schedule and review, model and role-play applicable activities with the learner
  • Provide the family with summarized reports and foundational information to share with the teacher including current behavioral strategies, progress, and target behaviors
  • Make sure to praise and acknowledge teachers for things that are going well

Approaches for Teachers & School Professionals 

Many teachers are overjoyed to be returning to the classroom where they can once again have in-person learning time with their students. However, it is undeniable the upcoming transition back to school after a year of musical ‘classrooms’ consisting of virtual, hybrid and in-person learning modalities has many experiencing a mixed emotional experience. 


Again, it is important to highlight the need for self-compassion. Teachers and ABA therapists are not exempt from the potential risks of burn-out and compassion fatigue which is why it is essential to Understanding behavioral strategies (Sheldon-Dean, n.d.). Implementing best practice procedures proven to have positive behavioral effects on those on the autism spectrum are going to help ensure everyone experiences a calm and smooth transition as they adjust to new routines. 


The below strategies are recommended for increasing the student’s ability to acclimate to the school setting with ease. 


  • Provide additional processing time
  • Use a clear, concise, and direct communication style
  • Include the child into problem-solving disagreements or dislikes
  • Allow reasonable accommodations
  • Use visual supports to facilitate routines, transitions and communication
  • Provide plenty of access to breaks
  • Have the students participate in creating a safe space to take sensory breaks
  • Set feasible and obtainable goals
  • Ask for suggestions on how to make learning more fun
  • Allow a comfort item from home
  • Celebrate differences by decorating individual areas
  • Be flexible and adapt to the student’s needs
  • Avoid power struggles

Tips for ABA Organizations 

Communication amongst team members and with consumers is an important component for ABA organizations. Efficient, reliable, and accurate dissemination of updated healthcare policies is a vital component for all organizations, especially with the additional challenges that have come along with the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Going back to school each year has traditionally been a standard activity. With the global pandemic still underway, there isn’t room for error when disseminating information to families and employees related to current healthcare guidelines. Below are some tools for disseminating workplace information (Dowd, 2021). It is suggested that ABA practices prioritize timely and accurate dissemination of CDC, local, and state guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure for their clinical teams, school personnel, and ABA consumers. 


  • Project Management Software
  • Company apps such as Google Workspace and Slack
  • Social Media Connections
  • Announcements on the Company Website
  • Company Bulletin Boards
  • Flyers and Posters
  • Emails and Memos
  • Corporate Intranet

The information dissemination tools shared above are best when used in conjunction with one another. The reality is many administrators and parents are not reading emails, or by the time an employee or parent engages in the task of email triage, it is usually much too late to be of any real benefit. Additionally, with the advances in technology, there are creative and interactive methods for engaging employees and consumers to relay important updates and provide helpful information such as back-to-school tips and tricks! 


Best practice behavioral methodologies can increase positive interactions and support a calm and smooth transition back to school for everyone involved. A child’s ABA team can help foster communication and collaboration to bridge supports from the home to school and ABA therapy, thus increasing optimal learning opportunities while reducing disruptive behavior which may impede learning. Planning ahead, organizing and assessing which strategies might work well for the student is sure to set them up to achieve many goals throughout the school year. Not to mention, allow the caregivers, teachers and ABA therapists in their lives extra time to indulge in self-care activities such as breaking out the pumpkin spice flavored coffee and treats a little early this year! 

Back To School Tool


The Therapy Brands ABA Team developed a skill/behavior generalization interactive tool for ABA therapists. Download your copy now. (The first page has in depth instructions and you can use the fillable PDF as a digital tool, or print it out for use.)

 Christan Griffin, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Christan Griffin, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Christan Griffin has worked closely with neurodiverse learners in a variety of settings for over a decade now. Christan began her career in 2009 working 1:1 with a child diagnosed with Autism. This experience sparked a passion that ultimately led her to pursue her master’s degree in Special Education and certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Christan has experience with curriculum development and program implementation for ages ranging from 18 months to 30 years old across individuals diagnosed with Autism, as well as many of the common comorbid conditions. Christan currently serves as the Interim Director of Training, Clinical Supervisor, and a Senior Clinician at Behavior Change Institute. Her responsibilities include the development of BCBA supervision and training content, providing direct support and consultation for BCBAs, and case management for the Adult population. Outside of her daily clinical responsibilities, she is currently serving as a stakeholder on a committee conducting research through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and has recently published on telehealth implementation of ABA treatment in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Christan has a 12-year-old son who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. The personal experience coupled with her clinical experience, continues to fuel her motivation to invest time and increase knowledge in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.


  1. Dowd, Mary. (2021, January 11). Tools for Disseminating Workplace Information. Chron.
  2. Hume, K., Waters, V., Sam, A., Steinbrenner, J., Perkins, Y., Dees, B., Tomaszewski, B., Rentschler, L., Szendrey, S., McIntyre, N., White, M., Nowell, S., & Odom, S. (2020). Supporting individuals with autism through uncertain times. Chapel Hill, NC: School of Education and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved from:
  3. Kornack, J., Williams, A.L., Johnson, K.A. et al. Reopening the Doors to Center-Based ABA Services: clinical and Safety Protocols During COVID-19. Behavior Analysis Practice 13, 543-549 (2020).
  4. Miller, Caroline. Child Mind Institute. (n.d.). Tips for Partnering with Teachers in the New School Year. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from
  5. Sheldon-Dean, Hannah. Child Mind Institute. (n.d.). Increasing Cooperation in Kids with Autism. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from
  6. Steinbrenner, J. R., Hume, K., Odom, S. L., Morin, K. L., Nowell, S. W., Tomaszewski, B., Szendrey, S., McIntyre, N. S., Yücesoy-Özkan, S., & Savage, M. N. (2020). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with Autism. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice Review Team. Retrieved from: Report 2020.pdf
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Advantages of ABA Parent Portals

ABA therapy or Applied Behavior Analysis is an evidence-based approach to treatment focused on replacing inappropriate attributes with appropriate behaviors among kids. ABA therapy sessions can be home-based, school-based, center-based, telehealth-based, or include a mixture of all these settings. It all depends on the client’s curriculum.


Regardless of the therapy setting, parent participation in ABA therapy is crucial as it increases the chances of success. However, it’s not always easy to stay on top of therapy schedules, family training, progress reports, insurance prior authorization reminders, and more as a parent.


Fortunately, ABA client/parent portals have come to the rescue, allowing parents and caregivers to be part of every treatment element. The portals make it simple to keep track of appointments and so much more.

Parent & Caregiver Participation

Whether your child is in a home, school, telehealth, or center-based setting (or a combination), parent participation in ABA therapy and training is crucial. When parents are actively involved, the young one is more likely to succeed. In addition, through parent training, the child will easily generalize their skills – carrying the skills they learn in the treatment center to their school, home, and community.


Parent training sessions primarily focus on sufficient knowledge of relevant concepts and approaches to optimize the young one’s treatment success and improve their quality of life. In addition, the sessions are tailored to work with each child on crucial elements like self-help skills, communication, and social skills.


ABA parent portals are designed to simplify parent involvement in the overall treatment to ensure the child gets the best results. 

What Is an ABA Parent Portal?

An ABA parent portal is an online platform designed to help parents track progress about milestones and targets, including various client criteria. These portals are mostly cloud-based and can be accessed through any device via a dedicated paper web browser. They are usually a feature in ABA practice management software (like NPAWorks by CodeMetro) that can be used to enhance communication between providers and parents.


ABA parent portals offer vast capabilities, including progress reports, note-taking, collaboration functionality, programs, billing, automation, and scheduling. Each of these features is geared towards simplifying the lives of users.


Parent portals play a role when it comes to keeping parents engaged in their children’s treatment. They allow parents to do the following:


  • Get quick and easy invitations to the portal.
  • View their kids’ past and upcoming appointments, hence reduces missed sessions.
  • Sign off on their kids’ appointment sessions electronically from any location.
  • View session notes and leave additional comments on the session start and end times.
  • Access the platform from any device with stable internet connectivity.


Note: parent portals vary; the features described above are part of the NPAWorks by CodeMetro software.

Advantages of Having an ABA Parent Portal 

Whether your ABA practice has been operational for years or you’re just beginning your practice, a bit of help could take you a long way. An ABA parent portal is among the most dynamic resources at your disposal, helping you streamline and automate the daily responsibilities of running the facility while providing key communication with your clients’ parents and caregivers. It’s a win-win!

Having an ABA parent portal offers a bevy of advantages to your organization, including:


Client/Parent Satisfaction

This benefit cannot be overstated: providing information to parents and caregivers creates open and effective communication with your ABA practice.


Improved Data Tracking

Maintaining accurate patient data can be tedious, but the duty is necessary for any practice. An ABA parent portal can improve updating and tracking this data by developing patient information charts that capture vital details. Practitioners who travel to meet families will spend less time monitoring the information and sending appointment reminders.


Excellent Documentation

Insurance practices and Medicare standards have made proper documentation and reporting critical in the claims and billing processes. A parent portal substantially reduces errors and increases efficiency, offering a system for uploading electronic documentation and signatures.


Simplified Reporting

The platform features customizable and detailed reports on the facility’s quality of care, finances, patient data, evaluations, billing, and workflow. Users can easily pull vital data and utilize it to enhance their practice’s operations model. Furthermore, the reports can be delivered to different platforms, like computers and smartphones.


Efficiency Across the Board

An ABA parent portal allows supervisors and owners to refine and streamline organizational processes and workflow strategically. This improves an ABA practice’s overall efficiency and bottom line.

Example: Insights into NPAWorks’s Parent Portal

NPAWorks’ portal is an ABA solution that offers ABA providers client scheduling, electronic health records (EHR), and image storage. The program comes with a document management module and content that allows the electronic archiving of records.


Here are some of the portal’s key benefits:


  • Parent involvement – The portal provides numerous opportunities for parents to be continuously involved in the treatment and care of their children. 
  • Simplified integration – NPAWorks has a simple interface requiring minimal training. It also has a simple flow offering step-by-step guidance through the entire process, including payroll, billing, session tracking, and scheduling.
  • Easy registration – NPAWorks smooths client onboarding. Gathering sufficient client data means your billing and claims processing will be error-free. Furthermore, it has made crucial tasks more manageable thanks to its inbuilt tracking system.
  • Optimized productivity – The platform offers updated information to help you achieve optimal productivity in your organization’s administration.
  • Time savings – The platform reduces time wasted through manual entering of data into various multiple applications. This facilitates excellent compliance monitoring and reconciliation.

Pleasing Parents With World-Class Practice Management Solutions

ABA parent portals can help all involved parties, including parents, caregivers, and teachers, better manage an initially intensive process. These platforms offer numerous features and resources that simply functions. As a result, everyone involved in the child’s treatment will better understand the process, implement interventions, identify patterns, and analyze results.

The platforms ensure optimal parent involvement, reduce the required administrative actions, and save time. This means providers and parents can spend their time on what matters: the child’s outcomes.

If you’re looking to improve your ABA practice by leveraging technology, then you’re on the right site. NPAWorks, and the entire Therapy Brands ABA Solutions, offer the right tech solutions to fit your practice. Schedule a consultation today. 

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Top Reads for RBTs

Your career makes a difference in so many people’s lives: working with autistic children to improve their skills is an incredible way to share your gifts with the world and help many families. Our team has put together a reading list for RBTs (BCBAs will like it too) that is full of fundamental works on ABA theory and practice, as well as newer resources to keep you current.


This book is where it all started. Skinner is considered the founder of behaviorism, and this work outlines the fundamentals of the field and details the science of how certain behaviors can be modified. It will also help you understand how to reinforce healthy patterns with your clients. It’s important to note that, although this book is a gem in the field, ABA therapy has evolved to suit the times we are in, so it’s best to take the fundamentals into account while keeping in mind that there will be exceptions to the rules in some cases: It’s important to adapt your practice to the 21st century so that everyone feels as comfortable as possible while also integrating values from the traditions of ABA that are pertinent to your practice today. That being said, this is a great historic read from the behaviorism canon.


This textbook-style guide provides a thorough overview of contemporary behavior therapy. It’s an excellent read for aspiring ABA therapists or practicing registered behavior technicians who want to refresh their memory. It’s also an excellent resource for parents who are curious about the field. 



This is an invaluable resource, which offers parents of children with autism a myriad of positive strategies to help them raise their children to be the best people they can be. ABA therapists need to give this book a read because it will help you understand the complications of parenting a child on the spectrum. It can also be a valuable resource for struggling parents. I would like to learn about new strategies for raising their kids in a compassionate, kind, patient manner while also maintaining firm boundaries. 


There are many assumptions society makes about autism, many of them negative. For instance, many neurodivergent individuals perceive the world differently, and those perceptions can influence their talent. For instance, Albert Einstein was on the spectrum. He is one of history’s most famous physicists and made a lasting mark on the world in the process. Susan Boyle is a profoundly gifted singer who has touched many hearts with her voice, and she identifies as being on the autism spectrum. An autistic individual doesn’t have to be famous for their unique way of experiencing the world to add value to our culture. There is no one “normal” way of moving through the world, and this work challenges our assumptions about autism.


Dr. Prinzat’s book is enlightening, informative, and entertaining: It won the Autism Society of America’s Temple Grandin Award, and it offers a multitude of strategies for reframing our culture’s knowledge about autism.


Dr. Prinzant sheds some light on this reality and tells the truth that so many long to hear: Being different isn’t always bad, and it often has its own gifts that come along with its challenges. Reading this book will help you be even more empathetic towards your clients, and it can be the perfect resource for people who are having a great deal of trouble coming to terms with their reality. Autism isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed; it’s a different way of living and thinking that can be beautiful and difficult, but one that ultimately needs to be accepted for what it is. Reading this book will help caregivers, families, and individuals with autism accept themselves and others on a deep level, and this will likely change their lives for the better. 



This book is written for ABA therapists: When you do something for long enough, it can be easy to adopt certain habits or maintain certain viewpoints, but the ones who are most successful in the field are often those who continue to learn, improve, and modify their own behaviors. Reading this book will help you present yourself in the best light and relate to your clientele in the healthiest way possible. The people you help will almost always appreciate that you take the time to be the best version of yourself. 


Chances are that you went into this field because healing is your passion; you love learning about the latest methods of ABA therapy. If that’s the case, you’ll love this book!


It’s written by leading experts in the field who detail the latest therapy techniques, and it outlines the best practices in the workplace. If you want to stay up to date on everything related to ABA therapy, this is the book for you. It will guide you through practical and ethical issues that may arise on a day-to-day basis while also detailing practical strategies for effectively helping your clients become the best versions of themselves. 



This book is an invaluable resource to ABA professionals because it illustrates real-world strategies to effectively communicate with people on the autism spectrum—like your clients. It also explores research and methodology within ABA therapy. It will likely improve your knowledge of the field as well as your interpersonal skills with your clientele. 



This bestselling guide was written with ABA therapists in mind and is an excellent read. It will help you navigate the many complications of ethics in your field, which are paramount to success in any line of work, but particularly one where you hold so much power over the people you counsel. Reading this book will help you become acutely aware of right and wrong so that you can serve your clients in the most respectful, compassionate, and effective manner possible. 


This “read” is really a blog with a great everyday tool for clinicians to download. Words of praise are an essential part of a therapist’s positive reinforcement tools. 


Verbal Beginnings is an excellent resource. It’s full of informative blogs covering ABA therapy topics for children from the ages of two to eighteen. 

One that stood out to our team? “Raising the Bar with the Pledge of Care.” This article explores the need for human connection with clients and caregivers, in addition to the data collection and analysis that drives our unique field. Tell us your favorites once you have a chance to check out this interesting blog. 


As an RBT, you have an extremely challenging and powerful job within the ABA world. If you’ve already read these books, it might be helpful to keep a small collection of them on and lend them to parents who may be confused, overwhelmed, or simply curious to learn more about autism.

ABA Practice Management Solutions

Practice management software helps your practice minimize downtimes, maximize efficiencies, and automate redundant and time-consuming components of running an ABA clinic. 



Software also provided a better client experience with features like payment processing, a parent portal, mobile apps that allow your therapists to collect signatures on the spot. and more. 


Contact the CodeMetro team to learn how we can help your organization evolve.

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What Parents Should Look for in an ABA Provider

Parents of children with learning, developmental, and behavioral issues turn towards Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) clinics and practitioners to help their children develop positive behaviors, overcome learning obstacles, and improve their overall lives. But how do they choose the right ABA practitioner? In today’s hyper-competitive behavioral health landscape, ABA clinics are competing for clientele and struggling to build strong and robust practices.


Discovering how to cater your practice to parents is the key to maintaining financial solidarity. Fortunately, parents all want the same thing: what’s best for their children. Unfortunately, this involves the convergence of personal preferences and industry standards. ABA therapy makes a massive impact on the lives of both the parent and child. For many, this makes choosing an ABA practice a nerve-wracking experience. Pickiness is guaranteed.


Here are the key considerations parents look for when choosing an ABA agency.

Certifications, Experience, & Science

ABA is built on the backbones of scientific literature and methodologies. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that parents are often heavily invested in the rigor of ABA practices. Having the correct certifications and hiring experienced ABA therapists is critical. You need to be able to showcase your practice’s capabilities to parents. They are trusting you with their child–your organization needs to make them feel comfortable with their choice.



Obviously, this part can get tricky. How do you show parents that you’re an experienced and scientifically bound practice without shoving 50-page research papers in their faces? We recommend the following:



  • Prominently display degrees and certifications on the wall.
  • Showcase certifications, experience, and capabilities in marketing and promotional materials.
  • Have one-on-one conversations with parents and discuss why ABA works and the science to back up your programs.
  • Creating robust blogs that subtly showcase the science of why ABA works

During the selection process, parents will likely ask questions about your practices. Answer those questions as simply and concretely as possible. Remember, many parents come armed with Google-driven questions, and many have done independent research. It’s important to discuss your ABA strategies, inform parents of their benefits, and dispel any myths or misconceptions they may have stumbled across during their late-night Google journeys.



Science and rigor are at the heart of ABA. Helping parents understand (in simple language) the data behind your decisions will make them feel more comfortable. Be prepared to answer any and all questions thrown your way using up-to-date research.


According to Forbes, 86 percent of people are willing to pay more money for a better customer experience-this extends to therapeutic services. Parents will come to you with plenty of questions. You need to discuss treatment options, set expectations, and communicate value. Most parents will interview multiple ABA clinics before choosing the best fit. That sit-down meeting is your chance to convince and convert. Parents expect crystal-clear, no-nonsense communication about your practices, standards, and results.


Don’t be afraid to answer difficult questions. You should prepare to answer questions such as:


  • How involved will the parent be in the process?
  • What kind of results have you seen with children in your programs?
  • How will you determine when children are ready to move on?
  • What treatment options are available?
  • What difficulties and challenges are common?

If the parent doesn’t bring these things up, you need to bring them up. Here’s the secret: you want to take this meeting as an opportunity to vet the parent. You don’t want just any client. Churn in the ABA space can be damaging to the child’s overall behavior. Suddenly cutting off lessons can do more damage than good. So, you don’t want to accept parents who aren’t serious and committed to ABA. If a parent churns, you’ll likely lose money, see negative reviews, and be forced to explain your actions across various social channels.


You want to avoid this at all costs. Communication helps parents figure out whether you’re a good fit. But it also helps you figure out if they’re a good fit. The ABA process works both ways. Everyone needs to be committed, involved, and ready for the long-haul.

Friendliness & Reliability

While it may sound cheesy, the friendliness of your staff is a key consideration for parents. Warm introductions, smiling faces, and calm voices create incredible bonds. Positivity is contagious. It should go without saying that parents want to introduce their children to friendly environments. But creating a friendly and happy workplace goes far beyond first impressions. It helps you keep your entire practice productive and engaged, and it certainly prevents friction-filled moments between practitioners and children.


There are some immediate steps you can take to make your agency more friendly (e.g., training, rewards, culture, etc.), but it also comes down to hiring. Don’t hire grumpy therapists. Negative behaviors are infectious.

Practice Aesthetics

Some ABA practics only have in-home sessions. For those that have offices or treatment centers consider how your space reflects your practice’s professionalism and mission.


Everyone wants to frequent clean, clutter-free establishments. The “Halo Effect” (i.e., if something is good-looking on the outside, it must offer something intriguing on the inside) of your clinic draws in parents. If you run a clean, dusted, and well-arranged space, parents will take notice. The impact of practice aesthetics is well-documented. One Health Design paper suggests that creating clean and well-designed practice spaces improve outcomes reduces staff stress. Another eBook (also from the experts at Health Design)– compiled hundreds of studies into one resource — promises more foot-traffic, higher satisfaction, and a higher willingness to pay when the aesthetics of your practice are improved.


The importance of aesthetics is self-evident. Have you ever frequented a restaurant that was dirty and cluttered? It certainly impacted how you “felt” about that establishment, right? The same can be said for any type of business. Remember, parents are entrusting you with the future of their children. How can they trust you if they feel like your establishment isn’t run efficiently?

Efficiency & Professionalism

Well-run ABA agencies sell themselves. If you’re struggling with the intake process, taking unnecessary time to bill patients, and dealing with billing mistakes, those frictions reflect on your practice. Some studies suggest that as many as four out of every five medical bills contain errors. For massive healthcare systems, loss of patients due to anger with these bills is likely unnoticeable. Most people go to the hospital when they need to, and they may have limited choices on which doctor they can choose.


ABA practices don’t share those protective layers. When parents get receive a bill with an error, deal with scheduling mistakes, or face eligibility roadblocks, they can quickly move to another practice. Professionalism resonates throughout your business. You can “sense” the efficiency of a place based on behaviors, cleanliness, and your initial touchpoints.


Maximizing your practice efficiency saves you time, money, and headaches, sure. But it also prevents parents from fleeing your practice in favor of more efficient agencies.

Remote Capabilities

Let’s ignore COVID-19 for a moment. It’s a blip in time. Remote care is about the future. Some ABA sessions, such as family training, can be conducted via telehealth. For ABA practices with speech therapists or other professional services on offer, remote sessions may work as well.

For parents dealing with an autistic child, scheduling is challenging. ABA requires ongoing, time-sensitive sessions for years. Expecting parents to set aside their lives and make every session isn’t always reasonable — especially if your practice exists outside of a school setting.


McKinsey estimates that over $250 billion of healthcare spend could be virtualized by the end of 2020. We estimate that a sizable portion of ABA spend will follow suit. Parents want to connect with talented ABA therapists from the comfort of their homes. Often times, this is a space where children feel most secure. If you aren’t offering telehealth and remote ABA services, you could see your margins shrink rapidly over the next year. This isn’t an optional and disruptive practice. It’s becoming a de facto component in the modern ABA lifecycle.

Insurance, Price, & Distance (The “Uncontrollables”)

So far, we’ve covered variables that you have direct control over. But what about the ones you don’t? Whether you accept their insurance providers, the price you set, and the distance you are from their workplace are semi-uncontrollable. Your price takes many variables into account. You may have better-trained practitioners, a more expensive location, or higher overhead than some competitors. The credentialing process combined with state requirements may dictate which insurance providers you accept. And your distance from their house or work is entirely out of your control.


It’s important to understand that these all impact parents’ decisions. That’s ok! You will inevitably lose clients due to some of these uncontrollable factors. Don’t stress out about it. Obviously, the problem with uncontrollable variables is that it’s hard to tell if they’re the reason parents aren’t picking you. 91 percent of people who abandon a company never complain. So, you need to keep your finger to the pulse.


Uncontrollables can force parents to give an automatic “no.” But they shouldn’t do significant damage to your business. Every ABA practice has uncontrollable variables. If you feel like your practice is suffering from a lack of patients, look beyond uncontrollable for the solutions (unless you charge significantly above-market prices).


Hint: Incorporating automation and outsourced billing can substantially reduce your costs, which you can pass on to parents to reduce your overall pricing burden.

Pleasing Parents With World-Class Practice Management Solutions

The truth is: parents are looking for many of the same things we all look for in a business. Stability, friendliness, professionalism, efficiency, price, and distance are all top concerns for parents. To stay financially stable in today’s hyper-competitive ABA environment, ABA agencies should invest in world-class practice management solutions. Yes!


Experience and science matter in the ABA setting. And there is plenty of fine-tuning you can do to make your practice more valuable and meaningful to your clients and their families. But perfecting the core tenants (i.e., professionalism, efficiency, price, friendliness, etc.) is the key to winning parents.



Practice management software helps you minimize downtimes, maximize efficiencies, and automate redundant and time-consuming components of running an ABA clinic. Spend time talking about the value of ABA with parents, not dealing with billing or scheduling issues.


Software also provided a better client experience with features like payment processing, a parent portal, mobile apps that allow your therapists to collect signatures on the spot. and more. 


Contact the CodeMetro team to learn how we can help your organization evolve.

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How Retention and Payroll Impact the Financial Health of Your ABA Practice

The industry has changed drastically for ABA practice financials since the beginning of 2020. Providers are scrambling to recover from the pandemic as community healthcare and school-based settings were among those impacted most. Not only did a magnifying glass on public health and a decrease in in-person interactions change how ABA providers deliver care, but the conditions to which the field had to adjust drastically impacted their bottom line.


Providers across the country are wondering what their next steps should be in response to fluctuating cash flow. The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) suggests that an estimated 76% of providers are currently experiencing at least a 50% drop in their revenue compared to what they were bringing in before the start of the pandemic. 


While COVID-19 is still impacting the field, there are steps providers can take to encourage the growth of their ABA practice financial health.

Improving the Financial Health of Your ABA Practice

Focus on Retention

There are two areas of retention that impact your ABA practice’s financials.


Client Retention 

Most ABA providers should be familiar with the term “client retention” or “client retention rate.” This refers to the rate at which a provider is able to keep their clients. It is calculated by averaging how long a client is expected to work with you versus when/if they self-terminate (or leave your practice). There are a number of reasons why a client might decide to leave a provider. While those are important, the financial issue is that low client retention can be detrimental to your bottom line.  Improving this is an efficient and effective method for addressing ABA practice financial health.  


Benefits of Client Retention


Loyalty is an incredible thing for a provider’s bottom line. Loyal clients are more likely to keep coming back to your ABA practice and refer others to you for help as well. Increasing client retention means that you have established the level of loyalty that keeps patients coming back for more instead of leaving to go somewhere else. 


Reduced Marketing Costs


Providers that are struggling to keep their client retention rates up know just how expensive it can be. If patients are leaving, that means your ABA practice has to work harder to bring new patients in. This causes marketing costs to skyrocket as your try to drum up new business. Increasing your client retention rate reduces the need to market heavily, cutting those costs and improving ABA practice financial health. 


Forecast Accuracy 


With loyal patients who you know are not going anywhere, you can look more accurately into the future. Forecasting is essential to running any practice. With higher client retention rates, providers can better predict future expenses and revenue growth. Without this window into what is to come, providers are not able to plan which leads to wasted resources and a hit to ABA practice financials. 



Increase Communications


Communication is everything when building rapport with patients and increasing the loyalty they feel toward your practice. Effective communication builds client engagement and satisfaction, which ultimately keeps them coming back for more. The better communication and engagement that exist between your ABA practice and your clients, the higher the retention rate providers will achieve. 


Clearly Set Billing Expectations


Another prevalent reason that clients leave a provider is that they were caught off guard by the cost of their care. This happens when they do not have a firm understanding of your billing process. Before sessions start, providers need to outline billing expectations in a way that the client clearly understands. This should include payment policies, the cost of services, what types of payment you take, and any other billing information. Keeping them 100% informed will prevent them from ever being caught off guard by their role in the billing process and increase client retention. 


Improve Scheduling


ABA therapy is an extremely involved area of behavioral health that requires a massive time commitment. When patients do not understand or know what to expect regarding scheduling, it can feel like cause for premature termination. Just like billing, scheduling expectations should be set from the start. Providers and their clients need to sit down and determine what schedule will work for them and utilize digital tools that make scheduling a breeze. 


Employee Retention 

Employee retention is the second type of retention that impacts ABA practice financial health. This refers to the rate at which employees leave their role at your practice. Onboarding new ABA practice employees are expensive and challenging. Increasing employee retention can also have a positive impact on your bottom line. 


Impact of Employee Retention


Lower Onboarding Costs


The average cost to onboard a new employee across all industries is roughly $4000. In the field of ABA therapy, this cost is higher due to the fact that professionals need more in-depth training compared to other industries, like retail. It can take years for new therapists to reach their fullest potential and productivity. By keeping your employee retention rate high, you can avoid costly onboarding processes while seeing the return on your investment for those you trained, who stay on board.  


Shortage of ABA Professionals


Another reason employee retention matters is because that there is a shortage of ABA professionals in the United States. A recent study compared the per capita supply of certified ABA providers for each state and found that 49 states fell below the benchmark set by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. 


Maintaining high employee retention rates prevents providers from having to go on the search for new professionals during a time where there are not many to spare. 



Use Quality Digital Tools


The tools your practice uses on a daily basis for things like scheduling, planning, payroll, and more all have an impact on the employee experience. To reduce burnout across your organization, ABA practices need to make sure they are using digital tools that simplify some of the processes that have overwhelmed providers in the past.


Take Steps to Decrease Burnout 


“Burnout” refers to the mental or physical exhaustion that an employee feels and is a direct result of the efforts they exert in the professional setting. Digital tools can be a great way to simplify certain processes, but there are other ways to reduce burnout as well. ABA practices need to make sure they are giving their employees time for self-care and work-life balance as well as space to express concerns and make positive changes. 


Perfect Your Payroll Process


It may be shocking to hear, but 49% of employees say they will begin their search for another job after just two payroll errors. Making sure your employees get the compensation they deserve for their hard work is an important part of making them feel accomplished in their job and is a motivation for them to stay at your ABA practice. 

Get Serious About Your ABA Practice’s Payroll 

Expanding on the importance of payroll, providers need to get serious about how they are managing it. Payroll is a necessary, yet burdensome process that can cause huge ABA financial headaches.


Common Issues with Payroll


Time Consuming


81% of small and mid-market practices handle payroll in-house. They do this without the internal support structure that is needed to deliver perfect results every single time. This makes payroll a time and resource-consuming process that ends up stretching ABA practice finances too thin and increasing errors across the board.


Employee Retention


As mentioned earlier, payroll errors can cost an ABA practice its employees. Making sure that your practice is at the top of its game when it comes to payroll is integral for increasing employee retention. 




Integrated Payroll Software 


The best solution for ABA practices that need to improve their payroll and financial health is to adopt a fully integrated payroll solution. A tool like this helps providers avoid costly errors that waste their time and burden their employees. The right solution automatically tracks time worked, overtime, pay periods, pay ranges, and more for every practitioner within the organization. 


Scheduling Component 


Another source of payroll headaches includes the scheduling process. To prevent errors in payroll, like too much overtime or incorrect timestamps, providers need to consider an integrated scheduling component. This helps payroll solutions accurately track and prevent costly mistakes within their calendar process. 


The impact that retention and payroll have on the ABA practice financial health is immeasurable. Providers that pay close attention to these areas of their practice will start to find that they are growing past the financial challenges and trials they faced during the pandemic. The key to strong ABA practice financial health includes updated digital tools as well as the utilization of revenue cycle management services. 


Interested in more financial resources for your ABA practice? 


Download a copy of our white paper on financial tips for your organization by submitting the form below. 

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ABA Scheduling: Session Types

Scheduling is one of the most complicated tasks within larger ABA practices. The CodeMetro team delves into one aspect of ABA scheduling; session types and their unique scheduling needs in this article. 


This is just one topic we discuss in our latest white paper: A Scheduling Guide for Larger ABA Practices. This free resource is yours to download!

Types of ABA Therapy Sessions

There are different types of ABA therapy sessions and practices; all face specific scheduling needs and challenges.


In-home Appointments

ABA providers who have staff traveling in and out of client homes face unique challenges when scheduling. For many providers, some of these challenges include:


  • Matching the best clinician to the client
  • Tracking payroll hours for overtime
  • Allowing time for mandated breaks & lunches for hourly employees on the go
  • Forgetting to calculate drive times & mileage
  • Clients not being home when therapists arrive for a session
  • Prior authorizations validated for services scheduled
  • Staff members radius of travel between appointments
  • Signature collection


Treatment Centers / Offices

Some client sessions are scheduled at an ABA practice’s center(s). With treatment centers and offices, scheduling is challenging because there are multiple staff and multiple clients all in the building at the same time. Because of this, the calendar must be scheduled perfectly to make sure everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Common scheduling challenges and needs for treatment centers/offices include:


  • Overlapping schedules (client sessions with training, supervision time, staff meetings, etc.)
  • Prior authorization management 
  • Types of services rendered
  • Unit tracking within authorizations
  • Consistency of the therapist’s schedule
  • Staff, supervision, and training meetings
  • Matching the correct therapist to the client (appropriate licensure, etc.) 

Telehealth Appointments

While in-home or in-center sessions are the norms in ABA therapy, some practices have moved into telehealth options for some types of appointments. Family training, speech therapy, and other sessions may be administered through a telehealth portal. With this move into the digital age came a new set of scheduling challenges. These include scheduling training for the software, making sure clients know how to access appointments, and utilizing time during sessions.


School District Contracts

For ABA providers contracted for K-12 school work (as opposed to school district employees), essential scheduling needs are unique. Their concerns include tracking classroom hours, tracking what services were rendered and for how long, recording what location they were at, and mileage tracking (if traveling between multiple schools within a district). 


Multi Center/  Multi City or County ABA Practices

For multi-center, city, country, and practice facilities, scheduling can feel like a beast. If each location has consistent staff, they might be in charge of independently organizing their own schedule. In contrast, providers that move between locations need to easily track where they rendered services and where they are to go next; if facilities have multiple locations across state lines, credentials for insurance and licensing need to be considered.


Ultimately, Every ABA practice faces similar and unique challenges that need to be addressed in order for them to effectively care for their clients and protect their bottom line. Want to learn more about how automated scheduling tools can help your practice manage all the scheduling challenges you face? Download our scheduling whitepaper below!

Download the Complete ABA Scheduling Guide

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ABA Scheduling: Matching the Right Therapist to Your Client

One of the most complicated scheduling components within larger ABA practices is matching staff with clients for sessions on the calendar. This becomes difficult with rotating schedules, unique client needs, geography, client preferences, language needs, difficulty level, and so much more. Having to do this matching manually takes time and resources that are not always available, causing issues along the way and making schedule creation tedious and time-consuming.

Real-World Scheduling for ABA Practices

Here’s a scenario that might sound familiar to ABA therapists and admin staff.


Let’s say an RBT were to call in sick one morning, with a cold. This puts your organization in a pinch without much time to figure out the next steps. The families your RBT would have met with that day need to be paired with other RBTs to fill the hole. It is not as simple as just pairing them with whoever is free, there are dozens of considerations that need to be taken into account when matching a family with a provider.


For example, let’s say one of the families that the provider was supposed to meet with has a dog. The RBT working with that family would need to be ok with dogs. In a more complicated light, let’s say that the family has a custodial parent whose primary language is not English, the RBT would need to be able to manage that dynamic. Taking it a step farther, what if the child needs to be lifted from time to time or that they are prone to violence and poor verbal communication. The RBT that is paired to work with them will need to be able to lift their weight and effectively manage the child’s range of emotions.


It is considerations like these that make matching providers to families so challenging. With a scheduling tool, providers can customize a list of considerations to help administrators match more easily. After checking off each factor that needs to be considered, a list of providers that work for that family will automatically populate. This tool not only takes into account the needs of the family but also their insurance needs, the provider’s abilities/needs, the geographical location of the visit, and who is available on the schedule. A quality scheduling tool streamlines and simplifies the entire process.

How Automated Scheduling Tools Can Help

Integrated Human Resources and Payroll

Practices without smart scheduling tools have to match their clinicians to their clients manually. Or, practices with limited scheduling tools might lack visibility into all the criteria they need to consider for their calendar needs. This can be overwhelmingly complicated for larger practices with a range of clients with different needs and a host of providers with different characteristics.


Some of the most common details that need to be considered when matching therapist to client include:



Depending on what state your client lives in, their ABA therapists will need to be licensed in that state. Another licensing consideration is that insurance may require a certain level of licensing to cover the services being rendered. For example, insurance might stipulate that an RBT may render services with a specific CPT code, while a BCBA must perform curriculum planning and supervision. Many practices may have clinicians with backgrounds and licensure in nursing, social work, speech therapy, occupational therapy, education, and more. There will also be ABA clinicians working towards licensure whose training hours must be correctly tracked.


A quality ABA scheduling software will enable providers to track correct licensure throughout the scheduling process to ensure a client is not matched with a therapist that does not meet insurance authorization requirements.



For therapists that start their day with an in-home session, an ABA scheduling tool can organize their calendar and form matches based on geographic location. A provider should not be matched with one in-home appointment and then have to travel across the city to make it to their next client. This tool ensures that you only deliver care within a certain radius, matching clients to therapists based on location at the start of each day.


Payroll Issues

Another piece that providers need to consider is the amount of time their hourly staff has already worked or is scheduled to work weekly. Overtime is expensive and can be a budgetary surprise! When scheduling, a client should not be matched with a therapist that is almost to their hourly threshold and should only be matched to a clinician scheduled for less than forty hours that week. A quality ABA scheduling tool will automatically consider where your staff is on the payroll scale to ensure no one is overbooked.


Training and Supervision Hours

It is essential to track RBT/BCBA hours correctly throughout their training. Doing so manually can lead to errors and disruptions in their training and a headache for administrative and supervising staff. Having a way to track hours digitally can save time and ensure the accuracy of their training throughout their career. ABA scheduling tools are available to automate this process.


Client Specific Needs

Every client that a therapist works with is going to have different needs. These needs could include any number of things. For example, a family might come to a large practice and only be available for services three days a week or at certain times during the day. They might need to have a therapist who speaks a second language and can lift 50 pounds, for example. A quality ABA scheduling tool will track client needs, ensuring only appropriate staff members that meet those needs are placed with them.


Client/Parent Preferences

Some families have preferences for specific clinicians that are essential to consider when matching the two. For example, a client might work better with a female therapist, or a family might prefer to work with a clinician who has a lot of experience rather than a newer one. These preferences can all be tracked and automatically taken into consideration when matching families with ABA therapists.

Ultimately, providers need a digital ABA scheduling tool that automatically takes all of this information into consideration before presenting who might be the right clinician for that client.

The Ultimate ABA Scheduling Tool: NPAWorks’ Scheduling Genie

NPAWork’s Scheduling Genie helps providers match clients to the best staff member for their needs.


The Genie (or a comparable resource in other ABA scheduling software) is an essential tool for scheduling. It ensures that the client’s needs and preferences are being matched with a provider that fits best. This takes the stress out of scheduling by easily matching clients with providers who will meet their unique needs while reducing the time it takes to create a team schedule.


The Scheduling Genie allows matching based on fully customizable considerations like: 


  • Credentialling – making sure the therapist have the appropriate credentials for each session type
  • Authorizations – making sure authorizations are up to date
  • Gender Preference
  • Language preferences
  • Specific behaviors
  • Age groups
  • Parent difficulty or family issues
  • Patientence level
  • Physical requirements
  • and more

From start to finish, providers can set the necessary attributes that are specific to their practice, pick which ones apply to the specific client, set parameters on things like location (radius of travel or availability of client), and then view a list of matching staff that adheres to the already established contract.

Download the Complete ABA Scheduling Guide

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History of ABA Therapy and Treatment

History of ABA Practices in the United States

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) has not always existed in the United States’ behavioral health system. Today, ABA therapy is the most common form of treatment within the autism community. ABA embraces the science of learning and behavior, using data-driven methods to help clients improve language and communication skills; develop attention, retention, and memory skills; and address disruptive behaviors.


During Autism Awareness Month, the CodeMetro team wants to explore the history of our field. How did it begin, and why?

History of ABA Therapy in the U.S.: The Early Days

ABA History Blog

There was a time when behavior analysis treatment did not exist. Our culture had a hundred different reasons and explanations for why people behaved in specific ways or why some people were outside of what society considered “normal.” The study of behavior emerged within psychology and neurobiology as we developed observational and technological scientific methodologies.


Behavioral analysis is the study of behavior, how it works, and how it is influenced. In the early years of psychology, most professionals did not consider or analyze behavior or its relationship to the psyche. Back then, psychology centered on internal thoughts and consciousness, or parts of the mind that were considered unobservable. (They didn’t have neurologists and MRI machines in those days!) This was the Freudian model of understanding consciousness.


In 1913 American psychologist John Watson stepped away from Freud’s model and developed another school of thought in the emerging field of psychology: behaviorism. In simple terms, the new field could be described as the science of observable behavior.


Behaviorism rejected the unobservable mind, as Watson thought this research method was subjective and unscientific. Watson’s theories became influential in their application to the study of child development. He asserted that a child’s observable environment is the most critical factor for determining their behaviors.


As time progressed, Watson’s theories of development were embraced by influential behaviorists in history, including Jacob Robert Kantor, Ivan Pavlov, and B.F. Skinner. Skinner’s theory of Operant Conditioning, which believes that associations between behavior and consequence can lead to behavioral changes, is probably the most famous theory to emerge within the field. Every Psychology 101 course in college touches upon Operant Conditioning and Skinner’s work.

History of ABA Therapy in the U.S.: The Modern Period

When we fast forward to the 1960s, we meet Ole’Ivar Lovaas, the founder of the Lovaas Method, which is also known as Applied Behavior Analysis. His theory was that operant conditioning could be applied to treating individuals with Autism.


His first peer-reviewed research was published in 1987. This study included 40 children who received ABA therapy for 2-6 years. The data revealed social skills and cognition improvements for 90% of children, compared to their control group (those who received no specific interventions). The follow-up to this study, completed in 1993, showed that those children retained the skills they learned in the trial into their adolescence.


Many of the techniques established in Lovaas’s study are still used today. They include positive reinforcement for good behaviors, environmental manipulations, and other interventions that focus on using rewards, motivations, and learning to develop behavioral skills.


That is not to say that the early years of ABA history were not without problematic theories and treatments. Some of the methods used in Lovaas’s study are no longer acceptable today. For example, in the 70s, electric shock was thought to be a suitable technique to discourage unwanted behavior.


Today, treatments focus heavily on positive reinforcement, learning, and skill development to help children improve their communication, academic, and social skills while ultimately enhancing their independence and quality of life as they age.


Over the course of U.S. ABA history, several different clinical practice types have evolved and methods of ABA therapy delivery.

Types of ABA Practices and Treatment Venues

ABA History

ABA practices–and types of treatment– can be broken down into four primary categories.


Solo Practitioner / Emerging ABA Practices

A solo practitioner/BCBA is a provider trained in behavior analysis, has a master’s degree or higher, has gone through intense supervision, and has passed the necessary exams to practice. Someone with these credentials does not need to work for a facility and can practice independently.


In-Home Sessions

In-home ABA therapy involves a qualified BCBA or Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) within a supervisory relationship with a BCBA that comes to a client’s home to administer services. In-home delivery of care is an excellent opportunity for providers to build strong relationships with their clients in their most natural and comfortable environment, along with the opportunity for parent/guardian attention for family training. Clinicians who deliver in-home ABA therapy sessions could be solo practitioners or work for any size ABA practice.


Facility/Larger Practice

Many BCBAs choose to work in a facility setting for a larger practice or multi-site organizations. Providers who select this type of professional setting will get the opportunity to mimic different environments (like educational) and expose their clients to more social activity than they might get within home sessions. BCBAs might be responsible for supervising Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), who are generally in charge of administering most service or unit hours.



ABA providers that work inside schools are often RBTs referred to as School Behavior Technicians and can also include school-based BCBAs. A school-based BCBA is usually an employee of the school district and works in a supportive role to supervise the RBTs providing the ABA services within the school’s jurisdiction. More than just supervisors, they are also responsible for crisis intervention and de-escalation. Some practitioners or practices may have school district contracts as well.


ABA History Conclusion

ABA therapy will continue to evolve and change over time. Throughout ABA history, best practices have evolved, old ones being left behind and new ones introduced. As providers, staying ahead of the curve is essential to making sure we are always working in the best interest of the client. For example, ABA history is unfolding right before our eyes. Its use is applied to social distancing behaviors and other areas like the opioid addiction crisis and bullying in schools. ABA history has revealed so much over the last 50 years into the study of behaviors, how they work, and how they are influenced. Time will only tell what the next 50 years will bring to our profession and community.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used in lieu of practitioners own due diligence, state and federal regulations, and funders’ policies. 

ABA Insurance Billing Codes

ABA Billing Codes and Challenges for Providers in 2021

ABA billing codes do not have to put a strain on your therapy practice. For many providers, keeping up with ABA billing codes, changes in regulation/coverage, and chasing down payments has become a burden. It sometimes feels as though there are so many details to keep track of that it would be impossible for you to keep up.  



The issue is that the role billing plays within your practice is paramount to your ability to work with the clients. What is causing strain on your practice is the fact that you have yet to perfect the billing process. The use of ineffective billing solutions is what is holding your practice back from a streamlined, effective, and flourishing billing process. 



The good news that with the right technology or partnerships, your practice can finally tackle the ABA billing codes and challenges that have held you back for so long. 

ABA Billing Code Challenges

ABA Billing Challenges

Claims Management 

One of the most integral components of your claims process is coding each claim accurately with the correct ABA billing code. Doing so will offer you your best chance at an approved claim. This is one of the biggest challenges for providers offering ABA therapy. ABA billing codes are complex, specific, and require great understanding. With clients to focus on, it can be difficult to be an expert on billing as well. 


Denial Management 

Even when ABA billing codes are accurate, denials still happen. One of the biggest challenges that ABA therapy providers face is their denial management process. When a denial is not caught, corrected, and submitted within the required time-frame, revenue is lost. 

ABA Billing Codes

The most-used ABA billing codes include: 


97151 – Behavior Identification Assessment 


0362T – Exposure Behavioral Follow-Up Assessment 


97155 – Adaptive Behavior Treatment w/ Protocol Modification 


97156 – Family Adaptive Behavior Treatment Guidance


97157 – Multiple Family Group Adaptive Behavior Treatment Guidance 


0373T – Exposure Adaptive Behavior Treatment with Protocol Modification 


97152 – Observational Behavioral Follow-Up Assessment 


97153 – Adaptive Behavior Treatment by Protocol 


97154 – Group Adaptive Behavior by Protocol 


97158 – Adaptive Behavior Treatment Social Skills Group 

Improving Your Claims Process

ABA Insurance Claims

In order to improve your claim and denial management process, providers should access the following tools and services. 

Built-in End-to-End Billing Software
 with Revenue Cycle Management Options

What many providers do not realize is that they do not have to try and become ABA billing experts on their own. In fact, providers with the highest-functioning billing processes outsource claim and denial management to a qualified practice management or revenue cycle management billing partner.  


The right tool will simplify your billing process and save time by generating reliable electronic claims, easily posting payments/adjustments, tracking the status of claims, and much more. 


Billing software, such as NPAWorks by CodeMetro, can take over your claim/denial management to ensure you optimize your revenue cycle and fortify your bottom line. They will scrub each claim for errors such as incorrect ABA billing codes and track the claim to make sure you are receiving a high number of timely payments. On average, ABA practices collect on 80% of their insurance claims. NPAWorks has an average claim clearance rate of 95%…just think what your practice can do with the extra revenue!


With the right partner of either managed billing or ABA billing software, your practice can tackle the burden of ABA billing codes and claims while building confidence in its bottom line. To schedule a consult with an NPA Works billing expert that is ready to help you, click here.   

This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used in lieu of practitioners own due diligence, state and federal regulations, and funders’ policies. 

ABA Therapy Negative Punishment

Examples of Negative Punishment in ABA Therapy

Negative punishment can be incredibly effective: People will likely change their behavior if you take something away from them that they enjoy. Although this form of discipline is often difficult to implement, it’s important to understand that negative punishment is a way to hold people accountable for their behavior, so, in the end, it is positive for everyone involved.  


There are many forms of negative punishment, and certain ones are more effective than others depending on the situation. In this day and age, taking away a person’s phone will likely lead to an improvement in their behavior for example. Within the world of Applied Behavioral Analysis, negative punishment techniques can be effective tools in client work. 

Why is Negative Punishment Effective?

Time Out ABA Negative Punishment

This form of punishment is tremendously effective because the individual who faces consequences will associate the absence of the item they love with their poor behavior. For this reason, they are likely to change their ways. This won’t usually happen all at once, but, as they begin to realize that the consequences are consistent, they will probably adjust their behavior.  


Negative punishments are essential in many areas of society, including the classroom, law enforcement, and businesses. They can be an excellent way to maintain firm boundaries when you are running a company, teaching a class, or driving down the road: Consequences, when implemented fairly across the board, make the world a safer place for everyone involved.  

The Importance of Remaining Consistent

It’s important to note that negative punishment is only effective if it is implemented consistently. For instance, if a student answers his phone on Monday and you take it away, but then you let him scroll through his Facebook feed on Friday, he probably won’t be motivated to follow your rules. Instead, he’ll keep testing you because he knows he can. In order for this method of punishment to actually work, you must take away the kid’s phone every single time he uses it in class, so he understands that his behavior is absolutely unacceptable.  

Shame Versus Guilt

When someone does something bad, it’s important that they are held accountable for their behavior. However, it’s also essential that they understand that you are not telling them they themselves are a bad person, but simply stating that they need to behave differently. This will lead them to question their actions instead of their worth as human beings, which has proven to be quite effective in many cases: Shame is feeling like there is something wrong with you as an individual while guilt is feeling bad about your behavior

Autism & Negative Punishment


As a clinician, it can be challenging to provide consequences to someone on the autism spectrum. While physical discipline is never the answer, negative punishment can be an effective method to enforce boundaries when other methods have failed. Negative punishments deliver consequences for inappropriate behavior as part of the learning experience. Clients on the autism spectrum  often struggle to understand what is and is not acceptable behavior and its our job to help them. 


In ABA therapy, negative punishment is used to decrease an individual’s inappropriate behavior. It is of the utmost importance to only implement these techniques along with positive reinforcement: You want your client to understand what they’re doing wrong, but you also want them to know what they’re doing right. Furthermore, negative punishment techniques should only be used when multiple reinforcement strategies have become ineffective. 

ABA Therapy & Negative Punishment Techniques

ABA List of Negative Punishments

As an ABA clinician working with clients it’s important to be empathetic while also providing structure and feedback  when necessary to enforce good boundaries. There are many procedures that are  effective. 

Negative Practice

If your client is stomping on the floor, they must do so over and over again until they’re completely exhausted. For example, you may want to ask them to engage in this behavior at least three times. 

Response Blocking

In this case, your client may be playing with their hair frequently. As a form of negative punishment, you’ll want to have them tie up their hair in a ponytail and wear gloves so that they have trouble engaging in this type of behavior. 

Restitutional Over-Correction

In this case, you would ask your client to repair the damage they’ve done. For instance, if someone throws a pack of cards on the floor, you would ask them to pick them up and put them back in the box.

Time Outs

In order to implement this technique, you’ll want to give your client a “time out from a reinforcement opportunity.” In this case, you’re removing the opportunity for your client to earn a reinforcement. You will want to use this one cautiously: The last thing you want to do is engage in negative reinforcement. 


It’s important to note that clients may not change their behavior immediately: These are often ingrained patterns, particularly in the case of someone on the autism spectrum, and it is essential to practice patience with your clients. Clinicians must strike a balance between being empathetic and patient while also consistently enforcing boundaries. 

This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used in lieu of practitioners own due diligence, state and federal regulations, and funders’ policies. 

Need Help Putting the Pieces of Your Practice Together?

NPAWorks by CodeMetro has all the revenue cycle and practice management tools ABA practices like yours need. Our scheduling and billing features lead the industry.
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4 Top Tools for Managing Your ABA Telehealth Practice in Quarantine

As an ABA professional therapist, your clients need you more now than ever. You want to remain available to your clients during this ongoing pandemic and ABA telehealth programs seem to be the way to go.  When you consider opening up your practice to telehealth appointments, picking the top tools for managing your ABA telehealth practice in quarantine might seem a little daunting at first, but don’t worry; we’ve got four tips to help you get started.


Loom is a free screen and video recording software that can help snap a video of your face right on your screen along with your voice to help you create videos that you can share with your clients and their parents. For example, you might want to send a video explaining how you will still meet with clients over the internet instead of in-person. Loom makes it easy to explain how telehealth works and the kind of tools your clients need on their end if they want to participate. Loom plays well with Mac, iOS, Windows, and Chromebook so wherever you work, with whatever system you prefer, you can use Loom.

You can use Loom for training videos about the remote telehealth appointments or other teachable moments that help clients and parents feel more secure when using telehealth.

If you’re working from home for the first time, it can be a challenge. You might have kids screaming in the background or dogs barking in the middle of your client discussion. Even traffic can be an issue. What you need is a way to block out all that extra noise so you and your client can concentrate on what’s important during your session. The following apps for windows may just provide the answer you seek.

  • Krisp removes annoying background noise in real-time. It works with over 600 conference and message/streaming apps with a very low latency (15 milliseconds). You can use any headset/headphones and any microphone/speaker of your choice. Krisp also allows you to answer calls anytime anywhere. Best of all, you just turn it on once and the software cancels the noise locally at your computer. So, your data stays safe.  Krisp comes in a free version and a premium version that charges a small fee. Krisp is also available as a Google Chrome extension. 
  • Noise Gate. Noise Gate cancels noise in real-time in accordance with levels that you pre-select for input, output, and volume.
Managing Your ABA Telehealth Practice


Blue light has shorter wavelengths but more energy than wavelengths on the red side of the light spectrum. Human eyes are not very good at blocking blue light. In practical terms, this means that blue light passes through the eye’s cornea and lens all the way to the retina. Too much exposure to blue light can damage light sensitive cells in the retina. It can also cause cataracts and other eye problems, increases eye strain, and interferes with sleep patterns. Blue light also may damage the macula and lead to macular degeneration which can lead to blindness.

On the other hand, you don’t want to block all blue light because blue light has some good  health benefits. Blue light plays an important role in controlling our circadian rhythms that helps us wake and sleep on a regular cycle. Too much blue light at night, however, can cause sleeplessness and tiredness during the daytime.

Anyone who works on computers all day and looks at their cell phones for email and browses the internet a lot probably has heard that the blue light emitted from the computer screen is bad for the eyes. Other devices also emit blue light such as LED lighting, fluorescent bulbs, and those popular flat-screen TVs.  PCs, though, usually have a setting for lowering the level of blue light on the screen, especially in the evening hours, to help people adjust to upcoming sleep time.

Manufacturers have jumped into the market by making blue light filter glasses that will allow you to filter out more blue light and there are blue light shields for mobile devices. Here are nine examples of available blue light glasses their suggested uses and the range of prices:

  • LifeArt Blue Light Blocking Glasses – low price, UV400, refringence aspheric resin lenses, for computer and cell phones
  • Fitover Anti-Blue Blocking Computer Glasses – low price, amber lenses, for computers, cell phones, and outdoors
  • TiJn Blue Light Blocking Glasses – low price, composite lens, UV400, for TV and computers
  • Spectra Blue Blocking Amber Glasses – moderate price, for cell phones, computers, and TV 
  • Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses – low price, orange amber lenses, for gaming, TV, and cellphones
  • Cyxus Blue Light Filter Computer Glasses – low price, UV400, for reading and computers
  • Prospek Premium Computer Glasses – moderate price, good for all screen types
  • Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses – economical price, orange lens, for computers and TV
  • Gamma Ray 003 Glasses – low price tag, not polarized lens, for computers, TV, and fluorescent lights

If you anticipate spending a lot more time in front of computers than you normally do when in-person meetings are possible, you may want to invest in computer blue light glasses to protect your eyes. Contact your vision specialist for further details on the best blue light shield or glasses for your eyes and your computer use.

No one is sure how long the social distancing practices will last and your clients need to meet with you now.  So the next best thing to being there is telehealth. When meeting with clients and their parents, you want to make sure you’re using a service that is HIPAA-compliant and convenient. One service worth mentioning is thera-LINK.


While switching to telehealth options may seem scary for ABA practictioners, there are options that make it easy. With thera-LINK, you’ll find unique features like a custom waiting room and file sharing. You actually have your pick of useful features including:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Client and session notes
  • Client payments
  • Secure messaging
  • Client profile
  • Directory listing

Need Help Putting the Pieces of Your Remote Practice Together?

CodeMetro has all the tools ABA practices need to make a remote practice work.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used in lieu of practitioners own due diligence, state and federal regulations, and funders’ policies. During the Coronavirus pandemic, and when implementing telehealth, be sure to use your resources and complete the proper follow-up with funders and insurance.

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ABA practice and COVID

How to Keep Your ABA Practice Running During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted many sectors of the economy, including many ABA therapy offices that are now grappling with the question of whether to retain their employees and stay open. Fortunately, there are various federal government relief programs as well as other resources that can help small businesses like therapy practices weather this storm. We’ve compiled a list of resources that may help your ABA therapy office stay in business in the next few months.


Small Business Administration Relief Options

The Small Business Administration is also administering several other COVID-19 relief options that your ABA therapy practice could qualify for. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans can provide up to $2 million in loans to small businesses. When you apply for the EIDL, you may also qualify for the EIDL Emergency Advance which can provide up to $10,000 in grant funding for small businesses that have experienced a temporary loss of revenue due to the pandemic. SBA Bridge Express Loans can give businesses who already have a relationship with an SBA lender access up to $25,000 quickly. The SBA Debt Relief program is also providing up to 6 months of debt relief for SBA loans. Compare SBA COVID-19 Disaster Loans in this chart.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

If your practice has been impacted by COVID-19, you can apply for either the Paycheck Protection Program or an Employee Retention Tax Credit, which is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid to employees. Read about eligibility requirements and how to receive the credit at the IRS website.

State, Local, and Private Sector Relief Programs

The federal government isn’t the only entity providing emergency loans and grants. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has compiled a List of Programs Providing Financial Assistance to Small Businesses run by state and local governments and the private sector.

SBA Access to Capital

Your practice may opt to take out regular loans to increase your liquidity during this time. The SBA offers a number of loans (that are not disaster relief loans) to small businesses. Find out more about them here.

Paycheck Protection Program

Note: The Paycheck Protection Program is not currently accepting applications, but this may change based on new regulations and need.


As part of the economic stimulus bill passed by Congress in response to COVID-19, the Paycheck Protection Program will provide $350 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses that keep their employees on payroll. As an ABA therapy practice, if you retain or quickly rehire your therapists or office staff, you can apply for a loan amount equal to two months of your average monthly payroll costs plus an additional 25%. The loan amount that you spend on payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities will be forgiven.


All businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible to apply. To be considered, you’ll need to apply by June 30, 2020 through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Read more about who can apply and how to apply in this FAQ sheet.


FAQs: PPP Information Sheet and U.S Chamber of Commerce Guide

Form: Paycheck Protection Program Application Form

Business Continuity Strategy

CO: Surviving the Coronavirus – Resources for Small Business (visit)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a resource hub with a growing collection of articles intended to help small businesses during the pandemic. The blog posts cover topics such as strategies to curb business losses, managing employees, keeping up morale, communicating with customers, and transitioning to virtual work.

COVID-19 Business Resource Center – Hello Alice (visit)

This resource center curates a large number of resources (articles, webinars, guides) produced by various companies and organizations to help small businesses during the crisis. Recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub – SCORE (visit)

SCORE, an organization which partners with the Small Business Administration to provide advice to small businesses, is publishing a variety of articles with a focus on small business financing, solving cash flow problems, and managing employees during the crisis.

SBA Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources: COVID-19 (visit)

The SBA provides guidance on financial assistance and common issues small businesses may face during the crisis.

Business Interruption Insurance

As a group practice, you may have business interruption insurance coverage through your insurance policy (which is also known as business income insurance). This blog post provides some answers as to whether your business interruption insurance might cover some of your recovery costs. The New York State Department of Financial Services has also released a helpful FAQ on business interruption insurance during COVID-19.

Business Continuity Software


Telehealth allows your clients to keep their sessions with your practice without having to leave the comfort of their home. thera-LINK is partnering with CodeMetro to provide an industry-leading telehealth video platform that is easy to use and HIPAA-compliant. Take your ABA practice online with telehealth provided by thera-LINK.

EHR Software

The speed and efficiency of your business operations can help ensure that you are continuing to serve your patients and bringing in revenue. Practice management software can keep every aspect of your business running smoothly and features scheduling, billing, payroll, and reporting.

Data Collection

Improve your clinical results by using Catalyst to collect the data you need from your client sessions. You can also enable employees to track and review data from wherever they are.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used in lieu of practitioners own due diligence, state and federal regulations, and funders’ policies. During the Coronavirus pandemic, and when implementing telehealth, be sure to use your resources and complete the proper follow-up with funders and insurance.

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ABA EVV Updates

The EVV Update ABA Providers Need

Disclaimer: This blog is purely for informational purposes and should not be used in lieu of federal and state regulatory sources. We encourage you to complete more research and follow deadlines as you see fit.

The upcoming deadlines for electronic visit verification (EVV) have some ABA providers confused and scrambling to make changes. Before you make any big changes to the way you do business its important to know exactly what changes need to be made and why. We’re here to guide you.  

A few notes about EVV:

  • EVV creates a digital record of ABA services by notating who the services were provided to (client), who provided the services (provider), where they were provided, when they were provided, and what exact services were provided.
  • “States must require EVV use for all Medicaid-funded PCS by January 1, 2020 and HHCS by January 1, 2023.” This does not include ABA services, but states can include ABA if they deem it necessary.
  • Some providers may have been doing some form of EVV before the mandate occurred. 
  • Only two states (thus far) have decided to require EVV for ABA services. Those states are Colorado and Florida.
  • Each state that is working to require EVV for ABA services has approved vendors that providers can work with. However, in most cases you can request to use an alternative vendor.

Next steps for ABA providers.

  • Know the rules for your state. Right now, if you’re an ABA provider outside of Colorado and Florida then the new mandate does not apply. However, states can change this at any time.
  • Colorado ABA providers will need to work to comply with the EVV mandate by late summer 2020. Under the Colorado model, providers can you the state solution, Sandata or an alternative EVV vendor. In both cases, providers must contact Sandata to start the process. (Colorado HCPF)
  • Florida ABA providers need to receive training to start using the Tellus EVV system. Florida’s mandatory launch date is no earlier than March 1, 2020. At this time providers will be required to begin using the approved system. (AHCA)

CodeMetro has you covered

At CodeMetro, we’re ahead of the game! With our new Clock In/Out feature in both NPAWorks and NPAGo, you are able to capture the date, time, and geolocation of your provider at the start and end of the session. With this great new feature, you can provide electronic verification of services (EVV) or track exact arrival and departure times for internal purposes. If you are interested in using Clock In/Out, please reach out to for help in enabling this feature!




Colorado ABA Providers and Customers

Each provider must reach out to Sandata directly to begin the process of testing with CodeMetro. The contact information for Sandata is listed below. When you reach out to them, please reference CodeMetro as your chosen “alternate EVV vendor” to determine your next steps. More information about this process can also be found on the Colorado HCPF website at Colorado HCPF EVV Provider Choice Systems Process. During “Phase 2” of Sandata’s process, a representative should provide you with contact information for the Sandata technical interface support team. When you receive this information, please contact us at 646-926-7081 and provide the contact details so we can begin the work on our side. Sandata Technologies: Phone: (855) 871-8780 Email:

Ready to Get a Handle on Your Practice Management?

CodeMetro has you covered from start to finish. We help you with contracting and credentialing and submitting claims through our practice management system. Start with a quick demo and get everything you need.
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ABA Telehealth

5 Questions on Telehealth: ABA Therapy in the Time of COVID-19

We hope you were able to join us for the latest ABA Community Chat. This series allows us to welcome providers for a Facebook Live session where they can have their questions answered by an industry professional. For this session, we were joined by Dr. Joy Pollard, Co-founder and CEO of Clinical Operations at Behavior Change Institute. Dr. Pollard has been working in the area of telemedicine or telehealth practices for the past seven years. Her own clinical practice is focused on the delivery of service through telehealth modalities in homeschool and residential settings. As a subject matter expert on telehealth guidelines for the Council for Autism Service Providers (CASP) she gives great insight into how practitioners can continue providing care during the COVID epidemic. Below you’ll find a summary of common questions and answers from Dr. Pollard’s ABA Community Chat.


Q: Our practice has never used telehealth before, where do we begin?


A: CASP has been working on guidelines and organizational standards for providers to use during the pandemic. One chapter on telehealth guidelines has been pre-released and its a great opportunity to learn more about teleheath service delivery and how to being developing your clinical and business infrastructure.


Find the guidelines here.


Q: A lot of funding sources have approved reimbursement for absences/cancelled appointments for ABA clients in March. Now that telehealth services have been approved by most funding sources would they still reimburse for absences/cancellations after March?


A: It will really depend on the healthcare funders whether they are going to continue to allow for reimbursement beyond the month of March. If you’re not receiving clear answers, inquire whether there are any supervisors that you would be able to speak with and obtain that information in writing. Its likely that they’re not sure whether they’ll be able to continue providing reimbursement past the month of March. Funders are changing their policies in accordance with the changing environment almost daily. Be sure to check back as much as you can. Its also appropriate to discuss with funders how the move to telehealth affects the way you care for your clients and your business overall.


You can find updated lists on funders who have approved or changed their policies on telehealth here.


Q: Do we need consent from parents? If so, is there a sample form?


A: Yes, you’ll need to appropriate a separate consent form for any type of telehealth service delivery model. Typically you’ll want to to include a background on the risks and benefits of the services being delivered through this modality as well as what different types of modalities might be delivered. You can find a sample consent form in the appendix of the CASP Practice Parameters for Telehealth-Implementation. The sample consent form identifies telephonic, synchronous, and asynchronous modalities and both the provider and client can notate which modalities they are comfortable with and give consent for.


Q: How do we get parent signatures per visit if we are doing telehealth?


A: It depends on each organization and how they are currently obtaining signatures. If an organization is already using an electronic practice management system that allows their providers to obtain signatures electronically, then there is likely going to be an option to still have parents sign for these sessions. Potentially, what clients may need to do is log in to their own client account, or their family account, and sign for each of the sessions either individually or in bulk, depending on how the provider has that set up.


If providers are using paper signatures then it might be worthwhile to speak with your funders and ask them what will be acceptable for their signature requirements just to be sure that you are meeting those requirements and that you are able to respond appropriately if you have to do an audit. This is possible another funder specific question that would require providers to speak with their funders and notate who they spoke with as well.


Q: A lot of funding sources have approved reimbursement for absences/cancelled appointmendts for ABA clients in March. Now that telehealth services have been approved by some funding sources would they still reimburse for absences/cancellations after March?


A: It will likely depend on those healthcare funders whether or not they are going to continue to allow for reimbursement beyond the month of March. If you’re not currently receiving clear answers, inquire whether there are any supervisors that you would be able to speak with and obtain that information in writing. Its likely that they’re not sure whether they’ll be able to continue providing reimbursement past the month of March.


Q: Can sessions be recorded?



A: Sessions can be recorded and that should be included in the consent form to obtain consent from the caregiver. The consent form should also indicate what the recordings will be used for, including caregiver training and supervision of technicians.


Need a reliable, HIPAA-compliant, telehealth platform? Go here

More Resources


This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used in lieu of practitioners own due diligence, state and federal regulations, and funders’ policies. During the Coronavirus pandemic, and when implementing telehealth, be sure to use your resources and complete the proper follow-up with funders and insurance.

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ABA Insurance Billing Tips

5 Ways ABA Therapists Can Save Time on Insurance Billing

You may know, or at least suspect, that you need a guide to insurance for ABA providers. We agree and we want to help you make billing with insurance as painless as possible. That’s why we’ve provided these 5 tips to help you start improving the way you do ABA insurance billing. 

Tip #1: Make sure you understand insurance coverage as it relates to your clients and your state. 

Not all insurance plans cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy in the same way. One way to make sure you are eligible to receive payment for services rendered is to confirm whether your patient has health insurance and how it covers ABA therapy. As of October 1, 2019, 50 states and the District of Columbia mandate insurance coverage for ABA therapy; however, not all 50 states cover ABA therapy at a universal level.


  • California, for example, requires that every health insurance policy must cover “behavioral health treatment for pervasive developmental disorder.” (Cal. Insurance Code Sec. 10144.51 and Sec.10144.52 2011 Cal. Stats., Chap.650; SB 946) Such coverage does not require that the benefits paid exceed the federal essential health benefit level under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  • California also requires ABA therapy coverage for a person of any age under the same rules that apply to other medical infirmities.
  • Other states mandate a specific age limitation. In Maryland, for example, the age limit is 19; in others, like Delaware, it’s age 21.
  • Florida mandates that health insurance plans cover ABA therapy but limits that coverage to $36,000 per year, subject to a $ 200,000-lifetime maximum. 
  • In addition to maximum age thresholds and maximum benefit limitations, insurance company policies may also restrict how long a person may receive ABA therapy treatment, restrict in-home ABA therapy, and so on.

These variations make it especially important that you know the rules as they apply in your jurisdiction. Always take things a step further and speak with your clients’ provider to verify coverage before you start a session.

Tip #2: Make sure you're credentialed.

You have to check your clients’ coverage, but you also have to make sure your practice is recognized by the insurance company. Every insurance carrier has its own conditions and prerequisites that a therapist must meet before the company will pay for ABA therapy by that provider. The conditions include credentialing for the therapist.


Credentialing means providing documentation in support of your application for approval, such as your medical licenses, a salient overview of your education and work-life (curriculum vitae or C.V.), proof of medical malpractice insurance and its limits, a list of hospitals where you have admission privileges — to name a few. It can take about a month for the initial credentialing process to gather the necessary information and responses from schools and boards and other references. After your practice completes the initial vetting process, the insurance company will verify the sources on your application and then submit your application for approval or disapproval to a credentialing committee. 


Credentialing is critical for a medical provider’s eligibility to accept payment from a third-party payor (the insurance company).


Tip #3: Become an in-network provider.

Patients covered by what’s known historically as an indemnity plan can go to any doctor they want. On the other hand, patients covered by a preferred provider organization (PPO) or a health maintenance organization (HMO) must receive their health insurance from a preferred provider or the HMO’s staff. A preferred provider is also known as a provider that operates in-network. Insurance plans reimburse in-network providers at a higher rate than out-of-network providers. Sometimes they won’t pay out-of-network providers, making the patient 100% responsible for the cost of services rendered.


In-network providers (physicians, hospitals, and labs) sign a contract with the health insurance carrier to provide services at a discounted rate. In return, the insurance company provides an ongoing patient stream which requires that patients use the insurance company’s preferred provider list in order to receive maximum payment. This agreement allows the health provider to spend less time searching for new patients. 


Providers are selected based on education, credentialing, the size of the discounted fee the provider sets for the covered patients/insurance company, and the provider’s availability to accept new patients. After application approval, the insurance company will offer a contract to the provider. In-network providers must also agree to follow all the rules the insurance company sets.

Time-Saver Tip

Contracting and credentialing can be a time-consuming process. Save time by letting someone else do the work for you.

Tip #4: Have the right system in place for filing claims (and getting paid).

Once you receive approval as a credentialed provider, you might think it a simple matter to submit invoices for services rendered. However, if you don’t have a practice management system in place that also covers billing, then claims submissions (and payments) can become a hassle.


Each insurance company has its own forms that providers must complete. Each claim form requires appropriate medical coding for the service performed and other pertinent information about the client and your practice. Therefore, you must maintain your updated familiarity with the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes that apply to ABA therapy services. You must also maintain updated records on your client’s personal contact information and insurance information.

If any of the information completed on the form is in error, the company will deny the claim. Companies also have filing deadlines to which providers must adhere or the company will deny the claim. 

Tip #5:  Don't ignore claim denials.

If a client’s insurance company denies your request for payment, under certain circumstances, you may appeal the decision. So, it’s important to know the appeal procedures of that particular insurance company. Generally, you may appeal if:


  • you don’t know why the claim was denied;
  • you received payment but it was in the wrong amount;
  • you disagree with the insurance company that the patient had a disqualifying preexisting condition;
  • you disagree with the insurance company’s determination that the services were not “medically necessary”;
  • the company’s payment does not reflect special circumstances that required complicated medical services;
  • your payment was denied because you did not obtain pre-certification but you had determined special medical conditions precluded pre-certification.

Alternatively, you can secure services that will review and fix claim denials for you (and even lower the occurrence of denials in the future).

A few final thoughts for a successful relationship with insurance companies.

Bear the following suggestions in mind when working with insured patients:


  • Make sure you collect all co-payments and deductible amounts as required under the patient’s policy at the time of service or in weekly or monthly invoices covering those services. This is your responsibility as a provider. The insurance company will not collect those for you.
  • Document the name and phone number of any insurance company staff member to whom you speak.
  • Take good notes of your conversations and provide all documentation within the time frames requested.

Ready to Get a Handle on Your Billing?

CodeMetro has you covered from start to finish. We help you with contracting and credentialing and submitting claims through our practice management system. Start with a quick demo and get everything you need.
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CEUs for ABA Therapists

Understanding Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for ABA Therapists

Healthcare is a rewarding career which allows you to make a positive difference in the lives of others. But becoming a healthcare professional isn’t always easy. Specialized education and certification are required, which can be costly and time-consuming. But it’s important to understand medical professionals, including ABA therapists, are never truly finished learning.  

Even after earning a graduate degree and becoming certified by the required professional organization, you’ll still need to return to the classroom frequently. Here’s a closer look at Continuing Education Units and the role CEU ABA requirements play in effective therapy.


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