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Landmark Autism Class Action Reaches Settlement

This is a settlement for the Bad Faith Insurance lawsuit.

It is being hailed as a landmark autism case--a class action lawsuit brought against Blue Cross Blue Shield, by 100 families of autistic children over reimbursement for screening and treatment for the children. The settlement, $1 million, represents a significant victory for the families.

The suit, filed by the family of an autistic child, alleged that Blue Cross failed to acknowledge the scientific validity of a treatment called applied behavioral analysis, or ABA. The complaint also claimed that Blue Cross treated ABA as experimental, which was arbitrary, among other things, and contradicted years of science that backs up the validity of ABA.

The case was settled following a request by the lawyers of the families for Blue Cross to produce documents that showed the effectiveness of ABA. Among the documents obtained was a draft of a 2005 Blue Cross Blue Shield medical policy, which stated: "Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is currently the most thoroughly researched treatment modality for early intervention approaches to autism spectrum disorders and is the standard of care recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Academy of Sciences Committee and the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, among others."

The settlement comes on the heels of legislation being enacted in several states across the US, stipulating that insurance companies must pay for screening and treatment of autism.

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Published on Jun-24-09


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