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Court Rules State Violated Law Regarding Denials Of Autism Treatments

Audio

Aired 10/27/09

A Superior Court judge has ruled California regulators have illegally allowed insurers to deny care to children with autism. The case involved Kaiser Permanente's refusal to pay for a particular type of autism treatment.

— A Superior Court judge has ruled California regulators have illegally allowed insurers to deny care to children with autism. The case involved Kaiser Permanente's refusal to pay for a particular type of autism treatment.

Applied behavioral analysis is a therapy for autism that helps children develop social and motor skills.

In the case in question, Kaiser refused to pay for the therapy, saying the provider wasn't licensed by the state. State regulators upheld that decision.

The court says such denials are illegal. Attorney Fred Woocher represents a group that sued the state over the move.

"The court found that the department has been violating its obligation under the law, to protect the interest of the consumers, and instead has been siding illegally with the insurance companies in allowing these denials to go forward," Woocher says.

State officials say they won't change their position. Woocher says he'll drag the state back into court.

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