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In Case You Missed It – Autism Care Demonstration October Updates

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Autism Care Demonstration (ACD) – TRICARE’s program for eligible beneficiaries diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – is evolving to improve access to care and provide more support for parents and families. TRICARE introduced changes to the ACD in phases starting in March of 2021. Most of the updates will be in place as of Oct. 1. Health Net Federal Services, LLC (HNFS) is proud to offer care coordination and clinical and non-clinical services for beneficiaries diagnosed with ASD and their families.

Key things you need to know: 

Am I eligible? 

To qualify for participation in the ACD, beneficiaries must meet specific eligibility requirements. Starting Oct. 1, we will offer pre-enrollment support for up to 180 days for beneficiaries newly-referred for ACD services. Learn more on our ACD eligibility page.

What’s offered through the ACD?

  • Applied behavior analysis (ABA) services, tailored to beneficiaries’ individual needs. This includes parent training to help reinforce effective techniques at home.

  • Care coordination by Autism Services Navigators (ASNs) for beneficiaries new to the ACD as of Oct. 1.

What are some of the updates I can expect? 

  • For families new to the ACD as of Oct.1, ASNs will develop comprehensive care plans, improve care transitions and provide greater care coordination support.

  • All outcome measures, including the applicable parent stress index measure, must be completed before we can authorize ABA services. 

  • Coverage now includes increased parent training and support, group ABA sessions and medical team conferences.

Do I need a referral or authorization? 

  • A referral from an eligible TRICARE-authorized provider is required. All ABA services require prior authorization. 

How can I access referral and authorization letters?

  • HNFS encourages all West Region beneficiaries to access the Secure Inbox feature at www.tricare-west.com to view correspondence from HNFS. Get started by logging in with your DoD Self-Service Logon (DS Logon) or creating a unique username/password. Once logged in, be sure to set your preferences to receive email or text notifications once we’ve processed an authorization or referral.  

As a parent new to the ACD, what resources are available for me? 

  • Parent toolkit. Available now, check out this comprehensive parent’s guide to the benefits, services and requirements of the ACD.  

  • HNFS’ dedicated ACD web pages. We’ve expanded our ACD web content for beneficiaries and their families. Find program information, the parent toolkit, referral, authorization and claim status, local resources, and much more. 

  • Defense Health Agency websites. Visit TRICARE’s website at www.tricare.mil/autism and the Military Health System’s website at www.health.mil/autism.

Are there other resources? 

Yes! Families now have 24/7 access to https://familysupport.hnfs.com, developed to connect families to free or low-cost resources and support services available outside of their TRICARE benefit. HNFS works closely with local military hospitals and clinics to make sure services available on or near military installations are included in this directory. 

What if I have questions? 

We’re here to help! If you have questions about the services offered through the ACD, reach out to our dedicated ACD customer service team at 1-844-866-WEST (9378), option 5 Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. (Pacific time) or email CS_ABA@healthnet.com.