A brief history of ABA billing codes
When health insurance began to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) as a medically necessary treatment, ABA-specific billing codes did not exist, resulting in inconsistent coding and reimbursement.
2010: ABAI works with American Medical Association (AMA) to collaborate and gain support.
2012: ABAI submits code change application to AMA Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel.
2013: Multidisciplinary work group submits revised application.
Category III codes for adaptive behavior service approved.
2014: ABAI supports workshops to educate members about the new Category III codes.
2015: ABAI forms ABA services work group to develop proposal to modify Category III codes and convert to Category I codes.
2017: ABA services work group presents code change application to CPT Editorial Panel.
2019: New CPT I and CPT III codes take effect January 1, 2019.
New Category I and modified Category III codes took effect January 1, 2019.
A great deal of work remains to ensure that billing codes are interpreted by funding sources and employed by behavior analysts in ways that facilitate evidence-based ABA. To have a stronger voice and be inclusive of all behavior analysts, the ABA Billing Codes Commission was established in 2019.