Magellan Healthcare, Kyo Partner to Develop Outcome Standards for ABA Value-Based Care

Magellan Healthcare, the behavioral and specialty health care segment of managed care organization Magellan Health, has teamed up with Kyo Autism Therapy to develop outcome standards for autism therapies.

The two announced Tuesday that the partnership will test and develop evidence-based practices for autism therapy providers that work with payers under value-based care models.

“[Applied Behavior Analysis] services have struggled to transition from a fee-for-service to a value-based model,” Colin Davitian, CEO of Kyo Autism Therapy said in a news release. “Our collaboration with Magellan will help change the paradigm and make ABA treatment more individualized and outcomes-driven.”


The partnership is intended to drive further adoption of value-based care and outcome-based programs in the autism treatment space, the release states.

Magellan Healthcare is part of the larger managed care company Magellan Health. It manages complex and specialty benefits for other health plans or entities that manage health care benefits.

Kyo Autism Therapy is based in Daly City, California and offers in-school, in-home and center-based ABA services. It operates in 10 states.


Magellan Healthcare joins a handful of organizations trying to solve a hurdle to value-based care adoption in autism treatment: the lack of industry consensus on outcome standards and which are worth measuring.

In April, the services arm of Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI), Evernorth, announced a partnership with the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence to develop outcome standards to assess the care of people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The center also announced in May a similar partnership with Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC), one of the largest managed care companies in the U.S.

“At Magellan, we have deep clinical expertise in ABA that includes strong collaborations with well-respected providers such as Kyo,” Yagnesh Vadgama, vice president of clinical care services for autism at Magellan Healthcare, said in the release. “Together with Kyo’s individualized and customized approach to ABA therapy, we can jointly improve the quality of life for children with autism and their families.”

Centene, which operates government-backed health plans, closed the $2.2 billion takeover of Magellan Health on Jan. 4. The deal, in part, is meant to better integrate behavioral health and physical health benefits at Centene.

Within Magellan Healthcare operates Magellan Autism Connections, a division dedicated to coordinating autism care through its network of providers. Kyo Autism Therapy is part of that network, the release states.

Value-based care adoption, and therefore outcome standards, permeate all aspects of the behavioral health industry. The burgeoning behavioral health tech space appears prepped to make moves in terms of value-based care. Industry stakeholders say developing outcome standards is a must.

Autism impacts an estimated 1 in 44 children, a rate that his increase significantly over the years, according to federal data.

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