Acorn Health Names New CEO to Lead the Growing ABA Provider

Autism therapy provider Acorn Health has announced Richard Hallworth as the Coral Gables, Florida-based company’s new president and CEO.

He succeeds founding CEO Vicki Kroviak and takes over the role after Janet Widmann stepped in on an interim basis on Dec. 8. Kroviak stepped down from the CEO position. Acorn Health’s chief operating officer resigned at the same time.

“Rich has been a respected leader in the ever-changing healthcare landscape over the course of his long career,” Imran Siddiqui, an Acorn Health board member, said in a news release. “His diverse experience will facilitate our growth and further our mission of providing high-quality care to children with autism.”


Hallworth comes to the role with over 30 years of executive experience. This includes previously being the CEO of Corizon and one of its predecessor organizations, Prison Health Services.

Some previous roles include board chairman of ViaQuest Inc., an intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) residential and long-term support services company, and Advanced Care Partners, a home health company.

He was also board chairman of the behavioral health provider Bradford Health Services, the anesthesia services practice PhyMed Healthcare Group, and Caregiver Inc., a service provider for people with IDDs.


Acorn Health operates 76 clinics in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. The company was founded in 2018 and sold to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in 2021. In late 2022, it acquired seven centers from Breakthrough Behavior.

Acorn Health’s founding investor, MBF Healthcare Partners, has launched another autism therapy platform, ABA Connect, which recently made its first acquisition and new-state expansion.

Hallworth takes the helm at Acorn Health during the collision of two potent market trends. The demand for autism services from families and patients has never been higher. Despite a downturn in deal volume, the factors that make autism therapy a compelling business opportunity remain as strong as ever. However, payer rates don’t match the comparable value of autism therapy services to patients, the market’s demand for these services, or even go so far as to limit payments for services.

Indiana Medicaid has proposed a rate cut for autism therapy services that amounts to a 50% reduction. Colorado has also kept its Medicaid reimbursement rate flat for over five years. Inflation over recent years has transformed stagnant rates, in effect, into rate cuts. Hopebridge, a large Indianapolis-based autism therapy provider, severely reduced its footprint in Colorado because of the low Medicaid rates. 

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