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keynote speaker

Jim Hogan, Vice President in Accessibility in Technology, Google

Headshot-Jim-Hogan

Jim Hogan is an innovator, a human rights activist, and a strong representative of what is possible for autistic individuals. Jim found his passion for computer science and innovation at a young age and has since worked in leadership positions for over 30 years. Throughout his career, Jim has advocated for neurodistinct employees by helping human resources departments better understand their needs. With his powerful voice and advocacy for acceptance, he has led the way for autistic individuals who entered the workforce behind him. 

about the SUMMIt

The Autism Investor Summit provides a unique opportunity for autism service providers, investors and key stakeholders to meet in a private setting to discuss the autism services landscape, opportunities for investment and to discuss and learn about best practices and innovation in all areas of autism services.

The mission of this conference is to advance autism services and the outcomes for consumers by bringing together stakeholders from all aspects of the industry- service providers, advocates, legislators, payers, consumers, investors and researchers- to meet, network, share information and understand what the future holds for the autism industry.

Attendees will get to:
  • Meet one-on-one with industry investors, service providers, investment bankers and professionals
  • Learn the latest information on funding, legislation and clinical operations
  • Enhance your personal database with valuable new connections- share both ideas and contact information
  • Meet fellow service providers with the opportunity to have new and different conversations regarding the market, service needs and future of the industry
  • Understand which service models have the most robust outlook and how outcomes will impact the future of autism services
  • Hear from investors what they look for when exploring acquisitions
  • Learn the right questions to ask when conducting due diligence on companies in the industry
  • Learn about the current critical factors impacting autism service delivery models today
  • Discover what to look for in an investor and how to know when investment is right for you
  • Understand the keys to differentiation in the market place
AIS panel discussion from stage
AIS Program 2022

Opportunity

Investors are in a strong position to consolidate, expand, and create the kinds of economies of scale that are common in other sectors of healthcare, and in other industries. The autism service market is a highly fragmented marketplace with many opportunities for consolidation, favorable returns on investment and the elevation of regulation, meaningful clinical outcomes, professional development and oversight of care. Because autism treatment is a fairly new field, the industry lacks regulation and oversight. While this is a challenge when evaluating the quality of treatment centers, it’s also an opportunity to implement cutting-edge treatments and technologies. It is vital that investors understand the nuances of autism services and the issues service providers face when scaling their businesses.

Important Factors in the Current Autism Provider Landscape

Intervention

The predominant treatment for autism is based on the science and methodology of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is one of the few areas that attracts bipartisan political support and as of August 2019, all 50 states in the U.S. mandate insurance coverage of autism services. Services are provided in the home, at center-based programs, at school, or in hybrid models that serve multiple locations. ABA is considered the gold standard of treatment for autism. The National Research council recommends a minimum of 25 hours per week of student engagement. While many service providers offer ABA-based programs, not all ABA is the same. It is critical to assess the quality of programming and service delivery when considering an investment in an autism company.

DEMAND

The ABA market is growing at twice the rate of other multi-site healthcare businesses. With greater awareness, we are seeing the beginnings of a reduction in the social stigma of autism and a formal diagnosis of autism leading more families to seek intervention and support. As funding for autism services and awareness of autism is expanding, more and more families are seeking services nationwide. Most providers report waiting lists for assessment and diagnosis, as well as intervention, leading to rapid growth in this industry. In addition, there are many underserved communities where services are lacking bringing multiple organic growth opportunities to existing providers.

Providers

In recent years, significant investments in autism service providers have occurred resulting in the beginning of consolidation of this market. This interest and investment trend is driving a new level of competition and increasing the standards against which providers need to comply and perform. Despite this growth, however; less than 20% of the autism service industry is owned by consolidators providing much opportunity for continued investment in this market. As consolidators continue to buy up the market, issues such as the integration of clinical methodologies, operational processes, regulatory compliance and administrative functions bring new challenges, especially because the industry is relatively young and unsophisticated from a business operations standpoint.

MArket

The total annual costs for children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) in the United States are estimated to be between $11.5 billion and $60.9 billion — a significant economic burden. It is estimated that the current ABA service provider market is about $7bn with a TAM (total addressable market) of between $50-70bn. The ABA therapy market is expected to grow at a 25% CAGR over the next 3-5 years. The needs of the aging autism population are grossly under serviced providing significant needs across the nation and additional opportunities for investors and providers. Many autism treatment organizations, and some of the largest competitors are located in California. This is due to the fact that funding for treatment programs has been in place there for over 5 decades, prior to the insurance mandates that were later put into place.

schedule

Welcome Reception
April 18, 2022
Day 1
April 19, 2022
Day 2
April 20, 2022
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Vista Pool

Welcome Reception

Meet fellow attendees while enjoying your favorite beverage. The event will focus on creating meaningful connections in small groups to facilitate networking and learning.

Sponsored by Ziegler

7:30 am - 8:15 am
Garden Terrace

Breakfast

Sponsored by Waller

8:15 am - 8:30 am
Albert Ballroom

Welcome & Introductory Remarks

Headshot-Sara-Litvak-bw
Sara Gershfeld Litvak
CEO, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence
8:45 am - 9:30 am
Albert Ballroom

Keynote: Jim Hogan

Headshot-Jim-Hogan
Jim Hogan

Speaker: Jim Hogan, VP of Accessibility at Google

Jim Hogan is an innovator, a human rights activist and a strong representative of what is possible for autistic individuals. Jim found his passion for computer science and innovation at a young age and has since worked in leadership positions for over 30 years. Throughout his career, Jim has advocated for neurodistinct employees by helping human resources departments better understand their needs. With his powerful voice and advocacy for acceptance, he has led the way for hundreds of autistic individuals who entered the workforce behind him.

Jim wears multiple hats at Google including his roles as the Principal Innovation Strategist, Healthcare & Life Sciences and as Vice President, Accessibility in Technology for Google's Disability Alliance Employee Resource Group.

Watch Free Now »

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Albert Ballroom

Keynote: Dexter Braff

Dexter Braff

Impact of the Pandemic on Sponsor Transactions in ABA

Speaker: Dexter Braff, The Braff Group

In the two years since Covid rocked the country -- and many autism service providers -- much has changed. And yet, much has remained the same. Buyers still want in. Valuations are still extraordinary. Private equity is still driving the market. In this session, we will closely examine the current micro trends in autism mergers and acquisitions and the macro-economic conditions that undergird them. We will discuss where the sector currently stands in its consolidation cycle and how it may impact where it's headed -- the buyers, the targets, the strategies, the timing, and ultimately, valuation.

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10:30 am - 10:45 am
Albert Foyer

Break

Sponsored by Central Reach

Morning Session 1A: Essential of Revenue Cycle Management

Kevin Taggart
Michele Silcox
Mike Freytag
Ryan Gilliam
Thomas John

Moderator: Mike Freytag, SimiTree

Panelists

  • Kevin Taggart, Mertz Taggart
  • Thomas John, Plutus Health Inc
  • Michele Silcox, ABA Therapy Billing and Insurance Services
  • Ryan Gilliam, ElementRCM

Handling of medical claims from coding, billing, cash posting, and AR & denial management can be a complex topic with significant nuances for ABA. Join these experts in discussing the essentials of Revenue Cycle Management, how to position your organization for success in showcasing your RCM efficiency when preparing for acquisition, and overall suggestions for best practice.

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Morning Session 1B: Best Practices for Growing Your Practice: Digital Discoverability, Online Reputation Management & Other Growth & Expansion Strategies

Anna Bullard
Daniel Gemp
Natesh Kumar
Rick Loewenstein
Headshot-Sara-Litvak-bw
Sara Gershfeld Litvak
CEO, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Moderator: Sara Litvak, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Panelists

  • Anna Bullard, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence
  • Daniel Gemp, Dreamscape Marketing
  • Natesh Kumar, Empower Behavioral Health
  • Rick Loewenstein, TeamGame Advisors

As the demand for autism care continues to climb so too does the value of the businesses that provide that care. Because of this increase in demand, many operators in this relatively young and unsophisticated sector of mental healthcare are unprepared to capitalize on the opportunities now in front of them to scale their business for maximum growth or sale.

In 2022, the way we drive growth and value at any scale is creating a plan to connect with the highest converting care seekers while lowering the cost per conversion. With most care research beginning online, effective connection means capturing the top digital real estate positions where the vast majority of these conversions are taking place.

This presentation will discuss the state of autism care marketing, the foundations of a performance driven digital marketing strategy, and the specific opportunities for growth and expansion in 2022.

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11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Cornelius

Morning Session 2A: Recent Development In The Mental Health Parity Laws: What You Need To Know For Improving Reimbursement

John Mills

Speaker: John Mills, Nelson Hardiman Healthcare Lawyers

In the past several years there have been significant efforts at both the state and federal level to strengthen mental health parity legislation. For example, California Senate Bill 855 requires certain health plans and insurers to expand access to mental health and substance use disorder (“SUD”) services. At the federal level, Congress recently enacted the Strengthening Behavioral Health Parity Act, which takes an important step towards strengthening parity requirements concerning non-quantitative treatment limitations in federally regulated health plans.

This presentation will delve into the most notable existing and prospective legislation, with an emphasis on California’s SB 855. The presenter will address the expansion of mental health coverage, the limitations on utilization review, the new requirement on payers to arrange for out-of-network services and other changes that improve the likelihood that providers can get paid for their services. The presenter will discuss the ongoing and anticipated disputes and lawsuits arising from the new legislation.

An attorney dedicated to helping providers get reimbursed for their services, the presenter also will discuss key steps that providers can take now to leverage the parity legislation and other legal developments to maximize their reimbursement from commercial health plans and insurers.

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11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Albert Ballroom

Morning Session 2B: Leveraging Tech to Improve Patient and Employee Engagement

Alden Romney
Joshua Sleeper
Sasha Shtern
Vijay Ravindran

Moderator: Sasha Shtern, Goally

Panelists

  • Vijay Ravindran, Floreo
  • Josh Sleeper, Trumpet Behavioral Health
  • Alden Romney, Opya

Sasha Shtern, CEO of Goally, will lead a conversation around using technology in an ABA setting. Come learn how you can use technology to improve your delivery and patient experience. We'll include topics of telemedicine in video and virtual reality.

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12:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Clyde, Gordo & George Rooms

"Speed Dating" — One-on-One Meetings with Investment Bankers

Sponsored by Intrepid

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Garden Terrace

Lunch Break

Sponsored by Huron

Afternoon Session 1: Payor Perspectives & Progress on Alternative Payment Models

Richard Janczweski
Headshot-Sara-Litvak-bw
Sara Gershfeld Litvak
CEO, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence
Dr. Tiffany Hodges
Yagnesh Vadgama
BCBA, Vice President, Clinical Care Services Autism, Magellan Health

Moderator: Sara Litvak, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Panelists

  • Richard Janczewski, Aetna, a CVS Health Company
  • Yagnesh Vadgama, Magellan Health
  • Katherine Wooten, New Directions Behavioral Health
  • Dr. Tiffany Hodges, Optum Health

Join our panel of experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities to advance a value based care for applied behavior analysis that maintains focus on patient progress. Hear how payors plan to leverage relationships with providers to help move them into alternative payment models that close the health equity gap for individuals with autism.

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Afternoon Session 2A: Selecting an Investment Banker

Benajmin Matz
Chris Rogers
Jonathan Hill
Kathleen Stengel, MS, BCBA, LBA
Chief Executive Officer, NeurAbilities Healthcare

Moderator: Kathleen Stengel, NeurAbilities Healthcare

Panelists

  • Benjamin Matz, Huron Consulting Group
  • Chris Rogers, Ziegler
  • Jon Hill, TripleTree

Choosing a qualified, experienced investment banker with relevant transaction experience to represent your company might be the most important decision to ensure a successful outcome. If you choose poorly, the downside is serious, as even well-meaning bankers can derail a deal with bad advice, poor judgment, or a misrepresentation of their skill-sets. In this presentation, we will cover 6 key themes business owners / CEOs should consider when choosing an M&A advisor, and what qualifies as a good answer from an advisor. These are critical in the process of how to choose an investment banker.

Watch Now »

Afternoon Session 2B: Trends Driving the Future of Telehealth in ABA Services

Bryce Miler
Dr. Joy Pollard
Kathleen Karimi
Kristine Rodriguez

Moderator: Kathleen Karimi, Behavior Change Institute

Panelists

  • Dr. Joy Pollard, Behavior Change Institute
  • Bryce Miler, Trumpet Behavioral Health
  • Kristine Rodriguez, Autism Learning Partners

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), telehealth utilization spiked by more than 154% in late March of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Does the future for telehealth remain positive? To help cope with the social distancing measures put in place to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, the healthcare industry had to adapt quickly. Telehealth became a saving grace for clinics at the height of the pandemic in search of a way to provide the same quality of care services while minimizing the spread of the coronavirus. Key trends have emerged surrounding the use of the technology that will continue to shape the future of telehealth services. This panel will discuss key trends in driving the future of telehealth in ABA.

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3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Albert Ballroom

Afternoon Session 3: Structuring Operations for Value-Based Care for ABA Providers

Kathleen Stengel, MS, BCBA, LBA
Chief Executive Officer, NeurAbilities Healthcare

Speaker: Kathleen Stengel, NeurAbilities Healthcare

Interest in value-based care programs is on the rise in all areas of healthcare. Models of care delivery that account for quality care, progress toward outcomes, efficiency, and cost savings are the holy grail for all behavior health programming. Specifically for autism therapy and ongoing care, the goal of VBC models over the last several years has been to define the measures for treatment that can demonstrate progress or overall outcomes over time. Execution of VBC models requires organizations to be prepared to collect ongoing data across their populations in a systematic manner. This talk will discuss a basic framework for assuring administrative and operational structure to collect, track, and analyze data required for VBC payment models.

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4:45 pm - 5:15 pm
Albert Foyer

Break

5:15 pm - 6:00 pm
The Bazaar

Sponsors VIP Reception

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The Bazaar

Networking Reception

7:30 am - 8:15 am
Garden Terrace

Breakfast

Sponsored by TripleTree

8:30 am - 8:45 am
Albert Ballroom

Opening Remarks

Headshot-Sara-Litvak-bw
Sara Gershfeld Litvak
CEO, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence
8:45 am - 9:30 am
Albert Ballroom

Keynote: Jonathan Mueller

Jonathan Mueller

Strengthening Organizations Culture as You Grow

Speaker: Jonathan Mueller, Ascend Behavior Partners

How do you strengthen your organization's culture as you grow?
Conventional wisdom says that the bigger an organization gets, the worse the culture gets. I disagree. Being successful scaling culture means constantly growing yourself as a leader, engaging in meaningful feedback conversations with your team, testing hypotheses, and serving as your organization's CRO (Chief Reminding Officer) of your values. I'll share the framework we've used at Ascend to strengthen our culture as we've doubled in size every year the past 4 years: the metrics we look at, the conversations we have with our team, the training, and the ways we're constantly pushing ownership of our culture to our front-line teams.

Watch Free Now »

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Albert Ballroom

Morning Session 1: Compensation & Turnover: Implication on Industry Growth and Access to Care

David Cox

Speaker: David Cox, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Compensation and staff turnover are two major pain points for every provider. Although they are not always strongly related, both have a tremendous impact on the financial health and sustainability of ABA organizations. The purpose of this presentation is twofold. First, we describe industry trends in hourly pay rate, salary, and annualized turnover percentage for ABA organizations completing the BHCOE evaluation process and for the staff positions of direct therapists/RBTs, case supervisors/BCBAs, and clinical directors. Second, to present data and discuss the findings of two studies wherein we attempted to predict staff turnover using data about organizational systems and characteristics. Previous research, including a recent publication from BHCOE, suggests that monetary compensation, though important, may not be the most important predictor of voluntary turnover compared to organizational factors such as career development opportunities and satisfaction with supervisory and managerial support. However, monetary compensation can influence recruitment and job satisfaction. ABA organizations can leverage the information in this presentation to understand how their company compares to the industry in average hourly monetary compensation and employee turnover rates.

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10:45 am - 11:30 am
Albert Ballroom

Morning Session 2A: Retention and People Management

Sarah Trautman

Speaker: Sarah Trautman, Defy Community

The success, or failure, of any autism business is dependent on human capital. Having an incredible clinical model or efficient systems doesn't matter if you don't have the human capital to provide services or support your operations. Cultivating a culture that prioritizes the well-being of the humans in your organization is imperative if you want to recruit and retain talent in an industry where there are NOT enough professionals available to meet current demand. This session will focus on strategies to retain talent, respond to the great resignation, and cultivate a culture of team member satisfaction.

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10:45 am - 11:30 am
Cornelius

Morning Session 2B: Fireside Chat — BHCOE & Cigna's Strategic Partnership: The Road Ahead for APM’s in Behavioral Health

Dr. Darren Sush
Headshot-Sara-Litvak-bw
Sara Gershfeld Litvak
CEO, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Speakers: Sara Litvak and Dr. Darren Sush

BHCOE & Evernorth recently announced their partnership to develop a value-based care framework for their ABA network. Through this partnership, Evernorth and BHCOE will work to establish foundational measures for ABA treatment. These measures will help patients, caregivers, providers, and health plans better assess the overall quality of delivered care, and assess patient outcomes as aligned with national health care quality standards in behavioral health.

Evernorth behavioral health clients, as well as Cigna health plan customers who receive health coverage through their employer or marketplace exchange plans, will be among the first to benefit from these standard performance metrics. This agreement comes at a critical time for ensuring access to quality services for individuals with autism. This fireside chat will explore the partnership and discuss implications for ABA organizations and the families they serve.

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Morning Session 3A: Clinical Quality & Creating Sustainable Outcomes with Long-Term Results

Dr. Ellie Kazemi
Dr. Gina Chang
Kelly Bermingham
Dr. Ronit Molko

Moderator: Dr. Ronit Molko, Learn Behavioral

Panelists

  • Kelly Bermingham, People’s Care Behavioral Health, Redwood Family Care Network
  • Dr. Ellie Kazemi, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence
  • Katherine Wooten, New Directions Behavioral Health
  • Dr. Gina Chang, Autism Learning Partners

The purpose of monitoring and reporting quality outcomes is to place the focus of care on outcomes that matter to the patient and their loved ones. Although everyone agrees that measuring quality outcomes is important, there are several challenges in collecting this data and little consensus on what exactly should be measured for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) receiving behavioral services. In this panel, we will discuss behavioral service providers’ and payors’ perspectives of the measures that influence quality outcomes and the logistics of monitoring and reporting such results. We will also discuss process versus outcome measures and current frameworks for assessing patient improvement because of behavioral services.

Watch Now »

11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Albert Ballroom

Morning Session 3B: Valuation, Due Diligence, & Compliance in a Post-Pandemic World

Olex Kaltsev
Jon Krieger
Lani Fritts
Headshot-Sara-Litvak-bw
Sara Gershfeld Litvak
CEO, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Moderator: Jon Krieger, Calex Partners

Panelists

  • Lani Fritts, Former CEO of Kadiant
  • Sara Litvak, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence
  • Olex Kaltsev, Elemy

Buyers and Sellers are at an impasse. In a COVID-inspired spiral of unknowns, there is a lack of clarity on deal flow in a post-pandemic world. Despite it all, the health care economic policy issues that have boosted a run on health care service providers remain. In this webinar, we will explore how valuations have fluctuated, diligence has shown itself and what compliance and diligence looks like today. The Coronavirus has impacted mergers and acquisitions broadly, and behavioral health specifically is no different. Whether you are content staying put or see yourself as a seller now, or in the future, (or if you’re unsure which you should be), this presentation will help you set expectations.

Watch Now »

12:30 pm - 12:45 pm
Pacific Time

Adjourn

Sponsors

Partner

Partner

Braff

Platinum

Platinum

Huron
SimiTree Healthcare Consulting
Metrz Taggart
Proud Moments ABA
Ziegler

See all of this year’s Summit Sponsors, helping to lead the conversation about best practices and innovation in all areas of autism services.

PRICING

Provider
 

$ 595
  •  
  • Space is Limited
    Get Your Tickets Today

Investor / PE-Backed ABA provider / Other Professional

$ 1,595
  •  
  • Space is Limited
    Get Your Tickets Today

Have questions about the event or registration options? See our FAQs or get in touch.

When

April 18–20, 2022

Where

SLS Hotel
465 S. La Cienega
Los Angels, Ca 90048

Who

ABA Providers
Payors
Investors
Other Industry Professionals

Autism Investor Summit stage and podium