Monday, February 10, 2014

Letter to the hospital to advocate for higher pay rate for BCBA's


I am writing in regards to the rate paid to the professional behavior analyst at XXXX Hospital's Autism center.  I interview with the autism team and was offered a position in Early October 2013.  Initially, I declined the PRN position, due to the rate of pay.  After speaking with XXX in HR and XXX, diecrtor of autism center, i was assure
d that they were aware that the rate was below average and was being reviewed and research to determine if the current rate was competative.  With this in mind, I accepted the BCBA PRN position with the autism center in Nov 20XX.  The rate for a  masterd level clinician is $25 an hour.  After said review and research the PRN rate was actually reduced in 20XX.

If you are not familiar with the field of Behavior Analysis to become board certified, you must have a minimum of a masters degree and 1500 hrs. of supervision. Most behavior analyst work with children with severe behavioral disorders, such as autism. We often facilitating communication much like a speech pathologist, teach self-regulation skills like an occupational therapist, train parents and caregivers on coping strategies and behavioral change techniques 
similar to
 a mental health professional. Lastly we are true scientist, almost a detective.  We observe the behaviors that are exhibited by the child and hypothesize the functions of those behaviors, based on the hypothesized function, we teach children functionally equivilant replacement behaviors and socially appropriate skills that are needed for success living. 

In terms of reimbursement, our profession is typically reimbursed at a rate comparable to that of a speech, occupational, physical therapist or licensed professional counselor. I would also like to state that often times we fulfill the role that many of these professionals everyday and are typically referred the children that these professionals have failed to reach.

We generally work with children from anywhere to 5 to 40 hours a week one on onr. If we are not the direct care professional working with the child, we are supervising qualified, paraprofessional staff members, similar to a Speech language or OT assistant. These qualified professionals are called ABA tutors.  Our role as a supervisor is to train the tutor, the child, and the parent, all the while evaluating the skills required for the client to succeed in all areas of daily living.  As you can imagine it is a great responsibility and one that I do not take lightly.  I spent many years in school working towards this goal of becoming a professional board-certified behavior analyst.  I always expect to be treated as a professional and hope to be paid as such. At this time sacred heart rates for (BCBA) board certified behavior analyst is far below the national and the local average.  In this area of Pensacola, board certified behavior analyst make anywhere from $50-$90 an hour, but at Sacred Heart we are pay $25 an hour even though our reimbursable rate with the insurance company is 
$125 an hour.

I have truly enjoyed my time working at the autism center of XXX and are commited to the mission and clients.  I have been offered a part time position with another company and plan to reduce my hours with the Autism center.  

I hope that you will respectfully read this letter and consider the need to pay the board certified behavior analyst at the autism center a higher competitive rate.  I understand it is the only autism center in the XXX Hospital system and it is also a research center the University of XXXX.  It a truly unique center and a blessing to the XXXX Autism community.  

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