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South Dakota Selects Vendor for Autism Spectrum Disorder Study for Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 10, 2014

CONTACT: Patrick Baker, DHS communications officer, (605) 773-5990 or patrick.baker@state.sd.us


South Dakota Selects Vendor for Autism Spectrum Disorder Study for Children

PIERRE, S.D. –The state departments of Human Services (DHS) and Labor and Regulation (DLR) have selected Health Management Associates of Lansing, Mich., to conduct a study on the treatment of autism spectrum disorders for children in South Dakota.


Senate Bill 108 was passed during the 2014 Legislative Session and prescribed a study of services and insurance coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders in children. A report will be issued to the Governor and Legislature by Nov.15, 2014.


“A critical part of the process will be considering the many points of view on this issue that exist in South Dakota,” DHS Secretary Gloria Pearson said. “We need to hear from families, advocacy groups, legislators, policy leaders and others affected by autism spectrum disorders.”


The study will analyze the availability and certification of providers, accepted treatments and outcomes, costs and benefits of autism services for children and is to include input from a wide array of sources.


“The state will also look at the impact of requiring insurance plans to cover the various services associated with autism spectrum disorder so policy makers can make informed decisions,” said DLR Secretary Marcia Hultman.


Health Management Associates will hold public forums and data-gathering interviews in August to gather feedback and information. Updates on the study and announcements of public meetings will be posted to dlr.sd.gov/autism.


About DHS

The South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, in partnership with its stakeholders, through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov, and viewing the DHS Strategic Plan.


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