Payer Perspectives on ABA During COVID-19

A Panel Discussion

Original Webinar Date: July 29, 2020

CEU offered: 1.0 Learning CEU

Short Title:  Payer Perspectives on ABA During COVID-19  

Webinar Duration: 64 min

CE Instructor:

  • Lorri Unumb (Moderator)
  • Yvonne Bruinsma, PhD, BCBA-D


  • Tiffany Hodges (Optum)
  • Darren Sush (Cigna)
  • Katherine Wooten (New Directions Behavioral Health)
  • Yagnesh Vadgama (Magellan)


Lorri Unumb, CEO of CASP, moderates a discussion of ABA during the COVID-19 pandemic from the payer perspective.  Representatives from Optum, Cigna, New Directions, and Magellan respond to provider questions including:

  1. What has been working well with the delivery of ABA services during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  2. How do you see the future of ABA services changing in the future due to COVID-19?
  3. Are you currently working on any permanent policy updates to the ABA benefit post-COVID?
  4. Will telehealth delivery of ABA be sustainable after the current state of emergency? What kind of data do you need to see?


Esq., CEO of CASP

Lorri Unumb

Lorri became the Chief Executive Officer of CASP in June 2019 after having served for more than a decade as the Autism Speaks Vice President for State Government Affairs. In her role with Autism Speaks, she spearheaded the autism insurance reform movement that has resulted in all 50 states adopting laws that require certain health plans to cover ABA and other services for people with autism. Prior to that, Lorri was an appellate litigator with the U.S. Department of Justice and a professor at the George Washington University Law School and the Charleston School of Law. She and her husband Dan founded the nonprofit Autism Academy of South Carolina and wrote the academic textbook Autism and the Law.


Yvonne Bruinsma

Yvonne Bruinsma founded In STEPPS in 2010. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field. She previously gained extensive experience as the clinical director and clinical manager at several agencies and brought PRT to the Netherlands. She has been an active researcher and continues publishing in the field. Yvonne has written articles in peer-reviewed journals and in 2015, wrote and published a seminal article with other top researchers in autism treatment about Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions such as PRT. Yvonne also has co-written a book about Naturalistic Developmental Behavior Interventions (NDBI) currently in press. She earned her master’s in developmental psychology from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, and her master’s and doctorate in special education, developmental disabilities, from University of California, Santa Barbara. Yvonne was certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D) in 2008.