As the ABA field continues to rapidly grow to keep up with demand, many organizations are drawn to the idea of practicing across multiple states. Expanding your ABA practice across states can be very rewarding, though it comes with a unique set of challenges as well. Navigating the licensure requirements and state-specific regulations to maintain compliance as you grow can be a complex process.
State Licensure and Regulatory Requirements
The first step to consider is licensure requirements in the state(s) you are interested in expanding to. The ABA field is increasingly becoming more regulated. As of 2022, 36 US states require licensure (BACB, 2022). Some of the states that do not require licensure are actively pushing for legislation that would require behavior analysts to be licensed. As such, understanding the licensure requirements and regulatory landscape of any state you are considering expanding to will be critical to your success. You can learn more about each state’s licensure requirements here.
Best Practices for Expanding Your Business in Multiple States
Expanding your ABA practice outside of your home state can take a great deal of careful planning and consideration. By ensuring that best practices are followed, organizations can ensure a successful expansion, allowing them to continue making a positive impact in the lives of children and their families.
Develop a comprehensive plan
A comprehensive plan for all aspects of business is necessary before expanding your practice across states. Consider the following areas as you develop your plan.
- Evaluate your organization’s capacity to grow. While you may be eager to expand into new locations, carefully consider whether your organization is in a comfortable place to begin this expansion. Consider factors including your financial resources, staffing capabilities, infrastructure, and operational capacity. Identify and address any areas that need further development before moving forward.
- Analyze target state(s). Carefully consider the state(s) and cities that you are interested in expanding to. Assess factors such as the demand for services in those areas, market potential, availability of certified professionals, and local regulations that may affect your practice. Focus your expansion on areas that align well with your practice’s needs and will result in an ability to provide care to more families.
- Establish a plan for licensure. If licensure is required in the states you are expanding into, outline a plan including the steps, resources, and a timeline for obtaining the licensure. Consider legal and administrative challenges that may arise.
- Review and plan for state-specific regulations. Review any state and payor-specific policies that may be different from your current state. Evaluate and plan for insurance regulations and billing and reimbursement guidelines.
- Establish community relationships. Begin building relationships with healthcare providers, schools, and community organizations in states that you will be expanding into. Create referral networks that will help you expand your client base and establish a reputation in new areas.
Ensure Staff Compliance Training
As you expand into new states, it’s vital that you remain compliant with laws, insurance regulations, and ethical requirements. To do so, your team must be well-trained in state-specific regulations. Provide your team continuing education opportunities to encourage ongoing professional development.
For streamlined and efficient onboarding, training, and ongoing professional development, consider CR Institute. Your staff can access HIPAA, compliance, and regulatory courses for ABA clinicians in the CR Institute platform. You can easily track their progress through course completion to ensure compliance with training requirements.
Leverage Technology to Streamline Operations
Before you expand into new states, now is the time to evaluate whether you’re using integrated technology to run your ABA practice or if you’re running your practice on several separate systems. Using disintegrated systems can add unnecessary busy work and be financially draining on your business.
To smoothly scale your practice, invest in all-in-one software to streamline operations. Leveraging integrated technology to streamline clinical and practice management, billing, scheduling, and staff management, can save you money, increase revenue, and allow you to achieve sustainable growth.
Focus on delivering high-quality ABA services
The focus of any ABA organization should always be delivering high-quality, ethical ABA services that improve the lives of their clients and families. As you expand your practice into new states, in all that you do, maintain that focus on quality care.
To ensure high-quality service delivery, focus on the following areas.
- Adhere to rigorous hiring practices
- Provide ongoing professional development, mentoring, and high-quality training opportunities
- Establish clear protocols that are based on research-supported best practices in the areas of assessment, treatment planning, data collection, and progress monitoring to promote consistency
- Set a foundation of strong supervisory practices
- Implement quality assurance measures and internal audits
- Maintain open lines of communication and regularly seek the feedback of your families and staff
- Monitor and evaluate client outcomes
Expanding your ABA practice in new states is an exciting and rewarding endeavor. Growing across states allows you to make a greater impact, supporting more children and families with medically necessary care. Careful planning, consideration, and leveraging technology are key to achieving long-term sustainable growth.
Schedule a consultation with one of our experts to learn more about how CentralReach can support your organization’s growth in new states.