Friday, March 6, 2009

Christina Peck from Blessed with Autism

Tia Marie Smith, NAA-NYMetro VP, with Christina Peck

On Wednesday, March 4, 2009, the NAA-NY Metro Chapter welcomed Christina Peck, CPC. Christina shared with us the way in which her professional life and her family’s needs converged and eventually resulted in her educating other parents and therapeutic and medical care providers on how to navigate the insurance maze. Christina has a Certification in Professional Coding and extensive experience in medical sales. She also has owned a medical billing company. She is the mother of three children, two of whom were diagnosed on the autism spectrum. She first began using her professional background to help her own children get the services they needed covered by insurance and eventually this resulted in her founding Blessed with Autism ( to help other families obtain the insurance benefits to which they are entitled under their plans.. Christina has found many innovative ways to help her own children and many others receive insurance reimbursement for such speech therapy, ABA, Floortime, RDI, occupational therapy, evaluations, biomedical treatments, listening programs, as well as some therapy tools, medical devices, and nutritional supplements.

Christina shared many tips with the large crowd and answered many questions. For example, we learned that parents should make a list of all their child’s diagnoses and conditions and make sure your doctors or other providers have documented these conditions. Then make a list of therapies and other services you receive or would like receive. Christina provided the CPT (procedure) codes for many common services for children on the spectrum and these codes are also in her book (available on her website). She suggested calling the insurance company and running down the CPT codes along with your child’s conditions (along with the ICD-9 (diagnosis) codes if you have them from your doctors/therapists) to find “approved duos” – which diagnoses are covered or approved for which CPT codes. Christina also suggested getting a doctor’s letter to document a child’s need for various interventions. She shared important questions to ask your insurer to make sure that you know the full extent of your coverage and ways to make your limits work better for you. While each plan is different, many of her tips had universal applicability. Not every insurer will cover everything a family may want but with Christina’s tips and techniques, parents now have the tools to make sure they can maximize their benefits.

This lively session provided parents with a huge amount of practical advice to empower us to fight for what our children need and deserve!

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