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Comment & Response
June 2017

Cost-effectiveness of Wait Time Reduction in Behavioral Interventions for Autism

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Health and Environmental Research, Cleveland, Ohio
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(6):599-600. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0451

To the Editor Piccininni et al1 presented a cost-effectiveness analysis on the benefit of reducing or eliminating wait times for intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) through both a government and societal perspective. The authors’ measurement of effectiveness of IBI was independence later in life, measured in dependency-free life-years. This outcome variable was derived from posttreatment IQ assessments, which the authors indicate is the only post-IBI treatment outcome that has been previously shown to be associated with independence. The authors indicated that early IBI may not only predict significant cost savings but also optimize IBI treatment and improve future independence. The benefits of early behavioral intervention in ASD were contextualized through an anecdotal editorial accompanying the analysis.2

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