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State Bond Commission Approves $10 Million for Critical Autism Services at Hospital for Special Care

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (July 25, 2018) — Hospital for Special Care (HSC) announced today that the State Bond Commission has approved $10 million to finance a grant-in-aid to assist with expansion of critical services for youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

“The Hospital for Special Care is extremely grateful for the continued support of Governor Malloy and his Administration as well as for the continued endorsement of the full Bond Commission. We also sincerely appreciate the leadership demonstrated by Senator Gerratana, Representative Sanchez and the whole New Britain delegation as well as that of Representatives Betts and Petit in moving this project forward and want to express a special thanks to Representatives Miller, Abercrombie and Aresimowicz for their continued recognition of the hospital’s mission,” said Lynn Ricci, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, Hospital for Special Care.

“Autism Spectrum Disorders impact children, youth and families from every community. Thanks to the leadership of our policy makers, Connecticut continues to set an example for the rest of the country in providing effective, high-quality solutions and supports for children diagnosed with ASD,” continued Ricci  “These funds will allow HSC to expand our unique expertise and continuum of care for youth with the highest level of acuity, reduce inappropriate and prolonged emergency department stays and create Connecticut’s first step-up/step-down option for these families.”  

Approximately 250 children and youth diagnosed with ASD as well as their families, including parents and siblings, will be served in the new and expanded programs each year. Children and families will receive specialized services in inpatient, a new partial hospital level of care and an enhanced outpatient program. Each level of care provides psychiatry, psychology, developmental pediatrics, family therapy, behavioral analysis, planning and training, medication management, speech and occupational therapy. The expansion will create approximately 25 full-time equivalent positions in these disciplines.

Ricci said, “Hospital for Special Care has served as the State of Connecticut’s key collaborative partner, uniting clinical expertise with both public and private resources to develop a highly-effective, value-based continuum of care to support children and youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families.

“HSC’s commitment to our patients and their families continues to guide our service development and delivery. As the only inpatient program for children diagnosed with ASD and the only Patient Centered Specialty Practice in the country, we have provided autism care to nearly 2,000 individuals to date and will continue to expand access to care to meet urgent community need,” she said.

The funds will assist in building the Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care’s capacity is to utilize its unique expertise to expand services by:

  • Increasing access to inpatient care from eight to 12 beds.
  • Developing a Partial Hospitalization Program to provide a step-down/step-up solution not currently available in Connecticut. This unique service will provide support for children and youth to transition successfully back into the community following an inpatient stay and help others remain safely at home without requiring an inpatient level of care.
  • Enhancing outpatient services to ensure continuity of care.

 

Earlier this month, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognized the Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care as the nation’s first and only level-three PCSP. Level-three is the highest that a specialty practice can achieve. The Autism Center at HSC first achieved level-one PCSP designation in 2015. NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Recognition is an innovative program for improving specialty care. With a set of standards that describe clear and specific criteria, the program gives practices information about organizing care around patients, working in teams, and coordinating and tracking care over time with primary care and specialty care colleagues.

About Hospital for Special Care

Hospital for Special Care (HSC) is the fourth largest, free-standing long-term acute care hospital in the U.S. and the only one in the nation serving adults and children. HSC is recognized for advanced care and rehabilitation in pulmonary care, acquired brain injury, medically-complex pediatrics, neuromuscular disorders including ALS research, spinal cord injury, comprehensive heart failure and comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

The Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care (HSC) provides a variety of diagnostic, assessment, and therapy services for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Center’s multidisciplinary approach includes psychology, developmental pediatrics, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and child and adolescent psychiatry.  The HSC Autism Inpatient Unit is the only one of its kind in Connecticut and one of only 10 in the nation. 

Located in New Britain and Hartford, CT, HSC operates inpatient and outpatient facilities serving Southern New England and the Tri-State area on a not-for-profit basis. For the latest news and information, please visit www.hfsc.org , and follow us on and follow us on Facebook @HospitalforSpecialCare and Twitter @HospSpecialCare.

Photo: Lynn Ricci, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, Hospital for Special Care; Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Wendy DeAngelo, Vice President, Development and Communications, Hospital for Special Care.