Rancho Cucamonga, CA, June 16, 2016 — Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) led a community collaborative effort to open the Autism Assessment Center of Excellence (AACE) in San Bernardino to diagnose autism early for IEHP Members and all children in the Inland Empire.
Start-up funding came from IEHP, First 5 Riverside and First 5 San Bernardino. The center features comprehensive assessment and treatment recommendations for children suspected of having autism, a program designed by numerous entities that joined forces:
- Inland Empire Health Plan
- First 5 Riverside
- First 5 San Bernardino
- Loma Linda University School of Medicine-Pediatrics Department
- Riverside and San Bernardino County Behavioral Health Departments
- Riverside and San Bernardino County Schools and Pre-schools
- Inland Regional Center
- Riverside Special Educational Local Plan Area
- Autism Society Inland Empire
- Children’s Network
- Molina Healthcare
“The First 5 Riverside Commission supported this effort because children with autism, especially
those through age 5, deserve the right diagnosis and timely treatment,” said Tammi Graham, executive director of First 5 Riverside, the Riverside County Children and Families Commission. “Now families with young children have a one-stop location for their needs.”
For referred children, the center provides an integrated and comprehensive assessment, designed to determine the diagnosis, severity and needed services using a multi-disciplinary team of specialists.
The center receives children who have been pre-screened and conducts a Comprehensive Diagnosis Evaluation (CDE) involving neuro-psychologists, pediatric neurologists, developmental pediatricians, occupational therapists and speech therapists. Clinical services are delivered mainly through providers from Loma Linda University Health System for the best possible outcomes. If a child has a diagnosis other than Autism Spectrum Disorder, the center refers the child to an appropriate resource.
“There is nothing else like the AACE in the Inland Empire,” said Dr. Bradley Gilbert, IEHP chief executive officer. “It gives parents one place to take their child for an early diagnosis, the key to a higher quality of life with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As an innovative leader, IEHP is proud to have been a part of this amazing collaborative effort.”
The AACE offers many benefits:
- Inter-Agency Collaboration – improves referrals and aligns providers and educators
- Comprehensive Assessments – eliminates wasted time and duplicative assessments
- One-Stop Shop – parents can now determine their child’s autism needs in one place
- Early Intervention – Early diagnosis leads to access to treatment at an earlier age for a higher quality of life and functioning
Although the clinic has only been open a few days, parents are already speaking highly of it. “Everyone here has been so amazing,” said Melissa Cibrian, whose son is receiving care at the center. “Everyone here really listens to all the details I mention about my son.”
IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, is a not-for-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. With a network of over 4,000 providers and more than 1,700 employees, IEHP serves more than 1.16 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medi-Cal
, Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare)
, or the Healthy Kids
Program. Through a dynamic partnership with providers
, award-winning service and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to providing members with quality, accessible and wellness based healthcare services. www.iehp.org.