3 Hidden Costs of DS 5862 Compliance Facing California ABA Therapy Clinics

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Form DS 5862 – also known as the DDS Parental Verification for Receipt of Behavioral Services – is issued by California’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS). It is used by the parent or legal guardian of children under the age of 18 who reside in the family home. By signing the form, “the parent or legal guardian verifies that behavioral services, on behalf of their child, have occurred” (State of California DDS).

California State Assembly Bill No. 104 requires any clinic that provides ABA therapy services to submit form DS 5862 for billing services provided to students less than 18 years of age and residing in the family home. Therapists must obtain a signature from the parent on form DS 5862 for services provided.

Unfortunately, there are three not-so-obvious ways complying with the form may be costing your ABA therapy clinic:

1. Therapists can spend over an hour per day driving back to your clinic after appointments to submit their hours and hand in signed DS 5862 forms. This is billable time that could have been spent meeting with students. The chart below shows how much that lost time could be costing your clinic each day.

Cost Type Time Spent Number of Therapists Opportunity Cost Lost Profit/Therapist
Travel Time 75 minutes 50 $100 $7,500

2. Of course, you are also responsible for reimbursing the cost of gas for driving back to your clinic. So not only are you losing billable time in travel, but you also have to foot the bill for the fuel used during that travel time each day.

Cost Type Distance Mileage Number of Therapists Lost Profit
Gas 33 miles $0.56 50 $924

3. Your administrative staff spends both time and money making paper copies of individual DS 5862 forms and filing them in the student’s folder and the Invoice History file. Printing out all those forms adds up over time.

Cost Type Time Spent/File Number of Files/Staff Number of Admin. Staff Hourly Rate (Admin.) Lost Profit
Printing and Filing 15 minutes 25 10 $25 $1,562.50

All together, the costs of travel time, gas reimbursement, and printing and filing of DS 5862 forms could be costing your clinic around $10,000 a week per therapist, depending on the size of your staff and the number of cases assigned to them.

Are There Any Solutions?

With ABA therapy scheduling software, DS 5862 doesn’t have to be a drain on your finances. Instead therapists having to travel back to the clinic to submit paper copies of DS 5862, solutions like Autism Clinic Software offer seamless integration with mobile technologies to capture parents’ electronic signatures immediately upon completion of services. This way, the forms don’t need to be printed out by your administrative staff, and therapists no longer have to make extra trips back to the clinic to submit them.

What you want is an ABA therapy scheduling software equipped with an electronic, signable version of DS 5862. It should allow therapists to have parents electronically sign DS 5862 on a smartphone or tablet upon completing appointments.

Look for a solution that automatically generates employee timesheets after appointments are recorded and uses those time sheets to provide the data for the DDS report legally required by the California Regional Centers.

Your ABA therapy scheduling software should allow you to retrieve it from both the Invoice History screen and the consumer screen. This flexibility will simplify your clinic’s tax filing process.

Find out how ABA therapy scheduling software can facilitate your clinic’s DS 5862 compliance by requesting a free 30-day trial of Autism Clinic Software today.