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FORBES: "Prevalence of autism will likely continue to rise"; TIME TO INVEST!!

Dec 10, 2018, Forbes: Investor Overview: Autism Services Favorable market trends that have already translated into big gains for the behavioral health industry are continuing to attract investment. Factors such as legislative reforms and expanded insurance coverage spurred impressive growth in the behavioral health space for the past five years, and forecasts expect such trends to continue. This area of behavioral health is of particular interest to many investors due to its rapidly growing market and incredible potential for social impact. As a consultant who advises private equity firms looking to invest in this industry, I am often asked similar questions by potential investors. I have used some of these questions to craft a brief overview of the autism services industry and where it is heading. What does the market for services look like? The autism services market is estimated to be worth around $5 billion to $7 billion annually and it’s growing, with a total addressable market estimated between $50 billion and $90 billion. The majority of the services provided to individuals with autism are behavioral services and are provided at home, in school, or in a clinic setting. Most of these services are based on the science of applied behavior analysis, or ABA, which is a scientific method that employs specific techniques and principles to impart skills and bring about meaningful changes in behavior. ABA is the most widely funded treatment option that private insurance companies, or state or federal programs, will cover. Currently, 1 in every 59 children is diagnosed with autism according to the CDC with other evidence supporting a prevalence rate of 1 in 45. That’s nearly 2.5 percent of the US population – around 8 million individuals. Unfortunately, there are likely many missed diagnoses or individuals who are otherwise unaccounted for, particularly in lower-income communities. That means the prevalence of autism will likely continue to rise. The industry is already averaging 3.9 percent annual growth; as more payers enter the market and demand continues to rise, the rate of growth can only increase. …


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