Autism Center of Excellence (COE) Certification

Medical Home - Calendar of EventsUniversity of Washington experts provide the Autism Center of Excellence (COE) trainings through a contract with the Health Care Authority (HCA). As of July 2024, we are contracted to provide 4 general trainings a year.

Upcoming COE Trainings:

If you would like to be put on the list of people interested in learning when future trainings will happen,  please email Kate Orville, Training Coordinator at .

Purpose of the COE Training

  • To increase the number of qualified clinicians (COEs) across Washington State who can appropriately diagnose children and youth with autism who have Medicaid insurance.
  • Help children and families access needed services as appropriate, including writing a Medicaid/Apple Health prescription for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). COE required for Managed Care Organization (MCO) prescription approval.

Who is Eligible to Become a COE

  • The HCA determines which primary care and other clinicians  can become COEs. Currently the list includes medical physicians working in primary care, specialty physicians, clinical psychologists, ARNPs and pediatric naturopaths. Physician Assistants (PA-C) whose supervising clinician is a COE are eligible as of Jan 1, 2023.
  • As of Oct 17, 2019 , an autism diagnosis from a COE provider (except for naturopath physicians and PA-Cs) can also be used by a family for Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) eligibility.
  • NOTE- The Developmental Disabilities Administration is currently soliciting input on their proposed changes to DDA eligibility.  One proposed change is to accept autism diagnoses from  COEs who are NDs or PA-Cs. The hearing and comments are accepted through August 6, 2024. See more information here:  .  Look for “Chapter 388-823 WAC – Developmental disabilities administration intake and eligibility determination.”

What the Training Covers

  • Starting in September 2024, the COE training will build on the “Autism COE Quick Start Guide“, a practical guide to setting up autism evaluations developed with community COEs and university and tertiary care experts.
  • The Autism COE Quick Start Guide provides an overview of information and resources to guide you in developing your Autism COE practice for Medicaid patients and their families. This document includes tips for working with your administration, developing a comprehensive evaluation workflow, billing and coding guidelines, templates for documentation, feedback and referral processes, and community resources.  In addition to the overview, there are numerous appendices with specific, in-depth information including but not  limited to an autism clinic proposal template, EMR report templates, ABA referral documentation, screening and diagnostic tool recommendations, and more.
  • Additionally, the COE training provides
    • Evaluation and diagnosis of children exhibiting signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and determining which evidence –based treatments, including ABA, are likely to be helpful for individual children
    • The lived experience of autism from autistics and family members- what they would like you as a health care professional to know
    • How to write an approved prescription for ABA treatment
    • Paperwork and process to complete to become a HCA recognized COE after the training

COE Training Logistics

Steps for the COE training course:

  • Register –
  • There is a separate prerequisite online Autism course from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) PediaLink for COE-eligible participants to complete prior to the live Zoom training Sept 13.  This course is undergoing updates and will be available by the end of July, 2024.  We will notify you when the course is available.
  • The live Zoom Videoconference training is 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 45 minutes off for lunch.  It includes a facilitated discussion led by Gary Stobbe, MD and Jim Mancini MS, CCC-SLP as well as other expert panelists to respond to questions posed via the online survey.  There is Washington State specific information about how to do an autism evaluation that meets Health Care Authority criteria and how to do this in your clinic. We also have regional breakouts to allow deeper discussion with peers and other community/agency partners.

More information about COEs and Autism Diagnosis in Washington State.

july, 2024