LOCAT & ABA Guidelines

Helping patients get the right care

LOCAT (Level of Care Assessment Tool) helps behavioral health professionals decide the levels and types of care needed for patients with mental health symptoms.


ABA Medical Necessity Guidelines

The Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Medical Necessity Guidelines for the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders are nationally recognized guidelines. They help clinicians to decide the types of services needed by a patient. The ABA guidelines may be used in our coverage determination process.

Read the ABA guidelines


By clicking on “I Accept”, I acknowledge and accept that:

Aetna's Level of Care Assessment Tool ("LOCAT") serves as a guideline to help determine appropriate (medically necessary) levels and types of care for patients in need of evaluation and treatment for behavioral health conditions. LOCAT does not constitute medical advice. Treating providers are solely responsible for medical advice and treatment of members. Members should discuss any matters related to their coverage or condition with their treating provider.

Each benefit plan defines which services are covered, which are excluded, and which are subject to dollar caps or other limits. Members and their providers will need to consult the member's benefit plan to determine if there are any exclusions or other benefit limitations applicable to this service or supply.

The conclusion that a particular service or supply is medically necessary does not constitute a representation or warranty that this service or supply is covered (i.e., will be paid for by Aetna) for a particular member. The member's benefit plan determines coverage. Some plans exclude coverage for services or supplies that Aetna considers medically necessary.

Please note also that LOCAT may be updated and is, therefore, subject to change.

Medical necessity determinations in connection with coverage decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. In the event that a member disagrees with a coverage determination, Aetna provides its members with the right to appeal the decision. In addition, a member may have an opportunity for an independent external review of coverage denials based on medical necessity or regarding the experimental and investigational status when the service in question for which the member is financially responsible is $500 or greater. However, applicable state mandates will take precedence with respect to fully insured plans and self-funded non-ERISA (e.g., government, school boards, church) plans.

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