DO WE HAVE A ROLE FOR ETHICAL, HIGHLY EXPERIENCED, COMMITTED BCBAs IN OUR FIELD ANYMORE???
While most of my recent thinking has been on the BT/RBT recruitment, retention, and turnover that plagues our field, it just dawned on me the other day that our financially-motivated system of care has created another problem that we rarely talk about. The BCBA brain drain…
In our current system where maximizing organizational profits trumps everything else, many profit-seeking organizations are making decisions to hire new BCBAs to replace ones with the most experience because of the immediate cost savings.
While there SHOULD be a role for BCBAs with 25+ years of experience who want to stay involved in direct clinical capacity to help shape and guide newer clinicians to achieve their maximum potential, a suitable role isn’t available. So these BCBAs end up taking a management role, where “maximizing billable hours” is the sole measure of success (and basis for incentive compensation payout) as opposed to client outcomes.
In my opinion, organizations should do everything in their power to retain the most skilled BCBAs and find opportunities to build a specialty practice around their core competencies. Preferably, a cash-based practice to create a diversified revenue stream to begin to mitigate reliance on reimbursement-based revenue streams.
Surely our field can find a way to treat BCBAs with a lifetime of experience with the respect and dignity they deserve, right?