Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today reintroduced their bipartisan bill to improve health outcomes and care coordination for children with complex medical conditions enrolled in Medicaid.
“Government bureaucracy is the last thing families should have to deal with when trying to find the right care for their kids,” Bennet said. “We should pass the ACE Kids Act this Congress to help families navigate the complex landscape of specialized care, especially when traveling across state lines. We will continue collaborating with Children’s Hospital Colorado, which serves children from all 50 states, and hospitals like it to turn support for this bill into legislative action.”
“Children with complex medical conditions have complex medical needs,” Grassley said. “And they certainly have better results when they receive coordinated health care. The ACE Kids Act would provide a system to ensure that these children under Medicaid receive exactly that kind of coordinated care.”
The Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act would make it possible for health care providers to coordinate care, lower costs, and improve quality outcomes for children with complex medical conditions on Medicaid who require specialized care.
About two-thirds of the three million children with complex medical conditions are covered by Medicaid, representing nearly 40 percent of Medicaid costs for children. These children have illnesses and conditions including cancer, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and chronic health challenges from premature birth, which often require them to travel to another state to find treatment. The burden of coordinating this complicated care often falls on the families of the children. On average, children with complex medical needs require five to six specialists with as many as 20-30 health and allied health professionals involved in their care.
This ACE Kids Act would help these families navigate the complicated health care system. Experts from the fields of pediatrics and family advocacy groups provided feedback on this important legislation with children in mind. When enacted, the ACE Kids Act will give children with complex medical conditions the opportunity to lead fuller, healthier lives.
The bill will be referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over Medicaid. Full text of the legislation, S.317, as introduced can be found HERE.