Bennet, Grassley Seek Update on Their Effort to Improve Care for Children with Complex Medical Needs

Federal Agency Must Implement Bipartisan Bennet-Backed 2019 Law By October 1, 2022

Denver – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) requested an update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the implementation of the Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act. The ACE Kids Act, which Bennet and Grassley ushered through Congress in 2019, allows children with medically complex conditions to choose to enroll in a health home – if a state Medicaid program permits – in an effort to improve care coordination and health outcomes.

Specifically, this law helps CMS and state Medicaid programs align rules and reimbursements to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and provide better care coordination for children with complex medical needs. CMS is required to fully implement the law by October 1, 2022.

“Our most vulnerable kids and their families deserve a health care system that coordinates care and produces healthier outcomes. Kids with complex medical conditions face myriad challenges including an uncoordinated and burdensome health care system. On average, these kids see five to six specialists and up to as many as 20 to 30 allied health professionals. Parents are often overwhelmed at the scope of that care. Helping these families navigate the bureaucracy and cut red tape makes sense. This is why we passed the ACE Kids Act in 2019 that allows kids with medically complex conditions to choose to enroll in a health home, if a state Medicaid program permits,” wrote Bennet and Grassley.

They concluded: “We appreciate your attention to implementing the ACE Kids Act and the promise it will provide for kids and families across the country. With the hard work of CMS and state Medicaid programs across the country, we expect the ACE Kids Act will be ready for implementation by October 1, 2022.”

The text of the letter is available HERE

In 2021, Bennet and Grassley introduced the Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act to build on the ACE Kids Act. This legislation would provide states with the ability to use a streamlined screening and enrollment process for out-of-state pediatric care providers that need to enroll in another state’s Medicaid program, at the same time safeguarding important program integrity processes. This would help reduce the regulatory burdens that slow down, or in certain cases, prohibit children from receiving the care they need.