Bennet, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Increase Health Care Access for Children

Denver – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet introduced the bipartisan Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act to help families access life-saving care for children with complex medical conditions. The legislation aims to facilitate access to care while retaining program safeguards and reducing regulatory burdens on providers. In addition to Bennet, the legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). 

“Families should have every tool at their disposal when trying to find the right care for their kids. This legislation will help kids with complex medical conditions receive the treatment they need and take one burden off the shoulders of families navigating the complexity of coordinating appointments and providers no matter what state they live in,” said Bennet. “This bipartisan legislation builds on the ACE Kids Act, which we passed into law last year. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill for the kids across our country who have complex medical needs and their families.”

Children with complex medical needs cannot always receive the highly specialized care they need within their home state. When that happens, families must work with specialty providers and state Medicaid officials to find out-of-state providers able to provide the complex medical care they need. The process is difficult and full of red tape, delaying children and their families from receiving care, and in some cases not receiving access to care at all.

The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act 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.

The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act builds on Bennet and Grassley’s Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Actlegislation which passed Congress and was signed into law in April 2019. The ACE Kids Act makes 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. The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act ensures that coordination can happen across state lines by clarifying the process by which state Medicaid programs can cover this care regardless of where the child lives and where their care is received. 

The bill text is available HERE.