• Article
  • May 1, 2019

ACE Kids Act Implementation and What it Means for Children's Hospitals

Attention turns from passing the ACE Kids Act to implementation and starting to improve care for some of the nation’s sickest kids.

ACE Kids Webinars

CHA members, register below for an upcoming webinar addressing questions and preparing a path for ACE Kids Act implementation.

2 p.m. ET, May 21


View Past Recording

With the passage of the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act of 2019 (ACE Kids Act) as part of H.R. 1839, focus shifts to implementation and the many questions around next steps—from policy, operating and care delivery perspectives.

To begin to address questions and prepare a path for implementation, join one of the two upcoming webinars, 11:30 a.m. ET, May 16, or 2 p.m. ET, May 21. Each webinar will provide context and an initial overview of timing and expectations for the implementation of ACE Kids federally and at the state level. Following the introductory overview, more detailed content focused on topics specific to interested audiences will be available.

How the ACE Kids Act will help kids

The ACE Kids Act supports better care coordination for children with medically complex conditions who rely on Medicaid. These children require serious and ongoing care—they often see six or more specialists and more than a dozen physicians. Just coordinating all those doctor visits can become a full-time job for parents. This legislation will help reduce that burden on families by allowing states to create special health homes to coordinate children's care.

Sometimes, that care coordination even needs to extend beyond state lines. Children with unique needs require highly specialized providers, and those providers aren't always in the same state as the children who rely on them. The ACE Kids Act is designed to make it easier for families to cross state lines for care, which can sometimes be a challenge today within the Medicaid program.

While long trips to see their doctor can be necessary, it's best when children see the provider they need as near home as possible. The ACE Kids Act supports care closest to children's homes and communities and aims to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations.

But the ACE Kids Act will do more than coordinate care, it will help make care for these children better overall in the future. Today, there is no national definition of what makes a child "medically complex," so it's hard to aggregate data and gain insight into issues they face; at a national level, it's hard to see how to help them through improvements in coordination, quality of care and more. The ACE Kids Act will address this challenge.

Send questions or comments.