WASHINGTON, DC—This week, bipartisan lawmakers in both the House and Senate showed their commitment to improving access to care for children with the reintroduction of the Accelerating Kids' Access to Care Act. The legislation, S. 1544, introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and H.R. 3089, introduced by Reps. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., would help reduce barriers to care for those children who must travel across state lines to receive life-saving and usually time-sensitive medical treatment. Children's hospitals urge Congress to prioritize children's health and pass this bipartisan legislation this year.
More than 36 million children rely on Medicaid for the care they need, but for many, this care isn't available in their home state. Children who require highly specialized pediatric providers must often cross state lines. Unfortunately, this critically important care is often delayed as the out-of-state providers navigate regulatory, network, paperwork and related barriers to enroll in that child's state Medicaid program—even though they are already enrolled-Medicaid providers in their own states. The Accelerating Kids' Access to Care Act would streamline the Medicaid out-of-state provider enrollment process and remove unnecessary administrative barriers to care.
"We applaud these lawmakers for taking bipartisan action to speed children's access to care and reduce administrative burdens," said Mark Wietecha, CEO of the Children's Hospital Association.