Children's Hospitals Celebrate ACE Kids Act Implementation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 1 marks the date that states may begin implementing the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act (ACE Kids), providing opportunity to create health homes specially tailored to the needs of children with medically complex conditions on Medicaid.
The bipartisan ACE Kids law focuses on improving care for children with medically complex conditions who rely on Medicaid for their care. Children with medically complex conditions often receive care from multiple specialized pediatric providers located at different clinics and hospitals, sometimes across state lines, and face barriers in receiving coordinated care. The health homes outlined in the ACE Kids law would integrate physical and behavioral health and coordinate across providers, improving access to high-quality care, supporting healthier outcomes and better managing health care costs.
“We are excited to mark the implementation of the ACE Kids law that will help improve coordinated, specialized care for children with complex medical conditions,” said Mark Wietecha, CEO of Children’s Hospital Association. “ACE Kids will help supply data-driven insights identifying areas in which to improve the quality of care, removing barriers to access and streamlining services. Children with medically complex conditions and their families deserve integrated and coordinated high-quality care, and we look forward to working with states to provide it.”
This summer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released updated guidance on the ACE Kids law that provides a national definition of eligible children to ensure consistency in caring for children with complex medical needs. This definition will contribute to enhanced data collection which is foundational to care improvement.
The ACE Kids law was enacted in 2019 as a result of bipartisan legislative collaboration. Congressional champions, including Sens. Bennet and Grassley and Reps. Castor and Bilirakis, continue to highlight the law and pushed for CMS guidance to support implementation. Collaborative efforts will be vital as children’s hospitals, HHS and states partner to create regional health homes and improve the well-being of children with medically complex conditions and their families.
Visit the CHA website for everything you need to know about the ACE Kids Act.