The December 2 season premiere of TLC’s The Little Couple builds upon the Klein family’s perseverance and charm by highlighting their commitment to children’s health care needs. In the premiere, the family travels to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Children’s Hospital Association’s Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day and in a news conference to introduce the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act (ACE Kids Act, H.R. 4930). The bill would help coordinate care to ensure optimal outcomes for children with medical complexity in Medicaid, while also helping to contain health care costs. The advocacy day and news conference took place on June 25, 2014.
The issue of children with medical complexity is particularly close to the couple’s heart, as both Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein were treated for medical complexities arising from dwarfism as children. They now travel extensively to receive care for their children’s medical complexities, also resulting from dwarfism. As a neonatologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, Arnold also sees many infants who need ongoing medical attention for their conditions and require Medicaid coverage to access all the comprehensive services to meet their care.
“The majority of the patients I care for not only go home with medical complexities that are a challenge for their families to manage, but they also are often on Medicaid services,” said Arnold at the news conference. “It's critical these families receive the care they need, but they often don't receive that care because of the challenges of getting to the right place at the right time.”
The ACE Kids Act was the focal point for 30 patient families from across the country, including the Kleins, who participated in the Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day. The bill would allow for better care coordination for children in Medicaid through nationally designated networks that cross state lines. The networks would also employ quality standards essential to improving care and saving money. The proposed networks, backed by more than 60 children’s hospitals, would engage states, families, children’s hospitals and other providers.
The bill was introduced by original co-sponsors Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Gene Green (D-TX) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and currently has 64 cosponsors.
The Little Couple season premiere airs Tuesday, December 2, 9 p.m. (ET/PT), 8 p.m. CT.
For more about the ACE Kids Act, visit www.speaknowforkids.org or www.acekidsact.org.
About the Children's Hospital Association
The Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 220 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.