• Press Release
  • July 6, 2016

Congressional Hearing Set for ACE Kids Act

Media Contacts

Daniel Sweet | JPA Health Communications | (202) 591-4063

Legislation would help improve care for children on Medicaid with complex medical conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 6, 2016 – The U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee has announced its Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 7 at 10:15 a.m. EDT in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, to discuss the bipartisan, Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act (ACE Kids Act, H.R. 546).

The ACE Kids Act would improve care for children with complex medical conditions nationwide by facilitating more seamless, coordinated care from multiple health care providers and drive quality improvement. The legislation would modify Medicaid to enable states to more effectively:

  • Coordinate all of the full array of services and support needed – home, primary, ambulatory, acute and sub-acute
  • Gather and share data and standards to improve the quality of care
  • Reduce Medicaid spending at state and federal levels
  • Relieve family burden

“Nearly two million children with complex medical conditions who need comprehensive coverage rely on a strong, flexible Medicaid programs to help meet their unique needs,” said Mark Wietecha, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA). “Passing the ACE Kids Act would make a tremendous impact in improving the quality of care for these children and help lift some of the burden these families face each day.”

Seamless pediatric care coordination would not only improve the quality of care, but can also reduce costs for children with medical complexity. Financial analysis shows the potential to save billions over 10 years and would benefit both federal and state budgets with cost savings coming from reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Those scheduled to testify at Thursday’s hearing to give their perspective of the ACE Kids Act include:

  • Rick Merrill, president and CEO, Cook’s Children’s Health System, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Jay Berry, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
  • Tish West, parent of a child treated at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Chronic-Complex Clinic in Tampa, Fla
  • Steven Koop, MD, medical director, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Matt Salo, executive director, National Association of Medicaid Directors 
  • Maria Isabel Frangenberg, project coordinator, Family Voices

A bipartisan group of more than 210 representatives, comprising nearly a majority of the House, supports the ACE Kids Act. Original cosponsors of H.R, 546 include Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Gene Green (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and David Reichert (R-WA). 

“Two weeks ago, over 40 families with children who had complex medical needs participated in CHA’s annual Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day to share their stories with members of Congress. Improving Medicaid to help these kids get access to the care they need was a top concern during these meetings,” said Wietecha. “This hearing is an important step in passing vital legislation that will not only improve care for these children nationwide, but will also help make our health care system more effective.”

Learn more about the ACE Kids Act and read stories about child patients who came to D.C. and advocated for the ACE Kids Act.

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.