Children’s hospitals support legislation advancing care for children with complex medical conditions in Medicaid
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, lead cosponsors Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., introduced the bipartisan Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act of 2017 (S. 428) in the U.S. Senate. Sens. Grassley and Bennet were joined by original cosponsors Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Patty Murray, D-Wash. This legislation follows the ACE Kids Act of 2015, which achieved strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
The ACE Kids Act of 2017 is an innovative solution to improve the Medicaid program for an important subset of Medicaid beneficiaries. The legislation aims to better coordinate care for children with complex medical conditions in Medicaid, ensuring optimal outcomes while reducing costs.
Of the more than 30 million children covered by Medicaid nationwide, 2 million have complex medical conditions, conditions such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and serious congenital heart defects. These children face documented gaps in care, especially when crossing state lines to access specialized services. Medicaid’s state-by-state variability creates a fragmented and unnecessarily burdensome system lacking in care coordination, quality measures and cost containment.
“The ACE Kids Act of 2017 will help millions of families across the nation better coordinate care for their children,” says Madeline Bell, president and chief executive officer of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Hospital Association. “We thank Sens. Grassley and Bennet and all of the cosponsors for their steadfast commitment to transforming care for children.”
Children with complex medical conditions make up just 6 percent of children on Medicaid, but account for 40 percent of all Medicaid spending on children — their unique needs often require ongoing and specialized care. This legislation addresses existing challenges identified by families and physicians, including the coordination of care across multiple providers and services, and easing of access to out-of-state care.
The ACE Kids Act of 2017 would be optional for states and would work within the existing structure of a state’s Medicaid program, including those states with Medicaid managed care.
You can post about and follow the progress of the bill on Twitter, #ACEKidsAct.