April 03,2019

Grassley, Bennet Bill to Improve Care for Kids with Complex Medical Conditions Passes Congress

WASHINGTON – Bipartisan legislation to improve health outcomes and care coordination for children with complex medical conditions in Medicaid, led by U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, unanimously passed in the Senate after passing the House of Representatives last week.

“Since the start of Medicaid, more children are surviving life threatening conditions, including prematurity, childhood cancer, and complications associated with Down syndrome. We can all be grateful for that fact. However, as a result, some of these children have ongoing complex medical needs. On average, these children see 5-6 specialists and up to as many as 20-30 allied health professionals. Parents are often overwhelmed at the scope of that care,” Grassley said. “The Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act will reduce the burden on families and caregivers by improving the coordination of medical care for these children. In addition, better coordination of care will reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations and thereby reduce health care expenditures. Better coordination of care and healthier children is a great prescription.”

“This legislation will help ease the burdens placed on families of kids with complex medical needs. In finally prioritizing this issue, Congress is ensuring that families will receive the help they need to coordinate multiple appointments and providers for their children,” Bennet said. “The ACE Kids Act will help make it possible for Children’s Hospital Colorado – and hospitals like it across the country – to coordinate care and ensure children with complex medical conditions receive the treatments they need.” 
The outdated fee-for-service health care system has resulted in fragmentation of care for children with medically complex conditions. ACE Kids provides an option for states and families to provide improved coordination of care with the promise of better health outcomes. This legislation is supported by the following groups:
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work
American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The American Board of Pediatrics
American College of Cardiology
American College of Surgeons
American Heart Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Psychological Association
American Society of Echocardiography
American Thoracic Society
America’s Essential Hospitals
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Autism Society of America
Autism Speaks
Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy
Children’s Hospital Association
Epilepsy Foundation
Family Voices
March of Dimes
Maxim Healthcare Services
Mended Little Hearts
Moms Rising
National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Board for Certified Counselors
National Down Syndrome Society
Pediatric Congenital Heart Association
Tricare for Kids Coalition