September 25,2020

Grassley, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Increase Health Care Access for Children

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced the bipartisan Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act to help families access life-saving care for children with complex medical conditions. The legislation aims to facilitate access to care while retaining program safeguards and reducing regulatory burdens on providers. Joining Grassley in introducing the bipartisan legislation as original co-sponsors are Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
“Children with complex medical needs and their families have plenty to worry about without adding in the uncertainty and stress of not being able to receive the care they need in a timely manner. This commonsense legislation will relieve some of that burden by making the process simpler and more efficient at no additional cost to families,” Grassley said.
“Families should have every tool at their disposal when trying to find the right care for their kids. This legislation will help kids with complex medical conditions receive the treatment they need and take one burden off the shoulders of families navigating the complexity of coordinating appointments and providers no matter what state they live in,” Bennet said. “This bipartisan legislation builds on the ACE Kids Act, which we passed into law last year. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill for the kids across our country who have complex medical needs and their families.”
“The last thing that families should have to worry about when seeking care for their kids is whether red tape will prohibit or deter an out of state provider from taking their Medicaid coverage, just because they’ve chosen to seek the best possible care a provider that isn’t in their home state. In Ohio, we’re blessed to have world class children’s hospitals that care for kids from across the country but are oftentimes slowed down by these regulatory hurdles. We must do more to support families and kids, and I’m proud to be introducing this bipartisan legislation to streamline these processes and to correct these mistakes,” Portman said.
“This bill puts the patient first. By getting rid of existing red tape that makes it harder for doctors and other providers to treat children who rely on the Medicaid program in another state, we can help to both streamline care for patients and mitigate administrative backlogs at hospitals,” said Brown. “I’m proud to co-sponsor this commonsense legislation to optimize care and ensure Ohio’s children’s hospitals have the tools they need to best serve their patients,” Brown said.
“When Missouri children with complex medical needs require out-of-state specialized care, their families are often forced to navigate burdensome red tape that impedes timely access to care. This commonsense legislation helps to remove these barriers, creating an expedited process that will ensure that children receive the treatment they need when they need it,” Hawley said.
Children with complex medical needs cannot always receive the highly specialized care they need within their home state. When that happens, parents must work with health care providers and state Medicaid officials to find out-of-state providers able to provide necessary medical care. The process is difficult and full of red tape, delaying children and their families from receiving the care they desperately need, and in some cases not receiving access to care at all.
The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act would provide states with the ability to use a streamlined screening and enrollment process for out-of-state pediatric care providers that need to enroll in another state’s Medicaid program, at the same time safeguarding important program integrity processes. This would help reduce the red tape and regulatory burdens that slow down or, in certain cases, prohibit children from receiving the care they need.