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ACE Kids Act to Help Medically Complex Children Gets Congressional Hearing

Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bipartisan legislation would expand access to specialized care for Southwest Washington families, save taxpayer dollars

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Washington, DC, July 8, 2016 | comments
Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded yesterday’s congressional hearing on her legislative solution, the ACE Kids Act, that took place in the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.
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Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded yesterday’s congressional hearing on her legislative solution, the ACE Kids Act, that took place in the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.  This bipartisan legislation would help coordinate care to ensure optimal outcomes for children with medical complexity in Medicaid, while containing costs. The bill was introduced by Jaime along with Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Gene Green (R-TX), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), and David Reichert (R-WA).

The ACE Kids Act is voluntary for states, providers, and families. The bill allows for the creation of medical health homes to manage all of the care for children with medically complex needs. Children’s hospitals and other pediatric providers could serve as these medical homes because of their expertise and experience in treating the highly specialized needs of these children.  Coordinating care can be daunting for parents; yesterday’s hearing highlighted one medically complex child who had 29 different specialty care providers.  Allowing health homes to coordinate this care would take pressure off parents and lead to better health outcomes for children. 

“Our goal is to remove barriers that limit struggling families’ access to life saving care based on their zip code – and yesterday’s successful hearing brings us one step closer to that goal,” said Jaime.  “I’ve met countless families who were faced with the reality of having a sick child, but not being able to utilize the facility that could treat them.  Unfortunately, the state-based Medicaid system can often be a roadblock to life-saving care.  I’ll keep pushing until we remove those roadblocks and allow children to get the treatment they need, and accomplish that goal while saving precious taxpayer dollars.”

In the U.S. House, this bill has 212 cosponsors, and a companion bill in the Senate has 38 cosponsors. The bill is supported by a wide range of stakeholders, including the Children’s Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, and the National Down Syndrome Society.

For more background on Jaime’s efforts to improve medically complex kids’ access to health care via the ACE Kids Act, click here.

 

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