Advancing medical care through the ACE Kids Act

September 5, 2018

The Advancing Care of Exceptional Kids Act of 2017 (ACE Kids Act) is a bipartisan bill that would improve care for children on Medicaid with complex medical conditions.

Providing children with complex medical conditions enrolled in Medicaid the best possible care is a national challenge. The ACE Kids Act will bring us closer to ensuring these vulnerable children receive the care they need.

The majority of children with autism have co-occurring developmental, psychiatric or neurological disorders. They also often have other co-occurring medical conditions such as gastrointestinal disturbances, sleep problems, and seizure disorders.

As a result, children with autism often may see many clinicians, including physicians and multiple specialists. They may also require care that takes them across state lines.

Parents of children with multiple, life-threatening disabilities struggle to coordinate the complex care of their kids under the current Medicaid system. Federal legislation can fix the fragmented system for children with complex medical conditions that require regional care.

The ACE Kids Act creates a patient-centered, pediatric-focused delivery system for this unique population of children. It would ensure ready access to care across state lines and reduce the burden on these children’s families.

Specially-designed health homes, created for children with complex medical conditions under the ACE Kids Act, would employ national quality standards and coordinate care. This is essential to improve quality of care and lower costs. These health homes would include the full range of acute, post-acute, and primary care providers, as well as behavioral health professionals. The health homes would focus on outpatient care to ensure children get the care that they need in the most appropriate settings closest to home, while reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

The ACE Kids Act, which is voluntary for states, families and providers, can deliver savings to Medicaid. These savings come through increased efficiencies, including reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits. The bill also provides the array of outpatient and community services and support needed by these children.

We are happy to support this important legislation.

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