ACE Kids Act Will Help Kids Like Osvaldo
In Manassas, Virginia, Osvaldo Sanchez is a nine year-old who lives with a severe form of cerebral palsy. His pediatric specialist practices medicine in another state. Under this scenario, Medicaid may not cover all of Osvaldo’s care at that location, which forces his parents to a make difficult choice on whether or how to pay for his health needs. But if Congress enacts legislation introduced this week, Osvaldo’s parents --and millions of others across the country-- may get more flexibility in pursuing necessary care for their children.
The Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids (ACE Kids) Act of 2015 has bipartisan support in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Once passed and enacted, the legislation will help coordinate care to ensure optimal outcomes for children with medical complexity enrolled in Medicaid, while helping to reduce costs.
Medicaid covers approximately two-thirds of the 3 million children across the nation with 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 will allow health care providers to form coordinated care networks across state lines. This will help relieve families of the burdens associated with state-by-state Medicaid barriers to their child’s care. These networks also employ quality standards essential to improving care and saving money. Projections show that these networks will reduce costs over the long term — an estimated $13 billion over 10 years — by improving care coordination to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
With your help, Congress can enact the ACE Kids Act this year. Learn more about the ACE Kids Act at www.ACEKidsAct.org, and tell your U.S. senators and representatives to support the bill by going to http://bit.ly/ACEKids2015.
Check out the pictures below from this week’s bill introduction.