COCHRAN COSPONSORS ACE KIDS ACT
Measure Would Coordinate Medicaid Care for Kids with Medically-Complex Illnesses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today announced his support for legislation to improve Medicaid coverage for children with serious illnesses and medical conditions.
Cochran is cosponsoring the Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act of 2017. The bipartisan bill would change the Medicaid system to allow health care providers and hospitals to coordinate care for children with complex medical conditions.
“Existing Medicaid rules can make it difficult for families to receive care for their children with serious medical conditions. This legislation is intended to ease those burdens and improve opportunities for these children to lead fuller, healthier lives,” Cochran said.
The ACE Kids Act (S.428) would authorize the establishment of an Enhanced Pediatric Health Homes program to provide care plans to serve individual pediatric patient care needs. The program would coordinate services for pediatric patients with complex medical conditions. This coordination would include access to case workers and the most specialized healthcare services for these children, even if it means crossing state lines to receive this care.
The legislation is supported by the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, which treats many of Mississippi’s most medically complex pediatric patients.
There are approximately three million children in the United States with complex medical conditions, two million of whom are covered by Medicaid. These children suffer from illnesses and conditions including cancer, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and chronic health challenges from premature birth. Care for these children represents almost 40 percent of Medicaid costs for children.
The ACE Kids Act of 2017, authored by U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.