Brown, Portman bill to improve care for kids with complex medical conditions passes Senate

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WASHINGTON (WDTN) – The Senate has passed U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown’s Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act, a bipartisan bill meant to improve health outcomes and care coordination for children with complex medical conditions on Medicaid.

The bill now heads to President Trump to be signed into law.

“Senate passage of the ACE Kids Act gives us an exciting opportunity to give some of our nation’s most vulnerable children the support that they need to succeed,” said Portman.  “Focusing on care coordination for children with complex medical conditions is a common-sense idea that will deliver results and save lives.  I’m proud of the work that my colleagues and I have put into this product, and I look forward to seeing Ohio’s children’s hospitals, which serve as national leaders in pediatric care, paving the way on this front in the years to come.”

“When children have specialized health needs, they need specialized care – often times that means crossing state lines, which can be confusing for patients,” Brown said. “Many of these children are battling serious illness – they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the care they need.”

The ACE Kids Act would make it possible for healthcare providers to coordinate care, lower costs, and improve quality outcomes for children with complex medical conditions on Medicaid who need special care.

Roughly two-thirds of the three million children with complex medical conditions are covered by Medicaid, equaling to nearly 40 percent of Medicaid costs for children.

Illnesses and conditions such as cancer, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and chronic health challenges from premature birth often require families to travel to another state to find treatment.

This bill would help hospitals coordinate this treatment across state lines.

It would also ease the burden of government bureaucracy on families by establishing case managers to help them navigate an often-complicated and expensive health care system.

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