Questions answered by Jim Shmerling, PhD, MS, MBA
What does the ACE Kids Act do?
The Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act of 2015 will allow health care providers to form coordinated care networks across state lines. This would relieve the burdens associated with state-by-state Medicaid barriers for families that have children with chronically complex needs . Essentially, the ACE Kids Act makes it easier to access the full spectrum of care without the traditional hassle – no matter where you live.
What are the current issues with Medicaid?
Medicaid provides access to care for children with long-term, complex medical conditions. However, the system becomes especially burdensome for families when crossing state lines for specialized services. Medicaid’s state-by-state variability creates barriers to care coordination, quality measurement and improvement, and cost containment.
How many people could the ACE Kids Act help?
Medicaid covers approximately two-thirds of the 3 million children with complex medical conditions. This population is growing at 5% annually, outpacing the population growth of children overall.
While children with medical complexity make up a very small part of the patient population, they represent a large share of health care spending (i.e. half of all inpatient charges in children’s hospitals on average).
Why is Children’s Hospital Colorado involved?
Children’s Colorado helped create the ACE Kids Act and is advocating for its passage. Why? Because we are invested in helping Congress find a practical solution to control Medicaid spending, while simultaneously improving care for our patients.
How would this impact Medicaid reform?
Reigning in federal spending doesn’t have to occur on the backs of our most vulnerable population. Allowing children’s hospitals across the country to design a model that drives cost savings and improves the care of kids we already serve is the best way to handle Medicaid reform.
What kinds of patients and patient families could benefit?
As a result of the ACE Kids Act, children living with chronically complex needs like spina bifida, cancer, cystic fibrosis and serious congenital heart defects will benefit from the development of these care networks.
How can people get involved?
Sign up and become part of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Grassroots Advocacy Network and use our tool kit to contact your congressional members and ask them to co-sponsor the ACE Kids Act!