Senate Passes Portman, Brown Bill to Make Sure Children Get Medical Care They Need

ACE Kids Act Will Improve Care for Kids with Complex Medical Conditions Heads to President’s Desk

April 3, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate passed U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) bipartisan bill 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.”

“For the most vulnerable and medically complex children in our community the ACE Act gives Cincinnati Children’s flexibility to deliver the right care, at the right time in the right setting, which creates better patient outcomes and substantially eases the burden for these families.  We thank Ohio Senators Portman and Brown for their sponsorship and work getting this bill passed.  Cincinnati Children’s and our fellow Ohio children’s hospitals are fortunate to have such strong leadership for child health in the United States Senate,” said Michael Fisher, President and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Portman and Brown’s Advancing Care for Exceptional (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 require specialized care.

About two-thirds of the three million children with complex medical conditions are covered by Medicaid, representing nearly 40 percent of Medicaid costs for children. These children have illnesses and conditions including cancer, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and chronic health challenges from premature birth, which often require them to travel to another state to find treatment.

This bill would help hospitals coordinate and standardize care across state lines, ensuring our nation’s most vulnerable children receive seamless treatment. It would also ease the burden of government bureaucracy on families, establishing case managers to help them navigate the complicated, and often expensive, healthcare system.