|Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) partnered with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) on legislation to improve access to life-saving care for children with complex medical conditions. The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act simplifies out-of-state Medicaid screening and enrollment processes for pediatric care providers, while retaining key safeguards to preserve the integrity of the program.
“The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act is crucial for children battling rare and complex diseases,” Miller-Meeks said. “This legislation gives children with rare and complex diseases access to health care institutions and research facilities that are in many cases out of state. It also lessens the bureaucracy and significant wait times that bottleneck patient care and risk worsening a child’s health condition.”
“Families seeking life-saving care for their children should be able to access it quickly and wherever it’s available. Families shouldn’t have to trip over red tape to reach the most effective specialist, treatment or procedure, whether around the corner or across state lines,” Grassley said. “Our bill makes it easier for kids to get the medical attention they need without imposing extra costs on families.”
Children with complex medical conditions cannot always secure specialized care in their home states. When this happens, parents must work with their in-state providers and Medicaid officials to identify out-of-state providers who do offer that care. The process is riddled with regulatory hurdles that often delay, or even prohibit, children from receiving critical medical treatments. The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act would alleviate these burdens for families, as well as providers.
“In Iowa, families are fortunate to have complex specialty care available right here in the state at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, but out-of-state families who rely on Medicaid and need the specialized care only our experts can provide are faced with a cumbersome process to get coverage, resulting in delays in care that can sometimes be life-threatening,” said Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, Vice President of Medical Affairs at University of Iowa.
“It is vital that all children and adolescents can receive the health care they need, when they need it. For those with complex medical conditions, any delays in access to the specialized care they need can be detrimental to their health. As stated in its name, the Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act would help ensure that children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program can receive timely health care without facing unnecessary barriers simply based on where they live. Pediatricians call on Congress to swiftly advance this bipartisan legislation, and we thank Representatives Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) for their leadership on the issue,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Sandy Chung, MD, FAAP.