Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, helped introduce the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act of 2014 on Tuesday.

The legislation, if passed, would help coordinate care for children met with medical complexities in Medicaid. 

One in 25 children is considered medically complex, a term used to describe children with cancer, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome, or other conditions that require constant care and medical expertise, according to the bill.

The ACE Kids Act, which is voluntary for states, providers and families, would create nationally designated children’s hospital networks to care for children with medical complexity.

Children’s hospitals would anchor these networks because of their experience in treating the specialized needs of these children, according to Herrera Beutler’s office.   

“All children deserve access to 21st century, state-of-the-art medical care. Unfortunately, the current Medicaid system limits struggling families’ access to specialized care based on their  ZIP code,” Herrera Beutler said in a news release.  

“I’m pleased to help with this bipartisan solution that will use existing resources to expand options for low-income families on Medicaid, ultimately driving down costs for taxpayers. That means more children from Southwest Washington and elsewhere will get access to the best children’s hospitals and the lifesaving care they provide– regardless of the state where they live.”

About two-thirds of the 3 million children with medical complexity are covered by Medicaid, and represent nearly 40 percent of Medicaid costs for kids.

ACE Kids would help optimize their care before they transition to adult medicine.

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