Senator Hawley, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Health Care Access for Children

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WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 05: Sen. Josh Hawley, (R-MO), speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation” on Capitol Hill on August 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Crossfire Hurricane was an FBI counterintelligence investigation relating to contacts between Russian officials and associates of Donald Trump. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and a group of colleagues joined Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in introducing the bipartisan Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act to help families access life-saving care for children with complex medical conditions. The legislation will provide increased-access to medical care while retaining program safeguards and reducing regulatory burdens on providers.
   
“When Missouri children with complex medical needs require out-of-state specialized care, their families are often forced to navigate burdensome red tape that impedes timely access to care. This commonsense legislation helps to remove these barriers, creating an expedited process that will ensure that children receive the treatment they need when they need it,” Hawley said.
 
“Children with complex medical needs and their families have plenty to worry about without adding in the uncertainty and stress of not being able to receive the care they need in a timely manner. This commonsense legislation will relieve some of that burden by making the process simpler and more efficient at no additional cost to families,” Grassley said.
 
“Families should have every tool at their disposal when trying to find the right care for their kids. This legislation will help kids with complex medical conditions receive the treatment they need and take one burden off the shoulders of families navigating the complexity of coordinating appointments and providers no matter what state they live in,” Bennet said. “This bipartisan legislation builds on the ACE Kids Act, which we passed into law last year. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill for the kids across our country who have complex medical needs and their families.”
 
Children with complex medical needs cannot always receive the highly specialized care they need within their home state. When that happens, parents must work with health care providers and state Medicaid officials to find out-of-state providers able to provide necessary medical care. The process is difficult and full of red tape, delaying children and their families from receiving the care they desperately need, and in some cases not receiving access to care at all.
 
The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act would provide states with the ability to use a streamlined screening and enrollment process for out-of-state pediatric care providers that need to enroll in another state’s Medicaid program, at the same time safeguarding important program integrity processes. This would help reduce the red tape and regulatory burdens that slow down or, in certain cases, prohibit children from receiving the care they need.
 
Additional original cosponsors on this bill include Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

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