CHI Founder Ann Armstrong-Dailey Applauds New ChiPACC Bill Introduced in Congress

Says H.R.4605 Will Provide Care for America's Children

May 16, 2014, 12:30 ET from Children's Hospice International

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ann Armstrong-Dailey, founding director of Children's Hospice International (CHI), Friday applauded the re-introduction of the Children's Program of All-Inclusive Coordinated Care (ChiPACC) Act of 2014 in the United States Congress by U.S. Reps. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Jim Moran of Virginia.  The bill was recently co-sponsored by Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, known as a champion in the hospice care industry.

"This bill is one that everyone can stand behind. I hope that this landmark bill passes both houses of Congress and can be signed into law by President Obama," Ms. Armstrong-Dailey said.

The legislation (H.R. 4605) provides states with the flexibility to establish a ChiPACC program.

The program is a collaborative model of care developed by CHI with technical assistance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CHI is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to proving all-inclusive care from time of diagnosis for children with life-threatening conditions and their families, with hope for a cure.

Ms. Armstrong-Dailey said, "It is with great gratitude that we thank Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and Congressman Jim Moran for working together to introduce the ChiPACC bill.  We also appreciate Congressman Ralph Hall for his support—and encourage other Members of Congress to join with them in this important endeavor." Armstrong-Dailey also thanked the CMS for its technical assistance, other Congressional Members, and healthcare leaders.

The program offers a vital pathway for the delivery of critical services to Medicaid-eligible children with life-threatening conditions and their families who are currently restricted to "hospice" services under the traditional Medicaid model, she said.

Currently, states have the ability to establish a ChiPACC program through a complex waiver process. ChiPACC programs in operation have seen significant cost savings through their state Medicaid programs.

U.S. Rep. Ellmers, the lead Republican sponsor, and a nurse by training, said: "This bill will reduce costs while providing greater efficiency and better options for states – so that they can provide the right aid at the right time. I'm proud to be a part of this effort and encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join in this important cause. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your child suffer through a devastating disease."

U.S. Rep. Moran, who introduced the ChiPACC bill in previous sessions of Congress, also released a statement. "We know that children are much more likely than adults to go in and out of terminal phases of their illness multiple times and require highly specialized care.  Parents shouldn't be forced to choose between hospice and curative care for their child."

U.S. Rep. Hall – a recent co-sponsor, said, "It's imperative that we provide sufficient hospice care to not only those who have traditional needs, but also to children who have life-threatening conditions. This is an issue that we can all agree on."  Mr. Hall is recognized as a major voice in the effort to preserve hospice care jobs after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

The ChiPACC Act of 2014 (HR 4605) will be referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Ms. Armstrong-Dailey said H.R. 4605 is also known as the "Mattie and Melinda Bill" in loving remembrance of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Melinda Lawrence, who were inspirational forces to CHI in its early ground-breaking days.

"Children's Hospice International looks forward to working with supporters on the Hill to move this critical legislation forward on behalf of so many seriously ill children and their families," said Armstrong-Dailey.

Founded in 1983, the central goal of CHI is to promote hospice support through pediatric care facilities, encourage the inclusion of children in existing and developing hospice, palliative and home care programs, and include the hospice perspectives in all areas of pediatric care and education, and ensure maximum public awareness of this important need.

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SOURCE Children's Hospice International