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Press Release

Reps. Castor, Salazar, Frankel, Letlow Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Maternal Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL-27), Lois Frankel (D-FL-22), and Julia Letlow (R-LA-5) released the following statements after re-introducing the Connected Maternal Online Monitoring (MOM) Act, which would improve health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women, as well as their newborns. 

The bill encourages easier access to devices and services that allow physicians to monitor their pregnant patients remotely to identify life-threatening complications like blood pressure irregularities. It requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide recommendations and resources to state Medicaid programs on how to cover these devices to make them more accessible in the future. 

“Medicaid is key to keeping moms and infants healthy and well,” said Rep. Castor. “The bipartisan Connected MOM Act will help ensure that families have access to the technology needed for a safe pregnancy. Together, we can reduce maternal mortality and improve outcomes for children too through expanded and modern care delivery.”

“Ensuring that expectant mothers have access to every tool necessary is vital to supporting maternal health and to our nation’s future,” said Rep. Salazar. “I am proud to co-lead legislation that would give new and expecting mothers and their children the head-start they deserve with the best technology our country has to offer.”

“The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in any developed nation in the world, disproportionately impacting communities of color,” said Rep. Frankel. “Virtual medical monitoring can identify pregnancy and postpartum complications, aiding medical providers and improving health outcomes for expectant mothers and their children.”

“As a mom of two children myself, maternal health has always been an issue near and dear to my heart. However, it is often overlooked and not easily accessible, especially in rural districts like mine,” said Rep. Letlow. “I am proud to co-lead this legislation that will increase the access pregnant women have to high-quality remote care, and makes this flexible care more affordable. The benefits will be felt in the Fifth District of Louisiana and far beyond.”

“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is proud to support the bipartisan Connected MOM Act. This bill will go a long way in helping to improve maternal health outcomes by creating policies and providing state resources that will make it easier for pregnant patients, especially those living in rural areas, to receive the evidence-based care they need,” said Stella Dantas, MD, FACOG, President of ACOG. “Patient monitoring for blood pressure and glucose levels through remote medical devices have shown clear maternal health benefits. An increasing number of patients live in communities where there are challenges in accessing care. These supportive policies would decrease the need for unnecessary office visits while also potentially increasing adherence to evidence-based prenatal care plans. The COVID-19 pandemic was a great case study in the use of telehealth to improve access to care and address socioeconomic and racial health inequities. ACOG applauds the leadership of Representatives Frankel, Salazar, Castor, and Letlow, who are continuing to carry those lessons forward to improve the health and lives of pregnant and postpartum people.”

“March of Dimes research shows more than 5.6 million women live in counties with no or limited access to maternity care services, forcing families to find new ways to get the care they need. To help moms have a healthy pregnancy and birth, we must support policies, programs, and funding that sustain and expand telehealth services and access to remote devices for families and providers,” said Stacey Y. Brayboy, March of Dimes, Sr. Vice President, Public Policy & Government Affairs. “The Connected Maternal Online Monitoring (MOM) Act, sponsored by Reps. Frankel, Salazar, Castro, and Letlow, and Sens. Cassidy and Hassan, takes important steps in requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to update state resources, like Medicaid telehealth toolkits and to provide coverage recommendations for remote devices such as those that can check for irregularities in blood pressure, blood glucose, and pulse rates which can be indicators of potential pregnancy complications. This legislation has the potential to help providers catch risks earlier in pregnancy which can lead to better outcomes for moms and babies.”

Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Todd Young (R-IN), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.