WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined by U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Todd Young (R-IN) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at improving health care for expectant mothers. The Connected Maternal Online Monitoring Services (MOM) Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) 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. It also requires CMS to update state resources, such as state Medicaid telehealth toolkits, to correspond with the recommendations provided. The goal is to improve maternal and infant outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women.
“Maternal mortality is far too common in Louisiana. Using the latest technology we can save lives,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill allows moms with high risk pregnancies, especially in underserved communities, to stay at home while her physician remotely monitors her and her baby’s health.”
“The pandemic has shown how important telehealth is for improving accessibility of care and health outcomes, including for women who have trouble accessing regular prenatal care,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill will strengthen maternal health care in underserved communities by working to expand access to devices that enable health care providers to monitor a pregnant woman’s vital signs from the comfort of her home. I will continue working across the aisle to support the health and wellbeing of pregnant women and their babies in New Hampshire and across the country.”
“The U.S. remains woefully behind most developed countries when it comes to maternal health care, and the problem is particularly acute in our most underserved communities,” said Senator Carper. “The Connected MOM Act would help capitalize on telehealth innovations and connect pregnant women in Delaware to affordable care, for both themselves and their babies. I want to thank Senators Cassidy and Hassan for leading a bipartisan effort on this important issue.”
“Research indicates that roughly 60 percent of maternal deaths in the United States can be prevented through patient care, education, and timely interventions. Sadly, Indiana historically has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country. I’ve been working to tackle this crisis that’s been heightened by the pandemic, and that work continues with the reintroduction of our Connected MOM Act to improve remote care for Hoosier mothers and identify potential issues before they become life-threatening,” said Senator Young.
“A lack of access to nearby medical services can often lead to severe complications for pregnant women living in rural and underserved communities,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to co-support this bipartisan legislation, which would improve health care for expectant mothers through the use of remote medical devices to ensure that complications are caught early on and treated. Through technology, we can improve outcomes for moms, and help save lives. I will continue working in Congress on forward-thinking legislation to improve the health of Nevada women and families.”
The bill was inspired by the Connected Maternity Online Monitoring program established by Ochsner Health headquartered in New Orleans. Ochsner provides program participants with equipment for at-home checks to both catch potential issues early and to reduce the number of in-person clinic visits.
“We strongly support the reintroduction of this bipartisan legislation, led by Senator Cassidy, which will help advance innovative care to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies across the nation, especially within underserved communities. Ochsner has been heavily involved in local and statewide efforts to improve obstetric care as part of our commitment to maximize outcomes for mothers and babies. We believe that the adoption and provision of innovative technologies and devices to Medicaid patients to support patient monitoring of blood pressure and other vitals will change and strengthen the way care is delivered, result in better outcomes and improve the lives of mothers and children. We thank Senators Cassidy and Hassan for their continued leadership on this critical public health issue,” said Ochsner Health President and CEO Warner Thomas.