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Rosen reintroduces bills targeting rural health care

Updated February 5, 2021 - 12:36 am

U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., announced the reintroduction of the Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act and the Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act Thursday, bills aimed at supporting health care in rural and underserved areas.

“During this public health crisis, it is critical that we ensure proper access to quality, affordable health care for Nevadans in all corners of our state,” Rosen said. “These bipartisan bills will take steps to increase access to specialty care and support for primary care providers in health centers and rural clinics in the state, as well as utilize technology and data to lay the groundwork for increasing access to broadband and telemedicine and improving health outcomes for Nevada mothers.

“I will keep working in Congress to improve and modernize our health care system, increase access to care and protect the health of all Nevadans.”

The Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act, which was introduced with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, would create a five-year pilot program that provides a funding opportunity for up to 100 federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics to boost capacity in specific areas of medical need within their communities, enhancing skills in these areas and expanding access to care.

The legislation was last introduced in early 2020 and was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions at that time.

The Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act, introduced with Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Todd Young, R-Indiana and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, would require the Federal Communications Commission to map areas in the United States that have both broadband service gaps and high rates of poor maternal health outcomes.

This critical information will help identify where improved access to telehealth services can be most effective, an issue of particular importance as U.S. women face startling statistics during pregnancy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, severe complications related to pregnancy, known as severe maternal morbidity, affects more than 50,000 women in the U.S. each year. The Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act passed the Senate in December 2020.

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