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Rep. Porter Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Improve Patient Safety during Coronavirus Pandemic

Congresswoman’s legislation would make it easier for healthcare providers to access tools needed to monitor patients remotely

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today introduced bipartisan legislation with Congressman Fred Upton (MI-6) that would improve care for patients outside of clinical settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Remote Patient Monitoring Access (RPM Access) Act makes it easier for providers, hospitals, and health systems to get the tools they need to monitor patients’ vitals remotely. 

“During this pandemic, healthcare providers across the country are struggling to manage ever-increasing demands on their resources, all while facing falling revenues” Congresswoman Porter said. “Congress has passed legislation to help hospitals pay for the tools they need to keep patients safe during this public health emergency, but we can do more. My bill with Congressman Upton would make it easier for providers using these funds to offer remote care to patients.”

“Doing everything we can to keep both patients and health providers safe – especially during the worst global public health crisis in a century – is a must,” Congressman Upton said. “The bipartisan Remote Patient Monitoring Access Act uses technology to monitor patients’ health status, prioritizing their safety and avoiding needless risk. This bill is a win-win for patients and health care professionals, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get it across the finish line.”

Under coronavirus relief legislation signed into law, healthcare providers can use federal dollars to purchase medical equipment needed to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Porter’s RPM Access Act clarifies that this program covers remote patient monitoring devices, which allow healthcare workers to keep track of patients’ health status, such as heart rate or oxygen levels in the blood, outside of conventional clinical settings. The legislation could help stop the spread of coronavirus by allowing patients who are low-risk or have mild symptoms to self-isolate in the comfort of their own homes and still safely receive care, while making it easier for providers to manage the increasing demands on their resources.

Congresswoman Porter has been a leader during the coronavirus pandemic in fighting for better healthcare for Orange County families. Last month, she introduced the Patients Before Profits Act, which holds insurance companies accountable by requiring that they not renegotiate contracts during an ongoing public health crisis. She’s held private-equity firms to account for trying to increase profits by looting the pensions of healthcare workers and hospitals in underserved communities. Congresswoman Porter secured a commitment that the Administration would use its existing authority to make COVID-19 testing free for every American.