Increasing Rural Health Access During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Act 

Representatives Xochitl Torres Small and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced the bipartisan bill, Increasing Rural Health Access During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency Act. By investing $50 million in rural communities, this bill, introducing a pilot grant program, would help expand access to telehealth in rural areas by increasing remote patient monitoring. Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Dan Jones (D-AL) also introduced the bill to the legislature, stating that it will aid rural health clinics, community health centers, community behavioral health centers, long-term care facilities, and rural hospitals. According to McSally, “Provider shortages, especially among specialists who care for Americans living with chronic conditions, are painfully evident in rural America and on tribal lands, where the prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension is often higher than the rest of the country.” She advocates that increasing access to telehealth in rural areas will “remedy these shortages” by allowing vulnerable populations to benefit from health care remotely.