Caravan Health and more than 40 partner providers strongly support the Increasing Rural Health Access During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Act. This legislation would help rural providers start or maintain remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through digital technology, RPM transmits vital patient information from the home to a provider for assessment, recommendations, and interventions. RPM allows patients to stay connected with their care teams while they are at home and is especially helpful in rural areas where traveling to a provider can be prohibitive.

See Caravan’s letters to the U.S. House and Senate here.

RPM should be part of any health practice’s virtual care strategy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual care has become a lifeline, helping patients and providers stay connected while keeping everyone as safe as possible. Providers and staff can rely on a virtual care strategy to maintain a continuity of preventive care and receive alerts to any potential concerns. Consistency in care delivery is the key. Caravan’s Virtual Care Guide explains how to encourage your patients to walk through your virtual front door.

Virtual care, such as RPM, is critical to rural health care. Rural providers are on the front line of care on behalf of their communities in the fight against COVID-19. They are often the sole source of care within and around a community and many patients depend on these facilities for a full complement of health care services, from primary care to acute inpatient treatment. Providers in rural and underserved communities also treat more challenging and unique patient populations who typically have higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. These conditions require regular monitoring and place patients at higher risk for COVID-19 complications.

The Increasing Rural Health Access During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Act lowers barriers to implementing virtual care for rural providers. The bill would help these providers cover the costs of developing and delivering RPM services, acquiring the necessary equipment including computer hardware and software, audio and video equipment, and data terminal equipment, and providing for transmission of medical data and maintenance of equipment.

Together with our partners, Caravan Health urges Congress to quickly pass this important legislation.

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Recent Resources

CMS Actions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

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