WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) led the introduction of the Tech to Save Moms Act, bipartisan legislation to support the use of technology to help close the gap in maternal health care and address the racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality outcomes. Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Ashley Hinson (IA-02), and David Joyce (OH-14) are co-leading the introduction of the Tech to Save Moms Act. U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Dan Sullivan introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
The Tech to Save Moms Act is based on recommendations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to leverage the use of telehealth to improve maternal health outcomes, including expanding remote patient monitoring and promoting virtual training and capacity building models. Digital tools are not the only solution to America’s maternal health crisis, but they can play an important role in addressing specific challenges facing patients and providers, particularly in underserved areas.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said:
“Too many moms die when basic healthcare is inaccessible for them. Moms in Georgia—especially Black moms—know hard it can be to get the care we need. It’s partly to blame for Georgia having the worst maternal mortality crisis in the country. The Tech to Save Moms Act will take an important step to put healthcare technology within reach for moms and moms to be, helping the entire family spend more time together.”
“Innovative technology can play an important role in solving our country’s maternal health crisis,” said Representative Lauren Underwood. “And we have to use every tool at our disposal to help moms get access to the health care they need and deserve both during and after pregnancy. I am proud to join Representatives Nikema Williams, Ashley Hinson, and Dave Joyce to introduce the bipartisan Tech to Save Moms Act, a key part of the Momnibus that will invest in effective digital tools and help save moms’ lives.”
“Advancements in technology have created new opportunities for patients to connect with their doctors, but access to these tools is limited. I am proud to co-lead the bipartisan Tech to Save Moms Act to improve telehealth services for expecting moms and develop tech training for maternity care providers. This will help pregnant women – particularly those in rural and underserved communities – access quality prenatal care for themselves and their babies.” – Congresswoman Ashley Hinson
“Ohio has one of the country’s highest stillbirth rates and fails to show meaningful signs of improvement,” said Congressman Joyce. “We must leverage federal resources to prevent this continued, yet avoidable, loss of life. This bipartisan bill takes a critical step in stillbirth prevention by investing in telehealth and digital tools to increase access to maternity care providers, especially for pregnant women in rural communities.”
The Tech to Save Moms Act will:
1. Require the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to consider models that improve the integration of telehealth services in maternal health care.
2. Authorize funding for technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building models that will develop and disseminate instructional programming and training for maternity care providers in rural and underserved areas, covering topics such as:
- Safety and quality improvement.
- Addressing maternal mental and behavioral health conditions.
- Identifying social determinants of health risks in the prenatal and postpartum periods.
3. Establish a grant program to promote digital tools designed to improve maternal health outcomes, particularly in rural and underserved communities.
4. Commission a comprehensive study on the use of technology in maternity care to reduce maternal mortality, morbidity, and disparities
Over 180 organizations have endorsed the Tech to Save Moms Act including: the Center for Black Women’s Wellness, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nursing, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Association of Black Women Physicians, Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Inc. (BMMA), March of Dimes, National Urban League, and more.
“Expanding digital tools is an important strategy to ensuring access to quality and innovative care in underserved and rural communities,” said Jemea Dorsey, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Black Women’s Wellness. “Greater knowledge and comfort level with digital resources is needed by both patients and providers and is a vital approach to advancing maternal health equity.”
“Lack of access to healthcare is one of the biggest barriers to safe, healthy pregnancies. Since 2018, March of Dimes has reported on the loss of obstetric providers and services which is a growing problem in rural and urban communities. The Tech to Save Moms Act will make a difference for families by investing in and promoting telehealth and digital tools that can be used by families in areas of the country with few or no maternity care providers. We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Nikema Williams, Lauren Underwood, Ashley Hinson, and Dave Joyce, and their Senate partners Senators Bob Menendez and Dan Sullivan. As a country, we need legislation like the Tech to Save Moms Act so that families do not need to extend themselves to access the high-quality maternity care they need and deserve.”—Stacey Y. Brayboy, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs at March of Dimes.
“Addressing the maternity care crisis has become a critical challenge in our country, and the ATA and ATA Action proudly stand behind the Tech to Save Moms Act, introduced by telehealth champions, Representatives Williams, Underwood, Hinson, and Joyce, to improve the maternal health outcomes for rural and underserved populations,” said Kyle Zebley, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, American Telemedicine Association, and Executive Director, ATA Action. “This bipartisan legislation leverages virtual care to assist in bridging gaps in maternal healthcare, to support safe pregnancies and childbirth, improving maternity care services, and increase access to digital tools to help pregnant and postpartum women and improve the health of both mother and child.”
“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is pleased to support the introduction of the Tech to Save Moms Act, which will help expand access to care for pregnant individuals across the country,” said Verda Hicks, MD, FACOG, President of ACOG. “Currently, more than a third of U.S. counties are considered maternity care deserts, making it more important than ever that we invest in the integration and development of telehealth and other digital tools that help improve maternal health care. A significant number of Black and Indigenous people are represented in the country’s rural population. It is incredibly important that this legislation provides funding that will specifically be used to promote digital tools that will help eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes, particularly in underserved communities. ACOG thanks Representatives Nikema Williams, Lauren Underwood, Ashley Hinson, and David Joyce for their leadership and for ensuring that this legislation remains a priority.”
Click here to read the text of the Tech to Save Moms Act.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.