Following Sinema Pressure, Arizona Gets Flexibility to Serve Vulnerable Arizonans’ Health Needs During Coronavirus Outbreak

Mar 26, 2020

WASHINGTON – Following pressure from Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) agreed to cut red tape and grant the request from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) for critical flexibility needed to care for vulnerable Arizonans during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Fighting the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak requires the federal government to cut red tape, allowing Arizona the flexibility it needs to boost the health care workforce and to care for Arizona’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Sinema. 
Sinema urged CMS to approve AHCCCS’ Section 1135 request which allows states additional health authorities in a national emergency to better serve Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries. CMS agreed to allow AHCCCS to fully mobilize its health care workforce by streamlining the process for bringing new providers on-board, temporarily suspending prior authorization requirements that get in between providers and patients and delays care, and expanding telehealth options for Arizonans as needed.
Sinema recently cosponsored the bipartisan Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act, which looks to provide economic relief for Arizona’s rural hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak so they can keep their doors open, pay their workers, and continue serving our communities.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website,, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.
Click HERE for Spanish version of release.