Sinema Announces Telehealth Funding for Arizona Communities

May 6, 2020

Sinema helped secure funding for telehealth services in the CARES Act

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today announced the FCC awarded the Navajo Nation Department of Health $954,990 and the El Rio Santa Cruz Neighborhood Health Center in Tucson $444,462 for telehealth services to help serve Arizonans during the coronavirus pandemic.       
“Staying home is key to slowing the spread of coronavirus and keeping Arizonans safe. Today’s funding for telehealth services helps Arizonans access important medical services during the ongoing public health crisis,” said Sinema.
Today, Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau approved two funding applications for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, helping health care providers provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic. The FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program was authorized by the CARES Act, which Sinema helped shaped. 
The FCC awarded the El Rio Santa Cruz Neighborhood Health Center, Inc in Tucson, Arizona with 12 sites throughout the community $444,462 to provide video telehealth services and remote patient monitoring of chronic diseases to ensure continued care for high-risk patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FCC also awarded the Navajo Nation Department of Health in Window Rock, Arizona $954,990 to provide home health care and remote monitoring services throughout the Navajo Nation to patients who are isolated and under shelter-in-place orders, including low-income, elderly and vulnerable and high-risk patients.
Following recent calls from Sinema, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agreed to expand coverage of telehealth services for Arizona seniors and critical behavioral health care organizations. Previously, video-telehealth medical services were covered under Medicare, but many audio-telehealth services were not. Sinema called on CMS to close that gap so all Arizona seniors have access to health services during the coronavirus outbreak. 
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website, with specific resources for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.