Sinema-Backed Bill Protects Access and Lowers Costs of Nursing Care for Arizona Seniors

Oct 28, 2019

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored a bipartisan bill to protect access and lower the cost of skilled nursing care for Arizona seniors.

“Arizona seniors have earned their Medicare benefits through a lifetime of hard work. Lowering the cost of care and protecting access to skilled nursing ensures seniors who have been hospitalized receive the care they need when they get discharged,” said Sinema.

Currently, seniors admitted to hospitals must be considered “inpatient” for at least three nights to be able to access skilled nursing care under Medicare. Increasingly, patients are being admitted to hospitals under “observation status,” which does not qualify them skilled nursing care through Medicare. These seniors are either forced to return home, putting patients at greater health risks, or they must pay out-of-pocket for skilled nursing care. Sinema’s bipartisan Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act ensures seniors who spend at least three nights in a hospital are able to receive skilled nursing care covered by Medicare, lowering the cost of care and protecting access to Medicare benefits for 1.3 million Arizona seniors.

Sinema recently cosponsored the bipartisan Home Health Payment Innovation Act, which lowers costs and protects Arizona seniors’ access to critical home health care services through Medicare. Earlier this year, Sinema also cosponsored the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act—legislation that helps seniors in rural Arizona access the in-home health care services they’ve earned through Medicare by allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and similarly qualified medical providers to prescribe home health care under Medicare.

Click HERE for Spanish version of release.