Sinema Bill Increases Access to Hospice Care in Rural Arizona

May 20, 2019

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan Rural Access to Hospice Act—legislation that increases access to hospice care for Arizonans in rural communities. 

“Arizonans in rural communities trust their own doctors and should be able to rely on local providers to oversee their final care,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Aging Committee.

The Rural Access to Hospice Act allows community health centers in rural Arizona communities to receive payments for hospice services under Medicare Part B. The bipartisan legislation is critical for Arizona seniors who often depend on their local health center as their primary trusted primary care physician.

Seniors who enroll in hospice need to select a doctor or nurse practitioner to serve as their attending physician. These medical professionals are normally reimbursed through Medicare Part B, but a statutory gap does not allow for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Centers to bill for hospice services under Part B. The Rural Access to Hospice Act would fix that gap.

Sinema also championed the bipartisan Rural Access to Hospice Act while serving in the U.S. House.

Earlier this year, Sinema partnered with a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Mental Health Improvement Act, which expands mental health services for seniors.