Park Ridge, Ill.—The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) deems the signing of an executive order to protect and improve Medicare a strong step toward ensuring access to high-quality anesthesia care and enabling nurse anesthetists to practice at the top of their license.
“We are pleased to see that our voices are being heard and for the continued advancement of our great profession,” said Randall D. Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA, chief executive officer of the AANA—a professional association representing the nation’s 54,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists.
According to Moore, the executive order calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make several reforms to Medicare within one year and to propose a regulation that would eliminate burdensome regulatory billing requirements, remove costly and needless physician supervision requirements, and all other licensure requirements of the Medicare program that limit physicians and non-physicians from practicing at full scope.
The order also directs the secretary to conduct a comprehensive review of regulatory policies that create disparities in reimbursement between physicians and non-physician practitioners and to propose a regulation that would, to the extent allowed by law, ensure that items and services provided are appropriately reimbursed in accordance with the work performed rather than the clinician’s occupation.
“The AANA has been holding high-level meetings with the HHS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Congress to achieve these reforms, and we will continue to spend our time and energy in Washington, D.C., as the executive order is implemented,” said Moore.
The AANA has remained deeply committed to ensuring that “all patients across the country have access to high-quality anesthesia care. CRNAs are a big part of that process,” said Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA LTC (ret), AANA president.
“CRNAs are anesthesia experts qualified to deliver specialized care to all patients, from infants to seniors, for every type of procedure in all types of facilities. Published research shows no difference in outcomes of care with physician supervision, and there is no justification for the increase in cost to patients and facilities,” said Jansky.
Nurse anesthetists have been the backbone of anesthesia delivery in the United States since the Civil War, said Jansky, adding that restricting CRNA practice is contrary to the national trend toward allowing advanced practice registered nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training.