Benefits Of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

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CRNA’s have been and are the main anesthesia providers in rural hospitals in the United States, making up more than 70% of anesthesia providers (Fallacaro & Ruiz-Law, 2004). They are able to provide safe and cost-effective care. CRNA’s enable the ability of rural hospitals to perform surgical procedures, maintain emergency services, and offer obstetrical care to patients who may otherwise need to travel long distances for care (Fallacaro & Ruiz-Law, 2004). They are able to provide services in rural areas through reimbursement from Medicare. Physician anesthesiologists were not part of this reimbursement plan until recently when the Medicare Access to Rural Anesthesiology Act was introduced. The purpose of this paper is to use the critical…show more content…
The program exists to ensure the availability of CRNA services in rural hospitals (AANA, 2015). For decades now, this program has successfully and safely ensured the availability of anesthesia services. It reimburses rural hospitals reasonable and necessary costs of anesthesia services (AANA, 2015). The program allows for high quality and safe anesthesia care at minimal cost.
Political Aspects
Recently, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) requested that the Center for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) allow the same payment arrangements for physician anesthesiologists (American Society of Anesthesiologists [ASA], 2015). The CMS responded that it cannot allow rural facilities to use the same payment program for physician anesthesiologists without a change in the current law (ASA, 2015).
Members of the ASA actively pursued this issue and in 2011 some of the most powerful members in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee sponsored and introduced the Medicare Access to Rural Anesthesiology Act. The goal of the act is to include physician anesthesiologists into the Medicare Part A payment program. The act provides the same Medicare payment arrangements as for CRNA’s, a reasonable cost for anesthesia services (ASA, 2015). However, since the average cost of a physician anesthesiologist is more than that of a
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