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Allied Healthcare Trends

Colorado is 16th State to Opt-Out of CRNA Supervision Rule

As healthcare demands continue to grow, hospitals continue to seek additional cost cutting measures. Many states are choosing to opt-out of the federal physician supervision requirements for CRNAs. States in rural and under served areas find the opt-out move especially effective for filling their anesthesia needs. Currently, the 16 states that have opted out include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. Colorado chose to opt-out after two recent studies confirmed the cost effectiveness of CRNAs and the safety of CRNAs. In the May-June 2010 Nursing Economics, The Lewin Group published the “Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Anesthesia Providers” which concluded that CRNAs would be “key to containing costs while maintaining quality care.”
Concerning the safety of CRNAs, the authors of an August 3rd study in Health Affairs, a leading journal of health policy, recommended that Medicare repeal the physician supervision requirements for CRNAs. Their recommendation was based on a study by the RTI that confirmed that CRNAs provide safe, high quality care.
As our healthcare needs continue to grow, it is clear that CRNAs will be a vital component of economical, safe anesthesia. You can read more about it here: “A study in health affairs confirms quality, safety of nurse anesthetist care.”
Will additional states opt-out or will we see a repeal of the Medicare requirement for CRNA supervision?

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Spencer Sutherland

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