Study Confirms Quality and Safety of CRNAs

New evidence confirms the quality and safety of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and the anesthesia care they deliver!

This is the conclusion reached by Jerry Cromwell, PhD and Brian Dulisse, PhD while researching the quality and safety of care provided by CRNAs in states that opted out of the physician supervision rule by Medicaid (“No Harm Found When Nurse Anesthetists Work Without Supervision by Physicians”). The study concludes that there is no difference in the outcome experienced by the patient whether the anesthetic was administered by the physician anesthesiologist, the supervised Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or the unsupervised CRNA.

RTI International, where the study was conducted, confirmed what has been known for years by the community of nurse anesthetists; CRNA-only care is high quality and safe. As of right now, the Center’s for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) restricts or in some cases prohibits reimbursements to hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers where there is no physician supervision of the CRNA. However, states began opting out of that rule in 2001. California is the most recent of the 15 states to have opted out.

The RTI findings illustrate that physician supervision of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is outdated and unnecessary. The study compared states where physician supervision is mandatory versus 14 states where it is not and found that the patient outcomes did not differ. As a result, the authors of the study are recommending that CMS repeal the “supervision rule.” Paul Santoro, CRNA, MS and president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist’s (AANA) states, “this study should encourage other states to think critically about their healthcare needs and how nurse anesthetists can expand access to anesthesia services.”

In a recent article published in May by RTI, they found that the CRNA-only anesthesia care to be the most cost-effective anesthesia delivery model. This study obtained coverage in such notable media sources such as: The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Bureau of National Affairs, and Modern Healthcare.

For further information on this topic visit the AANA website or contact Steel City Anesthesia.