CMS Suspends Supervision Requirements for CRNAs

  • Mar 30, 2020

For immediate release: March 30, 2020
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Ill. (AANA)—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily suspended physician supervision requirements for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)—an action that the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) deems a critical step for CRNAs to serve the U.S. healthcare system more effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to a March 30 news release, the CMS announced an unprecedented array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the  pandemic. 

Waiving the requirements will allow states to optimize their healthcare workforce and enable CRNAs to practice at the top of their license. Made possible by President Trump’s recent emergency declaration and emergency rule making, the temporary changes will apply immediately across the entire U.S. healthcare system for the duration of the emergency declaration. The regulatory changes allow hospitals and health systems to deliver services at other locations to make room for COVID-19 patients needing acute care in their main facility. 

“Removing burdensome restrictions on CRNAs and other healthcare professionals is the right policy at this critical juncture and is desperately needed to meet the growing demands on our healthcare delivery system,” said AANA President Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA LTC (ret).  

“Facilities need maximum flexibility in utilizing CRNAs and other advanced practice registered nurses to manage and staff intensive care units, operating rooms, critical care and other units as patient care requires. CRNAs can play an important role in providing life-saving critical care management for patients impacted by the COVID-19 virus,” said Jansky. 

Earlier this month, AANA CEO Randall D. Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA, met with President Trump, Vice President Pence, CMS Administrator Verma and other key senior administration officials at the White House to convey the top priorities of CRNA, nurses, and other healthcare providers as the nation prepared to deepen its response to the pandemic. Along with leaders of other national nursing organizations, Moore requested that federal agencies remove all regulatory barriers for advanced practice nurses and other non-physician providers to practice at the top of their education and training, ensure that all healthcare providers immediately have appropriate personal protective equipment to protect themselves, and ensure a sufficient number of ventilators and other medical equipment to accommodate the anticipated surge of patients impacted by the virus.  

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