Former AANA President Quintana to Serve on MACRA Cost Measures Technical Experts Panel
Former AANA President Juan Quintana, DNP, MHS, CRNA, has been selected to serve on the Episode-Based Cost Measures Technical Experts Panel (TEP) that will develop care episode and patient condition groups for use in cost measures to meet the requirements of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
Formation of the TEP was announced on Nov. 19 by Acumen, LLC, which has been contracted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to undertake this project.
Quintana was informed of his selection by Acumen, which stated a goal of achieving a “balanced and diverse TEP composition.” The company’s TEP support team told Quintana, “We believe that your perspective, experience, and expertise would provide valuable input to the development of episode-based cost measures, and we would greatly appreciate your participation in the TEP.” Quintana was the fiscal year 2016 AANA president and is currently president of Texas-based Sleepy Anesthesia.
The TEP’s overall objective is to develop episode-based cost measures for the cost performance category of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS), one of four categories that make up the total score for performance on the MIPS. As CMS continues to develop the cost performance category, it has chosen not to count this category for 2017, the first performance year, but will count it for 2018 and beyond. The cost performance category compares resources used to treat similar care episodes and clinical condition groups across practices. These episode-based cost measures will be reported on provider claims that will be used to attribute patients and episodes to clinicians as part of the cost performance category. Therefore, it is vital that episode-based cost measures account for the true cost of furnishing anesthesia care services.
CMS will rely on the TEP to provide input on claims assignments for procedural and acute condition episode groups and on concepts relating to the development of episode-based cost measures.
The TEP will meet in Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2016.
The 2016 PQRS Performance Year Ends on December 31—Have You Started Reporting?
If not, don’t worry, you still have time. As a reminder, if you do not report to PQRS for the 2016 performance year, you will automatically receive a -2 percent penalty on your 2018 Medicare reimbursement. CRNAs now qualify for the Value-Based Modifier program and will receive an additional -2 percent to -4 percent penalty for not reporting to PQRS. Since claims-based reporting is no longer a viable option for most CRNAs, they will need to report using a certified EHR system, a Qualified Registry (QR), or a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR). Most QRs and QCDRs will accept quality data through February 2017, but don’t delay any longer! Visit Quality-Reimbursement to learn more about how to successfully report to PQRS for 2016, and be sure to check out our PQRS Checklist and QCDR infographics.
MACRA, QPP, MIPS, APMs? What does it all mean for CRNAs?
The AANA Research and Quality Division has created a short MACRA video to introduce CRNAs to the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) that will begin with the 2017 performance year, replacing PQRS. The video and other MACRA resources are available on the Quality-Reimbursement. The QPP was established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and applies to eligible clinicians participating in Medicare Part B, including CRNAs. Most CRNAs will have to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track of the QPP to avoid the -4 percent Medicare reimbursement penalty and possibly earn an incentive in 2019.
Carfentanil Warning for Nurse Anesthetists
Recently, President Cheryl Nimmo, DNP, MSHSA, CRNA, emailed members and students addressing safety issues related to carfentanil and fentanyl-related compounds. Carfentanil is easily disguised as or disguised in heroin or cocaine and is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, further raising the risk of overdose. The AANA encourages nurse anesthetists providing care for patients who may have a carfentanil overdose to be cognizant of their personal safety and vigilant in avoiding contact with the patient, as the drug may be present on them.
Stay up to date on this subject by accessing opioid crisis resources. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the AANA Professional Practice Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-655-8870.
Seed Global Health Offers Volunteer Opportunity in Liberia
Anybody out there want to pay it forward? Seed Global Health, in cooperation with the Peace Corps and PEPFAR, is accepting applications now from CRNAs for the opportunity to spend a year in Liberia developing and expanding this country's only anesthesia school. For more information, visit Seed Global Health or contact Dr. Mary O’Sullivan at email@example.com or via What's App at +231777390439 with any questions. The application deadline is Dec. 5, 2016, for a July 2017 departure.
Updated Practice Document: Unintended Awareness
The updated practice document Unintended Awareness during General Anesthesia offers guidance to help anesthesia professionals prevent and manage an occurrence of unintended awareness under general anesthesia.
Developing a comprehensive policy to address the prevention and management of unintended awareness during general anesthesia and identifying high-risk patients is critical to patient well-being.
New Pain Practice Management Resource: Pain Management Clinic Organization
A new checklist, Pain Clinic Organization and Function, is available for members as part of the Practice Management Initiative. This checklist guides members through considerations for starting a pain practice, including topics such as pain management experience and personal motivation, developing a business plan, contract considerations, clinical and facility practice development, operations and policies, patient care, and documentation.
State Government Affairs
State Election Results Roundup
With the new legislative session in most states right around the corner, it is important to take notice of the election results in the states. In 2016, 44 states held state legislative elections; 86 of the 99 chambers were up for election. Heading into the 2016 elections, Republicans held a majority of state legislative chambers. Sixty-nine chambers were under Republican control, while Democrats held majorities in 30 chambers. Post-election, Republicans will control 66 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers, Democrats will control 30 chambers, and one chamber will be tied. The New York Senate is still undecided. Therefore, after this election, Republicans will control both chambers of the legislature in 32 states, Democrats will control both chambers in 13 states, and three states will be split controlled or tied. More information on state elections can be found at NCSL.ORG.
Meetings and Workshops
Mid-Year Assembly Advance Registration Now Open!
The AANA Mid-Year Assembly is designed to prepare CRNAs to effectively advocate on Capitol Hill for protecting and advancing nurse anesthesia practice. You'll develop professional advocacy skills and healthcare policy understanding that promotes leadership at the national level and in professional practice.
Important Information About Mid-Year Assembly Travel and Hotel Accommodations
We can’t wait to see you in the heart of D.C. for the most powerful and exciting meeting of the year. Before you make your travel and hotel arrangements for the AANA Mid-Year Assembly, please note that discounted hotel rates are available from April 5 through April 12. Extend your stay after the meeting to enjoy the National Cherry Blossom Festival or use that time to reconvene with your state associations and regions. Earlier dates are not guaranteed as the festival attracts tens of thousands of tourists from around the world. Also, there is a very large convention and hotel availability is scarce. Haven’t registered yet? Get the preparation you need to advance CRNA policy interests on Capitol Hill and to effectively advocate for your profession. Then apply a broader knowledge of policy and reimbursement issues at meetings with state representatives and Congressional staff. Space is limited.
Register Now for Assembly of School Faculty
Feb. 23-25, Fort Lauderdale
The AANA Assembly of School Faculty is the only forum that brings all nurse anesthesia educational programs together in one place to discuss current educational requirements and how they will define the future of the profession. If you are passionate about nurse anesthesia education, the Assembly of School Faculty is the must-attend meeting of the year.
Register Now for Upper and Lower Extremity Nerve Block Workshop
The Upper and Lower Extremity Nerve Block Workshop is designed to enhance your knowledge in the clinical sciences related to upper and lower block anesthesia. Featuring didactic and hands-on training, this program will expand the CRNA's skills and expertise in upper and lower extremity nerve block anesthesia.
Bonus: Included with registration, all attendees will receive Upper Extremity Blocks, written by featured speaker Charles A. Reese, PhD, CRNA. Visit the workshop webpage for more information and to register.
Foundation and Research
Register Today for Fun and Education at ASF
Sunset, Surf & Sand and Research Forum
If you’re planning to attend the AANA Assembly of School Faculty meeting in February, you won’t want to miss Sunset, Surf & Sand. This event will be held at Sun, Surf, Sand Restaurant on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2016, from 7-9 p.m.
The Foundation’s Research Forum, Health Services Research – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, will be held Feb. 24, 2017, from 1-3:30 p.m. and will discuss health policy research impact, trends, priorities, and influential topics that may impact the future of anesthesia. (2 CE credits.- includes lunch)
AANA Foundation 2017 Award Nominations Due February 1
Each year the AANA Foundation presents awards at the AANA Annual Congress to individuals who have made a difference in the nurse anesthetist community. The deadline for Award nominations is Feb. 1, 2017. Please honor and recognize someone you know by submitting an award nomination.
Nomination/application forms are available for:
- Advocate of the Year: Presented to an advocate committed to supporting the AANA Foundation and encouraging others to do the same.
- John F. Garde Researcher of the Year: Presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the practice of anesthesia through clinical research.
- Rita L. LeBlanc Philanthropist of the Year: Presented to an individual who has donated time, talent and direct financial support to the AANA Foundation and other deserving organizations.
- Janice Drake CRNA Humanitarian Award: Presented to a CRNA who wishes to volunteer and provide anesthesia, education, and training in needy areas.
Forward the completed form to the AANA Foundation – email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 222 S. Prospect Avenue, Park Ridge, IL 60068.
Thank you in advance for recognizing a member of the nurse anesthesia community. If you have any questions, please contact the AANA Foundation at (847) 655-1170 or email@example.com.
Make Your Year-End Donation to the AANA Foundation Today
Your donation to the AANA Foundation supports important research that advances the nurse anesthesia profession. Evidence provides proof, and proof is power!
Take a moment today to make your year-end, tax-deductible gift to AANA Foundation’s Proof is Power campaign – through the Foundation’s secure donation page. To maximize your opportunity for 2016 tax benefits, please submit your gift before 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2016.
Thank you for your support!
Visit www.crnacareers.com to view or place job postings
Featured Career Opportunity
CRNA Opportunities – Quality Anesthesia
Join the Quality Anesthesia Team and earn 1099 income. Positions available in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Relocation bonus offered. Potential to make $250,000-$300,000.
Healthcare Headlines is for informational purposes, and its content should not be interpreted as endorsements, standards of care, or position statements of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
Effects of Parecoxib on Postoperative Pain and Opioid-Related Symptoms Following Gynecologic Surgery
Results from a Chinese investigation dovetail with existing research demonstrating the benefits of parecoxib after a major gynecologic operation. The study population, including 195 patients, was drawn from a randomized multi-center trial evaluating the efficacy of parecoxib/valdecoxib (PAR/VAL) for postoperative pain versus placebo. Pain-related outcomes were assessed for both groups after surgery. Both pain scores and pain interference with function were lower in the PAR/VAL recipients than in the placebo patients on postoperative days two and three. Participants who took PAR/VAL also needed less morphine at 48 and 72 hours after their procedures than placebo patients—and significantly less of the opioid at 24 hours. Additionally, enrollees in the PAR/VAL group had lower risk of specific opioid-related symptoms, including inability to concentrate and nausea, on postoperative day two. Lastly, both Patient and Physician Global Evaluation of Study Medication scores were better in the PAR/VAL group than in the placebo group.
From "Effects of Parecoxib on Postoperative Pain and Opioid-Related Symptoms Following Gynecologic Surgery"
Journal of Pain Research (11/16) Vol. 9, P. 1101 Parsons, Bruce; Zhu, Qijiang; Li, Chungmi; et al.
Does Analgesic Choice in the ED Affect Persistent Pain After Car Crash?
The kind of analgesic dispensed to vehicular accident victims in the emergency department (ED) appears to have no bearing on the development of persistent moderate-to-severe pain down the road, new research indicates. The finding is reported by a team from Brown University, who piggybacked on data from a larger, multi-site trial. For the secondary analysis, investigators compared dozens of variables in patients given opioids after a car wreck and patients given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Of 284 cases that allowed for direct comparison, there was no statistically meaningful difference in terms of likelihood to experience moderate-to-severe pain after six weeks. There was, however, a statistically significant disparity with continued analgesic consumption after initial treatment in the ED. Crash survivors who received a few days' supply of opioids were much more likely to still be using them six weeks later, the researchers discovered, than NSAID recipients were likely to still be using NSAIDs. Identifying patient traits that help predict the most appropriate pain treatment for an individual is important, they conclude, because study participants may have responded differently if given a different treatment.
From "Does Analgesic Choice in the ED Affect Persistent Pain After Car Crash?"
Monthly Prescribing Reference (11/16) Duffy, Steve
Adductor Canal Block Provides Inconsistent Analgesia for TKA
Observed quadriceps weakness in patients fitted with femoral nerve catheters following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has prompted many healthcare institutions to use adductor canal catheters instead, but a new study suggests the alternative approach offers spotty analgesia. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center enrolled 22 TKA patients in a prospective investigation. All participants received adductor canal catheters, four of which—or 27 percent—were displaced within the first 24 hours. Surprisingly, however, pain scores and patient satisfaction rates were comparable for patients whose catheters were displaced and those whose catheters remained in place. Duke associate anesthesiology professor Jeff Gadsden, MD, speculated that maybe "there's a placebo effect from having the catheter in place. Or perhaps just having the local anesthetic pumped into the system and absorbed systemically creates a background beneficial effect no matter where the catheter is placed." Another possibility, he mused, "is that maybe you don't need to be that close to the artery, but just in the compartment. And with a certain infusion rate, the local anesthetic will eventually find its way to the fascial plane to get to the right spot." Gadsden added that despite the inconsistent analgesia, it appears that patients are willing to tolerate some discomfort if it means accelerating their recovery by getting up and moving sooner.
From "Adductor Canal Block Provides Inconsistent Analgesia for TKA"
Pain Medicine News (11/21/2016) Vlessides, Michael
Epidural Not Linked to Cerebral Palsy Development in Children, Study Finds
While expecting mothers often shun epidurals because of a perceived risk of cerebral palsy (CP) in their offspring, new study findings refute these concerns. Researchers in Pennsylvania conducted a retrospective review of health records for babies born between January 2004 and January 2013 at hospitals within the Geisinger Health System network. Of nearly 21,000 children whose records were analyzed, just 50 were diagnosed with CP. These children were then matched with up to five children without CP born at the same institution within the same time period. Comparisons indicated that 72 percent of the mothers of children without CP underwent epidural, compared to only 45 percent of the mothers of children who did develop the condition. "Our study found no association of labor epidural analgesia with cerebral palsy in children," according to the study authors, who reported the results in the Journal of Anesthesia. They added, however, the larger-scale, multi-site prospective studies are needed to confirm the findings.
From "Epidural Not Linked to Cerebral Palsy Development in Children, Study Finds"
Cerebral Palsy News Today (11/21/16) Fernandes, Joana
ASRA: Nerve Block Eases Epidural-Related Headache
Sphenopalatine ganglion block (SPGB) is showing promise as a simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive treatment for post-dural puncture headache associated with epidural anesthesia. Roughly seven out of 10 women who experience dural puncture during a labor epidural suffer from headache that is not resolved by caffeine and fluids. When these interventions fail to alleviate pain, the next step typically is epidural blood patch—an invasive treatment that could cause an additional dural puncture, infection, or neurological sequellae. Although the data is limited, researchers at the University of Cincinnati recently reported two case studies supporting the use of SPGB for post-dural puncture headache. By using cotton applicators to deliver bupivacaine to the posterior mucosa and bilateral nairs of the nostrils, a technique already used for other types of headache, they were able to successfully treat both patients. Considering the "favorable side effect profile and limited equipment cost, SPGB may be considered as a potential treatment modality prior to epidural blood patch," the team reported at the American Society of Regional Anesthesiology Pain Medicine meeting in San Diego. "Pending future investigation, SPGB may play a significant role in the treatment of parturients in whom conservative measures are found to be ineffective."
From "ASRA: Nerve Block Eases Epidural-Related Headache"
MedPage Today (11/18/16) Fiore, Kristina
Does Sedation Help Kids' Long-Term Dental Behavior?
Researchers in Brazil speculated that using moderate sedation would make pre-schoolers less anxious and more cooperative during dental procedures, thus laying the foundation for improved visits in the future. For the randomized study, they enrolled 56 children age four or younger who required extensive dental treatment but who acted out during earlier appointments. Four of the kids were administered general anesthesia, 13 received moderate sedation with midazolam and ketamine, 16 underwent moderate sedation with midazolam only, and 17 control patients received no sedation at all. Patient behavior—including crying and struggling—was observed and recorded at baseline and at followup visits every four months thereafter. "Our results demonstrate that children who received moderate sedation during surgical-restorative dental treatment for early childhood caries behaved more positively during follow-up sessions than those patients who did not receive sedation," the investigators reported in Brazilian Oral Research. They agree that additional study is needed, however, especially considering the small number of children who received general anesthesia in their study.
From "Does Sedation Help Kids' Long-Term Dental Behavior?"
Dr. Biscupid (11/17/16) Edwards, Tony
Novel Nasal PAP Mask Assembly Improves Oxygenation, Safety
Investigators from Rutgers Medical School introduced a new and improved approach to maintaining continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in patients undergoing interscalene block plus sedation for shoulder surgery. Desaturation can occur during moderate to deep sedation, and a nasal cannula often fails to provide enough supplemental oxygen to avoid this complication. As a solution, the team paired the technically simple and effective (TSE) mask—which has effectively increased oxygenation during upper endoscopy—with a CPAP set-up. In a poster at the 2016 New York School of Regional Anesthesia's annual symposium, they presented the case study of a 68-year-old woman who required arthroscopic incision and drainage of an infected shoulder following two failed rotator cuff repairs. "What we did in this case is take an infant mask attached over the patient's nose with head straps and connect it to a long breathing circuit with continuous positive airway pressure via the anesthesia machine," explained lead study author Dennis Warfield Jr., MD. "This enables the airway to maintain patency and provide continuous oxygenation." The patient maintained spontaneous respiration and had 100 percent oxygen saturation throughout the procedure with no alarming fluctuations in blood pressure or heart rate, allowing for same-day discharge. "It's a very cheap alternative, and the equipment that we used is found in the majority of today's operating rooms," Warfield noted.
From "Novel Nasal PAP Mask Assembly Improves Oxygenation, Safety"
Anesthesiology News (11/16/16) Leung, Martin
Patient-Centered Checklist Improves Surgical Care, Patient Satisfaction
A perioperative checklist could play a key part in improving the ambulatory surgery experience, as the number of outpatient procedures climbs along with the number of centers providing them. Existing checklists for surgical safety usually are geared toward health care professionals; but a small pilot study showed that the overwhelming majority of patients involved found a checklist to be useful in the perioperative setting. The resource was welcomed by them as a way to expand medical knowledge, alleviate anxiety, and prepare for postoperative recovery. In response to the lack of patient-oriented checklists, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are developing a set of questions patients should ask prior to their outpatient surgery. A preliminary draft includes inquiries about the anesthesia provider, equipment, pain management after the procedure, and facility accreditation, among others. After validating the checklist to assess for decreased morbidity, the team will evaluate efficacy via beta testing at academic outpatient centers and ambulatory surgery centers.
From "Patient-Centered Checklist Improves Surgical Care, Patient Satisfaction"
General Surgery News (11/15/16) Crist, Carolyn
Study Finds Strong Relationship Between Opioid-Induced Nausea and Pain
Oral surgery patients who report a high level of nausea from postoperative opioids also report more intense pain, attendees at PAINWeek 2016 were told. The finding was presented by researchers who analyzed data from a Phase III trial that assessed the viability of adding promethazine, an antiemetic agent, to a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen after surgical removal of impacted teeth. The study looked at outcomes from 211 patients who received that pain regimen and outcomes from 205 patients who received hydrocodone/acetaminophen with placebo. The comparison revealed the strong, positive correlation between nausea intensity and pain severity, which was most prevalent about 10 hours postoperatively. Report co-author Dennis Revicki, MD, said clinicians can chose pain medications that have fewer nausea-related adverse effects associated with them, and they also can administer antiemetics when needed. "Increased understanding of the relationship between the occurrence of nausea and opioids for the control of pain in acute care settings may help clinicians better manage their patient's pain and increase satisfaction in the postsurgical setting," he noted.
From "Study Finds Strong Relationship Between Opioid-Induced Nausea and Pain"
Pain Medicine News (11/14/2016) Kronemyer, Bob
Lidocaine Local Anesthesia Has Less Risk Than Conscious Sedation or General Anesthesia
Research show that local anesthesia with intracutaneous lidocaine is safer than conscious sedation or general anesthesia for skin cancer excision and reconstruction surgery. The finding comes from a 2014 online survey of American College of Mohs Surgery members or fellows, who detailed practice data over a stretch of 10 business days. Based on responses from more than 425 of them, providers typically used about 3.44 mL of 1 percent lidocaine for each excision and about 11.7 mL for reconstruction. Despite some isolated cases of mild dizziness, drowsiness, and lightheadedness stemming from tachycardia associated with epinephrine, there were zero reports of lidocaine toxicity. Using lidocaine with epinephrine to perform these procedures in an outpatient setting, the researchers conclude, "may protect ambulatory patients from the substantial risks associated with hospital admission, as well as general anesthesia or conscious sedation. Similarly, the combination of skin cancer excision and postcancer reconstruction [as] a single procedure reduces the need to obtain anesthesia twice, and may further reduce the total dose require." The Northwestern University study is published in Dermatologic Surgery.
From "Lidocaine Local Anesthesia Has Less Risk Than Conscious Sedation or General Anesthesia"
Healio (11/14/2016) Thiel, Bruce
Use of At-Home Continuous Peripheral Nerve Blocks: For and Against
Specialists at the 2016 International Symposium of Ultrasound for Regional Anesthesia used the event as a platform to make the case for and against using continuous peripheral nerve block (CPNB) catheters in patients' homes. Speaking on behalf of advocates, Philippe Macaire, MD, of Rashid Hospital Trauma Center in the United Arab Emirates, pointed to research demonstrating the approach to be more effective than opioids in managing post-surgical pain. "Patients given CPNB also have less nausea and vomiting, fewer sleep disturbances, earlier return to normal social life and give very positive feedback," he told attendees. Amit Pawa, BSc, MBBS, of St. Thomas' Hospital in London, acknowledged the high level of pain control provided by CPNB. However, he insisted that a single-shot nerve block already offers satisfactory anesthesia after ambulatory surgery. "If a patient actually needs to have a perineural catheter," he reasoned, "there is a good chance they also have other health concerns and would benefit from hospital admission." Pawa pointed out the possibility of catheter dislocation as well as the potential for adverse events—including the small, but viable risk of neurologic damage. In addition to those disadvantages, he stressed that CPNB is less cost-effective than other approaches.
From "Use of At-Home Continuous Peripheral Nerve Blocks: For and Against"
Anesthesiology News (11/10/16) Wild, David
Pain Experts Say Older Opioid Analgesic Levorphanol Provides Multiple Benefits
After many years of being underused in the medical community, the opioid analgesic levorphanol is being newly discovered for its many favorable characteristics. The mu-opioid receptor agonist targets pain through several different pathways and, thus, has implications for a diverse number of conditions. It outperforms other opioid medications in a number of ways, according to a literature review spanning nearly seven decades. The body of evidence indicates that levorphanol is absorbed more quickly through oral delivery, boasts a longer half-life, provides prolonged analgesia, and results in very few drug-drug or food-drug negative interactions compared to its peers. It also avoids the cardiac conduction problems encountered with many other opioids, notes Jeff Gudin, MD, of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, who presented the review at PAINWeek 2016. "The drug has been reported to help patients who have pain syndromes that are refractory to other opioids, such as central and neuropathic pain syndromes, and may also play a role in addressing opioid-induced hyperalgesia," he said. Gudin believes that when a long-acting opioid is warranted, levorphanol should be the first-line of treatment and that it also has a place in opioid rotation. Despite its attractive profile for alleviating pain, experts note that the opioid is not available in an abuse-deterrent version and, because a single manufacturer controls the market for it, the cost of the drug is steep.
From "Pain Experts Say Older Opioid Analgesic Levorphanol Provides Multiple Benefits"
Pain Medicine News (11/04/2016) Kronemyer, Bob
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Anesthesia E-ssential is an executive summary of noteworthy articles of interest to nurse anesthetists. It is distributed bimonthly to AANA members.
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