Veteran's Affairs Excludes Nurse Anesthetists from Full Practice

15 Dec 2016 2:00 PM | Anonymous

Wonderful news from the American Society of Anesthesioligists: The Department of Veteran's Affairs has published a final rule that excludes CRNAs from independent practice. Yesterday ASA President Jeff Plagenhoef sent an email to all ASA members and here are a few excerpts: The VA issued the final rule that includes a specific exclusion of nurse anesthetists from the full practice authority model of care. The final rule effectively preserves VA’s current physician-led, team-based model of care for anesthesia. Over the 90-day comment period, VA received 223,296 comments on the proposed rule, with a majority of those in support of maintaining physician-led anesthesia care in VA. We are thrilled that VA has made the right decision for our nation’s Veterans and for safe patient care. VA reports that ASA provided an overwhelming majority of the comments on the anesthesia provision, with only 9,613 comments in support of full practice authority for nurse anesthetists. As part of this final rule, VA has started a 30-day comment period “on the question of whether there are current anesthesia care access issues for particular states or VA facilities and whether permitting CRNAs to practice to the full extent of their advanced authority would resolve these issues. Please stay tuned for more information on how to participate in this upcoming comment period. The entire final rule can be found HERE

Thank you to all the MSA members who participated in Safe VA Care. We have protected our Veterans who deserve the best and safest anesthesia care. There is a comment period on access to anesthesia care at the VA now as mentioned above and I will keep you updated on how to participate in that. MSA members, especially those who are in the 6th Congressional District, served by Seth Moulton, may consider giving his office a call to thank him for his efforts on this issue to protect safe anesthesia care. I have thanked him on behalf of MSA, but the more people he realizes care about anesthesia care for our veterans, the better. Also, the ASA spent a lot of time, money and effort on this issue, which will possibly have implications for states as well, which is why ASA membership is so valuable. 

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