Delaware patients now have increased access to safe, affordable anesthesia care. The state is the latest to opt out from federal regulations that require physician supervision of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Delaware Gov. John Carney wrote, “I attest that I have consulted with the Delaware Board of Nursing and Board of Medicine about issues related to access to and the quality of anesthesia services in Delaware. I have concluded that it is in the best interests of Delaware citizens to opt-out of the current physician supervision requirement, as provided in the federal regulations, and that the opt-out is consistent with Delaware law. This letter constitutes my formal notification of the State of Delaware opt-out.”
The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) reports that the governors of 24 states and Guam have exercised such exemptions for either full or partial opt-out.
“Gov. Carney’s action ensures Delaware’s patients have access to value-based, high-quality care and optimizes healthcare teams by removing barriers and allowing healthcare facilities to maximize their workforce,” said Marshall Colbert, CRNA, president of Delaware Association of Nurse Anesthetists (DANA). “Through this action Delaware recognizes that CRNAs are qualified to make decisions regarding all aspects of anesthesia care based on their education, licensure, and certification.”
“AANA and the DANA applaud Gov. Carney for recognizing the important role CRNAs have in delivery of safe anesthesia care in Delaware,” said AANA President Angela Mund, DNP, CRNA. “Increased demand, limited resources, and a state with a diverse population, both urban and rural, dictate that a system capable of meeting the needs of Delaware residents be maintained. By signing the opt-out letter, this has been achieved.”
CRNAs provide all aspects of superior anesthesia throughout Delaware. Nationally, CRNAs safely administer more than 50 million anesthetics to patients each year working in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered. CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural settings, enabling facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management, and trauma stabilization services. CRNAs have full practice authority in the Army, Navy, and Air Force and are the predominant provider of anesthesia on forward surgical teams and in combat support hospitals.
As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs are members of one of the most trusted professions according to Gallup.
AANA Fact Sheet Concerning State Opt-Outs