CMS Makes Controversial CRNA Ruling
CMS Makes Controversial CRNA Ruling- Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released more than 1300 pages including the details of the Medicare physician fee schedule for 2013; among these are 13 pages hotly contested by anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAS).
As of January 1, 2013, CRNAs will for the first time be able to bill Medicare directly for providing pain management services – including nerve blocks, pain injections and maintenance of management of implanted devices.
The only state where the new ruling will take place is Louisiana, where state law dictates care of chronic pain services be completed by a physician. This new federal ruling allows states to determine what care CRNAs can legally provide – not the federal government. CMS will reimburse CRNAs according to each state law.
The response to the ruling varied, predictably.
Frank Purcell, the senior director of federal government affairs for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) told Anesthesiology News, “The AANA applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the administration for ruling to preserve patient access to chronic pain management services administered by CRNAs.”
However, anesthesiologists weren’t so quick to praise the expanse in reimbursable services for CRNAs.
Dr. John M. Zerwas, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) said the decision was “flawed and dangerous.” In a statement, Zerwas said CRNAs, ““lack the ability to safely and effectively treat patients with chronic pain using a comprehensive approach, and to appropriately manage the medical conditions contributing to their pain.”
For more information, visit: www.anesthesiologynews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?d=Policy%2B%26%2BManagement&d_id=3&i=December+2012&i_id=915&a_id=22227