CRNAs: Accessible Care

Affordable healthcare available to everyone remains a primary goal of today’s healthcare system, even with the influx of more and more customers. CRNA-managed anesthesia care allows healthcare providers to prevent gaps in access and continue to deliver much-needed services in thousands of communities. When access is the problem, CRNA-administered anesthesia care is often the first, best solution:

  • CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America.
  • CRNAs provide tens of millions of rural Americans access to surgical, obstetrical, trauma and pain management services. This means individuals don’t have to travel long distances to receive needed care. Without those services, local hospitals in rural communities could not exist. And without local rural hospitals, the viability of rural communities would be very much at risk.
  • CRNAs are the primary anesthesia professionals in many medically underserved inner-city communities.
  • CRNAs provide the majority of anesthesia care in the Veterans Administration and U.S. military.
  • For years, CRNAs have been the predominant providers of anesthesia services to maternity patients, providing needed anesthesia during labor and delivery. CRNAs monitor fetal status prior to analgesic or anesthesia intervention, and are available to help with neonatal assessment and resuscitation.

CRNAs and Veterans' Health
CRNAs provide the majority of anesthesia care in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and U.S. military. More than 900 CRNAs are currently working in VHA facilities across the country. However, due to a 2017 rule published by the Department of Veterans Affairs, CRNAs are not permitted to practice to the full scope of their education, training, certification and licensure, which leads to delays for vital pain management and surgical care for veterans.

By granting full practice authority to CRNAs, the VHA would be able to make full use of more than 900 CRNAs already practicing in VHA facilities, increasing anesthesia services and veterans’ access to care without additional funding from the federal government or American taxpayers. Contact your representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives to urge them to grant full practice authority to CRNAs in VHA facilities.