CMS expanding CRNA privileges under 2020 fee schedule: 2 updates

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CMS finalized changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that will expand payments to certified registered nurse anesthetists in 2020.

1. The final rule includes a provision that allows CRNAs to "to perform the anesthetic risk and evaluation on the patient they are anesthetizing" in ASCs.

2. Changes to CMS' documentation policy will allow CRNAs and other advanced practice registered nurses to review and verify notes in a patient's medical record instead of re-documenting them.

"A study published by Nursing Economic$ in May/June 2010 found that CRNAs acting as the sole anesthesia provider are the most cost-effective model for anesthesia delivery, and there is no measureable [sic] difference in the quality of care between CRNAs and other anesthesia providers or by anesthesia delivery model," CMS said in its final rule. "We believe this alignment provides for continuity of care for the patient and allows the patient's anesthesia professional to have familiarity with the patient's health characteristics and medical history."

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