Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. (AANA)—To provide high-quality, value-based healthcare for millions of patients living in the nation’s rural communities, the White House issued an executive order on Aug. 3 that calls on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to report on ways to eliminate regulatory burdens. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is encouraged by the order which, if considered, could increase access to quality care for patients by removing costly supervision requirements of nurse anesthetists.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (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.

HHS has 60 days to propose regulation that extends temporary waivers put in place to optimize healthcare teams and increase access to care for patients.

“Securing full practice authority for CRNAs is the right policy for our nation’s healthcare system and the right move for providing life-sustaining care to patients,” said AANA President Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA LTC (ret). “CRNAs and other advance practice nurses have been instrumental in delivering care during our current health crisis.

“Providing patient access to obstetrical, surgical, trauma stabilization, and pain management services where they live, without long car rides, helps keep communities healthy. CRNAs can play an important role in providing this life-saving care management,” said Jansky.  

The executive order also calls on HHS to report on ways to develop rural-specific programs to reduce disease and mortality.  In the past decade, 120 rural health facilities have closed. With nearly 1 out of 5 Americans living in rural communities, access to healthcare can be a daily struggle that impacts preventative and emergency care.

“As advanced practice providers with critical care nursing experience, CRNAs possess a global perspective, making them uniquely qualified to contribute to many aspects of patient care,” Jansky said. “Both hospitals and patients benefit from the work of these competent and versatile providers.”