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GAO Report Confirms: Medicare Underpays for Anesthesia Services; Nurse Anesthetists Assure Seniors Access to Safe Anesthesia Care
Date:8/31/2007

in localities where the gap between private payments and Medicare payments is relatively wide, anesthesia services are less likely to be provided by CRNAs. These conclusions confirm the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of nurse anesthesia services.

"This report is confirmation that nurse anesthetists play a vital role in assuring that seniors have access to the surgical, pain management, and other healthcare services they need," said Wilson. "The report also demonstrates the importance of the Medicare payment policy, which affords reasonable cost-based anesthesia care in select rural and critical access hospitals where CRNAs are typically the sole anesthesia providers."

The report can be found at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07463.pdf. Highlights of the report are at http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d07463high.pdf .

About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., AANA is the professional organization for more than 36,000 nurse anesthetists. A satellite office located in Washington, D.C. handles federal government affairs issues for the profession. As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs are the hands-on providers of approximately 27 million anesthetics delivered in the United States each year. CRNAs practice in every setting where anesthesia is available and are the sole anesthesia providers in more than two-thirds of all rural hospitals. Additional information about the AANA is available on the internet at http://www.aana.com.


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SOURCE American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
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