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Message from S.C.AN.A. President

Friday, September 27, 2019  
 
Dear S.C.A.N.A. members and all South Carolina CRNAs and SRNAs,

I am honored to have the opportunity and responsibility to represent the 1,300 members giving anesthesia across South Carolina. As your President, I can attest that your FY2020 Board of Trustees (BOTs) has hit the ground running. This next year has the chance to be an epic year by changing history and the narrative for SC CRNAs. We are making one specific “ask” to our legislators: to remove the word “supervision” from the SC Nurse Practice Act (NPA). Keep in mind it is much harder to change or repeal a law than it is to maintain the status quo. Every CRNA will need to get involved by writing to and talking with their legislators, and also by encouraging family and friends to write/email or call their Senator to request support for Senate Bill 563 and their Representative to support House Bill 4278. The success of our legislation to secure passage of these two bills depends on your participation and your “boots on the ground”.
 
I believe we can achieve passage for our legislation if we work in concert. We have the talking points that provide a clear message and unified voice. When you talk with your legislators be kind, polite and truthful. Build relationships with them – that is key to our success. You need to reach out now and begin building those relationships with your legislators, not after they start session and have never heard of you before. Your BOTs and your lobbyists are the movement leaders who get the conversation started at a high level, but all of us individually as constituents are the ones who influence the legislators because we have the ability to vote for or against them! This is a numbers game. We need all 1,300 CRNAs and their family members to email a letter/write a letter/call your legislators or make an appointment to meet with them in person and let them know you are one of their constituents. Tell them you are a CRNA. Explain what you do if they do not know what a CRNA does. ASK them to support our bills (H4278, S563).
 
We will be met with strong, organized medical opposition and negative anecdotal stories. Our PR firm will counteract negative messaging to set the record straight and use data, studies and poll results to provide the media with a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. Always take the high road and speak well of your physician colleagues. Do not talk politics at work. Be clear that removing the word supervision does not mean we want to replace physician anesthesiologists, or that CRNAs are opposed to team-based care. We want to practice to the fullest extent of our training and education because WE ARE BOARD CERTIFIED IN ANESTHESIOLOGY!
 
CRNAs will continue to work in teams if the medical bylaws of the healthcare facility require it for practice. The removal of the word supervision from the NPA does not change a CRNA’s scope of practice at all. What does it do? It allows hospital and surgery center administrators across the state to have an anesthesia business model choice. The current statute in the NPA mandates only the most expensive anesthesia business model can be used at every facility. This is a fight for the smaller healthcare facilities across the state to have a business model choice, if they so desire, to decrease their costs and run as lean and as efficiently as they can in the anesthesia department. Paying two providers for every one anesthetic is not a sustainable business plan in today’s healthcare landscape.
 
We owe it to our patients and the communities we care for, to do what we can to be as cost-effective and transparent as possible while maintaining our standards that have been proven for more than 150 years. There is no increase in surgeon liability to work alone with a CRNA. Fear from our physician colleagues holds this narrative back. Do not allow fear to paralyze our state and our practice.
 
We have the education, the evidence and THE ECONOMICS on our side. Rallying support from our legislature is the key to successful passage of these bills. This is not an opt out. A state cannot opt out from the CMS requirement of physician supervision, if there is supervision language in the state’s NPA. Once the supervision language is removed, our SC Governor would be in a position to consider an opt-out for our state. We must change the language in our NPA- that is our goal. Your BOTs constantly receive the following message from state legislators: “I hear from physicians all the time, but I never hear or receive an email from a nurse anesthetist”. Please help us help our professional practice and our future. Now is the time to make your voice heard, let your legislator hear from YOU! Write or call now. Go to www.SCCRNA.org to find your legislators. Click HERE for sample letter to legislators.

Thank you for your membership and your time,

Dr. Jill Mason-Nguyen,
DNAP, MSN, CRNA, COI
President of South Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (S.C.A.N.A.)
 
S.C.A.N.A. Calendar of Events
Oct 19, 2019: Board Retreat
Columbia,SC

Nov 7-10, 2019: AANA Leadership Summit
Naples, Florida

Jan 9-12, 2020: AANA Region 2 Meeting
Charleston, SC with Spokesperson Media Training

Jan 20-24,2020: CRNA Week
Look for an event in your area 

Feb 5, 2020: SC CRNA Day at the Capitol/Legislative Lobbying Day
(wear scrubs and white lab coats)

Feb 19-22, 2020:Assembly of Didactic and Clinical Educators

Feb - May: SC Congress is in session
Hoping for subcommittee hearings where we can testify or have others testify on our behalf.

April 18-22, 2020:Mid Year Assembly
Washington D.C.

Aug 14-18, 2020: AANA Annual Congress
San Diego, CA

Sept 25-27,2020: Joint State Meeting with North Carolina and South Carolina
Renaissance Hotel, Asheville, NC