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Eliminate physician supervision requirements for CRNAs



Nationwide, 40 states have already removed “supervision’’ language from licensing requirements for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). We urge South Carolina to modernize its laws and join that group.

As the U.S. patient population ages and becomes more diverse, CRNAs play a vital role in ensuring the public’s access to safe, cost-effective anesthesia care. CRNAs are highly educated anesthesia experts who have a minimum of seven to eight and a half years of education and more than eight thousand hours of training specific to nursing and anesthesiology. They are qualified to administer every type of anesthesia in any healthcare setting including pain management. Every year, 53,000 nurse anesthetists safely deliver more than 45 million anesthetics to patients across the United States.

Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients for more than 150 years. Today, they are the primary providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel and patients in rural areas who lack access to obstetrical, surgical, pain management and trauma services. 

Studies have found that CRNAs are the most cost-effective anesthesia providers and have an exceptional safety record. There is no difference in safety and the quality of care provided by CRNAs and anesthesiologists. Today, anesthesia care is nearly 50 times safer than it was in the early 1980s.

The use of CRNAs also helps control escalating healthcare costs. Research shows that a CRNA working as the sole anesthesia provider is at least 25 percent more cost-effective than an anesthesiologist.

I ask members of the South Carolina Legislature to support Senate Bill 563 and House Bill 4278 and join other states in eliminating physician supervision requirements for CRNAs.

It is time to allow CRNAs to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

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