Our readers are likely aware that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) waived the requirements for a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) to practice under the supervision of a physician in their press release issued on March 30, 2020.
Medical supervision requirements temporarily waived for CRNAs
This regulatory change appeared along with a plethora of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules focused on helping the healthcare system and pronounced it effective immediately. The temporary suspension of the supervision requirement means CRNAs can function to the full extent allowed by each state and hospital. The intent behind this change was to expand the capacity of both CRNAs and physicians. Freeing up physicians from their supervisory requirements allows their services to be directed where needed most and enables CRNAs to practice without supervision, providing more bandwidth for the healthcare system. Find additional information on this waiver in the CMS document, COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers.
CRNA reimbursement under temporary regulatory changes
Some are asking how CRNA reimbursement will be impacted. While CMS reimburses the QZ modifier at 100%, reimbursement can vary by payor and state. Some do not reimburse at all, and specific Medicaid carriers reduce reimbursement for CRNAs.
abeo’s contract services team is actively monitoring and discussing this scenario, concentrating first on reaching out to carriers in the states where CRNAs are not able to practice independently. It comes as no surprise that we are seeing some commercial carriers committed to following the guidelines regarding the suspension of CRNA supervision requirements and some who are not.
We encourage our clients to contact your abeo Client Relations Manager (CRM) directly to inquire about the reimbursement impact this may have on your practice or hospital.
abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.