CRNAs & Medicaid
State medicaid programs do reimburse hospitals for anesthesia services provided by a CRNA; however some regulations vary by state.
In some states, Medicaid will pay for CRNA services only when they are "medically directed" by an anesthesiologist. Such a policy causes hospitals to bear the burden of higher‐cost anesthesia services that are underpaid by the state’s Medicaid program.
Access to CRNAs
CRNAs are crucial to rural areas. Rural areas are in need of access to Anesthetists for various reasons: few anesthesiologists practice in rural areas, and without anesthesia present there can be no surgical procedures, labor and delivery, trauma stabilization, or pain management care. Without those services, local rural hospitals would not exist. And without rural hospitals, the health of local communities are at greater risk.
With the aging population, there is high demand for both CRNAs and Anesthesiologists. However, more procedures are being done in facilities other than traditional hospital settings, such as ambulatory surgical centers and physicians’ offices.
Additionally, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has caused millions of previously uninsured Americans to enter the healthcare system for the first time, many of whom will need procedures requiring anesthesia care. With this in mind, CRNAs can be seen as a more cost effective solution for these non-traditional facilities and growing number of patients.