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CRNA: Practice in the Military: CRNAs are the predominant anesthesia provider in the armed forces and the Veterans Affairs healthcare system.
AA: Practice in the Military: Anesthesiologist Assistants do not practice in the military as of yet. But the federal government (Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs) authorize the use of Anesthesiologist Assistants to practice under the TRICARE insurance program. This only means Anesthesiologist Assistants are on the way.
CRNA: Medicare Reimbursement: The Medicare conditions for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers require that a physician supervise a CRNA unless the state has "opted out" of this supervision requirement. Fourteen states have opted out of the Medicare physician supervision requirement for CRNAs. CRNAs are not required to work with anesthesiologists.
AA: Medicare Reimbursement: The Medicare conditions for hospitals require that an Anesthesiologist Assistants be under the supervision of an anesthesiologist who is immediately available if needed (which should be required by all non-MD providers of Anesthesia); the ambulatory surgical center conditions require Anesthesiologist Assistants to be under anesthesiologist supervision which is the safest approach under the anesthesia care team model.
CRNA: Patient Safety: Numerous studies have concluded that CRNAs are safe providers.
AA: Patient Safety: In over 35 years Anesthesiologist Assistants have proven to be as safe as CRNA's.