Welcome to Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Caring for all of Maine.

Dear MeANA Members and Peer’s,

On behalf of the MeANA Board and CRNA’s in the State of Maine, I would like to express to Dr. Susan DeCarlo-Piccirrillo our sincere gratitude for her tireless efforts and work during her tenure as President of MeANA.  Susan’s vision, leadership and hard work resulted in multiple advances for CRNA’s in this state. 

I am personally honored to have been President Elect and mentored by Susan during this last year and feel that she laid the foundations for additional advances during my starting tenure as President.  Susan will remain on the MeANA Board as Past President, which will lend to her being able to help advise incoming board members.  I will value her input during this next year, and know with her guidance, we will continue to make professional advances.

Respectfully,

Dr. Andrew Osborne
DNP, CRNA, APRN
President MeANA



MeANA Journal Article Club

MeANA’s Professional Development Committee worked hard to create the first ever Journal Article Club. These journal articles have been approved by the AANA and you will only receive credit if you successfully pass the quiz with a minimum score of 80% on the first attempt and complete the evaluation. Credit is reported directly to the AANA. Each month is approved for two credits and all SIX journal articles have been posted.

To find the articles, go to the top toolbar and hover over Clinical Updates or CLICK HERE to find out more!


Attention CRNAs: Important Additional Requirement for Licensure in our state is Explained. Thanks!

Please be aware of the newly enforced Board of Nursing Rules in our state with regards to licensure. In 2018 the Maine Board of Nursing adopted a rule regarding obtaining initial licensure and re-licensure in the state of Maine. As of this summer, and effective immediately, the rules will be enforced. A message from the Maine State Board of Nursing will be sent to each practicing CRNA in our state in the next few weeks. Please be on the look out for this important message. It’ll also be available on the BON website very soon. 

The Rules are as follows:
    1. When you apply for an initial license or renew your license you will be asked if you’ve prescribed within the last 2 years.
    2. If you have not prescribed medications in 2-5 years, you will need to provide 15 contact hours of pharmacology. 
    3.If you are reinstating or reactivating your license, the question will ask if you have prescribed in the last 5 years. If the answer is no, you will need to provide 45 contact hours in pharmacology. 
    4. The requirement in pharmacology must include any drugs than an APRN would prescribe, including opioids. Anesthesia related drugs, such as volatile agents, muscle relaxants, reversal agents, would not be meet this requirement. Only drugs that would be prescribed, such as anti-anxiety medications, antiemetics, opioids and antibiotics. 
    5. All new nurse anesthesia graduates will be exempt for at least 2 years, since the pharmacology requirement is included in their academic program of study. 
    6. There are several sites that an applicant can use to complete the necessary number of hours of study as dictated by Chapter 8 Rules and Regulations.
    7. All APRNS in our state are treated the same, regardless if a practitioner has full or partial prescriptive authority.
    8. No CRNA is exempt, regardless if your practice does or does not include prescribing opioids or having a DEA license. 
    9.You are required to complete this requirement regardless of where you practice. For example, if you practice in a large trauma one hospital or a rural or critical care hospital, the requirement is the same. If you practice in a supervisory or medical direction model, the requirement is the same. 
    10.Here is a site for you to obtain the necessary pharmacology requirements at little time or cost. It is: https://www.netce.com/ce-requirements/nursepractitioner/me/. For eg. You can obtain 15 credits/hours if you take the following course on this website: Palliative Care and Pain Management at the End of Life. The cost is $60. Another is Pain Management Pearls: Opioids and Culture. You can obtain 2 credits/hours for $15.00.  There are many resources for you to obtain the necessary credit hours for this requirement. Such as, Pri-Med offers free pain management continuing education at pri.med.com. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers free courses on Antibiotic Prescribing and Use https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/training/continuing-education.html. You can also meet this requirement by reading journals that feature articles on the subject. Fifty minutes of participation equals 1 contact hour. You would need to submit the journal index, designate which article you read, date and provide the amount of time spent in reading the article. 
    11.Renewal of your license is every 2 years. 
    12. All APRNS in Me are required to complete  in total 50 CEUs/contact hours. 

ALERT ACTION

 Organized medicine is out in full force as they attempt to derail the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from developing and implementing National Standards of Practice for Healthcare Professionals in the VA. Read the AANA news release.  In fact, physicians across the country are contacting their U.S. legislators in droves to ask them to urge the VA to delay this process so that they can weigh in on CRNA and other non-physician providers’ scope of practice. Now is the time to make sure your voice is heard on Capitol Hill: CRNAs provide high-quality, lifesaving care to our nation’s veterans. Moreover, evidence shows that the removal of barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed even more CRNAs to provide care within VA facilities. 

Please follow the instructions below to ask your U.S. Senators and Representative to contact U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Denis McDonough in support of their efforts to develop the National Standards of Practice for Healthcare Professionals in the VA, and to support including full practice authority for CRNAs. 

Instructions for Contacting your U.S. Legislators
1. Click here or text AANA to 52886.  
2. Click “take action” and follow the prompts to be connected with your legislators. 
3. You will be directed to a sample email. Please personalize this email so that it is not seen as a form letter. 
4. Click “send letter.”
5. Encourage your family and friends, especially veterans, to contact their legislators, too. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact AANA Federal Government Affairs at info@aanadc.com or 202-484-8400. 

Thank you for being a CRNA advocate!
Sincerely,  Dina Velocci, DNP, CRNA, APRN AANA President   

For immediate release: August 19, 2021
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

PARK RIDGE, ILL.—The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) is speaking out against an attempt by organized medicine to delay the development and implementation of National Standards of Practice for healthcare professionals by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough, state and local physician groups urged the VA to “reconsider its implementation of the National Standards of Practice.” The July 29 letter went on to say there needs to be “a meaningful opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback that is incorporated into the National Standards of Practice for all occupations, especially since the Interim Final Rule (IFR) did not provide a significant opportunity for public comment.” The IFR allowed for comment, garnering more than 13,000 comments from stakeholders. 

“This is a thinly disguised effort to thwart the VA from allowing non-physician providers such as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to practice at the full scope of their skills, education, certification, and licensure,” said AANA President Dina Velocci, DNP, CRNA, APRN. “Coming at a time of national crisis, when CRNAs are assisting on the frontlines of the pandemic and working with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to provide expert care to the sickest patients, it is nearly incomprehensible that we have to keep combatting misinformation and fight these harmful turf wars.” 

“Implying that the VA is developing this policy without adequate research and input from stakeholders is disingenuous at best and insulting and harmful at worst,” said AANA Chief Advocacy Officer Lorraine M. Jordan, PhD, CRNA, CAE, FAAN. “Recognizing and taking steps to ensure that qualified healthcare providers like CRNAs can practice to the full extent of their education and training is consistent with countless recommendations,” she added. Dr. Jordan noted that the National Academy of Medicine, the RAND Corporation’s Independent Assessment, and the bipartisan Commission on Care have recommended that the VA should move immediately to grant full practice authority to all four advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) provider types, including CRNAs. 

The COVID-19 public health emergency has demonstrated the critical need for healthcare professionals to care for veterans highlighting the important role that CRNAs play in our healthcare system, especially when workforce barriers to practice are eliminated.
 
During the pandemic, the removal of barriers to CRNA practice at the state and federal levels allowed CRNAs to provide critical, lifesaving care to COVID-19 patients, including at VA facilities. The AANA partnered with the VA to allow CRNAs to provide life-sustaining care for veterans across the nation. Through the VA Travel Nurse Corps program, the AANA and the VA created opportunities for CRNAs to work at 157 VHA facilities. CRNAs have provided invaluable support to VHA facilities using their expertise in rapid systems assessment, airway management, managing ventilators, vascular volume resuscitation, placing of invasive lines and monitors, overseeing complex hemodynamic monitoring, emergency preparedness, and resource management.

AANA President Velocci notes that removing barriers to CRNA scope of practice will assist the VA in addressing staffing shortages and reduce long wait times for patients, to ensure that veterans have access to the care they deserve. “This is the right policy as we seek to make healthcare delivery for our veterans more affordable and accessible,” she said.

Nurse anesthetists have a proven history of providing impeccable care for soldiers and veterans: “The ability of CRNAs to provide high-quality care, even under the most difficult circumstances, has been recognized by every branch of the U.S. military. CRNAs have full practice authority in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force and are the predominant provider of anesthesia on forward surgical teams and our combat support hospitals, where CRNAs staff 90 percent of forward surgical teams,” Velocci said. “There is no logical reason why CRNAs should not be able to deliver that same high-quality care to our veterans.” 

REMINDER: Join our Provider Nondiscrimination Grassroots Action TODAY!

Last week, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced a sign-on letter in support of the provider nondiscrimination provision of the No Surprises Act, legislation that AANA championed and was passed at the end of 2020. The letter that Rep. Schrader is leading to the departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury underscores the Congressional intent of the legislation and directs them to issue a regulation within a timely manner.

The AANA is actively pushing members of Congress to sign on to this important letter! As a constituent, please contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to sign their name to this letter. It is important that the Departments of HHS, Labor, and the Treasury understand that there is significant bipartisan support for this provision, which would increase patient access to healthcare.

Instructions for Contacting your Legislator

  1. Click here or text AANA to 52886.
  2. You will be directed to a pre-drafted email to your U.S. Representative. Please personalize this letter so that it is not seen as a form letter. 
  3. Click “send letter.”
  4. Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to take action. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact AANA Federal Government Affairs at info@aanadc.com or 202-484-8400. Thank you for being an advocate for our patients and our profession.


New Maine Law Requires Insurers to Cover CRNA Services 

A new law signed April 6 by Maine Governor Janet Mills requires CRNA services to be covered and reimbursed by insurers, consistent with other advanced practice registered nurses in the state. The law also states that insurers may not prohibit CRNAs from participating in provider networks, offering patients across the state greater access to high-quality care. Read the AANA Press Release


New Maine Law Increases Patient Access to Anesthesia Delivery by Requiring Insurers to Cover CRNA Services

  • Apr 9, 2021

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Applauds Maine Legislation Providing Direct Reimbursement for CRNAs 

For immediate release: April 9, 2021
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Ill. (AANA)—A new law signed April 6 by Maine Governor Janet Mills requires Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) services to be covered and reimbursed by insurers, consistent with other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in the state. The law also states that insurers may not prohibit CRNAs from participating in provider networks, offering patients across the state greater access to high-quality care.

Health insurance carriers are now required to provide coverage for services within the CRNA scope of practice that are covered under a health plan. The law affects policies that go into effect or renew on or after Jan. 1, 2022.
Susan DeCarlo-Piccirillo, DNP, CRNA, APRN, president of the Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MEANA), applauded the provision, “This will alleviate a burden on patients and facilities that previously faced an onerous process to be reimbursed for CRNA services. By ending billing discrepancies for CRNAs in Maine, patients have greater access to anesthesia care, with less risk of out of pocket cost and at no cost to the state of Maine.” 

There are more than 350 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists in Maine. Approximately 60% of anesthetics in Maine’s rural and critical access hospitals are delivered by CRNAs. CRNAs comprise 64% of the state’s anesthesia care providers. “CRNAs are proven providers, and removing the many barriers to their practice will only increase their ability to respond to the pressing need for basic anesthesia health,” DeCarlo-Piccirillo said.

“Patients benefit the greatest from a healthcare system where they receive easily accessible care from an appropriate choice of safe, high-quality, and cost-effective providers, such as CRNAs and other APRNs,” said DeCarlo-Piccirillo. “By passing this legislation and with Gov. Mills’ signature, Maine is protecting care for the most vulnerable by strengthening network adequacy and helping to ensure all patients have access to quality care from the provider of their choice.”

In December 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the “No Surprises Act” with a critical nondiscrimination provision that prohibits insurance health plans from discriminating against qualified licensed healthcare professionals, such as CRNAs and other non-physician providers.


Improve Access in Rural America Rural America continues to struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and health facility closures. Watch these resources to help improve access to care and highlight the importance of CRNAs as primary anesthesia providers in rural areas.

https://maine.crnasafe.com/


NEW SECTION ADDED!! CHECK IT OUT!

To make our website more meaningful for all nurse anesthesia clinicians we have added a new section entitled: Clinical Updates.

Please take the time to let us know what you think. Here is just a small sampling of things to come:

  • Anesthesia Pediatric Apps for induction
  • COVID Updates
  • Fire Safety in the OR
  • Regional Blocks Apps and Insights
  • Student Puzzler

Please feel free to contact Michael Dunnington, Andrea Farrar or Susan DeCarlo to send us your ideas. We’d love to have you, the members, participate by sending us articles, links and other educational venues that will help us be the best CRNA’s! Check it out and let us know how it can be improved. Know that MeANA is working for you!

Susan DeCarlo
MeANA President


Get Your MeANA Mask Today!
Show your support and contribute to our PAC fund and receive this cloth MeANA Mask!

FIND OUT MORE!


CPC Information!

Watch this short 4-minute video overview of the entire CPC Program, requirements, and timeline. You’ll also learn how the CPC Program supports lifelong learning and provides the framework for you to demonstrate the knowledge you have to provide high-quality patient care throughout your career.

As required by section 6033(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, we are required to inform you that 57% of your state membership dues are allocated toward expenses incurred by the Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists for state lobbying activities. This amount is not deductible for federal income tax purposes. All MEANA members are also members of the AANA.

Our Recent News & Events

Advocacy Alert! We Need YOU to Sign!

MeANA Members, I’m happy to report that U.S. Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) are leading a Congressional […]

Please Help! We Need You to Write to CMS Today!

The AANA is asking CMS to reverse proposed cuts for CRNA reimbursement  and to include a removal of physician supervision […]

First, They Saved Lives. Now, Nurses Want to Save America

-Americans want a better health care system. Who knows it better than a nurse? In late March, as the coronavirus […]

AANA Connect Builds Community

Did you know that the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) has built an online community to help members connect […]