AANA Recommends SAMHSA Allow CRNAs to be Medical Directors

In a letter to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the AANA recommended that CRNAs be included as providers who can be directors of Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP). Currently, only physicians can serve in this role. This letter was in response to the agency’s proposed rule on Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in OTPs. There is no evidence supporting the requirement for only a physician to direct anesthesia services in an OTP. Because CRNAs possess a strong foundation in nursing, critical care and anesthesia, and pain management, CRNAs are frequently called upon to assume administrative and executive positions. Our letter also supports the goal of the agency to promote practitioner autonomy and create a patient-centered view and reduce barriers to receiving care at Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) by including CRNAs in the definition of practitioner – which was also mentioned in the proposed rule.

(Copy provided by AANA)