Pennsylvania Extends COVID-19 Waivers
Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kurt Knaus, P: 717-724-2866
Among the waivers is a provision that temporarily suspends physician supervision of CRNAs in a hospital setting
HARRISBURG (April 1, 2022) --- Pennsylvania lawmakers once again have voted to extend several regulatory waivers put into place at the start of the pandemic to help health-care providers respond to COVID-19. Without action, the waivers would have expired March 31. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the legislation March 30, keeping the waivers in place through June.
Among the waivers is a provision that suspends the physician supervision requirement of a certified registered nurse anesthetist in a hospital setting, giving health-care facilities the flexibility to continue tapping into the unique skillset of CRNAs to fulfill critical roles inside and outside the operating room as the state continues its pandemic recovery.
The governor announced the original temporary blanket waiver for advanced practice nurses and CRNAs on May 6, 2020, as part of an executive order to enhance the state’s response to the emerging health-care crisis.
After the passage of two constitutional amendments dealing with executive power, the General Assembly ended the governor’s emergency order in June 2021 but allowed the waivers to remain in place until September 2021. Before they expired, lawmakers voted then to keep the waivers in place until March 2022. The latest legislative action keeps the waivers in effect for three more months.
The Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA) represents more than 4,000 CRNAs and students across the commonwealth.
Removing the supervision requirement and allowing CRNAs to practice to the fullest extent of their education and training avails more physicians to provide hands-on care, expands the capacity of both CRNA and physician providers, and augments the state’s health-care system to continue to meet the demands of this pandemic.