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In 2010, the provider nondiscrimination provision in the Affordable Care Act was passed to prohibit health insurance companies from setting different rates for providers delivering the same high-quality health care services.
But there is currently no way to enforce this law, despite congressional action requiring enforcement of these policies. Yet, regulation is needed to implement and enforce this law.
Medical professionals who work at hospitals and private practices contend that until this is completed, insurance companies can jeopardize patients’ access to care.
In the case of providers like certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), these reduced reimbursement rates from insurance plans present a contributing factor to the decision many have made to leave the profession.
"What we’re seeing with that is decreased reimbursement rates, especially in our rural communities, decreases their financial viability and they may have to close doors," says Angela Mund, President of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA).
"Recently, a major insurance company in the United States implemented a national policy to decrease CRNA reimbursement by 15%. This 15% cut, when hospitals are potentially already struggling to survive," added Tracy Paul Young, Regional Director, AANA and CEO, YPS Anesthesia.
Spectrum News discussed this topic with both Mund and Young. Watch the full interview above.