Action AlertLast week was an important week at the General Assembly for CRNAs. On Tuesday, members of the North Carolina House and Senate filed The SAVE Act (Safe, Accessible, Value Directed and Excellent Health Care) – a bill that would define in statute the definition of nurse anesthesia activities and affirm that CRNAs work in collaboration with other health care providers.The SAVE Act ensures CRNAs will be able to continue providing safe, quality, affordable, accessible anesthesia care for all North Carolinians. Some of the lead sponsors of The SAVE Act (including Sen. Ralph Hise, Rep. Josh Dobson, Rep. Gale Adcock, and Rep. Carla Cunningham) as well as representatives from the AARP, speaking on behalf of over 1 million members and health care consumers in the state, held a press conference and made the case for this common sense proposal.  

Tuesday was also Capital Day – and 165 CRNAs and SRNAs visited the legislature to discuss and promote The SAVE Act with lawmakers. Their specific charge was to ask legislators to sign on as co-sponsors of The SAVE Act. If you remember, we used this strategy in 2017 for House Bill 88 and its companion Senate bill. That year, we were thrilled to enlist 44 legislators to sign on as sponsors and co-sponsors. This year, we were able to enlist 61 legislators, Republicans and Democrats, in both the NC House and Senate! To put this in context, most bills only have a handful of lawmakers listed as co-sponsors. NCANA members, you should be extremely proudof your efforts to explain how The SAVE Act benefits patients and improves health care in North Carolina. 

Currently, the House and Senate versions of The SAVE Act (House Bill 185 and Senate Bill 143) are in the House Health and Senate Rules committees, respectively. Our hope is that the overwhelming demonstration of support in the legislature will spark momentum to hear the bill in committee and earn a debate and vote on the floor. Before that can happen though, CRNAs need to make every effort to thank as many of the sponsors and co-sponsors of The SAVE Act as possible over the next few weeks. These links will take you the House Bill 185 and Senate Bill 143 pages so that you may see if your legislators signed on as a sponsor or co-sponsor:

These lawmakers have taken a courageous step – in the face of intense and hyperbolic pressure from opponents of the bill – and we need to make sure they know we appreciate what they are doing and will stand with them. If you’re not sure who your N.C. House and N.C. Senate representatives are, please follow this link to find your legislators: 

The NC Medical Society posted a video on Friday stating that 650 of its members have contacted legislators in the last week asking them to oppose The SAVE Act.It is imperative that we match their intense opposition to safe, accessible, affordable anesthesia care with the positive side of the argument and why this legislation is good for all North Carolinians.