Billing for Opioid Free Anesthesia; Successes, Challenges and Lessons Learned

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Class A Credits: 1.00

Format: Video

Course Launch Date: 2/23/21

Course Expires: 2/22/24

The magnitude of the opioid crisis has caused widespread disruption in healthcare habitual, longstanding practice of using inexpensive and readily available opiates as the “quick fix” first line treatment of acute and chronic pain. This epidemic and its far reaching, highly publicized consequences highlight the new reality that those who can, but do not, actively combat the opioid epidemic are culpable in it. This new era has become the impetus for widespread adoption of opioid alternatives and practice change in the United States. Providing a route for billing for opioid-free anesthesia incentivizes providers to change their practice away from opioid-based analgesia to pre-emptive analgesia. The more providers using and billing for OFA, the more pressure will be put on the healthcare insurance industry to fundamentally change reimbursement from inexpensive, readily available and exceedingly high-risk opioids to non-opioid alternatives.

As of yet, a CPT code for OFA does not exist, making it challenging to bill for this service. Although admittedly challenging, by using alternate coding, a “back door” provides a pathway for additional reimbursement for this critical service. Through a process of trial and error, some pearls of wisdom have been gained and are worth sharing.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AANA is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, CEP #10862.


Post-Test Attempt Notice
A minimum passing score of 80% is required to pass this course. You have TWO opportunities to achieve a passing score. If you fail to achieve a passing score of 80%, you will not receive CE credit for this course.

Content Disclaimer:

The views, information, or opinions expressed within the videos and audio are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Course content has been prepared by the presenter/developer, and each viewer agrees that the presenter/developer is solely responsible for the content and the accuracy thereof. The viewer agrees that the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists has no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness of the content.

  • Identify which anesthetics are considered opioid free anesthesia.
  • Understand what coding should be used for opioid free anesthesia billing.
  • Describe common challenges when billing for opioid free anesthesia.

Julia M. Harris, MSN, CRNA

President, Vaporworks Nursing Anesthesia Inc

Julia Harris, MSN, CRNA is the owner of Vaporworks Nursing Anesthesia, Inc., an all-CRNA Hospital-based practice in Los Angeles, California.  She graduated from Kaiser Permanente School of Nursing Anesthesia and California State University Fullerton with her MSN in 2008 and has been providing anesthesia autonomously since 2010.  From 2013-2014, she was the president of the California Association of Nurse Anesthetists.  She has served on the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists' Continuing Education Committee for FY 2018, the State Organizational Development Committee for FY 2019, and is currently serving on the Government Relations Committee.  She is a spokesperson for the Society for Opioid-Free Anesthesia (SOFA) and has been interviewed on NPR and other podcasts, represented SOFA at international Opioid-Free Anesthesia Symposiums and lectured nationally on behalf of SOFA. Clinically, Ms. Harris has focused heavily on the study, application and teaching of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, mentored CRNAs in her workplace and served as an instructor with Twin Oaks Anesthesia and SOFA ultrasound workshops.  Her business focus has centered around the complexities of anesthesia billing.  


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