Reimbursement for First Assistant at Surgery Services

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June 19, 2015

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Gov. Cuomo, 

We are writing on behalf of the ANA-New York, the American Nurses Association’s state member and the professional association of Registered Nurses in New York, that fosters high standards of nursing, promotes the professional and educational advancement of nurses, and advocates for the welfare of nurses to achieve the outcome of better health for all. 

We are strongly urging you to sign into law the following bills passed by the Assembly and Senate: Regarding Reimbursement for First Assistant at Surgery Services, A.1241/S.1233.

ANA-NY recognizes that the failure of payers to provide for a Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA) reimbursement represents a barrier to optimal utilization of RNFA services. Achievement of parity with other licensed, non-physician providers of assisting at surgery services through public policy action by establishing reimbursement for RNFA services is necessary to ensure patient access to quality, cost-effective and safe surgical care.

Since most insurance policies include provisions for reimbursement for first assistant at surgery services, no modification of existing protocols associated with procedures designated as reimbursable, would be necessary in order to include RNFAs as eligible providers of first assistant services. Public policy to this effect would establish parity with other licensed, non-physician first assistants who currently receive such reimbursement.

In order to contribute to cost-effective, safe, and accessible quality health care for surgical patients, public policy efforts should be directed to establish provisions for reimbursement for the first assistant services provided by RNFAs. ANA-New York recommends signing these bills into law. 


Elizabeth A. Mahoney

Elizabeth A. Mahoney, EdD, RN

President, ANA-New York

Marilyn L. Dollinger

Marilyn L. Dollinger, DNS, RN, FNP

Chair, ANA-NY’s Legislation Committee