The Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists has awarded a certificate of recognition to recently retired Dan Beutel, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, for co‑founding the first nurse anesthesia practice in Minnesota to bill as independent practitioners.
Beutel, a Wyoming resident, and two other CRNAs, Leon Williams and Ken Shea, founded North Metro Anesthesia in 1984, two years after Congress granted nurse anesthetists the right to bill Medicare independently.
CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses who have completed at least a master’s degree program at an accredited anesthesia school. (Other APRNs include nurse midwives and nurse practitioners.)
Since North Metro Anesthesia was founded, numerous CRNAs and other APRNs have opened independent practices to meet patient needs in a rapidly growing and changing health care field.
A 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine recommended the greatest possible use of CRNAs and other APRNs to care for the influx of more than 30 million patients who will soon be entering the health care system under the federal Affordable Care Act. In addition, the report noted, health care is seeking to hold down costs by becoming more preventive, patient‑centered, and community‑oriented. Highly educated CRNAs and APRNs are uniquely positioned to fill key roles in this new environment.
Beutel graduated in 1978 from the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, one of four graduate anesthesia schools in Minnesota.