CA Court Rejects Nurse Anesthetists Supervision Petition

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , October 14, 2010

A statement on the California Society of Anesthesiologists' website said that the two groups "are reviewing options for further action, including appealing the ruling."

The website also said: "The ruling was based on the presiding judge's conclusion that given the absence of a State statute that specifically stipulates physician supervision of nurse anesthetists who administer anesthesia, federal regulations allow the Governor discretion to conclude that opting out of the Medicare supervision requirement is consistent with State law.

Brennan Cassidy, MD, a former president of the CMA, said earlier this year that "If the governor had followed the law, he would have seen that reducing the standards for anesthetists could have a detrimental impact on patient safety.  As doctors, our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our patients and that's why the governor is taking a step in the wrong direction."

Hospitals and ambulatory surgical settings in underserved and rural areas of the state favor the opt-out in the belief that if a physician's presence is required every time a nurse anesthetist begins anesthesia, many surgical and other procedures requiring pain mitigation would be delayed or would have to be rescheduled in other locations.

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