MEDICARE: HCFA Allows Nurses to Administer Anesthesia
After considering a rule change for more than two years, HCFA announced last week that it will eliminate requirements that nurse anesthetists be supervised by physicians while administering anesthesia to Medicare patients, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The American Society of Anesthesiologists opposed such change, but the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists praised the move, saying that it "ensures access to safe, high-quality anesthesia care especially in rural areas and inner city hospitals, where nurse anesthetists often are the sole anesthesia providers." According to a national survey in October, 88% of Medicare patients would be comfortable if their physician chose a nurse anesthetist to administer anesthesia (3/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.