Colorado lawsuit

  1. FYI-
    Doctors sue over plan by Owens By Bill Scanlon, Rocky
    Mountain NewsMarch 1, 2003

    Colorado anesthesiologists
    have sued Gov. Bill Owens to stop him from making a
    change that would allow nurses to administer
    anesthesia without supervision.It's a question of
    patient safety, the anesthesiologists said. They say
    nurse anesthetists don't have the training to give
    anesthesia without supervision.It's a question of
    access, Owens said, claiming rural hospitals don't
    have the money to hire anesthesiologists and have to
    forego many procedures.The Colorado Society of
    Anesthesiologists said the governor is misinformed and
    there's no need for a rule change. General surgeons
    can supervise nurses administering anesthesia."The
    rural hospitals seem to be very confused," said Dr.
    Randall Clark, past president of the society.President
    Bush recently invited the governors to decide for
    themselves whether to ease the Medicare rules that
    require that supervision of nurse anesthetists.Owens
    is trying to rush through the change and has refused
    to meet with the society. He gave members only five
    minutes to comment at a hearing before the Board of
    Medical Examiners, society president Dr. Jan Gillespie
    said.Her group filed the lawsuit to slow him down, she
    said."We're hoping it will make him pause long enough
    to listen to the facts," said Gillespie. "We can't
    seem to get his attention any other way."Owens is
    still mulling the options, said his spokesman Dan
    Hopkins.Both the Board of Medical Examiners and Board
    of Nursing agreed that relaxing the rules would be
    consistent with state law, Hopkins said. And both
    boards agreed that letting nurse anesthetists practice
    unsupervised is in the best interest of the people of
    Colorado, he added."There appears to be strong
    evidence" that nurse anesthetists can be just as
    effective as anesthesiologists in administering to
    patients, Hopkins added. "The governor is not making a
    decision in a vacuum."Nurse anesthetists have long
    pushed for independence, saying they don't need a
    doctor's supervision.The suit, filed Thursday in
    Denver District Court, asks for a judgment against the
    proposed rule change because it can "diminish the
    professional opportunities for anesthesiologists in
    the state of Colorado.
    "scanlon@RockyMountainNews.com
    or (303) 892-2897
    •  
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   London88
    I wonder if the AANA is going to respond to this suit!
  4. by   VaMedic
    I can imagine that they would respond to it. With the statement
    "diminish the professional opportunities for anesthesiologists in
    the state of Colorado. "
    It just proves that its a territory issue.They are worried that a CRNA may take thier job. Funny thing is that Colorado does not even have any approved CRNA programs.
  5. by   WntrMute2
    lawsuit or not this is a good thing. As pressure increases on healthcare organizations to reduce costs CRNAs are in a position of importance. I believe that once a more urban state makes the decision to "opt out" there will be a slippery slope effect and we will see larger numbers of states following. The potential however exists to shoot ourselves in the foot. As salaries rise, we lose the thing that differentiates us from the docs (I'm speaking about the bean counters point of view). Once our salaries are competative, there will be less incentive to hire CRNAs. I'm not really suggesting that during your interviews you offer to work for less, what I am saying is to make sure your employer gets their moies worth.

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