minnesota opts out of nurse anesthetist rule
mon apr 22, 5:27 pm et
by karen pallarito
new york (reuters health) - minnesota gov. jesse ventura on friday took advantage of a federal medicare rule allowing the state to exempt its hospitals from a requirement that physicians supervise nurse anesthetists.
minnesota is only the fourth state to opt out of the federal supervision requirement. in the last 4 months, iowa, nebraska and idaho also have opted out, and several other predominantly rural states are considering whether to do so.
the centers for medicare and medicaid services issued a final rule last november that retains the long-standing federal supervision requirement but gives state governors the discretion to opt out if it is believed to be in citizens' best interests.
dennis bless, past president of the minnesota association of nurse anesthetists, praised gov. ventura's move, saying it would ensure that hospitals in rural and under-served areas would "continue to receive medicare funds, and the patients they serve will have continued access to high-quality healthcare."
but dr. phil boyle, president of the minnesota society of anesthesiologists (msa), said the governor's decision represents "a setback" for patient safety. ventura acted "against a strong recommendation from the minnesota board of medical practice," he noted.
boyle vowed that the msa would launch a public relations campaign about the administration of anesthesia and the need for patient safety standards. the society also will try to convince the governor to reverse the decision and ask the state legislature to appoint a task force to examine "scope of practice" issues.
crna's have been independently administering anesthesia in the us for 100 years, currently > 60 % of all anesthesia with low mortality rates. kudus to the gov!