ASA applauds Trump administration's stance on scope of practice laws — 4 insights

The American Society of Anesthesiologists praised the Trump administration for an HHS report reinforcing the importance of scope of practice laws and regulations.

Here's what you should know:

1. Published Dec. 4, the HHS report called "Reforming America's Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition" contains a section on scope of practice laws. The report states scope of practice laws and regulations may be justified when there are substantial risks of consumer harm.

2. Scope of practice regulations can protect at-risk patients during complex, technically demanding medical procedures such as surgery and anesthesia, according to the ASA.

3. The ASA published a statement citing a study in Anesthesiology, which found the presence of a physician anesthesiologist prevented 6.9 unnecessary deaths per 1,000 cases involving an anesthesia or surgical complication.

"Nurse anesthetists often advocate that substituting nurses for physicians cuts costs without increasing patient deaths or complications. However, an independent study shows that the odds of an adverse outcome are 80 percent higher when anesthesia is provided only by a nurse anesthetist as opposed to a physician anesthesiologist," the ASA said.

4. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists also commended HHS' report. AANA President Garry Brydges, DNP, CRNA, said in a statement, "The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists applauds the impressive message the report sends to policymakers, the medical profession, allied health professionals and the public about the need to fully utilize all healthcare professionals to ensure patient access to the widest possible spectrum of safe, affordable healthcare options."

In November, Dr. Brydges told Becker's ASC Review his goals for 2019 include creating "a clear understanding of the value and quality CRNAs bring to patient care before, during and after surgery, which translates into superior patient outcomes."

More articles on anesthesia:
Wisconsin anesthesiologist who surrendered state license now practices scot-free in New York — 5 insights
How price transparency could affect anesthesia practices — 5 takeaways
CRH Medical acquires Tennessee gastroenterology anesthesia practice — 4 insights

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