Kentucky to Allow Nurses to Administer Anesthesia

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday that the state will exempt hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers from the federal requirement that certified nurse anesthetists must be supervised by a physician when administering anesthesia.

The change is a necessary step in improving access to care in rural and underserved areas of the state, Mr. Beshear said in a statement. "In cases like this, where the federal requirement is an obstacle to some of the best options for delivery of high-quality health care, we're pleased to take this step to opt out," he said.

The Kentucky Society of Anesthesiologists is opposing the opt-out. "An opt-out would have dangerous ramifications to the patients of Kentucky and jeopardize Kentucky's ability to deliver quality medical care," a KSA press release said.

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