Features  |   July 2014
2014 Legislative Conference: Creating Physician Advocates, Improving Patient Care
Author Affiliations
  • Erin A. Sullivan, M.D.
    Committee on Governmental Affairs
Article Information
Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Features
Features   |   July 2014
2014 Legislative Conference: Creating Physician Advocates, Improving Patient Care
ASA Monitor 07 2014, Vol.78, 12-17.
ASA Monitor 07 2014, Vol.78, 12-17.
The 2014 Legislative Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on May 5-7, highlighting the legislative, regulatory and state issues that weigh heavily on our specialty and on the care of our patients. I am always impressed by the dedication and involvement of our ASA members in their efforts to ensure the highest quality physician-led care and safety for our patients. Because of ASA’s strategic grassroots advocacy, along with support from ASA leadership and staff, our organization is making important strides in Congress and state legislatures around the country on the issues important to physician anesthesiologists.
One of the most important issues facing our profession is the proposed Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Nursing Services (ONS) “VHA Nursing Handbook.” This document requires that advance practice nurses function independently of physician supervision and would abandon physician-led, team-based surgical anesthesia care. If adopted, this new policy would have negative impact on our nation’s Veterans, who are among the sickest patients. Internal and external Veteran’s health stakeholders, including the Chiefs of Anesthesiology at VA hospitals nationwide, have expressed significant concerns about the proposed policy change.
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