Administrative Update  |   July 2016
Evolving Advocacy Issues for 2016
Author Affiliations
  • Stanley W. Stead, M.D., M.B.A.
    Vice President for Professional Affairs
Article Information
Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Administrative Update
Administrative Update   |   July 2016
Evolving Advocacy Issues for 2016
ASA Monitor 07 2016, Vol.80, 6-8.
ASA Monitor 07 2016, Vol.80, 6-8.
This is a pivotal year for all physicians, as well as for ASA. We need to define clearly the role of physician anesthesiologists in perioperative care, critical care medicine, pain medicine and medicine as a whole. Anesthesiologists need to plan and prepare for future success in a value-based health care system. We must prepare and remain vigilant.
Most of you know the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Nursing Services has proposed a new policy document known as the “VA Handbook.” This document seeks to abolish the proven model of physician-led anesthesia care team and replace it with a nurse-only model of care. We all know that VA patients have complex medical conditions and a heightened risk of complications, and that when physicians are involved in anesthesia, there are better outcomes. There are no shortages of anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists at the VA. The VA Chiefs of Anesthesiology oppose the new policy and believe it “would directly compromise patient safety and limit our ability to provide quality care to Veterans.” Regardless, the VA has moved forward and issued a proposed rule to effect such a change in the May 25, 2016, Federal Register. Please go to and urge the VA to preserve physician-led, team-based surgical anesthesia care in VA medical facilities.
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