Executive Report  |   August 2016
2016 Advocacy Update
Author Affiliations
  • Manuel E. Bonilla, M.S.
    Chief Advocacy Officer
Article Information
Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Executive Report
Executive Report   |   August 2016
2016 Advocacy Update
ASA Monitor 08 2016, Vol.80, 10-12.
ASA Monitor 08 2016, Vol.80, 10-12.
The start of the U.S. Congress’ summer recess offers us an opportunity to review ASA members’ work to date on two priority federal legislative and regulatory issues. Throughout the 2016 congressional year, ASA has been focused on two key initiatives, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) “Nursing Handbook” and the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Each of these issues has significant implications for physician anesthesiologists and the patients served by the specialty.
Our most pressing and immediate priority remains the preservation of safe, high-quality anesthesia care in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). To that end, ASA continues to encourage all its members to support the SafeVACare.org initiative, a Veteran-centric patient safety program launched in response to a Veterans Health Admini-stration (VHA) proposal to dramatically change the role of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including nurse anesthetists, in providing care in VA facilities. The proposal would grant so-called “full practice authority” or the ability to practice “without the clinical oversight of a physician” to all APRNs, including nurse anesthetists, in all VA facilities, in all states, regardless of state law and other current VA polices. Initially titled the “VHA Nursing Handbook,” but renamed by VA leadership as the “APRN Proposed Rule,” the proposal has been pending since its formal release in the Federal Register on May 25. A 60-day window for the public and other stakeholders to participate in a formal comment period on the proposal concluded on July 25.
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