Features  |   August 2020
Your Involvement Is Key!
Article Information
Airway Management / Ambulatory Anesthesia / Infectious Disease / Practice Management / Respiratory System / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   August 2020
Your Involvement Is Key!
ASA Monitor 8 2020, Vol.84, 29.
ASA Monitor 8 2020, Vol.84, 29.
I would like to thank all physician anesthesiologists who have been working tirelessly and relentlessly, placing their own physical and mental health at risk to care for patients who are suffering from COVID-19. The dedication and ingenuity of physician anesthesiologists continue to amaze me. Our colleagues have been on the front lines of this pandemic, restructuring hospital environments, creating specialized hoods and other protective equipment, and inventing plastic boxes for safer intubation. Physician anesthesiologists are now being profiled on the cover of Time magazine and interviewed by local and national news networks. We are being hailed as heroes.
One of the unfortunate consequences of this pandemic is loosening of regulations that govern the scope of practice of nurse anesthetists, including elimination of physician supervision. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decided to remove physician supervision of nurse anesthetists, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. VA Acting Executive in Charge Richard Stone, MD, sent a directive to “amend medical facility by-laws to allow Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to have full practice authority to the extent that is within the full scope of their license.” On March 31, CMS temporarily suspended physician supervision requirements for CRNAs. In addition, several states, including Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Tennessee, temporarily suspended physician supervision and certain licensure limitations for CRNAs.
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