The Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists has filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court in an attempt to stop Gov. Bill Owens from excusing the state from a federal Medicare rule that requires doctors to supervise nurses-anesthetists. Medicare allows governors to opt out of the physician-supervision requirement if it's determined to be consistent with state laws and in the best interests of patients. So far, that option has been invoked by six states -- Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire and New Mexico. The anesthesiologists' group seeks a declaratory judgment that opting out would directly conflict with state law regarding physician supervision. A spokesman at the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists said he wasn't aware of any other state in which doctors had challenged the governor in court on the matter. -- by Michael Romano
Colo. anesthesiologists sue state over supervision rule
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