The California Medical Association and the California Society of Anesthesiologists are appealing a court decision issued last year that allows nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia without physician supervision.
Calif. med groups appeal nurse-anesthetist ruling
In June 2009, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger got an exemption from the CMS rule that requires physicians to supervise nurse anesthetists during care of Medicare members. At least 15 other states also have this exemption.
A San Francisco Superior Court judge in October denied the physician groups’ request to block the governor’s decision.
The groups representing doctors argue that the exemption compromises quality of care. But the governor’s office and nurses groups say that more flexibility is needed, especially in rural areas where anesthesiologists are in short supply.
“Nurses are not trained to react to the myriad potential complications that can arise in the administration of anesthesia,” said Dr. James Hinsdale, president of the California Medical Association, in a statement. “Requiring physician supervision is one important element of ensuring the best quality of care."
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