Gov. Doyle Removes Physician Supervision for Wisconsin CRNAs
Governor Jim Doyle has informed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, D.C., that Wisconsin is opting out of the federal physician supervision requirement for nurse anesthetists. The opt-out, which was supported by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing, is effective immediately.
“This is an important development for Wisconsin patients, helping to ensure their continued access to quality nurse anesthesia care,” said Tom Hilbert, CRNA, MS, president of the Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetists. “We applaud Gov. Doyle’s decision to opt out.”
There are now 14 states, including Wisconsin, that have taken advantage of an anesthesia care rule published by CMS in the Federal Register [66 FR 56762-56769] on Nov. 13, 2001. The other states are Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, South Dakota, and Montana. The rule allows a governor to notify CMS in writing of the state’s desire to opt out of (be exempt from) the supervision requirement for CRNAs after the governor meets the following prerequisites: consults with the state’s boards of medicine and nursing about issues related to access to and the quality of anesthesia services in the state; determines that opting out of the requirement is consistent with state law; and decides that it is in the best interests of the state’s citizens.
In the four years that states have been opting out of the supervision requirement, there have not been any reports of anesthesia patient deaths or injuries related to the removal of physician supervision of CRNAs.
In his letter to CMS, Gov. Doyle stated that, “ I attest and have concluded that this opt-out is in the best interests of Wisconsin’s citizens, that the opt-out is consistent with Wisconsin law, and that I have consulted with the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board and the Wisconsin Board of Nursing about issues related to access to and the quality of anesthesia services in Wisconsin."