CRNA Independent Practice: Deciding Which Question to Answer
Posted by Clark Venable on 2/21/2007
In doing some more reading on the CRNA independent practice issue, I found what I thought was a curious quote in a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services press release from January 17, 2001. The press release is an announcement that Medicare will leave decisions on whether physician supervision of CRNA's is necessary to the States. Here's the quote from the second to the last paragraph:
I think asserting that there is no evidence that CRNA independent practice would cause adverse outcome is the wrong question to address. I think the question should be, 'is there evidence that CRNA independent practice would be as safe for patients as the present system?' (we're a six sigma specialty, remember).
The Safe Seniors Assurance Study Act of 1999 was to address the issue but it never made it out of committee:
(2) In conducting the study, the Secretary shall consult with appropriate national professional organizations with respect to the methodology of the study, and shall use medicare operating room anesthesia data, adjusted for patient acuity and other relevant scientific variables."
Sounds like a good starting point for this discussion, however...
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