SDW news brief: Unsupervised nurse anesthetists pose no increased risk, study says

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, August 6, 2010

Allowing nurse anesthetists to provide anesthesia services without supervision from a doctor does not put patients at risk, according to a study in an issue of Health Affairs.

The study's authors say the findings call into question a requirement that nurse anesthetists be supervised by an anesthesiologist or surgeon to receive Medicare reimbursement. States can "opt out" of the requirement, but only by petitioning the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The study confirms that certified registered nurse anesthetists, who receive high-level training, are able to provide the same level of services as anesthesiologists at potentially lower cost.

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Source: HealthLeaders Media

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