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Anesthetist rule dropped by government

Saturday, March 11, 2000

The Health Care Financing Administration yesterday said that it will drop federal requirements for nurse anesthetists to be supervised by physicians when administering anesthesia to Medicare patients.

PG Online Special Report: Comparing Medicare HMOs


The agency had been considering the change for more than two years.

A national survey in October found that 88 percent of Medicare patients would be comfortable if their surgeon chose a nurse anesthetist to provide their anesthesia.

The rule change was opposed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists and supported by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

The nurses' group praised the decision, saying the rule change ensures access to safe, high-quality anesthesia care especially in rural areas and inner city hospitals, where nurse anesthetists often are the sole anesthesia providers.

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