AMCNO Provides Testimony on CRNA Scope of Practice (HB 548)

Recently, a panel of physicians representing several physician organizations – including the AMCNO – provided opponent testimony before the House Health and Aging Committee on HB 548 – a bill that would allow certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) to order medicines before and after surgery. The panelists pointed out that the bill could jeopardize patient safety and it is unnecessary because surgical teams that include CRNAs are capable of meeting patient needs under current laws. CRNAs who support the bill have indicated that the legislation would not expand their scope of practice and that they are trained to order medication in post- and pre-operative settings.

Dr. John Bastulli, who is vice president of legislative affairs for the AMCNO, testified that the legislation does in fact change the CRNA scope of practice and he outlined how he had started out as an anesthetist assistant prior to becoming a physician and has experienced firsthand the different levels of education between those who have the authority to order and those who don’t.  He also noted that there is no evidence of patients not being served in a timely manner and said it’s important he give the order for the sedation of surgical patients so that they’re coherent when they meet with physicians.

In all likelihood there will be interested party meetings over the next several months to discuss the aspects of this bill – and the AMCNO will continue to monitor these discussions. 

To view Dr. Bastulli’s testimony to the committee click here.  To view photos from the committee hearing, click here.



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