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Nurse Anesthetists: Allowed To Work Without Doctor Supervision?

New Jersey’s state health department is considering a rule that would allow nurse anesthetists to work without a doctor’s supervision, as long as there’s a plan to reach one in case of an emergency. New Jersey would join the 30 states that allow nurse anesthetists to work without direct supervision.

On the other end of the country, a California court upheld the state’s decision to opt out of a Medicare requirement that doctors be present while a nurse anesthetist works in order to be reimbursed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have allowed states to opt out of that requirement since 2001.

Since then, there has been no evidence of increased inpatient deaths or complications, researchers reported in the August 2010 issue of Health Affairs. Earlier this month, the Institute of Medicine reported that nurses should have a larger role in medical care, including anesthesiology.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

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