July 06, 2021
ASA and PSA Applaud New Pennsylvania Law Requiring Physician Oversight of Anesthesia Care
CHICAGO – The American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists today applaud Gov. Tom Wolf, who signed Senate Bill 416 which puts into law physician oversight of anesthesia care and ensures patient safety remains a top priority.
“This is a big win for Pennsylvania patients,” said ASA President Beverly K. Philip, M.D., FACA, FASA. “Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetist working together in a physician-led team is a safe, high-quality model of anesthesia care. Working together we protect our patients and bring them through the surgery safely and as comfortable as possible.”
This bill passed unanimously out of the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives. It was the product of extensive negotiations between PSA, the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists and staff from the General Assembly. Previously, physician oversight requirements were only in regulation, not law.
In recognizing the importance of physician involvement during anesthesia care, PANA agreed that a physician’s “overall direction” over anesthesia services performed by a nurse anesthetist is necessary to ensure patient safety. In a recent survey of nurse anesthetists, 78% of nurse anesthetists said they value working alongside physician anesthesiologists as part of the care team. The bill also created the legally recognized title “certified registered nurse anesthetist” in Pennsylvania.
“PSA would like to thank PANA for partnering with us to uphold the highest possible standards for patient safety in the commonwealth,” said PSA President Shailesh D. Patel, M.D., FASA.
ASA hopes other state nurse anesthetist associations follow PANA’s lead in recognizing that physician oversight of nurse anesthetists is vital to safe anesthesia care and in the best interests of our patients.
The survey of 412 nurse anesthetists was conducted by Pierrepont Consulting and Analytics LLC and has strong representation across demographic categories including by gender, geographic region, urban and rural. The margin of error associated with this study is +/- 4.83% at the 95% confidence level.
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 54,000 members organized to advance the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/MadeforThisMoment. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.
PENNSYLVANIA SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
The Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists (PSA) has more than 2,400 members across Pennsylvania. PSA’s mission is to stimulate interest and encourage progress in the specialty of anesthesiology. PSA continues to strive to raise the standards of anesthesiology though its partnership with the American Society of Anesthesiology.