April 08, 2015
New Law in New Mexico Expands Anesthesiologist Assistants’ Practice Settings
On April 7, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) signed House Bill 54 (HB 54). The measure expands the settings in which anesthesiologist assistants can practice. Prior to this bill, New Mexico anesthesiologist assistants were restricted to practicing at the University of New Mexico. New Mexico is the only known state with such a practice setting restriction for anesthesiologist assistants. The new law authorizes anesthesiologist assistants to practice in specified settings outside the University of New Mexico.
“The New Mexico Society of Anesthesiologists lobbied heavily for the bill,” said New Mexico’s ASA District Director, David Siegel, M.D. “Several New Mexico anesthesiology groups are already making plans to establish a care team model using AAs as a result.”
To date, anesthesiologist assistants may practice in 17 jurisdictions, Guam, the Medicare Program, and the Department of Veterans Affairs system.
Anesthesiologist assistants are highly skilled health professionals who work under the medical direction of physician anesthesiologists to implement anesthesia care plans. Anesthesiologist assistants work exclusively within the Anesthesia Care Team environment as described by ASA. All anesthesiologist assistants possess a premedical undergraduate background and complete a comprehensive didactic and clinical program at the graduate school master’s degree level. Anesthesiologist assistants are trained extensively in the delivery and maintenance of quality anesthesia care as well as advanced patient monitoring techniques.
ASA endorses efforts to educate, train and allow for the practice of anesthesiologist assistants in as many states as physician anesthesiologists request their services. For additional information, please contact Jason Hansen, director of state affairs, at [email protected].