February 18, 2020
Oklahoma Compromise Maintains Physician Led Care
The Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists (OSA) reached a legislative compromise with the Oklahoma Association of Nurse Anesthetists (OANA) regarding physician involvement requirements for nurse anesthetists in the state. If enacted, Oklahoma nurse anesthetists will not have independent practice in the state. The compromise language (Senate Bill 801) substitutes “collaboration” for “supervision,” retains the requirement for timely onsite consultation by a physician, and defines collaboration. Collaboration is defined as an agreement between a physician, dentist or podiatrist and nurse anesthetist, involving the joint formulation, discussion and agreement of the anesthesia plan where the physician must remain available for timely onsite consultation. In 2019, OSA fought a tough and public battle to defeat four separate physician involvement bills. Ultimately, a truce was called in the hope that compromise legislation could be reached.
Under the compromise, physician led care with timely onsite consultation is preserved.