AANA’s Anti-Team-Based Anesthesia-Care Campaign
For years, an anti-anesthesiologist contingent of AANA has sought to dismantle the successful and proven anesthesia care team model at both state and federal levels. Throughout the country, where the team model is practiced, it works – ensuring patients access to safe, high-quality anesthesia care. ASA views all members of the Anesthesia Care Team – nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists assistants – as valued, important members of the team and appreciates the professional and productive relationships gained through the team. ASA’s goal is to preserve and strengthen physician-led care whether provided directly or in a team-based setting.
Most recently, in May 2019, the AANA launched a malicious, irresponsible campaign: CRNA’s: We are the Answer, which contains recycled, reformatted misinformation that AANA has spread for years, which lacks integrity and is designed to be provocative. The information in the campaign isn’t new or accurate and doesn’t resonate with legislators or the public. No major national or local news outlets have covered the AANA statement.
What You Should Know
- During 2018, AANA approved the use of the descriptor “nurse anesthesiologist.”
- A change to AANA’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws was proposed to change the name of the association to the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiologists.
- In some states, attempts have been made to authorize the term “nurse anesthesiologist.” In New Hampshire, the state nursing board issued a policy statement authorizing the use of the term "nurse anesthesiologist."
What ASA Is Doing: For You
- ASA has lobbied to successfully preserve physician-led anesthesia care in federal and state legislative bodies and regulatory bodies. In 2017, ASA defeated a 4-year effort to replace anesthesiologists with nurse anesthetists at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2018, an effort in New York to remove physician involvement was defeated. To date, in 2019, ASA has worked with its state components to defeat efforts to weaken or remove physician involvement in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida (2 bills), Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
- At the June American Medical Association House of Delegates meeting, ASA’s delegates led an effort to build strong support within the House of Medicine to fight misleading descriptors such as “nurse anesthesiologist” and enforce descriptors based on licensing.
- ASA is working to strengthen state laws that limit the use of the title “anesthesiologist” to individuals licensed to practice medicine. In New York, a proposal led by the state component would strengthen the supervision clause and limit the use of the title anesthesiologist to those licensed to practice medicine.