Intended for healthcare professionals


Unsupervised nurses may soon give anaesthetics in United States

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 08 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:959
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. San Francisco

    Nurse anaesthetists in the United States may soon be able to give anaesthetics to some patients without the supervision of a doctor. After deliberating for more than two years, the Health Care Financing Administration, which provides health insurance to an estimated 74 million Americans through the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children's Health Insurance Program, has announced that it will remove the requirement that all nurse anaesthetists who provide anaesthesia to Medicare patients must be supervised by a physician. Until now, when anaesthesia was administered to patients with Medicare, nurse anaesthetists had to be supervised by physicians in order for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centres to be reimbursed for the non-anaesthesia portion of the care. This rule has been in effect since 1966 when the Medicare programme was established. The agency first …

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