Medicare Regulations allows CRNA’s to administer anesthesia without physician supervision if the state governor opts out of the regular physician supervision requirement.
Governor Ritter of Colorado opted out in 2010, and his action was challenged by the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists. That challenge was dismissed by Colorado trial courts, which decision was just affirmed on appeal by the Colorado Supreme Court.
The Colorado Medical Society continues to assert that Colorado law requires physician supervision of CRNA’s, and that the decision affects only Medicare reimbursement. That issue was raised but not addressed in the proceedings.
While expecting continued litigation on the issue, the Colorado Association of Nurse Anesthetists (COANA) praised the decision as a victory for CRNA’s.