With the support of the NC Medical Society and NC Society of Anesthesiologists, legislation was filed in the NC House to protect North Carolina’s existing standard of care regarding the supervision of nurse anesthetists (CRNAs).
House Bill 181 — sponsored by Rep. Nelson Dollar, Rep. Mark Hollo, Rep. Tim Moore, Rep. Michael Wray and supported by 15 additional co-sponsors — does not change the way anesthesia is currently administered in North Carolina. It simply codifies in statute the existing legal standard that requires physician supervision of nurse anesthetists.
Why codify the existing law? Because some nurse anesthetists have been working to undermine North Carolina’s existing standards. At the same time, we have seen physician supervision requirements weakened in other states by the courts without any public discussion. We do not want to risk the possibility that laws which protect North Carolina patients could be changed without the legislature’s involvement.
North Carolina law has always required physician supervision of nurse anesthetists. It should remain that way. We value the important contributions of CRNAs, but a physician-led care team provides the most effective — and safest — care for patients.