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Hundreds of Michigan physicians call on state to maintain physician oversight of anesthesia care

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists (MSA) joined several other prominent physician groups representing thousands of members in urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to maintain Michigan’s adherence to the federal requirement for physician supervision of nurse anesthetists.

Opting out of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ physician supervision requirement would dismantle the anesthesia care team model in Michigan by allowing nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia without physician supervision.

More than 950 MSA member physicians sent letters to Gov. Whitmer this week urging her not to opt out. They joined the Michigan Board of Medicine, Michigan State Medical Society, Michigan College of Emergency Medicine and Michigan Radiological Society in opposing such a move.

“An exemption to the federal regulation is simply the wrong choice for patients and is clearly not what the people of Michigan want for their health care,” said MSA President Dr. Neeju Ravikant. “Removing physician supervision from anesthesia care threatens patient safety, raises healthcare costs and lowers the quality of health care at a time when families are struggling across Michigan. Employers such as hospitals and surgery centers would see larger bottom lines while Michigan patients pay the price.”

A March 2021 survey found 66% of Michigan voters oppose removing physician supervision of nurse anesthetists when administering anesthesia to patients in the operating room.

With an aging population and increasingly complex surgical interventions, physician supervision is more important than ever to help ensure patient safety. Additionally, there are no cost savings for patients in Michigan to receive anesthesia care solely by a nurse anesthetist, and studies have found that other states have not improved access to anesthesia care by opting out of the CMS requirement for physician supervision.

You can read the official MSA letter to Gov. Whitmer here.


Contact:Melissa Anders, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy