The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld the opt-out option requiring physician supervision for a certified registered nurse anesthetist who administers anesthesia, as it relates to hospitals and other medical service in the state seeking Medicare reimbursement, according to the ruling.
The decision in Colorado Medical Society v. Hickenlooper was applauded by the Colorado Hospital Association, according to the American Hospital Association.
It allows CRNAs to practice in rural and critical access hospitals without direct physician supervision under rules developed by each facility in consultation with the medical staff, the AHA stated.
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“CHA firmly believes it is more important than ever that qualified health care practitioners, including CRNAs, be permitted to practice up to the maximum level of care delivery permitted under their respective licenses,” said Colorado Hospital Association President and CEO Steven Summer.
The AHA last year filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to uphold the governor’s authority to exercise the opt-out to improve access to care for rural residents.
In the decision released June 1, the Colorado State Supreme Court sided with the appellate court and dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists.
A number of states have opted out of the Medicare rule since it became an option in 2001. The governor must submit a letter to the relevant federal agencies attesting that the opt-out is in the best interest of the state’s citizens and is consistent with state law.
Colorado’s 2010 opt-out request was made by then-Gov. Bill Ritter and decided during Gov. John Hickenlooper’s tenure.