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EPIC ▪ MRA Poll: Michigan Voters Strongly Oppose Bills to Eliminate Physician Supervision of Anesthesia

EPIC ▪ MRA Poll: Michigan Voters Strongly Oppose Bills to Eliminate Physician Supervision of Anesthesia

New Statewide Survey Shows Voters Overwhelmingly Prefer a Physician Administer or Supervise Administration of Anesthesia

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Michigan voters solidly oppose any efforts to remove the current provisions in state law that requires physicians to supervise the administration of anesthesia in surgical procedures, according to the results of a new statewide survey of Michigan voters. The 400-sample survey -conducted March 11 through March 16 by EPIC ▪ MRA - gauged the public’s opinion on anesthesia care while lawmakers in Lansing debate a bill that would eliminate the state’s longstanding requirement that physicians supervise the administration of anesthesia in Michigan.

Among the majority of state residents, or their family members, who had undergone a surgical procedure over the past few years, 63 percent said that the anesthesia was administered by a physician anesthesiologist. Only 10 percent had their anesthesia administered by a nurse anesthetist, 4 percent by a physician/nurse team, with 23 percent uncertain.

When asked, if voters or their family members must undergo a surgical procedure in the future that required anesthesia to be administered, and the medical facility did not have a physician anesthesiologist on site, a 64 percent solid majority would prefer to have anesthesia administered by a nurse anesthetist supervised by an attending physician, with only 10 percent saying they would prefer having anesthesia administered by a nurse anesthetist who was NOT supervised by an attending physician.

“When it comes to anesthesia, Michigan voters clearly want nurse anesthetists to be supervised by a physician, and they oppose legislation that would end physician supervision by solid majorities,” said Bernie Porn, President of EPIC ▪ MRA.

“This is the third time we’ve polled on this hot-button issue, and the public has consistently and overwhelmingly rejected bills to end physician supervision of anesthesia. If lawmakers decide to pursue the bill they have before them now, they will be voting against the grain of a solid majority of health care consumers in Michigan.”

Families are also largely rejecting attempts by hospital administrators and other interest groups to remove the requirement that physicians participate in the administration of anesthesia care.

  • By a 66-14 percent solid majority, voters oppose legislation to remove Michigan’s current requirement of physician supervision in anesthesia care, with 49 percent strongly opposed to the legislation.
  • Republicans oppose the legislation by 74 to 13 percent, Republican women oppose it by 79 to 10 percent, as do self-identified conservatives by 76 to 10 percent.
  • Opposition to the legislation weakens only slightly after voters hear messages used by both sides, but showing 60 percent would still be opposed, with 47 percent strongly opposed.
  • Republicans still oppose the bill after arguments by 70 percent, with Republican women still opposed by 75 percent.
  • It their state legislator voted for the bill, 33 percent of all respondents would be less likely to support their legislator; including 40 percent of all Republicans, and 53 percent of Republican women.   

“As term limited legislators consider running for other offices, or if legislators think about running in newly drawn districts, they may want to seriously consider the potential negative impact of voting for this legislation, especially in primary elections when they must deal with many new voters,” said Porn. 

EPIC ▪ MRA conducted the 400-sample survey of active, registered voters in Michigan between March 11, 2021 and March 16, 2021. It was commissioned by the Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists. The poll was conducted by live callers, with 50 percent of respondents contacted on their cell phones.  The margin of error is +/-4.9 points.