The Veterans Administration recently published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would allow Advanced Practice Nurses -- nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and clinical nurse specialists -- to "permit full practice authority of all VA advanced practice registered nurses when they are acting within the scope of their VA employment." Pursuant to this proposed rule, nurses would be allowed to practice independently and without any clinical oversight from a physician, regardless of the various state laws that prohibit independent practice, including Florida's.
The Michigan State Medical Society stands strong opposition to this proposed rule.
MSMS believes that physician-led, patient-centered care is the most effective approach to delivering quality health care. Our nation's veterans deserve the best care, and it is a travesty that the federal government would seek to undermine the delivery of health care to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of serving our country. We believe that ALL patients deserve access to the expertise that only physicians can provide, whether for primary care, pain management, anesthesia or chronic disease management. Physicians have more than 10,000 hours of education and training, and are the most qualified professionals to lead the health-care team.
While this proposed rule is limited only to care delivered in the VA Health System, the ramifications are far-reaching and should be of the highest concern to all physicians. It is MSMS's view that this is an attempt to devalue your education and training as a physician.
What you can do
Your help is critical to maintain physician-led anesthesia care for Veterans. Submit your comment by visiting http://www.safevacare.org and make your voice heard. We must protect our Veterans.