New York Amends Post-Anesthesia Evaluation Rule

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A new amendment to the New York Public Health Law aligns post-anesthesia evaluation rules to national standards.  Published in the December 29, 2010 New York State Register, the new rule authorizes individuals qualified to administer anesthesia in freestanding and hospital off-site ambulatory surgery centers to perform post-anesthesia evaluations.

Prior to the amendment, the law authorized physicians only to evaluate patients for proper anesthesia recovery. Recent changes to federal regulations prompted New York regulators to consider changes to the current regulations.

In the administration of anesthesia, federal regulations  include certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and anesthesiology assistants (AAs), along with qualified anesthesiologists or physicians qualified to administer anesthesia. The state’s revised language conforms to federal regulations with the exception of anesthesiologists assistants, as the state does not recognize AAs. The New York regulations also include dentists qualified to administer anesthesia.

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) submitted the only comment to the Department of Health, indicating its support of the changes. The amended rules affect 92 freestanding and 20 hospital off-site ambulatory surgery centers in the state.

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