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The US Support for Anesthesiologist Assistants – AnestaWeb, Inc., whose followers are AA-C’s, today announced their support for all Senate and House Bills throughout the USA. These bills would license experienced anesthesiologist assistants (AAs) to practice in every state in the USA and would positively alter the anesthesia delivery model currently utilized in the state and focus more on the ACT model of anesthesia care. AAs, who are equally qualified to CRNAs, are certified to practice in 18 states as well as the federal government (Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs) which authorize the use of Anesthesiologist Assistants to practice under the TRICARE insurance program.

"The passage of this legislation would positively change the ACT model and would be extremely beneficial to the quality of care in operating rooms and create less risk for patients throughout the united States," said Christopher Green, B.A. R.N., President of AnestaWeb, Inc. “When patients have unanticipated adverse responses to anesthesia and surgery, I would think legislators would want the highest skilled master’s degree practitioners handling their loved one's cases who are required to work as a team with Anesthesiologists (MD's) - that’s why we must pass all bills and allow these intelligent, safety conscious Anesthesiologist Assistants to practice in the O.R. immediately.”

Patient Safety

“Any resistance to this legislation is alarming because although Anesthesiologist Assistants do not need to have a health care related degree, their rigorous AA course only graduates the ones who can master the skill! The AA course is so challenging that it has been said by many CRNA’s today that they themselves would have had a hard time passing!" said Christopher Green, B.A. R.N., President of AnestaWeb, Inc. “You really must have an above average intelligence to become and AA and an Anesthesiologist Assistant can transition into a doctorate program to become an anesthesiologist much quicker than a CRNA could. Is this why CRNA programs like the one rumored at University of Maryland are currently working towards offering a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) program in the fall of 2010? Do we need a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)? We already have Anesthesiologists.”
Fiscally Responsible

During these difficult economic times it makes great sense to engage in a new more cost efficient “Anesthesiologist Assistant” program. Currently the US is experiencing a nursing shortage and by expanding current nurse anesthesia programs, the already deteriorating pool of nurses entering nurse anesthesia programs would unfortunately cause a worsening nursing shortage. Further, the cost of establishing an AA licensing/regulatory body will be miniscule compared to the worsening nursing shortage. Under this legislation the Board of Medicine would need to take on minimal additional costs to regulate Anesthesiologist Assistants.

Great Savings To Patients

Since the services of AAs and CRNAs are reimbursed at the same rates, patients would pay the same amount for equally qualified AAs and no longer have to postpone their surgery due to the lack of anesthesia providers!


CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in more than two thirds of all rural hospitals. Common sense should tell anyone that practicing anesthesia without an Anesthesiologist present for emergencies is undoubtedly a very high safety risk factor.

In conclusion, the passing of Anesthesiologist Assistant legislation could decrease the shortage of anesthesia providers in rural areas. Because Anesthesiologist Assistants practice safety under the supervision of an Anesthesiologist, the AA’s will fill most of the larger hospital O.R positions and CRNA’s will most likely move out to more rural areas where they can practice independently without an Anesthesiologist to call upon in an emergency. Anesthesiologist Assistants are truly the answer to the anesthesia workforce shortages.

SOURCE: AnestaWeb, Inc. - US Support for Anesthesiologist Assistants
Comparatively speaking a CRNA must be a registered nurse (never having to take calculus, Biology 1+2, Chemistry 1+2, Organic Chemistry 1+2, Biochemistry, Physics 1+2, but instead Prerequisites that start with NUR which are geared for an easier fast track into the nursing field) have a four-year nursing degree (which focuses very little on anesthesia) and have at least one year of critical care nursing experience prior to admission to a graduate-level nurse anesthesia educational program (which unfortunately also does not give a nurse much O.R. experience if any at all).

Over the years, numerous studies have concluded that Anesthesiologist Assistant’s (AA's) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) provide equally safe anesthesia care. Anesthesiologist Assisatnts have been safetly practicing anesthesia for over 35 years and Nurse anesthetists have been rendering anesthesia care for more than a century until Anesthesiologists took the field to a higher level of practice.

Medicare rules specify that Anesthesiologist Assistants must practice under the medical direction of an anesthesiologist (which is considered the safest practice see and CRNA’s do not and an anesthesiologist may run four concurrent operations while directly supervising AAs (which is equally true with CRNA’s in large Hospitals). Consequently, the anesthesiologist may not be directly in the room with the AA or CRNA and may be circulating to assist or supervise other surgical suites. When that is the case, patients are left in the care of the well educated and highly trained Anesthesiologist Assistant or CRNA with a direct line to their supervising Anesthesiologist.