Urge the Administration to NOT Resubmit the Request for Exemption of Federal CMS Guidelines in Anesthesia Care

Patient safety is always of the utmost importance in all aspects of care, including anesthesia. Unfortunately, last month, Governor Whitmer’s Administration submitted a letter requesting exemption for the State of Michigan from CMS federal guidelines which require physician supervision for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). The Governor’s office contends that this request was sent to simply finish the work started by the passage of Public Act 53 of 2021, also known as House Bill 4359, which now allows CRNAs to practice without direct physician supervision if they meet specific education and training requirements, and a physician is immediately available (either in-person or through telehealth) while anesthesia care is being provided.

MSMS has urged the Administration to reconsider their position on this request for exemption and as of Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the Governor rescinded the letter to CMS. The Administration will now consult the Board of Medicine before determining if the opt-out is the right decision for Michigan patients.

At this time, it is imperative that physicians urge the Administration to protect patient safety and not resubmit the request for exemption of federal CMS guidelines. A full opt-out is not consistent with the provisions for physician involvement in Michigan law and will cause confusion among patients and others. Please contact Governor Whitmer’s office today and urge the Administration not to resubmit the request for exemption of federal CMS guidelines in anesthesia care.