Lawmakers consider changing laws surrounding anesthesia administration

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Healthcare professionals from across the state gathered to discuss an ongoing issue from the last legislative session.

The Kansas Society of Anesthesiologists wants to bring anesthesiologist assistants to the state. But, they face opposition from the Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists, which lobbies for certified registered nurse anesthetists.

A spokesman for KANA said KSA is looking to make the change because of a perceived shortage of workers in the state, but the change would bring competition to the field. The new anesthesiologist assistants would be required to work under the supervision of an anesthesiologist when certified registered nurse anesthetists work with more autonomy.

A roundtable discussion allowed both sides on the issue to speak and present their concerns to the Special Committee on Health, as well as each other.

“They’re the experts. I mean, they live it every single day. They know what those patients are dealing with, they know what their practices are,” said Rep. Brenda Landwehr (R), Chair of the Special Committee on Health. “So, hopefully, they’ll sit down at the table and come back with a compromise.”

If the two groups are able to come to a compromise, new legislation on this issue could be introduced in the next legislative session.

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