Gasline Newsletter October 2010

Volume 12, No. 6

Opt-Out Member Alert

Dear Members,

The lawsuit and motion filed by the CSA and the CMA to require that the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger withdraw his letter was denied by the San Francisco Superior Court judge in a preliminary ruling. The court's ruling, which runs counter to the opinions previously expressed by the Legislative Counsel, Attorney General, and prior court findings--was based on the judge's opinion that given the absence of a State statute law explicitly requiring physician supervision of nurse anesthetists who administer anesthesia, federal regulations allow the Governor discretion to conclude that opting out of the Medicare supervision requirement is consistent with State law.

In response, the CSA and CMA have both issued press releases (http://www.csahq.org) renouncing the court's decision. The CSA's press release has been distributed and published through dozens of media outlets, including a scheduled interview with the American Medical News.

For those of you who could not attend the ASA conference, I am sure it comes as no surprise that news about the opt-out, particularly that recently affecting California and Colorado, was a predominate and recurrent topic of interest and debate. The general consensus among the assembled members was that now is the time for immediate and decisive action on the legislative level to protect the future of our profession. 

I urge all members to join me in the fight against special interest groups that seek to expand the scope of practice of nurses through the illusion of cutting costs. Let's rally together to ensure patients' right to choose to have a physician involved in their anesthetic care. Get involved today--donate to GASPAC, contact your legal representatives in Washington, or write an op-ed to your local paper.

Narendra S. Trivedi,
President

CSA Web Site Update

Beta testing for CSA's new Web site revealed few problems and garnered much praise for its "tight" design and excellent overall organization. We're particularly excited about the new groups and discussion board functions of the site and look forward to much member participation and active discourse once the site launches. To help ease the transition from our current listserv service (which will cease to function once the site goes live), the new site will contain a brief video tutorial demonstrating how to utilize the groups and discussion board features. Once Beta testing is complete, and we've decided on which mobile platform to implement, the site should be ready for launch. In the meantime, I urge you all to take a look at our newly active CSA Facebook page and LinkedIn profile and, if you Tweet, invite you to follow us on Twitter.

ASA Annual Meeting and Highlights

ASA2010_CSADel
CSA was well represented at the ASA Annual Meeting in San Diego October 16-20. ASA Director Mark Singleton, M.D. led CSA's delegation of 27 members, the largest delegation in the ASA. Alternate Director Michael Champeau, M.D. chaired the Reference Committee on Professional Affairs and UCLA Department Chair, Patricia Kapur, M.D. chaired the Reference Committee on Scientific Affairs. CSA Speaker Johnathan Pregler, M.D. also participated in the Reference Committee on Finance.

Significant topics addressed in the House of Delegates were the adoption of an advisory on deep sedation credentialing of non-anesthesiologists that was based on content in the CSA's guideline of several years ago. In addition, an outcome measurement on intra-operative normothermia was approved and will be sent to the AMA Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) and National Quality Forum (NQF) for endorsement. Also approved was an outcome measurement on Multimodal Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting (PONV) that will be submitted to the NQF for endorsement and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for adoption as part of Physician Quality and Reporting Initiative (PQRI). A practice Guideline for Central Venous Access, which recommended the use of static ultrasound for internal jugular central line placement, was rejected and sent back to the Committee on Standards and Practice Parameters for further review and work. 

Also adopted was a motion directing the ASA to consider creating a Health Policy Institute. Efforts will continue to find or build a new headquarters building to accommodate the Anesthesia Quality Institute, increased staffing and other future needs of the Society.

In uncontested elections former ASA Treasurer John Zerwas, M.D. was elected ASA First Vice President, putting him on track to become President of the ASA in 2012. CSA Past President Linda Mason, M.D. was reelected Assistant Secretary, and Mary Dale Peterson, M.D. was elected Assistant Treasurer.
Medi-Cal Program Changes
The Medi-Cal program is changing its unique modifiers for anesthesia services to HCPCS modifiers used by the Medicare program (and others). Please take a moment to review the new conversion chart here.

Legislative and Practice Affairs Division

CSA Legislative Counsels William E. Barnaby and William E. Barnaby III have compiled a comprehensive California Political Update that explores current legislation of interest to CSA members, and a review of special and primary election results, and an overview of general election prospects and ballot measures.

Legislative and Practice Affairs Division

CSA Legislative Counsels William E. Barnaby and William E. Barnaby III have compiled a comprehensive California Political Update that explores current legislation of interest to CSA members, and a review of special and primary election results, and an overview of general election prospects and ballot measures.
2011 CSA Fall Winter Seminar
Get the new year off to a great start by attending the CSA's Winter Hawaiian Seminar, January 24-28 on Maui. The brochure is in the mail and you can register now on the CSA Web site. If you would like a more in-depth overview of the lectures, please feel free to look over the programs learning objectives.

Narendra S. Trivedi, M.D.
President

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