Two of the biggest issues facing our profession at present are inappropriate scope expansion and, somewhat encompassed within that, the recent attempts at title misappropriation. From practicing unsupervised to non-physicians calling themselves “doctor” to officially self-identifying as nurse anesthesiologists instead of nurse anesthetists, the movements are picking up both audacity and traction. While we at the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) are working hard to enact legislative changes at the state level to combat inappropriate scope expansion and title misappropriation, we also want to empower you, giving you practical tools to make changes at the local level in your practices, facilities, and systems to counteract these patient safety issues and protect physician led care.
CSA is sponsoring (AB 765 Wood): This bill, aptly coined the “California Patient Protection, Safety, Disclosure, and Transparency Act,” is aimed at strengthening protections for healthcare consumers, by addressing gaps in our current prohibition on the use of the term “physician” by non-physician providers. AB 765 (Wood) does so by ensuring healthcare consumers are not misled or deceived into believing their healthcare provider is a physician and/or surgeon, and healthcare providers with advanced degrees do not confuse the public with the use of “ologist” like anesthesiologist or dermatologist or other similar combination of “physician-equivalent” titles.
CSA created a toolkit with recommendations for local action and background information regarding relevant laws, including the supervision opt-out, information about how to navigate the process through your hospital’s policy infrastructure, and specific policy changes you can put in place at your facility to ensure the highest quality of care and patient safety.