AAEM Response to CMS 2009 Revision of Anesthesia Services Interpretive Guidelines

On December 11, 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published revised Hospital Anesthesia Services Interpretive Guidelines. These guidelines apply to the Conditions of Participation of hospitals in Medicare. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) Board of Directors is particularly concerned with the provision stating,

All services along the continuum of anesthesia services provided in a hospital must be organized under a single Anesthesia Service, which must be directed by a qualified physician and consistently implemented in every hospital department and setting that provides any type of anesthesia services.

The guidelines state that the Emergency Department is explicitly included in this provision.

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