Today, Texas Attorney General (AG) Ken Paxton issued AG Opinion No. 0371-KP, regarding “whether chapter 157 of the Occupation Code requires a physician to provide any level of supervision to a certified registered nurse anesthetist to whom the physician has delegated authority, and the potential liability for such delegation.”
General Paxton’s Opinion maintains the status quo, which is the best possible outcome for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) operating in Texas. You can read the full AG’s Opinion here.
The AG Opinion refutes the Texas Medical Board’s legal arguments, points out that the word supervision does not appear in the CRNA statute (unlike other delegation statutes), and then closes with "Thus, chapter 157 of the Occupations Code does not, by itself, require a physician who properly delegates anesthesia-related acts to a CRNA to supervise the CRNA’s performance of those acts. See Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. JC-0117 (1999) at 7.” As to whether a physician is liable for the acts of a CRNA, the Opinion noted, “Questions of physician liability in any specific context are highly factual and not an appropriate determination for the opinion process.”
We will continue to fight for issues impacting patient safety and the profession of nurse anesthesia.