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2011 Wisconsin Act 160
Licensing Anesthesiologist Assistants

PDF Version of DQA 12-018  (PDF, 41 KB)

Date: November 29, 2012 -- DQA Memo 12-018
To: Ambulatory Surgical Centers ASC 05
Hospitals HOSP 07
From: Cremear Mims, Director
Bureau of Health Services
Via:

Otis Woods, Administrator
Division of Quality Assurance

2011 Wisconsin Act 160
Licensing Anesthesiologist Assistants

As many of you are aware, Governor Scott Walker signed 2011 Wisconsin Act 160 into law on March 28, 2012, creating licensure requirements and practice standards for anesthesiologist assistants (AA). Additionally, Act 160 created the Council on Anesthesiologist Assistants which is responsible for making recommendations to the Medical Examining Board regarding the scope of anesthesiologist assistant’s practice and to promote safe and competent practice of anesthesiologist assistants. This law took effect November 1, 2012.

In accordance with the new law, effective November 1, 2012, licensed anesthesiologist assistants may practice in Wisconsin hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers as outlined in statute as long as all other statutory and administrative codes are followed. Federally certified hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers must also comply with all federal certification requirements. Providers are also reminded to review facility policies and procedures that may impact anesthesiologist assistants.

Scope of Practice

An anesthesiologist assistant may assist only the supervising anesthesiologist in the delivery of medical care. The supervising anesthesiologist shall be immediately available in the same location or facility in order to be able to intervene if needed. The AA must be employed by a hospital, ambulatory surgery center or an affiliate of a hospital and enter into a supervision agreement with an anesthesiologist who represents the AA’s employer. The agreement must name the supervising anesthesiologist and must define the practice of the AA consistent with the statutory requirements.

Medical Care Tasks

An anesthesiologist assistant may perform only the following medical care tasks as assigned by the supervising anesthesiologist:

  • Develop and implement an anesthesia care plan
  • Obtain a patient history and perform a physical exam
  • Pretest and calibrate anesthesia delivery systems
  • Implement monitoring techniques
  • Establish basic and advanced airway interventions
    Administer vasoactive drugs and start and adjust vasoactive infusions
  • Administer anesthetic, adjuvant, and accessory drugs
  • Implement spinal, epidural, and regional anesthetic procedures
  • Administer blood, blood products, and supportive fluids
  • Assist a cardiopulmonary resuscitation team
  • Participate in administrative, research and teaching activities
  • Supervise student anesthesiologist assistants

The Division of Quality Assurance is sending this information to providers asking administrators to inform their staff of the new law.

The complete text of 2011 Wisconsin Act 160 can be found at: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/related/acts/160.pdf

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions about this information, please contact the Bureau of Health Services at (608) 266-0297.

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Last Updated: December 05, 2012