Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

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8 Navy | Winter 2017 Legislative Affairs AUSN Influences VA to Maintain Anesthesia Care for Veterans BRIAN BAUMAN Join AUSN as we salute the Navy's most ardent 2017 Legislative Awards ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY Ceremony & Reception March 9, 2017 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. United States Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium and Atrium REGISTRATION REQUIRED NO LATER THAN MARCH 3 Call to (703) 548-5800 ext. 1 or email Celebrate With Us March 9, 2017 Join AUSN as we salute the Navy's most ardent supporters in Congress W hile we had many victories in 2016, none have been more hard fought than the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) decision to reverse its proposal to re- place their physician anesthesiologists with nurses in VA health care facilities. If implemented, the proposal would have fundamentally changed the delivery of surgical anesthesia care for veterans. e final rule was posted to the Federal Register Dec. 13, giving all of us in the Legislation Department an early Christmas gi. In it, the VA will maintain its current physician-led, team-based model of care under which physician an- esthesiologists and nurse anesthetists work together to provide safe, high-quality care. VA's own internal Quality Enhancement Re- search Initiative (QUERI) study of this issue titled "Evidence Brief: e Quality of Care Provided by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses" raised signif- icant questions about the safety of the "solo CRNA" or nurse-only model of anesthesia. Aer reviewing existing studies, even self-funded nursing advocacy studies, QUERI concluded the evidence did not prove it would be safe to implement nurse-only models of anesthesia for the VA, specifically questioning "whether more complex surgeries can be safely man- aged by CRNAs." e VA's final rule assures their alignment with current laws in 46 states and the District of Columbia, which all require physician involvement for anesthesia care. Removing physician anesthesiologists could possi- bly lower the standard of care and jeopardize lives. e proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register in May, attracted an unprecedented outpouring from the public, a record for VA-related issues as well as a record for the most comments posted in 2016. More than 104,000 comments were submitted in support of maintaining VA's current physician-led, team-based anesthesia policy, of which some 11,000 were submitted by veterans, and over 14,000 were sub- mitted by family members of veterans. We salute the VA for preserving the proven anes- thesia team-based care model where physicians and nurses work together to provide the best care possible for our nation's veterans. Michael J. Little is AUSN's Director of Legislative Affairs.

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