The Federal Trade Commission staff has submitted a comment to the Texas Attorney General regarding a request from the Texas Medical Board for an opinion on the statutory basis for the supervision of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs).
The Board’s request is related to regulations they had considered in 2019, Proposed Rule § 193.13. FTC staff warned the Texas Medical Board last year that the proposed rule could harm competition by impeding access to surgical and other health care services provided by CRNAs. According to FTC staff’s analysis, the proposed rule would impose additional supervisory requirements on CRNAs who administer anesthesia and might expose Texas physicians who delegate the administration of anesthesia and related services to CRNAs to additional liability.
Writing in response to an invitation from the Texas Attorney General’s Office, FTC staff state that the Texas Medical Board’s new request appears to misconstrue both the FTC’s comment last year to the board and its prior competition advocacy regarding CRNA regulations. FTC staff continue to recommend that Texas only maintain CRNA supervision requirements that advance patient protection and that “the Texas Medical Board avoid adopting regulations that impede CRNA practice in ways that have not been contemplated by the legislature and that do not demonstrably advance consumer welfare.”
The Commission vote approving the comment to the Texas Attorney General was 4-0-1. Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter did not participate.