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Summary: SB 978 would amend the Occupations code dealing with certain anesthetics administered in outpatient settings. Currently, rules regulating the use of anesthetics do not apply to the use of local anesthetics or peripheral nerve blockers in outpatient settings. SB 978 would make regulations that establish minimum standards for anesthesia services, such as documentation requirements and protocols, applicable to the administration of a local anesthetic or peripheral nerve blocker if a total dosage amount exceeds 50% of the maximum safe dosage per outpatient visit.
Analysis: SB 978 would expand the regulatory burden on physicians administering anesthesia, even when they are administering a dosage that falls within the maximum safe dosage per outpatient visit. Current law has allowed licensed physicians to operate freely when it comes to local anesthetics and peripheral nerve blockers, and they should remain free to administer these anesthetics without additional regulation if they consider it appropriate.
While ensuring that local anesthesia is administered appropriately is a good idea, it should be up to the licensed physicians to decide when and in what dosages these anesthetics are necessary, as has been current practice. We do not support SB 978 because it imposes an unnecessary expansion of government regulation.