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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 31, 2021 03:42 PM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: License for Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAA) in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would create a license for Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAA) in Pennsylvania.

Currently, Anesthesiologist Assistants have no legislative ability to practice in Pennsylvania. Anesthesiologist Assistants serve as a key member of the anesthesia care team. The profession of anesthesiologist assistant was established in the 1960s by three chairmen of academic anesthesiology departments, who were concerned with the shortage of anesthesiologists in the US. Anesthesia assistants are highly trained master’s degree level non-physician anesthesia care providers.

Pennsylvania, especially during the pandemic, should recognize these key healthcare providers to help patient access and maintain and increase key anesthesia safety standards. Anesthesia Assistants work side-by-side their Anesthesiologist and CRNA colleagues. Pennsylvania should welcome these highly educated and trained professionals to our hospitals and healthcare team. For the past two decades, the mortality rate of anesthesia-related deaths has gone from 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 300,000.

My legislation will help to maintain the outstanding standard of anesthesia care here in Pennsylvania, by adding anesthesiologist assistants to the anesthesia care team under the direction of a supervising anesthesiologist. Currently, 17 other jurisdictions and the territory of Guam recognize the ability of AAs to practice. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov.  Thank you for your consideration.