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Requirements for office-based anesthesia
Stage: Final
18VAC85-20-320

18VAC85-20-320. General provisions.

A. Applicability of requirements for office-based anesthesia.

1. The administration of topical anesthesia, local anesthesia, minor conductive blocks, or minimal sedation/anxiolysis, not involving a drug-induced alteration of consciousness other than minimal preoperative tranquilization, is not subject to the requirements for office-based anesthesia in this part. A health care practitioner administering such agents shall adhere to an accepted standard of care as appropriate to the level of anesthesia or sedation, including evaluation, drug selection, administration, and management of complications.

2. The administration of moderate sedation/conscious sedation, deep sedation, general anesthesia, or regional anesthesia consisting of a major conductive block [ are is ] subject to these requirements for office-based anesthesia in this part. The administration of 300 milligrams or more of lidocaine or equivalent doses of local anesthetics shall be deemed to be subject to these requirements for office-based anesthesia in this part.

3. Levels of anesthesia or sedation referred to in this chapter shall relate to the level of anesthesia or sedation intended and documented by the practitioner in the preoperative anesthesia plan.

B. A doctor of medicine, osteopathic medicine, or podiatry administering office-based anesthesia or supervising such administration shall:

1. Perform a preanesthetic evaluation and examination or ensure that it has been performed;

2. Develop the anesthesia plan or ensure that it has been developed;

3. Ensure that the anesthesia plan has been discussed with the patient or responsible party preoperatively and informed consent has been obtained;

4. Ensure patient assessment and monitoring through the pre-, peri- preprocedure, periprocedure, and post-procedure phases, addressing not only physical and functional status, but also physiological and cognitive status;

5. Ensure provision of indicated post-anesthesia care; and

6. Remain physically present or immediately available, as appropriate, to manage complications and emergencies until discharge criteria have been met; and

7. Document any complications occurring during surgery or during recovery in the medical record.

C. All written policies, procedures, and protocols required for office-based anesthesia shall be maintained and available for inspection at the facility.

18VAC85-20-340

18VAC85-20-340. Procedure/anesthesia selection and patient evaluation.

A. A written protocol shall be developed and followed for procedure selection to include but not be limited to:

1. The doctor providing or supervising the anesthesia shall ensure that the procedure to be undertaken is within the scope of practice of the health care practitioners and the capabilities of the facility.

2. The procedure or combined procedures shall be of a duration and degree of complexity that shall not exceed four hours and that will permit the patient to recover and be discharged from the facility in less than 24 hours. The procedure or combined procedures may be extended for up to eight hours if the anesthesia is provided by an anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurseanesthesist anesthetist ].

3. The level of anesthesia used shall be appropriate for the patient, the surgical procedure, the clinical setting, the education and training of the personnel, and the equipment available. The choice of specific anesthesia agents and techniques shall focus on providing an anesthetic that will be effective, and appropriate and will address the specific needs of patients while also ensuring rapid recovery to normal function with maximum efforts to control post-operative pain, nausea, or other side effects.

B. A written protocol shall be developed for patient evaluation to include but not be limited to:

1. The preoperative anesthesia evaluation of a patient shall be performed by the health care practitioner administering the anesthesia or supervising the administration of anesthesia. It shall consist of performing an appropriate history and physical examination, determining the patient's physical status classification, developing a plan of anesthesia care, acquainting the patient or the responsible individual with the proposed plan, and discussing the risks and benefits.

2. The condition of the patient, specific morbidities that complicate anesthetic management, the specific intrinsic risks involved, and the nature of the planned procedure shall be considered in evaluating a patient for office-based anesthesia.

3. Patients who have pre-existing medical or other conditions that may be of particular risk for complications shall be referred to a facility appropriate for the procedure and administration of anesthesia. Nothing relieves the licensed health care practitioner of the responsibility to make a medical determination of the appropriate surgical facility or setting.

C. Office-based anesthesia shall only be provided for patients in physical status classifications for Classes I, II and III. Patients in Classes IV and V shall not be provided anesthesia in an office-based setting.

18VAC85-20-350

18VAC85-20-350. Informed consent.

A. Prior to administration, the anesthesia plan shall be discussed with the patient or responsible party by the health care practitioner administering the anesthesia or supervising the administration of anesthesia. Informed consent for the nature and objectives of the anesthesia planned shall be in writing and obtained from the patient or responsible party before the procedure is performed. Such consent shall include a discussion of discharge planning and what care or assistance the patient is expected to require after discharge.  Informed consent shall only be obtained after a discussion of the risks, benefits, and alternatives, contain the name of the anesthesia provider, and be documented in the medical record.

B. The surgical consent forms shall be executed by the patient or the responsible party and shall contain a statement that the doctor performing the surgery is board certified or board eligible by one of the American Board of Medical Specialties boards, the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists of the American Osteopathic Association, or the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. The forms shall either list which board or contain a statement that doctor performing the surgery is not board certified or board eligible.

C. The surgical consent forms shall indicate whether the surgery is elective or medically necessary. If a consent is obtained in an emergency, the surgical consent form shall indicate the nature of the emergency.

18VAC85-20-370

18VAC85-20-370. Emergency and transfer protocols.

A. There shall be written protocols for handling emergency situations, including medical emergencies and internal and external disasters. All personnel shall be appropriately trained in and regularly review the protocols and the equipment and procedures for handing handling emergencies.

B. There shall be written protocols for the timely and safe transfer of patients to a prespecified hospital or hospitals within a reasonable proximity. For purposes of this section, "reasonable proximity" shall mean that a licensed general hospital capable of providing necessary services is normally accessible within 30 minutes of the office. There shall be a written or electronic transfer agreement with such hospital or hospitals.

18VAC85-20-380

18VAC85-20-380. Discharge policies and procedures.

A. There shall be written policies and procedures outlining discharge criteria. Such criteria shall include stable vital signs, responsiveness and orientation, ability to move voluntarily, controlled pain, and minimal nausea and vomiting.

B. Discharge from anesthesia care is the responsibility of the health care practitioner providing or the doctor supervising the anesthesia care and shall only occur when patients have:

1. The patient has met specific physician-defined criteria; and

2. The health care practitioner providing or the doctor supervising the anesthetic care has given the order for discharge.

C. Written instructions and an emergency phone number shall be provided to the patient. Patients shall be discharged with a responsible individual who has been instructed with regard to the patient's care.

D. At least one person trained in advanced resuscitative techniques shall be immediately available until all patients are discharged.