The bill prohibits an individual from practicing as an anesthesiologist assistant without a license issued by the Colorado medical board (board), effective July 1, 2013. In order to be licensed as an anesthesiologist assistant, an applicant must be at least 21 years of age and have:
- Successfully completed an education program for anesthesiologist assistants that conforms to standards delineated by the commission on accreditation of allied health education programs and approved by the board;
- Successfully completed the national certifying examination for anesthesiologist assistants that is administered by the national commission for certification of anesthesiologist assistants; and
- Submitted an application to the board in the manner designated by the board and paid the appropriate fee established by the board.
The bill allows a physician who specializes in anesthesiology to delegate medical tasks to a licensed anesthesiologist assistant, including the authority to administer medications. The tasks are limited to the medical functions that constitute the delivery of or provision of anesthesia services as practiced by the supervising physician.
An anesthesiologist assistant is subject to the same standards for licensing, unprofessional conduct, and discipline that exist for physician assistants.