October 9, 2018

Effect of anesthesia care team composition on surgical outcomes

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

In this study, the composition of the anesthesia care team (anesthesiologist plus nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist assistant) was not associated with any significant differences in mortality, length of stay, or inpatient spending.

Of 443,098 Medicare beneficiaries who had inpatient surgery between 2004 and 2011, the adjusted mortality for care teams with anesthesiologist assistants was 1.6% versus 1.7% for teams with nurse anesthetists.

Care teams with anesthesiologist assistants were associated with nonstatistically significant decreases in length of stay and medical spending, compared to teams with nurse anesthetists.

Further studies should examine whether these results extend to other patient populations and types of surgery, including privately insured patients and outpatient surgeries, the researchers note.

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