Colorado Medical Society v. HickenlooperAnnotate this Case
In 2010, the Colorado Governor, under guidance from the state's medical and nursing boards, decided that Colorado would opt-out of a federal regulation requiring certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) administer anesthesia under a physician's supervision. Under the regulation, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and critical access hospitals received Medicare reimbursement if CRNAs worked under a physician's supervision. Petitioners the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists, filed suit against the Governor, claiming that Colorado law did not permit CRNAs to administer anesthesia without supervision. In ruling on the Governor's motion to dismiss, the trial court found that petitioners failed to state a valid claim and granted relief. The appellate court agreed with the trial court's conclusion. The Supreme Court agreed with the result, but held that the Governor's decision to opt-out of the federal regulation was revieweable by a court only for a gross abuse of discretion. Because petitioners did not allege that such a gross abuse occurred here, the court of appeals' decision to affirm dismissal of the case was affirmed.