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New Restrictions on Non-Essential Inpatient Surgeries and Procedures - November 17, 2020

Susan J Freed


Governor Reynolds newest proclamation placed additional restrictions on non-essential inpatient surgeries and procedures effective November 17, 2020.

The new restrictions require hospitals to limit the number of medical/surgical and observation beds used for non-essential surgeries and procedures to 50% of the number of such beds used on average by the hospital during the month of September.  

A “non-essential surgery” is one that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient considering all appropriate factors including but not limited to:

(a) the threat to the patient’s life if the surgery or procedure is not performed

(b) threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system

(c) risk of metastasis or progression of staging

(d) risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms 

Importantly, the proclamation continues other non-essential surgery restrictions that have been in place since April 24, 2020, including prohibiting hospitals from transferring COVID-19 patients in order to accommodate elective procedures and requiring hospitals to have adequate PPE without relying on state or federal stockpiles. 

In light of the current situation, many hospitals may need to suspend non-essential surgeries entirely for a period of time.  The new proclamation is in place until December 10, 2020.    


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