CMS Announces Recommendations for Non-Essential and Elective Procedures

During the March 18 White House Task Force Press Briefing, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced a plan for all elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures to be delayed during the COVID-19 outbreak. Deferring these services in order to preserve beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment and staff is seen as a priority for an expected surge of ill patients. It would also eliminate additional risk of exposure through social distancing for patients who are able to postpone.

Not unlike the considerations made by the ACC's Interventional Council document of considerations for the catheterization laboratory, CMS offers a guidance framework for hospitals and clinicians to apply when making procedure triage decisions. This guidance significantly aligns with previous recommendations from the American College of Surgeons regarding management of elective procedures and triage of non-emergent surgical procedures.

View the Elective Surgery Acuity Scale (ESAS) from CMS.

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.), Triage, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Infections, COVID-19, Medicaid

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