Non-Essential/Elective Surgeries and Medical Procedures in Minnesota Indefinitely Postponed
On March 19, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-09 ordering the indefinite postponement of all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures that utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) or ventilators. This includes all non-emergent or elective dental care.
E.O. 20-09 defines non-essential surgery or procedure as a surgery or procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of patient.
The criterion to be used when determining whether a contemplated surgery or procedure qualifies as non-essential/elective include:
• Threat to patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed;
• Threat of permanent dysfunction or an extremity or organ system
(including teeth and jaws); and
• Risk of metastasis or progression of staging.
Enforcement for willful violation:
• Misdemeanor; and
• Fine not to exceed $1,000; or
• Imprisonment not to exceed 90 days.
• Termination of peacetime emergency (Executive Order 20-01); or
• Rescission of the order itself.
Key Issues to Consider
Even in the face of a global pandemic, patients throughout Minnesota continue to have non-COVID-19 related health care needs. Similarly, a variety of health and dental providers throughout the state have the ability, and financial need, to continue to operate to the fullest extent possible. However, shortages of PPE and ventilators continue to exacerbate the ability of hospitals and other providers to serve those COVID-19 patients with the highest needs.
Following the issuing of E.O. 20-09, Minnesota’s health care providers will need to be deliberate in assessing which patients should receive care in the short term and which procedures should be delayed. Providers should make care decisions on a patient-by-patient basis document in the patient’s medical record, in detail, the factors considered when making each determination.
Find a full copy of Executive Order 20-09 here.
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