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FEDERAL GUIDELINES ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR PROVIDING ELECTIVE SURGERIES DURING REOPENING OF ECONOMY

On Thursday evening, April 16, the federal government issued revised guidelines, Opening Up America Again, establishing three phases for reopening the economy. With respect to ambulatory surgery centers’ concerns, the policy suggests that “elective surgeries can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient basis at facilities that adhere to CDC guidelines” once a state or region meets certain “gating criteria.”

Guideline document.

Facilities would be able to begin Phase One opening if the state or region has met these criteria:

  • Symptoms: Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period.
  • Cases: Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period or downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests).
  • Hospitals: Treat all patients without crisis care and robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.

Please note that these are guidelines and that the federal government will defer to the states with respect to implementation of its reopening policies.

Should you have any questions, please contact OOSS Washington Counsel Michael Romansky at mromansky@OOSS.org or OOSS Executive Director Diane Blanck at dblanck@OOSS.org.