On Sunday April 19, 2020, CMS issued guidance for permitting non-emergent, non-COVID-19 healthcare in states that have passed the Gating Criteria provided in the Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. CMS reiterated support for telehealth, stating that “[m]aximum use of all telehealth modalities is strongly recommended.” Decisions should be” consistent with public health information and in collaboration with state public health authorities.” The guidance provides considerations for healthcare systems and clinicians, such as:
- General Considerations
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Workforce Availability
- Facility Considerations
- Sanitation Protocols
- Testing Capacity
CMS accounts for the likelihood of future surges and the fluid nature of this public health crisis. The guidance closes by stating that “[a]ll facilities should continually evaluate whether their region remains a low risk of incidence and should be prepared to cease non-essential procedures if there is a surge.”
Bottom Line – Healthy systems and facilities need to adhere to guidelines and direction from state and local leaders. The decision to provide certain non-emergent, non-COVID-19 procedures will need to take into account complex regulatory and liability considerations. Norton Rose Fulbright attorneys are available to assist clients in examining these considerations.
Norton Rose Fulbright attorneys will continue to provide relevant updates for healthcare providers on the Health Law Pulse during the COVID-19 public health crisis.