Indiana Allows Physicians to Resume Some Elective Procedures
Additional allowances to be announced weekly based on PPE availability
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced plans Monday to loosen restrictions that would allow certain elective medical procedures to proceed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan, developed in collaboration with the Indiana Hospital Association, is to evaluate on a weekly basis the levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies and then determine what procedures can safely proceed without depleting those supplies necessary in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Beginning April 21, per Executive Order 20-22
, hospitals may once again “conduct clinically indicated procedures meant to diagnose, screen and treat medical conditions.” The restrictions will be evaluated for the potential to allow additional procedures to proceed beginning Monday, April 27, including those performed at hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, dental facilities, plastic surgery centers, dermatology offices, abortion clinics, or veterinary practices.
||Section 9 of the executive order specifically states: “… as long as sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), staff and other supplies are available so as not to detract from what is necessary and appropriate to properly care for and treat patients who have or may have COVID-19, hospitals should conduct clinically indicated procedures meant to diagnose, screen and treat medical conditions that have the potential for short-term or long-term morbidity and/or mortality. These include, but are not limited to, cardiac, vascular, neurologic, cancer, gastrointestinal and respiratory procedures, as well as those procedures meant to reduce significant pain or symptoms making quality of life unacceptable.
“Furthermore, in connection with health care providers, whether medical, dental or other, and health care facilities, whether hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, dental facilities, plastic surgery centers, dermatology offices, abortion clinics, or veterinary practices, any current restrictions involving their medical procedures that have been imposed by an Executive Order will be re-evaluated for possible modifications, as warranted by the circumstances, that would allow for them to resume commencing as of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, 2020. In addition, these restrictions on medical procedures will be re-evaluated every seven (7) days thereafter for any appropriate and timely modifications that could be implemented.”
Each week, the public can expect to see new executive orders that issue additional allowances for providers. Determining which medical facilities can proceed will depend on their geographic region and situational readiness to also handle COVID-19 patients.