CMS on Wednesday night issued new recommendations urging hospitals to delay non-essential elective surgeries to be more prepared for COVID-19 patients. The guidance gives providers the final decision on what procedures to put off, taking into consideration urgency and available staff, personal protective equipment, ventilators and beds. The American Hospital Association called the move “an appropriate step” that provides a balanced approach. “As we make additional preparations, it’s important to recognize that the cancellation of elective procedures — which the medical community needs to be prepared to implement — should be determined at the local, community level in consultation with hospitals and the clinical recommendations of physicians and nurses,” AHA CEO Rick Pollack said in a statement.
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