In an effort to preserve healthcare resources (e.g., personal protective equipment), limit potential contact with infected individuals, and free up healthcare practitioners to assist with those suffering from COVID-19, elective healthcare services must cease. Specifically, on March 20, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-72 (available here), requiring all Florida licensed healthcare practitioners to immediately cease performing elective services in Florida.

A procedure or surgery is prohibited if delaying it does not place the patient’s immediate health at risk and does not worsen a “serious or life-threatening medical condition.” The guidance that follows, which also takes into account guidance provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (available here), is meant to assist you in navigating and complying with this new Executive Order.

Health Care Facilities to which the Executive Order applies:

  • Hospitals
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers
  • Office Surgery Centers
  • Dental, Orthodontic, and Endodontic Offices
  • All Other Healthcare Practitioners’ Offices

Healthcare practitioners to which the Executive Order applies:

  • All healthcare practitioners licensed in Florida, including dentists

Examples of procedures/surgeries which should not be postponed:

  • Removal of cancerous tumors
  • Neurosurgery
  • Transplants
  • Trauma-related procedures
  • Cardiac procedures for patients with symptoms
  • Limb-threatening vascular surgeries
  • Dental care related to the relief of pain and management of infection

Examples of surgeries which should be postponed:

  • Carpal tunnel releases
  • Colonoscopies
  • Cataract and lens surgeries
  • Endoscopies
  • Non-urgent spine and orthopedic surgeries (e.g., hip or knee replacement, elective spine surgery)
  • Elective angioplasties

Executive Order Expires:

  • On May 8, 2020, unless Executive Order 20-52 (declaring a Florida State of Emergency), is extended

For questions or more information regarding these new and developing requirements and their implications in Florida, please contact any member of the Akerman Healthcare team.