In a recent guidance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) encouraged health care providers (HCPs) to limit elective surgeries and nonessential procedures during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

CMS offered a number of recommendations to help HCPs decide how to best serve patients requiring emergent or urgent attention. In addition to clinical evaluation, CMS asked HCPs to consider factors like current and projected COVID-19 cases in their area; current and projected supply of personal protective equipment; availability of staff, ventilators, and hospital beds; the patient’s health and age, and risk of contracting COVID-19 during recovery; and the urgency of the procedure.

For further analysis on this guidance, please see our client alert, “CMS urges providers to conserve resources by limiting elective surgeries, and nonessential medical, surgical, and dental procedures.