President and CEO
American Hospital Association
March 18, 2020
America’s hospitals and health systems are intensely focused on the challenge of dealing with COVID-19 as they continue to provide medical care for patients and work to protect their communities. We simply could not manage this crisis without the hard-working and dedicated physicians, nurses and other front line staff who care for patients and maintain our facilities and equipment.
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. It is important to recognize the definition of “elective” procedures includes important life saving measures that will continue to be necessary. In issuing this framework, CMS took an appropriate step that provides a balanced approach to address this matter.