Coronavirus News

Definition Of “Procedure” Is Unclear, But Intent Is To Reduce COVID-19 Spread In Medical Offices


BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A just released order from Governor Ron DeSantis requires all non-emergency medical procedures to cease in Florida. This includes surgery centers, Dentist offices, and general health care offices where professionals are providing anything other than emergency care. It is unclear whether a “check up” that leads to a procedure is part of the ban, but the intent is clearly to reduce spread of COVID-19 in doctor’s offices.

Read the complete order here:

          WHEREAS, Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory illness that can spread among humans through respiratory transmission and presents with symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath; and

WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, I issued Executive Order number 20-51 directing the Florida Department of Health to issue a Public Health Emergency; and

            WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer declared a Public Health Emergency exists in the State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and

            WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-52 declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and

            WHEREAS, on March 18, 2020, President Donald J. Trump and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommended providers limit all “non-essential” elective medical and surgical procedures, including dental procedures; and

WHEREAS, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the State Surgeon General and the Secretary for the Agency of Health Care Administration have recommended, due to the current conditions caused by COVID-19 in this state, that appropriate measures must be taken to conserve all medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, to only that which is necessary to be used in response to this emergency or for any other medical event of urgent or emergent nature; and

WHEREAS, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it is necessary to preserve essential resources for use by health care professionals and others responding to this emergency, including personal protective equipment, that may be used by physicians, dentists, and other health care provider practices; and

            WHEREAS, it is necessary and appropriate to take action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled, and that residents and visitors in Florida remain safe and secure;

            NOW, THEREFORE, I, RON DESANTIS, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section (1)(a) of the Florida Constitution, Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order to take immediate effect:

Section 1. Because of the foregoing conditions, and based on recommendations from the Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration by reason of conditions arising from this emergency, I hereby employ the following measures and direct as follows:

Pursuant to section 252.36(7), Florida Statutes,

A. All hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, office surgery centers, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices, and other health care practitioners’ offices in the State of Florida are prohibited from providing any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patient’s immediate health, safety, or well-being at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition. Accordingly, all health care practitioners licensed in the State of Florida, including dentists, shall immediately cease performing these elective services.

B.  As articulated in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommendation, examples of procedures to delay may include, but are not limited to, some endoscopy, most cataract and lens surgeries, non-urgent spine and orthopedic procedures, and cosmetic procedures.

C.  As articulated in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommendation, permissible procedures include, but may not be limited to, removal of a cancerous tumors, transplants, limb-threatening vascular surgeries, trauma-related procedures, and dental care related to the relief of pain and management of infection.

Section 2. The Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Health shall utilize their authority under Florida law to further implement and enforce the provisions of this Executive Order and shall take additional measures as necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

Section 3. This Executive Order shall expire upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, including any extensions.




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