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Arizona Governor Ducey Issues Executive Order Allowing for Some Elective Surgeries

 

Steve Goldstein

 
 

On April 22, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-32, which establishes a process to allow hospitals, healthcare facilities, and providers (including dental surgery providers) to conduct elective surgeries under certain circumstances.

On March 19, 2020, Governor Ducey prohibited elective surgeries in Arizona. The newly-issued Executive Order 2020-32 allows for providers to apply to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) for an exemption from that ban. If a provider receives an exemption, the provider may begin performing elective surgeries as of May 1, 2020.

To qualify for an exemption, the provider must show all of the following:

  • A continuing supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will support the provider for more than 14 days and that is not reliant on the state or a county health department;

  • Adequate staffing and bed availability with no greater than 80% of total bed capacity occupied, if it is a hospital;

  • Implementation of a robust COVID-19 testing plan to test all at-risk healthcare workers and each patient prior to the scheduling of an elective, non-essential surgery or during the pre-operative time period;

  • Implementation of a process to identify, inventory and document the availability of PPE, test collection kits, and the availability of a lab that can run the COVID-19 diagnostic test;

  • Implementation of a universal symptom screening process for all staff, patients, and visitors prior to entry into the facility;

  • Implementation of an enhanced cleaning process for patient and waiting areas;

  • Implementation of policies and procedures for appropriate discharge planning of patients, including pre-discharge diagnostic COVID-19 testing for patients transferring to a nursing care institution, residential care institution setting, or Group Home for the Developmentally Disabled; and

  • Implementation of policies and procedures that prioritize elective, non-essential surgeries based upon urgency following the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Adult Elective Surgery and Procedures Recommendations.

If a provider is granted an exemption, it is no longer eligible to request or receive PPE distributed by State or County health departments.

ADHS has not yet established the process for applying for exemptions. Providers can check the ADHS website for updates.

See also: Governor Ducey's Executive Orders

If you are a healthcare provider and have questions about this Executive Order, Sacks Tierney attorneys are available to provide advice on these matters.