Practice of Medicine


Elective Surgeries and Non-Essential Procedures Recommendations during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Updated April 17, 2020

Disclaimer: As this situation is evolving daily, MagMutual recommends reviewing the latest guidelines for the most current information. Visit the MagMutual COVID-19 Resource Center to learn more.

The American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses and American Hospital Association have created a roadmap for the resumption of elective surgeries when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic ends.  Please access this document here.

Last update March 23, 2020

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the White House Task Force Press Briefing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that all elective surgeries and non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures be delayed during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

It’s important for physicians to check with their State Department of Public Health for instructions and details. The governors of a few states have specifically ordered the delay of elective surgeries and non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures through executive orders. 

For example, in Ohio, Dr. Andy Thomas from OSU’s Wexner Medical Center explained criteria for defining a ‘non-elective’ surgery per the Ohio Hospital Association. “The way we will define things that are not elective are a surgery or procedure which is life-saving, a surgery or procedure that preserves an organ or limb for a patient, a surgery that will reduce the risk of metastasis or progression of disease for cancer or another condition, or a surgery that will reduce the risk of progression to severe symptoms for the patient,” said Thomas.

Examples of state-issued orders:

For a list of all states please visit the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association page: State Guidance on Elective Surgeries.


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The information provided in this resource does not constitute legal, medical or any other professional advice, nor does it establish a standard of care. This resource has been created as an aid to you in your practice. The ultimate decision on how to use the information provided rests solely with you, the PolicyOwner.