Important Update on Elective Surgeries

March 23, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

On March 18, CMS released new recommendations on adult elective surgeries and procedures. In doing this, CMS aimed to achieve the following three goals: protect the patient’s short and long-term health; preserve personal protective equipment and other healthcare resources; and limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

We’ve attached those recommendations for your reference. You’ll note, CMS has established “tiers” of surgeries and procedures, with different guidance for each.

There are five cases that CMS uses as examples of surgeries and procedures that should be postponed: carpel tunnel release; EGD; colonoscopies; cataracts; and endoscopies. We recognize some endoscopies may be urgent and therefore should not be postponed, however, for the others, CMS recommends the physician consider postponement, or not postpone at all. For example, in the “Consideration” tier, CMS is asking you as the physician to evaluate the patient’s clinical situation while also considering the conservation of resources.

We encourage you to review these new recommendations. We also want to let you know about how we’re implementing these recommendations more broadly here at Mission Hospital:

Starting Monday, March 23, 2020 all “non-essential surgery” as defined by CMS guidance will be canceled.

We recognize that the COVID-19 outbreak is driving a rapidly changing environment, and additional discussions with surgeons may be required in the future to prioritize surgical cases. We will continue to accommodate those surgeries and procedures that you determine are appropriate under the CMS recommendations.

Thank you for your leadership, professionalism and continued support through this crisis.


Michael Frisch, MD, Chief of Staff

Joe Buell, MD, Chief of Surgery

Matt Young, MD, Chief of Urology

Arthur Ollendorff, MD, Chief of Ob/Gyn

Mary Gilligan, Executive Director Surgical Services

Anthony “Tony”  Spensieri, MD, Chief Medical Officer

John Bryant, MD, Chief of Anesthesia

Chad Patrick, CEO, Mission Hospital
William R. Hathaway, MD, Division Chief Medical Officer