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The Mississippi State Health Department Issues Interpretive Guidance on Executive Order 1470

On April 15, 2020, in response to Executive Order 1470 issued by Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, the Mississippi State Department of Health (“MDOH”) issued interpretive guidance to health care facilities and providers with regard to the Executive Order’s exception to the prohibition on performing non-essential surgeries and procedures for “any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standards of clinical practice, would not have the potential to deplete the hospital capacity, medical equipment or PPE needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.”  Specifically, the MDOH instructs that “if any PPE is required to be used,” the procedure or surgery must be “immediately necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death.”  On the other hand, if PPE is not required based on commonly accepted standards of clinical practice for a particular non-essential surgery or procedure then the Executive Order 1470 does not mandate that the surgery or procedure be postponed.  Importantly, however, health care facilities and providers should remain cognizant of the federal guidance issued by CMS, which recommends limting non-essential surgeries and procedures to preserve PPE and to “reduce the spread” of COVID-19.  Accordingly, health care facilities and providers should continue to reference the CMS tiered framework in considering whether to postpone non-essential surgeries or procedures.

The full text of the MDOH’s guidance can be found at http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/index.cfm/23,8571,386,661,pdf/Executive_Orders_issues_N01470.pdf

Read more about Mississippi Executive Order 1470 here: https://www.butlersnow.com/2020/04/update-mississippi-governor-issues-executive-order-to-delay-all-non-essential-adult-elective-surgeries-and-medical-procedures-until-april-27-2020/