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Michigan Orders Temporary Restrictions on Non-Essential Healthcare Procedures for Certain Facilities

March 20, 2020

We recognize that in response to COVID-19, many healthcare providers have already stopped providing non-essential services in accordance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recommendations made earlier this week and recent guidance issued by other medical specialty societies.

Today, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-17, which imposes temporary restrictions on non-essential medical and dental procedures for certain Michigan facilities beginning as soon as possible but no later than Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 5:00 pm. 

While Michigan’s state of emergency is in effect, all hospitals, freestanding surgical outpatient facilities, dental facilities, and all state-operated outpatient facilities must implement a plan to temporarily postpone all non-essential medical and dental procedures not necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient, as determined by a licensed medical provider.

Here are the key takeaways from the Executive Order:

  1. Covered medical facilities must postpone, at a minimum: joint replacement, bariatric surgery, and cosmetic surgery, except for emergency or trauma-related surgery where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.
  2. Covered medical facilities should not postpone emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient. Also, covered medical facilities should not postpone  surgeries related to advanced cardiovascular disease (including coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias) that would prolong life; oncological testing, treatment, and related procedures; pregnancy-related visits and procedures; labor and delivery; organ transplantation; and procedures related to dialysis.
  3. Covered dental facilities must postpone, at a minimum, any cosmetic or aesthetic procedures (e.g., veneers), any routine hygiene appointments, and certain orthodontic procedures.
  4. If a covered dental facility chooses to remain open, it should not postpone emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.

This Executive Order does not alter any legal obligations a health care facility has to its employees or to the employees of another employer.  A willful violation of the Executive Order is a misdemeanor.

Honigman attorneys are actively working on all aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic. See Honigman’s COVID-19 webpage. For more guidance, contact your relationship attorney at Honigman.