Since March 10, 2020, when the first two positive cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) were confirmed in Michigan and Governor Whitmer declared a State of Emergency, the Governor has issued fifteen executive orders in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Governor Whitmer has now issued Executive Order No. 2020-17, placing a temporary restriction on certain medical and dental procedures throughout Michigan.
Effective March 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., all hospitals, freestanding surgical outpatient facilities, dental facilities, and state-operated outpatient facilities (collectively, “covered facilities”) must implement a plan to temporarily postpone all non-essential procedures. The postponement will last for as long as Michigan is under the current State of Emergency.
Under this new order, a “non-essential procedure” means a medical or dental procedure that is not necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient, as determined by a licensed medical provider. The executive order details which types of medical and dental procedures covered facilities must postpone, should not postpone, and must not postpone. Any willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor.
A. Medical Procedures
A covered facility that performs medical procedures (including any medical center or office that performs elective surgery or cosmetic plastic surgery) must postpone, at a minimum:
- joint replacement;
- bariatric surgery; and
- cosmetic surgery.
A covered facility that performs medical procedures 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.
A covered facility that performs medical procedures must not postpone:
- Emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.
B. Dental Procedures
A covered facility that performs dental procedures must postpone, at a minimum:
- cosmetic or aesthetic procedures (such as veneers, teeth bleaching, or cosmetic bonding);
- routine hygiene appointments;
- orthodontic procedures that do not relieve pain or infection, do not restore oral function, or are not trauma-related;
- initiation of any crowns, bridges, or dentures that do not relieve pain or infection, do not restore oral function, or are not trauma-related;
- periodontal plastic surgery;
- extractions of asymptomatic non-carious teeth; and
- recall visits for periodontally healthy patients.
If a covered facility that performs dental procedures chooses to remain open, it must not postpone:
- emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patent.
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