As the United States continues to face the unprecedented public health emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic, the tide is turning and some areas throughout the country are seeing a decline in cases. As states and localities begin to stabilize, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing guidance on providing essential non-COVID-19 care to patients without symptoms of COVID-19 in regions with low and stable incidence of COVID-19. This is part of Phase 1 in the Trump Administration’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.
“By complying with our recommendations to postpone non-essential elective surgeries, our healthcare system has made a tremendous sacrifice. We owe both those on the frontlines and those who postponed procedures for the sake of their colleagues a profound debt of gratitude,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Today, some areas of the country are experiencing fewer cases and lower incidence of the virus, necessitating a more tailored and flexible approach. Every state and local official will need to assess the situation on the ground to determine the best course forward, but these guidelines provide a gradual process for restarting non-COVID-19 essential care while keeping patients safe.”