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CMS calls for gradual return to elective procedures: 6 national COVID-19 updates

The U.S. has reported 760,245 COVID-19 cases and 40,702 related deaths as of 10 a.m. CDT April 20. Worldwide, 2,424,419 COVID-19 cases and 166,256 deaths have been confirmed, while 635,895 patients have recovered. 

Six updates: 

1. CMS on April 19 shared recommendations on restarting essential healthcare services. The guidelines are intended for healthcare organizations in areas with low or stable levels of COVID-19. CMS previously recommended hospitals limit nonessential surgeries and medical procedures during the pandemic. The new guidelines encourage a gradual transition back to these services in which healthcare leaders collaborate with local and state public health officials. Hospitals should also assess their supply levels, workforce availability, facility readiness and testing capacity when deciding when to resume or ramp up in-person care.

"Today, some areas of the country are experiencing fewer cases and lower incidence of the virus, necessitating a more tailored and flexible approach," CMS Administrator Seema Verma, said in a press release. "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."

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