When the Governor issued Executive Order 20-72, essentially shutting down any healthcare service that isn’t urgent, it sent the entire Florida healthcare industry into a tail spin. In recognition of that fact, many industry trade groups circled back to Florida government and sought clarification. Attached is one report of such a clarification issued by the Florida Medical Association.
The FMA interpretation of Executive Order 20-72 is that only medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedures or surgeries are prohibited. This has been confirmed by staff at the Florida Department of Health in communications to the FMA this morning.
The Department of Health also confirmed that Physicians can continue to see patients for purposes of evaluation and management. Telemedicine visits can continue unabated. Primary care practitioners can continue to see and treat patients with chronic and acute conditions, perform wellness exams, and provide mental health services, that do not consume personal protective equipment. Specialists can see patients for follow-up care and other non-surgical purposes.
The medical care prohibited under this order is:
• elective or non-medically necessary surgical procedures
• surgical procedures that can be postponed without putting the patient’s immediate health, safety or well-being at risk
• medical procedures that would consume personal protective equipment, that can be postponed without putting the patient’s immediate health, safety or well-being at risk
Physicians should consult the CMS recommendations for additional guidance. We understand the negative impact this will have on countless physicians and their patients. The FMA will be here to help guide you through this unprecedented event. If you have any questions please contact the FMA General Counsel’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850 224-6496.