Elective Procedures

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) prohibition against elective medical procedures and non-essential medical visits has generated many questions.  Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi (MACM) cannot tell its insured physicians which procedures are elective because that is something they need to decide on a case-by-case basis.  MSDH has provided this resource to help you decide which procedures are elective: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/31820-cms-adult-elective-surgery-and-procedures-recommendations.pdf.  MACM will cover its insured physicians for the procedures they determine are not elective.  MACM does recommend that every physician fully document the reasons that he or she is doing a surgical and diagnostic procedure at this time.  MACM also recommends that, in addition to the usual consent forms, this consent be signed by the physician and patient:

“I have evaluated this patient’s current condition as well as the risk to the patient of proceeding in light of the Covid-19 crisis.  However, given the patient’s current condition of _____________________, as well as the symptoms associated with this condition, I have advised the patient that surgical intervention should not be delayed.  The risk of a delay in surgery, particularly considering that a delay of 6-8 weeks or more may be required to emerge from an environment in which Covid-19 is less prevalent, is too great and may cause the patient’s condition to significantly worsen in the interim period.  The patient has been informed of this and agrees to proceed.”

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) advises that given the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in Mississippi and the shortage of protective medical equipment, elective medical procedures and non-essential medical visits must be postponed at this time.

The following measures should be taken:

  • Physicians, hospitals and medical centers must defer elective surgical and diagnostic procedures until COVID-19 spread has diminished and the supply of protective medical equipment is restored.
  • Physicians and providers should reschedule non-urgent medical appointments for a later date.
  • Dentists must delay non-emergency or routine dental procedures.
  • Patients should reschedule any non-essential procedures, surgeries or medical visits until the threat of COVID-19 is diminished.

These measures will protect patients and healthcare professionals by minimizing potential exposure to COVID-19 and preserving valuable protective equipment.

This is provided for informational purposes. It is in no way intended to and should not be construed to be or to establish the standard of care applicable to physicians practicing in Mississippi. This information should not be regarded as legal advice.