TMB, governor order postponement of elective procedures
Updated March 30, 2020.
Please see the TMB’s COVID-19 Elective Surgery FAQs for more information. Please check these FAQs for updates often.
See also the updated TMA White Paper explaining the non-urgent surgeries rule.
Editor's note: If you are worried about the viability of your practice as a result of these orders, along with local shelter-in-place orders, please see the practice viability page published by the Texas Medical Association.
March 25, 2020
To help further limit the spread of COVID-19, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) issued guidance on March 21 for Texas physicians to postpone all non-urgent elective surgeries and procedures performed in inpatient and outpatient settings. These procedures should be postponed until the end of Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration or until the CDC guidelines change, whichever is earlier.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a similar order on March 22.
This action by the TMB will apply another significant strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19. According to the TMB, if a surgery does not have to be performed urgently, it creates several key benefits.
- It preserves resources such as, personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilator availability, and it creates a general reduction in the overall use of critical medical resources.
- It keeps a bed available for treatment of a COVID-19 patient, especially intensive care unit (ICU) beds.
- It preserves significant health care practitioner time and availability which can be devoted to COVID-19 patients.
- It limits patients and health care workers to avoidable potential exposure to COVID-19.
This is a developing issue, and we encourage you to use the following resources to stay informed with the most up-to-date and reliable information:
- Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Resource Center
- Texas Medical Board (TMB) COVID-19 page
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 resource page
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) COVID-19 webpage
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 projections
- Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
- TMLT Resource Hub - Coronavirus updates and resources