TMB, governor order postponement of elective procedures

March 23, 2020 Laura Hale Brockway

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 TMA White Paper explaining the non-urgent surgeries rule.

Editor's note, March 25, 2020. 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 these Practice Viability FAQs published by the Texas Medical Association.

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.

Updated information on the TMB’s guidance, dated March 29, 2020, is available here.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. It keeps a bed available for treatment of a COVID-19 patient, especially intensive care unit (ICU) beds.
  3. It preserves significant health care practitioner time and availability which can be devoted to COVID-19 patients.
  4. It limits patients and health care workers to avoidable potential exposure to COVID-19.



About the Author

Laura Hale Brockway is the Assistant Vice President of Marketing at TMLT. She can be reached at

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