News: Massachusetts guidelines reduce elective procedures due to staffing shortages

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 53

The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) announced updated hospital guidance to once again reduce certain non-essential, elective procedures. Effective starting November 29, 2021, any hospital or hospital system in the state that has limited capacity must begin to reduce non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures to ensure adequate hospital capacity for immediate healthcare needs.

The updated guidance is due largely to staff shortages stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The staffing shortage has contributed to the loss of nearly 500 medical/surgical and ICU hospital beds across the state. Along with staffing shortages, the current high census levels and expected increases in hospitalizations commonly seen throughout the holiday season “requires this concerted effort to preserve inpatient capacity.”

Non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures are defined as procedures that are schedule in advance because said surgery is not a medical emergency, and where delay will not result in adverse outcomes to the patient’s health.

Editor’s note: The full MHA press release can be found here. To read how halting elective surgeries during COVID has impacted (and continues to impact) hospitals’ bottom lines, click here.

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