Texas State Senators’ Letter to Governor Abbott Supporting Resumption of Non-Emergent Surgical Care
April 16, 2020
On April 15, 2020, all Texas State Senators co-signed a Letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott to address the need to incrementally reopen Texas hospitals for non-emergency surgical care. The full April 15, 2020 Letter can be found here. In their Letter, the Senators addressed the following:
The Senators stated that their shared concern is to ensure patients have access to medically necessary surgical care, including for many urgent situations that require timely medical intervention for the patient but that do not rise to the level of emergency care;
The Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) rules issued in response to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-09, which temporarily banned certain medical procedures and surgeries, have caused confusion for Texas health care providers and potential delays in critical surgeries due to potential TMB penalties; and
The Senators recommend that consideration should be given to a staged resumption of non-emergent surgical care. First, elective outpatient day surgeries could begin in hospitals that verify they have enough PPE and bed capacity for such surgeries and so long as they verify the patient does not have any COVID-19 symptoms. At the same time, rural hospitals could resume surgical care. Lastly, elective cases for individuals at higher risk of morbidity with COVID-19 could resume.
This Letter is a follow-up to the Letter previously sent to Governor Abbott by Senators Dawn Buckingham, M.D., Donna Campbell, M.D., Charles Schwertner, M.D. and Lois Kolkhorst on April 10, 2020 in response to concerns raised by the medical community. Their original Letter can be found here. We will continue to monitor and provide additional updates as they develop.