Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Issues Executive Order Allowing Elective Surgeries
April 24, 2020
By Cody Fierro, Adam E. Lang and Terry Roman
On Wednesday, April 22, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-32, announcing that certain hospitals, dental offices and other healthcare facilities (each, a “Healthcare Facility”) will be able to resume elective surgeries as soon as May 1. Gov. Ducey previously signed Executive Order 2020-10, prohibiting all non-essential and elective surgeries after March 21. A Healthcare Facility will only be able to resume elective surgeries if it can show it has implemented certain precautionary measures set forth in Executive Order 2020-32.
The full list of requirements set forth in the Executive Order should be thoroughly reviewed:
Demonstrating greater than a 14-day supply of PPE;
Ensuring adequate staffing and beds;
Testing of patients and at-risk healthcare workers;
Ensuring appropriate discharge plans for certain at-risk patients;
Implementing a universal symptom screening process;
Establishing an enhanced cleaning process; and
Prioritizing certain elective surgeries based on urgency.
A Healthcare Facility that believes it has satisfied all requirements set forth in Executive Order 2020-32 to resume elective surgeries will be required to request an exemption from Executive Order 2020-10 from the Arizona Department of Health Services. However, such Healthcare Facility will have to think through some potential risks associated with such an exemption. If a Healthcare Facility ultimately receives an exemption from the Arizona Department of Health Services, such Healthcare Facility will no longer be eligible to request or receive PPE from the state or county health departments.
Executive Order 2020-32 explains that the Arizona Department of Public Health is responsible for determining the application process for each Healthcare Facility to request an exemption. Given the narrow window of time between signing Executive Order 2020-32 and the May 1 deadline, the rules for requesting an exemption are expected to be published by the Arizona Department of Public Health in the coming days. As more information becomes available regarding the exemption process, this Legal Alert will be updated accordingly.