Elective procedures can begin again in some areas, CMS says

CMS shared recommendations on restarting essential healthcare services for areas with low or stable levels of COVID-19.

CMS previously recommended dentists only perform emergency procedures during the pandemic. The new guidelines released April 19 encourage a gradual transition back to nonessential services in which healthcare leaders collaborate with local and state public health officials.

"Today, some areas of the country are experiencing fewer cases and lower incidence of the virus, necessitating a more tailored and flexible approach," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a press release. "Every state and local official will need to assess the situation on the ground to determine the best course forward, but these guidelines provide a gradual process for restarting non-COVID-19 essential care while keeping patients safe."

On April 16, President Donald Trump released guidelines detailing initial criteria and three reopening phases that can be implemented at governors' discretion.

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