Mar 19, 2020 - Health

Medicare clarifies which procedures hospitals should postpone

Three doctors in gowns surround a patient on an operating table.

Photo: Agence Photographique BSIP via Getty Images

Hospitals and surgery centers should delay less urgent procedures like carpal tunnel surgeries, cataract surgeries, colonoscopies and joint replacements, but they should not postpone more serious care such as cancer treatments, brain surgeries, transplants, trauma care and major heart surgeries, according to new recommendations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Why it matters: Health care providers are delaying elective care to keep beds open and to prevent patients from catching the new coronavirus, but that does not mean patients should be cut off from lifesaving treatments if they need them.

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