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Volume X, Number 194

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July 09, 2020

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New “Stay Safe Ohio” Order Rescinds Non-Essential Surgery Ban and Restarts Ambulatory Care

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, has issued a comprehensive “Stay Safe Ohio” Order to be effective May 1, which, among many other things, reopens ambulatory care in Ohio. The new “Stay Safe Ohio” Order is available here and recognizes the “sacrifices and incredible efforts” of Ohioans, which make it possible to begin lifting restrictions.

The “Stay Safe Ohio” Order rescinds the ODH’s March 17 Order, which canceled the performance of non-essential surgeries and procedures that utilized personal protective equipment (PPE). The new “Stay Safe Ohio” Order applies to all medical providers, including dentists, and permits the resumption of non-essential surgeries and procedures, as these services do not typically require inpatient or overnight stays. Moreover, the new Order notes that these surgeries, procedures, and other health care services utilize minimal PPE and have “minimal impact on inpatient hospital bed capacity.”

The resumption of the performance of these non-essential surgeries and procedures under the new “Stay Safe Ohio” Order is subject to eight conditions that providers must meet:

  1. Compliance with infection control and environmental practices from the ODH and CDC;

  2. Maintenance of adequate inventories of PPE, supplies, equipment, and medicine for each patient and all phases of patient care;

  3. Creation of conservation and monitoring plans to preserve PPE, supplies, equipment, and medicine, that may include decontamination and reuse protocols, in preparation for an influx of patients;

  4. Evaluation of a reliable supply chain to support continued operations for non-COVID-19 patients and to respond to an unexpected surge of COVID-19 patients;

  5. Frequent PPE inventory counts, which, for hospitals, will continue to be subject to daily reporting to Ohio’s COVID-19 resource-management system;

  6. Establishment of a process for timely COVID-19 testing of patients and staff per ODH guidelines;

  7. Continued use of telehealth modalities whenever possible;

  8. Development of an actionable plan for communication, outreach, and equitable delivery of services that recognizes the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority populations and engages patients in discussions concerning the risk of contracting COVID-19 and in shared decision-making as to the timing and need for services.

The new Order also highlights considerations for hospitals and other providers to review in preparation for the resumption of non-essential surgeries and procedures, which include pre-start considerations, prioritizing patient outreach and scheduling, patient communication, patient screening for COVID-19, facility considerations, workforce/staffing, sanitation procedures, PPE, supplies, patient and staff testing, and consultation of additional resources.

© 2020 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 125


About this Author

Eric J. Plinke, Dinsmore Law, Health Care Lawyer, Corporate Attorney

Eric Plinke is a Partner in the Corporate Department and Health Law Practice Group, and he routinely advises corporate and individual clients regarding a wide-range of health care industry legal issues. He has counseled clients in practice formation and acquisition, hospital and joint venture transactions, hospital and medical practice affiliations, contract review and preparation, compliance programs, HIPAA regulations, scope of practice issues, telemedicine and Stark law and Anti-kickback statutes, as well as significant experience counseling in ambulatory surgery centers and other joint...

Timothy Cahill Health Care Attorney Dinsmore Law Firm
Partner Of Counsel

Tim is an attorney with more than two decades of experience in health care-related fields. He has worked as in-house counsel and external counsel for non-profit and commercial health care organizations, health systems, hospitals, physicians and physician groups, joint ventures, and other corporate clients. Most recently, Tim served in the role of general counsel of a regional health system, working closely with the executive team and board to further the organization’s strategic mission and significantly improve operating revenues.

In his practice, Tim has addressed a wide range issues related to health care regulatory compliance, fair market value, internal investigations, risk management, medical staff and licensure issues, research, conflicts of interest, managed care contracting, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other corporate transactions that have led to significant growth for his corporate clients.  He has negotiated deals with global pharma, medical device, and health care corporations, as well as numerous regional and national health care nonprofits. Given his previous in-house roles, he has an intimate knowledge of hospital and physician practice operations, finance, and reimbursement issues.

Stacey A. Borowicz, Regulatory, Health care industry, attorney, Dinsmore Shohl,

Stacey Borowicz is an accomplished attorney who dedicates the majority of her business and regulatory practice to health care providers. Stacey brings with her more than a decade of front line experience in the health care industry as she acquired a rare set of skills as a medical researcher/scientist prior to entering the practice of law.

Stacey's experience in the healthcare representation is diverse and includes Medicare/Medicaid audit and overpayment appeals, voluntary disclosures and refunds. Stacey also brings a wealth of experience in...

Courtney White, Dinsmore Law Firm, Corporate Attorney

Courtney is a member of our Corporate Department where she focuses her practice on health care law.

While at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, she was a managing editor on the Ohio State Law Journal. She also earned the Ernest Karam Book Award for academic achievement in Legal Analysis and Writing and was named a Public Service Fellow with Dean’s Special Recognition.