The New York Times quoted McGuireWoods partner Amber Walsh, former chair of the firm’s Healthcare Department, in a Sept. 22, 2021, story on the postponement of medical treatments and surgeries for non-COVID patients in areas with a surge of COVID hospitalizations.
The article reported that many U.S. hospitals have been hit hard over the past two months by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, with intensive-care units overflowing and non-COVID patients forced to await medical treatment. In this environment, hospital administrators and doctors are making difficult decisions about which patients can undergo surgeries and other procedures that are not emergencies.
Unlike in the early months of the pandemic, Walsh remarked, state, local and federal agencies do not have the appetite this time to prohibit elective surgeries. Instead, they are much more likely to work with public health officials and their competitors to better manage the higher demands for care.
“You do see a lot of local hospital associations coming together, making their own rules of the road,” she said.