Statement from Hospital Association CEO on Resumption of Scheduled Medical Procedures

Becky Hultberg, OAHHS President & CEO, issued the following statement on Governor Brown’s decision to lift her order to delay non-urgent medical procedures in hospitals, surgical centers, medical offices, and dental offices. Scheduled procedures at facilities that show they’ve met the guidelines on COVID-19 safety and preparedness will resume May 1.

“Today the Governor announced a framework for the reopening of hospital elective procedures, effective May 1. This has been a top priority for members, and we appreciate that the Governor prioritized this important work.

We supported the decision to pause elective procedures to preserve PPE for the COVID-19 fight, but we also understand that it’s not safe to delay some of these procedures indefinitely. Our patients need care and we are prepared to safely resume health care services.

We are currently reviewing the framework to determine how hospitals can best meet the conditions outlined and will provide feedback to the Governor and Oregon Health Authority. We greatly appreciate the work of the Governor’s Medical Advisory Panel and the Governor’s commitment to getting hospitals back to normal operations.

Finally, we are encouraged that Governor Brown pledged to create a Hospital Stabilization Fund to bring vital assistance to hospitals, in response to our request for $200 million in state support. Many hospitals are the largest employers in their communities and their continued financial health is essential both to the COVID-19 fight and the long term health of the communities they serve.”