Member Alert May 15: Clarification Regarding Preoperative COVID-19 Testing

On May 8, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an Executive Order regarding the final directives for Phases III and IV of the reopening of healthcare services in Kentucky. The issue of preoperative testing was one of the items addressed by the Order. Specifically, the Order states, “All surgical/procedural patients must have a COVID-19 pre-procedure screening and/or testing in accordance with specialty-specific and/or professional association guidelines consistent with the guidance of the Kentucky Department of Public Health.

In addition, the Order also states, “The Commonwealth of Kentucky relies upon licensed healthcare professionals within the state to exercise these directives with appropriate professional judgment in the best interests of minimizing spread of COVID-19 and reducing risk to patients receiving healthcare services.

Since the it was released, there have been questions from physicians related to the provision addressing preoperative COVID-19 testing.  As mentioned in the Order, specialty-specific and/or professional association guidelines may be consulted when making these determinations. KMA provides the following links to statements/guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, various specialty societies, and other national organizations as examples that may be helpful to physicians as they deal with these questions. Relevant portions are highlighted.  In addition, physicians should follow the guidelines implemented by the facility in which the procedure will be performed.

American College of Surgeons

Joint Statement: Roadmap for Resuming Elective Surgery After COVID-19 Pandemic

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

American Academy of Ophthalmology

 

In Your Own Words: Wayne B. Tuckson, M.D., FASCRS, FACS
Host and producer, Kentucky Health
Host, Coronavirus: A Kentucky Update
Host, Centered on Health with Baptist Health

What I Did During the Pandemic: Or, How I Fought the Coronavirus

Unlike my colleagues, I am not on the frontline risking career and life while treating COVID-19 patients. During this time, I have mostly been out of the game.

Rarely do I give credence to inspirational missives, but this one “in crisis lies opportunity” there is a ring of truth. Thanks to the willingness of my colleagues to be guests on Kentucky Health, I have been able to hone my broadcasting skills. Thanks to COVID-19, this “skill” placed me in a position for some new roles.

At the onset of COVID-19, KET saw the need for a show to summarize, inform, and enlighten the Commonwealth about all things related to the pandemic. After the special, “Coronavirus: A KET Forum,” which I hosted, the weekly show “Coronavirus: A Kentucky Update” was born. Since inception I have been the host and the KMA has been a major underwriter.

Coincident with the arrival of COVID-19, WHAS radio, in partnership with Baptist Health, started a weekly medical call in show entitled “Centered on Health with Baptist Health.” I, along different physician guests from Baptist Health, host the show.

I am not on the front lines putting myself and my skills to the test as so many of my colleagues are doing. Rather, I am employing what “skill” that I have to educate and assuage the fear and confusion that surrounds all things related to COVID-19.

It is my hope that I carry on in the tradition of the KMA to keep Kentucky healthy using the tools at my disposal. At the minimum, I can always look back and say that I was a doctor, playing a broadcaster, on TV and that I gave it my best shot.

KMA Public Service Announcements Available for Download

KMA has produced a number of public service announcements (PSAs) related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are available for download at kyma.org/covid19.

In March, KMA partnered with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to produce a series of three PSAs that discuss protocols for preventing the virus, as well as utilizing telehealth and prioritizing mental health. These 30 second spots are receiving airplay on stations across the state.

In April, KMA recorded and distributed a radio PSA regarding the benefits of telehealth, which is currently receiving airplay on stations in rural areas of Kentucky.

Earlier this month, KMA partnered with the Kentucky Hospital Association to produce a 30 second television spot that educates patients on the changes to the healthcare system as hospitals and clinics reopen for non-urgent/non-emergent procedures. The spots are currently receiving airplay on a number of stations, as well as on radio, and an accompanying op-ed by KMA President Brent Wright, M.D., KHA President Nancy Galvagni and KHA Board Chair Garren Colvin has been published by several newspapers statewide.