NY hospitals get long awaited guidance on elective procedures

The New York State Department of Health sent out guidance to hospitals on Friday, Dec. 3 for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive order.

13 Investigates found out they sent the guidance several hours after the order took effect.

This new order could postpone elective procedures if a hospital hits 10% or less bed availability.

Four hospitals in our region: Albany Medical Center Hospital, Glens Falls Hospital, Saratoga Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare are on a list from the state that shows they have 10% or less bed availability.

The reason hospitals wanted guidance is that they had lingering questions on how to implement the executive order.

Glens Falls Hospital told 13 Investigates earlier this week they were not the only ones who had questions.

"We are receiving telephone calls asking what the situation is and there is really not much we can tell them at this point," Ray Agnew said, Glens Falls Hospitals’ spokesman.

When 13 Investigates checked in with hospitals in the Capital Region on Friday morning, all the ones we reached out to said they still had no guidance from the state.

That’s when we contacted DOH around 11 a.m. to ask when facilities could expect guidance. They finally sent out the guidance around 12:30 p.m.

Even though the executive order takes effect Friday, nothing has been postponed yet. The state Health Department said they will tell hospitals by Monday, Dec. 6 if they have to cancel any procedures.

The guidance listed 10 procedures that are considered essential and will not be affected by the order:

– Cancer, including diagnostic procedure of suspected cancer
– Neurosurgery
– Intractable Pain
– Highly symptomatic patients
– Transplants
– Trauma
– Cardiac with symptoms
– Limb threatening vascular procedures
– Dialysis Vascular Access
– Patients that are at a clinically high risk of harm if their procedures are not completed

DOH recommends that you reach out to your doctor if you have a scheduled procedure coming up.

Click here to see the guidance from the state Health Department.