Four of Minnesota's largest providers of hospital care — Allina Health, HealthPartners, M Health Fairview, and Mayo Clinic — are postponing elective surgeries as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday that it would defer all elective care that can be put off for at least eight weeks, including elective surgeries and office visits. The decision to defer elective care is effective March 23, but semi-urgent, urgent and emergency care will continue.
The decision applies at Mayo's major campuses in Rochester, Florida and Arizona, as well as in the community hospitals in the Upper Midwest that make up the Mayo Clinic Health System.
"This decision is being made to ensure the safest possible environment for our patients and staff and to free up resources to assist in Mayo Clinic's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff working in impacted areas will be redeployed where needed most," Mayo Clinic said.
At Allina Health, the 14-hospital health system is canceling elective surgeries, including at least half of all surgical procedures scheduled at one of its major Twin Cities hospitals. A review is ongoing.
Dr. Alison Peterson, vice president of medical affairs at Allina's United Hospital in St. Paul, said the cancellations apply to elective procedures such as bariatric and cosmetic surgery and orthopedic procedures on the hips, knees and spine. Emergency procedures will go on, as will urgent surgeries for patients who are already in the hospital.
Some surgeries are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For example, surgery to remove a tumor would likely happen if the patient is at the end of a multiweek run of outpatient chemotherapy, she said.
"Our staff and employees are motivated to keep their patients and their co-workers safe," Peterson said Tuesday.
HealthPartners announced late Tuesday that it is postponing all elective surgeries and procedures at its hospitals and clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin through April 3, with no surgeries being scheduled until after April 27.
The health system is also suspending nonemergency dental appointments scheduled between through March 29, and it is rescheduling some routine office visits or changing them to phone calls.
And M Health Fairview said Monday night that it was postponing nonemergency elective surgeries at all of its locations effective Wednesday. "Time-sensitive" surgeries and procedures will continue.
Note: The dates for postponed procedures at HealthPartners were updated Wednesday with new information.