18 hospitals, health systems pausing nonemergency surgeries this month 

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As U.S. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations tick up, some hospitals and health systems have again postponed nonemergency procedures to free up hospital space and ensure they can adequately care for urgent healthcare needs. 

The daily average for COVID-19 hospitalizations nationwide was more than 69,000 as of Dec. 19, a 16 percent increase over the last 14 days, according to The New York Times. As for cases, the U.S. is averaging about 133,000 new infections per day, a 21 percent rise over the last two weeks. 

Effective Dec. 9, New York is requiring 32 hospitals with limited capacity to halt nonurgent elective procedures as COVID-19 cases increase in the state. Similar orders are in place in Massachusetts. Hospitals with limited capacity in the state were ordered to reduce elective procedures effective Nov. 29. 

Here are 18 more hospitals and health systems that have halted nonemergency surgeries in December: 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. If you would like to add to this list, please email ecarbajal@beckershealthcare.com

1. Cleveland Clinic is temporarily postponing scheduled nonurgent inpatient surgeries requiring a hospital bed across all Ohio locations except Lutheran Hospital through Dec. 17. The health system is also halting the scheduling of additional nonemergent surgeries through Jan. 3. 

2. The MetroHealth System in Cleveland is pausing some nonessential surgeries in response to high demand for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19-related care. 

3. Cleveland-based University Hospitals is rescheduling some nonessential surgeries at UH Cleveland Medical Center that require an inpatient stay for a short duration of time.

4. Maine Medical Center in Portland is postponing 50 percent of nonemergency surgeries as the hospital converts six operating rooms to make room for more patients. 

5. Newark, Del.-based ChristianaCare is temporarily postponing surgeries and other procedures that are "not time sensitive." The facility plans to continue surgeries for those already in the hospital, emergency care and surgeries where patients are discharged after six hours. 

6. Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System is canceling elective surgeries at some hospitals across the state. CEO Bob Riney told WILX10 decisions are made at individual hospitals and the system does not plan to make changes to systemwide scheduling at this time.

7. Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland is temporarily postponing elective surgeries requiring inpatient care.

8. Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Mich., is postponing all elective surgeries. 

9. Omaha-based Nebraska Medicine will begin reviewing nonessential surgeries Dec. 10. Surgeries that can wait four to 12 weeks without a substantial change in outcome will be rescheduled at a later date. Surgeries that can wait longer than 12 weeks will be postponed and reassessed in 12 weeks for rescheduling. 

10. Southwest General Health Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, is reviewing all nonessential, elective surgeries requiring an inpatient bed on a case-by-case basis and rescheduling as needed.

11. Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H., is postponing elective surgeries requiring inpatient hospital admission. 

12. St. Lawrence Health in Potsdam, N.Y., is pausing most elective inpatient surgeries and "tightly managing outpatient elective cases to see that they occur within specific limited daytime hours," the health system said Dec 7. 

13. Physicians at ProMedica Toledo (Ohio) Hospital said some elective surgeries have been postponed. 

14. Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network is limiting elective procedures to preserve its operating room capacity and prioritize cases with a "combination of clinical condition and surgical indication," the Beaver County Times reports.

15. Columbus-based Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will postpone nonemergent surgeries that require overnight stays beginning Jan. 3. It also won't schedule any new appointments between now and Jan. 3.

16. Mercy Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based St. Luke's Hospital, part of UnityPoint Health, issued a joint statement Dec. 16 announing the decision to temporarily postpone nonemergent surgeries through at least Dec. 25. 

17. Summa Health in Akron, Ohio, has temporarily paused all elective procedures that require an overnight stay and will evaluate capacity on a weekly basis, local ABC News affiliate News 5 Cleveland reported Dec. 20. 



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