July 6, 2020
Over the weekend, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) issued Supplemental FAQs on its Elective Surgery Guidance. Among the key questions and answers in the document are:
Question: When is COVID-19 testing required prior to an elective surgical procedure? Is COVID-19 testing required only when using general anesthesia or is it mandatory for all levels and types of anesthesia/analgesia?
Answers: The following individuals should be tested for COVID-19:
- Those patients admitted to the hospital for an inpatient elective procedure in an operating room;
- Those patients whose outpatient elective procedure will take place in an operating room or a procedure room in a hospital or ambulatory surgical treatment center (ASTC);
- Those patients having an elective procedure under general anesthesia; and
- Those patients (regardless of type of anesthesia) undergoing an elective procedure of the aerodigestive tract, including endoscopy, colonoscopy, or bronchoscopy.
Question: Do patients have to be tested within 72 hours of the procedure?
Answer: Facilities should test each patient within 72 hours of a scheduled procedure and the patient must self-quarantine from the time of the test until the surgery.
Question: Where should pre-op patients get tested?
Answer: Referring providers should make arrangement for testing, just as they would for any other required pre-procedural evaluation. COVID-19 testing is reimbursed by major insurance carriers without a patient copay.