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WA and OR Executive Orders Regarding Deferral of Non-Emergent Healthcare

March 23, 2020

Overview

Both Washington Governor Inslee and Oregon Governor Brown have issued Executive Orders that non-emergent healthcare in all settings, including dental offices, be deferred. 

Governor Inslee’s Order is substantially the same as that from Governor Brown’s office and provides: 

“[The Order] immediately prohibit[s] all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices in Washington State from providing healthcare services, procedures and surgeries that require personal protective equipment, which if delayed, are not anticipated to cause harm to the patient within the next three months…”

The Oregon Order describes “irreversible harm” as life threatening, or involving a threat of irreversible harm to a patient’s mental or physical health, and includes additional information as to cancer treatments and other very time sensitive conditions that could be expected to rapidly worsen.

Obviously this requires the provider’s professional judgement. The wise provider will document the rationale for classifying the care as emergent.

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