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August 11, 2021

Around the nation: Amid Covid-19 surge, Texas governor asks hospitals to postpone elective procedures

Daily Briefing

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) asked hospitals in the state to postpone scheduled procedures to clear beds for Covid-19 patients, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Florida and Texas.

    • Florida: U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams on Sunday ruled that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings can require guests to show proof of vaccination before boarding one of its ships, opposing a Florida law banning "vaccine passports" in the state. In a statement, Norwegian praised the ruling, saying that it would allow the company to provide the "safest vacation experience" for its passengers, The Hill reports. The first Norwegian ship will depart Miami on Aug. 15, which will be company's first trip from Florida since last year. However, according to Axios, Peter Patterson, an attorney representing the state and Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, indicated that the case may be taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Falconer, Axios, 8/8; Schnell, The Hill, 8/9)
    • Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in a statement Monday called on hospitals in the state to voluntarily delay scheduled elective procedures so as to make available more bed for an influx of Covid-19 patients. In addition, in a reversal from the state government's approach in July, Abbot said Texas' Department of State Health Services is trying to locate out-of-state medical professionals to help address the latest Covid-19 surge, among other measures. However, Abbott on Monday still said he would not enact business restrictions or permit schools and local jurisdictions to impose mask mandates, Politico reports (Ward, Politico, 8/9).
    • Texas: Tenet Healthcare on Monday announced Saum Sutaria as CEO of the organization, effective Sept. 1. Sutaria is currently the company's COO and will succeed Ron Rittenmeyer as CEO. Meanwhile, Rittenmeyer will continue as Tenet's executive chairman through 2022, according to Becker's Hospital Review. Previously, Sutaria worked at McKinsey & Co. as a health care adviser and served as an associate clinical faculty member at the University of California- San Francisco. (Jensik, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/9)

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