Public Health

Helping private practices navigate non-essential care during COVID-19 


The American Medical Association (AMA) is providing this guidance to physicians and practices on the provision of non-essential care to patients (PDF) amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related staffing shortages. This guide is designed to assist practices triage non-urgent patient requests.

Non-essential care guide

This guide is designed to assist practices in triaging non-urgent patient requests during COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that maintaining appropriate staffing in health care facilities is essential to providing a safe work environment for healthcare workers and for safe patient care. Physicians and practices need to maximize interventions to protect employees, patients and visitors in the wake of the national staffing crisis.

For more information on keeping your practice open amidst the COVID-19 crisis, please view the AMA’s Physician Practice Guide for Keeping Your Practice Open.

What the guide covers

  • Recommendations to review COVID-19 federal and state guidelines to ensure patient and staff safety
  • Recommendations to assist in adjusting workflows to support both staff and patients

Find additional resources from the AMA on private practice sustainability: business operations and workflow.

Disclaimer: The guidance provided represents information believed to be current and accurate at the time of posting, but it is not intended as, and should not be construed to be, legal, financial, medical or consulting advice. Physicians and other qualified health care practitioners should exercise their professional judgment in connection with the provision of services.