LINC Blog, State and Local News

Crisis Standards of Care:

What does it mean for people with disabilities?

Please address all specific concerns or questions to the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare or your physician.

LINC is providing this information as a courtesy to help our community make informed decisions.

“The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident.”

Dave Jeppesen, Director, Idaho Dept. of Health & Welfare

On Sept. 16, 2021, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has activated Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) due to shortages in beds, medications, ventilators, staffing and other necessary resources.

Not all hospitals will need to implement the Crisis Standards of Care. These guidelines are implemented when a hospital is running out of resources and cannot get those resources replenished in a timely fashion.

These standards apply to all patients who require medical care may be affected, not just those with COVID-19. The way you receive treatment may also be different than you expect.

This may mean that someone who is more likely to survive will get treatment and those who are MEDICALLY unlikely to survive will not. One’s disability will not be a factor in that determination according to applicable federal laws as well as the “Strategies for Scarce Resource Situations” document.

Medical facilities are legally required to allow you to bring one companion to assist with communication needs. Yes, they are required to also provide ASL interpreters, but the availability of interpreters in a timely fashion may not be possible in all urgent medical situations. Use your best judgement.


Generally, all documents came from the website listed below, managed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and referenced/downloaded on September 17, 2021.