Are COVID-19 Numbers Faked?
The Case Of The Extra Patients.
At the outset, we don't have enough data, so for now, we classify this news as possible, but unverifiable. During last week's testimony on Capitol Hill, an interesting exchange between a Missouri Congressman and the head of the CDC yielded interesting results. There has been a sneaking suspicion that some of the officially deemed Coronavirus cases in the nation were accidental adds.
Or perhaps something else. Due to changes in compensation and funding for the pandemic, some health care providers had a chance to rake in extra money. All they had to do was change how they tabulated the number of Corona patients in their care. Below we look at the accusation and discussion, and what may change due to this likely fact.
The Congressional testimony was an incredible eye-opening moment for the public. Below we discuss how the concerns of many played out in the CDC Director's own words: We see some of the evidence already emerging. We see the results of the Coronavirus in many ways. Some of them include the financial side of the disease. Don't get me wrong. The disease is real.
The effects are real. Certainly, the deaths are real. Our nation already lost far too many people to the scourge. There are continued effects due to the spread of COVID. We are nowhere near the end of our battle against it. However, the question is why health care providers change their numbers? In a normal system, mistakes do happen.
I've seen it in medical malpractice suits I've led. However, there is a systematic effort to do so, or at least it would seem. There is a financial benefit to declaring patients suffering from Coronavirus. This is a bizarre quirk in the accounting system of hospitals and the federal government. Below we'll talk about why this is.
How Does Federal Funding Change Disease Reporting Habits?
Many hospitals are struggling financially. Regular doctor visits are down dramatically. Even many emergency rooms are closed, except for COVID related cases. Many elective surgeries and procedures were delayed or canceled. All of these mean fewer people coming in for care. It also means a reduction in the dollars and cents going into the nation's health providers.
The largest share of patients since March? Coronavirus. The millions of new patients are a major change in the bottom line of these hospitals. Furthermore, such a change in patient numbers also comes in with a severe change in federal funding mandates. This further corrupts the means of how hospitals run their numbers. Simply put, over the last six months, the federal government opened trillions in funding related to Coronavirus.
Some have been efforts we can see directly. These include changes to unemployment benefits or the one time $1200 stimulus checks. Some money supports local and state governments. Other funding includes additional health care spending for hospitals and doctors. State governments followed suit, as well. We see a massive well of spending going towards admitting more Corona patients. Of course, it's easy to understand why and how the hospitals adapted.
According to the head of the CDC, Robert Redfield, there is a certain financial incentive for hospitals. Redfield testified in front of the House on Friday. He said that such errors do happen-- and it could be tied to cash.
Redfield responded by telling the congressman, “I think you’re correct in that and we’ve seen this in other disease processes too.” “In the HIV epidemic, somebody may have a heart attack but also have HIV,” Redfield explained. “The hospital would prefer the DRG [death report] for HIV because there’s greater reimbursement. So I do think there is some reality to that.”
So What Are The True COVID-19 Numbers?
There is a strong chance that many of the Coronavirus numbers are similar to the official stats. However, there is a margin of error that many people simply haven't considered prior to the release of this info. And many hospitals have differences in how they tabulate the number of patients or determine their disease profiles. Put it all together and we don't have a clear picture at all.
This is profoundly difficult to extrapolate data from. What happens when a small, local hospital declares its numbers by the book? And their neighboring chain of corporate hospitals includes anyone with "presumed" COVID as having the disease? What does that mean for the potential spread of the disease? If patients are being treated as if they have the disease without proper testing, it builds additional issues. We don't have enough data, therefore, we classify this news as possible, but unverifiable.
Where Do We Go From Here?
This is unclear. There is a fair chance that this issue is simply not solved. Doctors and hospitals need additional funding to fight the virus. This may mean that state and federal governments simply accept that there is a margin of error somewhere. This means a likely exaggeration of numbers. Or the Trump Admin may also change the way the funding operates. Perhaps double check the COVID tests before allowing for the enhanced funding. However, in this polarized political climate, it is unlikely there will be any major changes before the election. This may also mean that the numbers being released on Coronavirus is not 100% accurate.
About the Author.
Michael Ehline is the lead attorney of the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He is an experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorney. His decades of experience in the legal field include working with medical professionals. His Doctorate is in law, and not in medicine. However, this experience studying with medical experts taught him about how the health system works and to "follow the money."
Ehline Law was among the first law firms to change their habits due to the Coronavirus earlier this year. This gave Michael and his team valuable insight into how the virus affected Southern California and the legal repercussions of its spread. For more info about legal rights and responsibilities around the virus, contact Michael. He can be reached at the number below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ehline Law Firm site: The Coronavirus Law Office?: https://ehlinelaw.com/blog/coronavirus-law-office
- Christian Post: CDC director agrees hospitals have monetary incentive to inflate COVID-19 data: https://www.christianpost.com/news/cdc-director-agrees-that-hospitals-have-monetary-incentive-to-inflate-covid-19-data-238244/?fbclid=IwAR0Jf4VbUb-3ElhTL-EHdBkpvp69T1MY22z1CwQKRL-jOVuRgtj52WVe7-M