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Response to Miguelito Loveless (Reply #67)

Sun Aug 9, 2020, 07:56 PM

70. I didn't say check the source, I said check the facts. What data is going directly to HHS?

Is it new cases (the data in the graph in the OP - and the 77,000 per day you suggest is linked to the change) and deaths (another main data set tracked)?

From the article you posted:

Hospitals are supposed to report daily to the federal government how many beds they have, the number occupied and the availability of intensive care beds. Under the new system, the Department of Health and Human Services aggregates the information at a state level and shares a daily spreadsheet of the information that has been reported gaps and all.

. . .


The established system was disrupted by a memo dated July 10, issued to hospitals by HHS. In the memo, HHS took the unusual step of instructing hospitals to stop reporting the capacity data to CDC and to instead use a reporting platform developed recently by private contractor TeleTracking. As NPR has reported, the details of how the contract was awarded to TeleTracking are unclear.

Hospitals received only a few days notice of the change and scrambled to adapt.


Here is the data that is now being reported to HHS directly. If you review it, you'll find it has no direct connection to tracking the number of new cases, or deaths daily.

The only indirect connection is related to aggregate, in-house hospita testing - and even that data remains ultimatdly under the control of the CDC (ater being reported to the state health departments):

Under the new guidance, testing data should be sent to state health departments, which will then deidentify the data and report them to the CDC. This new guidance is effective August 1, 2020.


It is critical to read beyond the alarming headline, and discern exactly what was changed by the order before assuming the change (in reporting hospital capacity) is somehow responsible for the downturn in new cases.

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