New COVID-19 data-reporting rules 'beyond an administrative headache,' Maine hospital group says

HHS' new COVID-19 data reporting protocol for hospitals has not made administrative duties for hospitals in Maine any easier, according to Maine Hospital Association President Steven Michaud. 

Mr. Michaud told local ABC affiliate WMTW that the recent changes to COVID-19 data reporting protocol have been "beyond an administrative headache," according to the Aug. 6 report. HHS altered its reporting guidance for hospitals on July 10, directing them to send data through the state or state contractor, which then reports data directly to HHS. Previously, hospitals reported COVID-19 data daily to the CDC. 

The hospital association represents 36 hospitals in the state. Maine hospitals are now sending coronavirus data to private contractor Teletracking, which manages the new HHS reporting system, instead of the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I don't think it made it any easier for us, I don't think there is any question about that,” Mr. Michaud said. 

While HHS said the protocol change was aimed at helping the federal government better monitor and allocate hospital resources, Mr. Michaud said it forced hospitals to reconfigure data systems on a short timeline. Despite the changes, the 36 hospitals represented by the hospital association said they have not encountered any major issues. 

"Nothing has blown up yet," Mr. Michaud said. "We haven't heard much yet, but it's early." 

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