Biden administration to change reporting of COVID-19 hospitalizations

The Biden administration will be using new strategies to improve COVID-19 hospitalization reporting, according to two senior officials cited by Politico Feb. 7.

A task force of scientists and data specialists at HHS and the CDC will be working with hospitals nationwide to improve COVID-19 reporting.

Under the new strategy, which has yet to be enacted, hospitals will be asked to report COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 incidental cases and patients admitted for other alignments who test positive for the virus after admission, in separate categories, according to the senior administration officials cited by Politico.

Hospitals are not consistently reporting COVID-19 admissions the same. Some are labeling all its patients who test positive, whether incidental or not, as COVID-19-positive and not as incidental cases, while others are tracking incidental COVID-19 cases in a separate category.

The Biden administration is separating the two and hoping it will provide a more accurate sense of COVID-19's impact while also determining if COVID-19 is causing severe disease. 

A more accurate hospitalization rate will also help the administration determine how the strain is affecting hospitals and what resources they may need to tackle the influx of COVID-19 patients, the report said. 

A similar effort was launched by the Trump administration in 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

 

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